TEACHER Ian Robinson will this weekend release his debut book called The Town That Vanished.

The book chronicles the two-year mass observation study carried in Bolton in the late 1930s, possibly in a way they had never been observed before.

The people of this, then important, Lancashire mill town were secretly observed. The result was an unprecedented, vivid and detailed picture of life in Bolton on the cusp of its best years — a town the observers labelled ‘Worktown’.

Robinson uses the groundbreaking investigation to frame the story of what Bolton once was and, equally compelling, what it has become.

In doing so, he turns the spotlight on a remarkable generation of working class Boltonians who swapped grimy terraced houses for green suburbs; potato pies for pizza; Blackpool for Benidorm; corner shops for curry houses; and tin baths in front of coal fires for takeaways in front of televisions.

More than the story of a vanished town and a lost way of life, this fascinating book poses the question, has Bolton lost part of its soul?

The Town that Vanished will be launched on Friday, from 1pm until 2pm, with a talk of approximately 30 minutes and signing by the author at Bolton Central Library. It will be followed by two book-signing sessions at Market Place, on Saturday and Sunday, 11am until 3pm.