Time to commemorate 150th anniversary of a famed literary son
8:45am Friday 22nd February 2013 in News
AN event to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the birth of one of Bolton’s best-loved literary sons will be held at Bolton Library.
Allen Clarke, who was famous for his Lancashire dialect humour, was born in Bolton in 1863, and wrote a weekly column under his pen name, Old Boltonian, until his death in 1935.
During his life he edited the Blackpool Echo and wrote a number of books under different pseudonyms including Teddy Ashton, Capanbells and Ben Adhem.
The working class hero went to work in the mills as a boy but grew up to be a successful writer.
After leaving the mills Mr Clarke became a teacher before setting his sights on journalism.
He set up his own publications because there were no vacancies at the Bolton Evening News, as it was then known.
He wrote dialect poetry and novels including work about the life and conditions in the North of England between the 1880s and 1930.
He moved to Blackpool during his later life because of his fascination with windmills and is believed to have been involved in saving many from demolition in the Fylde area.
His love of windmills was also demonstrated in a poem about the Little Marton Mill in Blackpool in 1916.
The windmill, which was one of the first sights visitors came across on entering the town, was given to Blackpool Council as a permanent memorial to Mr Clarke.
The mill was vandalised but is now open to the public throughout the year and maintained by The Friends of Little Marton Windmill.
Mr Clarke also wrote a number of philosophical and political works.
The event at the library on Saturday is titled From Tum Fowt to Windmill Land: Allen Clarke — Bolton’s Literary Champion of the Working Classes.
It will include talks by guest speakers Dr Paul Salveson and Mr Clarke’s granddaughter, Shirley Matthews.
Dr Salveson wrote Allen Clarke: Lancashire’s Romantic Radical and Mrs Matthews is the author of Milltown Mischief.
An event to remember Mr Clarke will also be held at Blackpool Library on Wednesday at 2pm.
The event will be held between 11am and 1pm.
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