Happiness bridges the generation gap

A big smile from Cliff Worrall

From left, Amy Lawton, aged 11, Megan Hurst and Stacey Murray, both aged 10, Louise Sherman and Joshua Brockbank, both aged 11, and Nathan Fitzgerald, aged 10

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , education reporter

THE Bolton News
and the University of Bolton have teamed up to find out what makes the people of the town happy.
The first survey of this kind in the UK was carried out in the borough in 1938 as part of the groundbreaking Mass Observation Project.
Now, more than 75 years on, the people of Bolton are once again being asked what makes them happy and replicating the social experiment.
Today we explore what makes different generations happy.

We spoke to children at SS Osmund and Andrew’s RC Primary School in Breightmet and the residents of The Bakewells Home in Deane - and, although they may be generations apart, their views on being happy were surprisingly similar.

Here is what they had to say: Megan Hurst, aged 11, said: “I like being with my family and that makes me really happy and when my brother learned to ride a bike I was really pleased and happy for him.

Doing things I like makes me happy, like dancing and singing and drama. Being famous does not make people happy, because the celebrities are in the paper for doing bad things.”

Stacey Murray, aged 10, said: “Christmas makes me happy, because all my family are together and I get to see all the family, it is so nice seeing each other and having them round. Being happy is not about having lots of toys, it is about family.”

Louise Sherman, aged 11, said: “I like it when my brother plays PS3 and wins, because he gets really excited and that makes me happy.I’m happy because he is happy.”

Joshua Brockbank, aged 11, said: “I am happy when I doing things with my dad, like taking the dog for a walk, I like spending time with him that makes me happy.”

Nathan Fitzgerald, aged 10, said: “I am happy when I am with my family, playing football, going to the park. Happiness is not about having everything, that is about too much greed.”

Amy Lawton, aged 11, said: “Being with my friends and family makes me happy, if you get everything you want then you just become self-fish, it is better to share with others. I like the experiences I have with my friends and if I wasn't something I have to earn it, which makes me appreciate more. Nobody I know wants to be a celebrity because sometimes they behave badly and then I stopped liking them.”

Doris Hibbert, aged 88, said: “Socialising and being healthy is what makes people happy. It is about sticking together, like we did in the war, and pulling through and the experiences you have, my memories still make me happy.”

Cecilia Walsh, aged 93, said: “My family make me happy, I have children who have done well in sports and they make me proud and happy. Family is important. I remember being made May Queen when I was a child, which still makes me happy today.”

Barbara Berry, aged 90, said: “Happiness is about enjoying yourself while not going over the top. Music made me happy, I played the Saxophone and my mother was very musical. I still remember performing — happiness is about having a full life doing something you enjoy.”

Cliff Worrall, aged 92, a former Bolton headteacher and RAF pilot who was involved in the Malta campaign, said: “Happiness is about being satisfied with what you have. Some people work themselves to death to make money, and experiences pass them by.

"I used to tell the children that if they wanted something to try their best and they would get to do what they wanted. I remember a teacher I stayed part time with the RAF — my wife and I both enjoyed the social part of it as well.”

Comments (1)

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1:53pm Sat 15 Feb 14

Brumas says...

What a waste of money this will/must have been, its like asking how long is a piece of string? There must be a myriad of reasons to be happy, not just one or two reasons.
What a waste of money this will/must have been, its like asking how long is a piece of string? There must be a myriad of reasons to be happy, not just one or two reasons. Brumas
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