Browsing posts in the category: Tom Harrisson

1 November 1937

On this day 75 years ago it was the municipal elections in Bolton. Mass Observation was involved with the Labour party campaign through observer Walter Hood, a staunch trade unionist. He can be seen in the back of this photograph of children who are marching in an election rally wearing paper hats. The leader of […]

Happy 75th Birthday Worktown

Bolton Museum’s exhibition opened on Saturday and is on until 2 December. We are holding an afternoon of talks on the 6 October 12.30-5 pm in the Museum’s beautiful Art Deco lecture theatre followed by a screening of Ian Pott’s film about the Worktown observers “Truth is Stranger than Fiction”. Everything is free, everyone is welcome […]

Hindoo Man

Tom Harrisson, leader of the Worktown study was an early advocate of the Jack Kerouac school of writing. Other Mass Observers describe his manic, mammoth writing bouts,  from which he would emerge dazed, and sometimes quite smelly. Observer Walter Hood describes him typing away with a George Formby 78 playing over and over again on […]

A Cannibal comes to Bolton. Part 2.

Continuing on from here… where our friendly Cannibal is finding it strangely difficult to get anything to eat in Bolton.  He looked thoughtfully at the eels and lobsters in the window and then, feeling in his pockets to make sure that small change was handy, pressed down the latch of the door. To his surprise […]

A Cannibal comes to Bolton. Part 1.

The leader of Mass-Observation’s Worktown study of Bolton was the remarkable Tom Harrisson. His previous anthropological study of tribes in the New Hebrides led him to take a particular interest in the religious life of Bolton. He saw parallels between church and tribal rituals. A book examining religion in Bolton was planned after John Sommerfield’s […]