BACK in the days before Photoshop and other computer trickery, our mischievous photographers literally had to cut and paste whenever they wanted to create a trick photograph - usually for our April Fool’s Day editions.

The technology may have been lacking but the imagination was bountiful as this selection of photographs demonstrates.

The earliest photographs appeared in 1938, which was something of a bumper year with three appearing in April, May and June.

Perhaps it was a reporter who posed with the clock tower of Bolton Town Hall. There was an unintentional extra trick to that photograph as, because the photographer was positioned on the site of the old bus station looking back towards Le Mans Crescent, it looked like the clock tower was being placed above the ceremonial arch.

George Formby was all the rage in the 1930s so it’s likely that he was the inspiration behind the very tall window cleaner.

A solution to paying car parking fines was found in the photograph of a man carrying his car along Bradshawgate.

Years before the appearance of Metrolink trams in town centres, one visionary joker had the idea of superimposing this steam train in the middle of Bolton in a 1964 story.

Great trouble was taken with another hoax story in June 1972. The report described how, to test public opinion after reports that Bolton had been earmarked as a possible site for a zoo, a keeper from Chester Zoo bought a sea-lion to enjoy itself in the Victoria Square fountains.

The final photograph appeared on April Fool’s Day 1975 and purported to show how a motorbike team from Harwood had come up with a novel way to keep down transport costs during the fuel crisis of the time.

Pictured in Bradshawgate, it showed eager members of the public queing up to take advantage of the service.