Bolton holiday rituals then and now 


A photography exhibition depicting how Boltonians spend their holidays now and in the 1930s is on display at Bolton Museum, Aquarium and Archive.

“Worktown Holiday Rituals” features some of the famous images of Humphrey Spender, taken as part of the Mass Observation project in the late 1930s.

Also included in the exhibition is work by photographer Caroline Edge, who recently completed the Humphrey Spender John Marriott Scholarship for Social Documentary Photography, awarded by The University of Bolton.

Both sets of photographs capture the holiday pastimes and rituals enjoyed by Bolton residents, only 70 years apart.

Spender’s images show holidaymakers on the beach at Blackpool, children playing by a pond, mill workers at Easter time and Blackpool Illuminations.

In comparison, Caroline Edge took photographs of people during the late autumn and winter 2009/10, including revellers at a funfair in Leverhulme Park, children sledging in the snow, parishioners of St Edmunds RC Church at an Ash Wednesday service and Christmas lights decorating the home of one Bolton resident.

The exhibition is available to view until Saturday, May 22.

Caroline will also conduct a free lunchtime talk on Friday, April 30 at 1pm entitled “Worktown Holidays: The Influence of Humphrey Spender on recent photographs of Bolton”.

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