THE family holiday to Blackpool or Southport used to be a Northern staple before the advent of the package holiday abroad.

Thousands of Boltonians left the town from Moor Lane every summer full of excitement for their well-earned break.

The charabanc (or chara-bang) buses ferried families to and from the coast as they enjoyed a week - or two if they were lucky – away from home during what was the Bolton holiday fortnight. Some were even organised outings by pub, club or church groups.

The so-called Bolton Holidays or Wakes Weeks were town exoduses at the end of June and the end of September, when the mills would shut for maintenance and the workers would enjoy a well-deserved break.

Even when real open-topped charabancs went out of fashion, getting on a coach was still called “getting the chara”.

Families would queue for the bus with their suitcases and best hats as they waited with anticipation to be transported to the seaside.