HISTORIC England is calling on the people of Bolton to share their knowledge of England’s forgotten, secret or little-known memorials, from murals and shrines to statues and inscriptions on benches and trees.

The hunt for information about local monuments, street shrines and community tributes is part of the Immortalised project by the heritage body which looking at who is remembered and how.

It comes as challenges to memorials of figures such as imperialist Cecil Rhodes and slave-trader Edward Colston, and the absence of representations of women and ethnic minorities in English cities puts the subject under the spotlight.

Historic England is asking for photographs and information from the public about lesser-known memorials or those well-loved by communities but unknown on a national level, and about rituals and activities linked with them.

The stories and pictures will be recorded to be included in an exhibition as part of the Immortalised project which will also feature a debate, events and a design competition.

The best examples of community memorials may be listed by Historic England.

Memorials in Bolton include the one remembering the men and boys who died in the Pretoria Pit mining disaster.

Almost 900 men and boys went to work at the Pretoria Pit on 21 December 21 in 1910 and tragically 344 never returned home.

An explosion at the pit, officially named the Hulton Colliery, on the outskirts of Westhoughton, was the third worst in British mining history.

Many of the fatalities were from the same family. Miriam Tyldesley lost her husband, four sons and two brothers. The memorial, opposite St Bartholomew’s Church, Westhoughton, was unveiled in December 2010.

Historic England is particularly interested in finding out about how people create unofficial memorials in their community, such as the commemoration of heroin users made of spoons, placed high on a wall in a public place near Mount Pleasant in London, with each spoon said to represent “a lost soul”.

Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England, said: “We are creatures of memory, and every generation has commemorated people in the built environment.

“Their stories may involve episodes of heroism or generosity and be inspirational, or they may involve episodes which are shameful by today’s standards. They all tell us something about the lives of our ancestors.”

He said one of Historic England’s most important jobs was to identify and share information about what is embedded in England’s public areas to help people understand and value their local historic environment.

“Exploring the stories and histories of less well-known people and groups is an important part of this, and that’s what today’s call out to the public is all about.”

The Bolton News is running a Hidden Bolton competition and in which photographers to send in pictures of the less celebrated and well-known parts of our town.

For details visit http://www.theboltonnews.co.uk/news/16042988.Competition__Your_Camera_Club_pictures_can_win_CASH_prizes/