Browsing posts in the category: Theme

Pub Tour

A guided tour round some of the Bolton pubs featured in Mass Observation’s Worktown study and the book ‘The Pub and the People’. The tour is free but places are limited- please book by emailing Worktown Observation Centre will be observing Bolton 26 July to 2 August.

Yesterday 75 years ago…

On the 27 January 1938…. There was a parliamentary by-election in Farnworth. Candidate Herbert Ryan (National Government/Conservatives) was defeated by George Tomlinson (Labour). Children joined in the campaign at a polling station at Moor Hall, on Church Street. And a van overturned on Vernon Street, near Bolton town centre.

The Non-Voter

These extracts are taken from Mass Observation’s study of the non-voter in Bolton which was brought to mind by the extraordinarily low turnouts for this week’s police commissioner elections. The first extract is taken from a draft written by Tom Harrisson for a book on voting which was never completed. It’s interesting how the same […]

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 […]

Observing Holidaytown 2012

We finished our day of talks on Mass Observation at Bolton Museum on Saturday by heading over to Blackpool (Holidaytown) in the footsteps of the original Mass Observers. It was good fun to join relatives of original observers Julian Trevelyan, Humphrey Spender and Michael Wickham taking in the Blackpool illuminations and Saturday night mayhem. My […]

Colonel Barker

Colonel Barker by Humphrey Spender (copyright Bolton MBC) The sideshow featured Colonel Barker in bed in a pit separated from a woman wearing a nightdress in an another bed by a row of belisha beacons. Scandal loving tourists could view the scene from above, and rain insults down on the unfortunate couple. Although the advertising […]

The Illuminations

Bolton’s Mass-Observers made a mass trip to Blackpool to observe during the September 1937 holiday week. The mills of Bolton would close for a week at a time so workers came to the town alongside their workmates to enjoy the ‘Paris of the North’. The Northern mill towns staggered their holidays so that the cotton […]

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 […]