We’ve had a busy few weeks but with some satisfying results.

Mass Observation Day 12th May

Thank you to everyone who participated in Mass Observation Day on 12 June

Mass Observation Day continues the work developed in depth in Bolton from 1937 to 1940 providing a bottom-up profile of everyday life of the town. Over fifty MO diaries were submitted by the public to LfW and have been forwarded to the MO archive at the University of Surrey. We hope to follow this up with a ‘Bolton Observed’ anthology before too long. Watch out for invitations to submit.

Write out Loud Sunday 2nd June

The final Write out Loud spoken word event before September took place on Sunday 2 June, with a full house in the Socialist Club Lounge. The next meeting will be on Sunday 8 September which breaks with our normal ‘first Sunday‘ pattern. Normal service will be resumed in October. Our guest in September will be Morecambe poet Trystan Lewis who although only being involved in poetry and spoken word relatively recently, has just won first prize in the prestigious Plough Arts Centre annual poetry competition (judge: Roger McGough). Check out his fb page. He is going to be big.

Bolton Town of Culture

To augment our Mass Observation campaign we invited residents to respond to questions about cultural life in Bolton, now and in the future. This seemed particularly relevant given Bolton’s status as Greater Manchester’s Town of Culture 24/25. The results are still being analysed but expose the gap between people’s pride in Bolton’s cultural heritage and current broad grass roots cultural offer, and a perceived failure to capitalise on it as the town is regenerated. We’ll report further in future newsletters. (photo featuring Bolton’s outgoing Mayor, Mohammed Ayub and Octagon Artistic Director Lottie Wakeham at the official launch: Julia Uttley)

Second Friday Cabaret

Another top line up for Second Friday Cabaret which takes place on 14 June at Bolton Socialist Club. Performers include Lynn Jelly, Steven P Taylor, Keri Moriarty, Rick Lucas and Nick Jackson. Starts at 7.30pm. Entrance £5 on the door or reserve a ticket in advance through dave.morgan@livefromworktown.org.uk.
Note: This is the last Cabaret night before Friday 13 September.

Side Door

The next edition of Side Door our arts and culture magazine will be broadcast by Bolton FM in August. All our previous editions are available here.
Our last edition on 27 May included interviews with London film maker Daniella Baldock who has been in and out of Bolton researching and recording material on Mass Observation, Chair of Neo-artists studios Louise Garman, Dave Morgan on the poetry of ageing and memory, and the final play in our Standing Together series created and performed by New Bury residents.

Worktown Words

The call out for contributions to our first revised ’Worktown Words’ resulted in a rewarding range of contributions.  Our new chief editor is published poet and co-organiser of spoken word event Natter, Romina Ramos. Writer Ajaz Qureshi is the first guest editor. The magazine will be published on-line by the end of June and all contributors will be notified.

Worktown Walks

A new series of free guided Worktown Walks are being planned for July and August with a mix of rural and urban routes highlighting aspects of Bolton’s rich heritage. Suitable for all-comers come rain or shine. Led by Peter Firth with support from Julia Uttley our last series was a great success. Details will be circulated to all on our mailing lists and fb page members. (photo: Peter Firth}

New Web-site

We’ve launched a new web site which includes news, forthcoming events and links to our archived items including a wealth of Mass Observation archive material unearthed by Dave Burnham. The site will develop over time. Take a look here.

A New Look - Bolton Skyline

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