Bolton people are being urged to diary how they spend their day today.

Bolton-based arts and heritage organisation, Live from Worktown and the University of Bolton ’s Centre for Literature and Community, are encouraging people to mark the national Mass Observation Diary Day today,  the 12th May.

Working in conjunction with the Mass Observation Archive at the University of Sussex, Bolton locals are being asked to diarise how they spend their day on the 12th May.

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In 1937 Mass Observation (MO) called for people from all parts of the UK to record everything they did from when they woke up in the morning to when they went to sleep at night on 12th May. As well as providing a unique insight into life in a working-class, industrial town in the 1930-40s, the Mass Observation initiative led to important arts and heritage developments.

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Julia Uttley of Live from Worktown says: “The original MO left Bolton with a great arts and cultural legacy, from the writing and plays by Bill Naughton to the era-defining photographs by Humphrey Spender. So we’re interested to see whether, by engaging people in Bolton to take part in the MO Diary Day, similar opportunities for creativity will be generated.”

As Bolton has recently been named as the Greater Manchester Town of Culture, we’d also like to use this opportunity to find out more about people’s perceptions of Bolton as a place of culture, so as well as a diary, there are three straightforward questions that people can choose to answer.

Professor Jill Marsden from the University of Bolton said: “We’re looking forward to hearing more about what would improve Bolton residents’ experience of culture. This is a perfect time to take stock of our past and envisage possibilities for the future.”

Anyone in Bolton can take part and send their diary which can include poetry and verse, voice messages, drawings, photos, videos or other creative work.

People can go to for more information as well as for digital, downloadable templates and forms.

Diaries and completed questionnaires are to be handed in at the History Centre, Bolton Library or sent to

People can pick up templates and drop off their diaries via the History Centre at Bolton Library - they have until the 20th May to drop them off or email them.

For more information, please contact Julia on