Your chance to help recreate mass observation project

The 1930s Mass Observation captures Bolton people waiting on the platform for a train

The 1930s Mass Observation captures Bolton people waiting on the platform for a train

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

HISTORY enthusiasts have a chance to be part of the mass observation event — 21st century style.

Bolton is famous for being the centre of the 1930s project which sought to capture the world of Worktown — the name given to the town.

Celebrated photographer Humphrey Spender and his colleagues attended football matches, trips to Blackpool and even voting in elections as part of their mission to capture everyday life in Bolton.

Now at the end of the month the University of Bolton’s Centre for Worktown Studies is organising an event celebrating the project which will form part of the Manchester Histories Festival Celebration Day.

There will be a morning of 15 minute talks on themes such as mass observation, Worktown and Humphrey Spender’s photographs as well as a Worktown exhibition.

This will be followed by an opportunity for people to follow in Mr Spender’s footsteps. Everyone taking part will travel to Manchester — whether by bus or train or car — taking photographs and making observations about the journey and the talks.

People taking part can make notes and use a camera or use a tablet or mobile and tweet their pictures and comments.

The Manchester Histories Festival attracts more than 10,000 visitors and runs from March 21 to 30.

The event is organised by Dr Bob Snape, Director of the Centre for Worktown Studies and MA photography programme leader, Ian Beesley.

Dr Snape said: “We’re delighted to be bringing Worktown to what was once called Cottonopolis, celebrating Manchester’s role as the centre of the cotton trade back in the 1930s.

“This is the first time we have been part of the Manchester Histories Festival or attempted to create our own mass observation experience. We expect it to be informative, but a lot of fun.”

The event on Saturday, March 29, starts at 9.30am at Senate House, University of Bolton.

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