Worktown film marks end of exhibition 

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Director Ian Potts will talk about his film Stranger Than Fiction

History fans have just two weeks left to visit the latest exhibition at Bolton Museum, Worktown’s 75th Birthday.

The exhibition, which marks the 75th anniversary of the Mass Observation Worktown project in Bolton, comes to an end on Sunday, December 2.

And visitors have the chance to view a special screening of the 1985 film Stranger than Fiction, which documents the 1930s project.

Film director Ian Potts will conduct a question and answer session prior to the screening on Thursday, November 22. He will also talk about his experience of directing the film and about Mass Observation in general.

The free event will take place in the Lecture Theatre at Bolton Museum and Central Library, from 5.30pm to 7.30pm, and there is no need to book.

Mass Observation was founded in the late 1930s by a group of young writers and intellectuals, led by Tom Harrisson. They believed that British society was deeply divided, with very little understanding or consideration given to the lives and opinions of ordinary people.

The first focused study carried out by Mass Observation began in 1937 in Bolton, which they called Worktown.

Bolton was chosen as a ‘typical’ northern working class town, and Harrisson recruited a team of men and women who tried to capture a vast range of information about the local population using observation techniques.

The exhibition includes selections from more than 850 photographs, which offer a fascinating insight into the lives of ordinary people living and working in pre-war Bolton. They candidly capture people going about their daily lives, visiting local pubs, the theatre, parks and public spaces, as well as going on trips to Blackpool, known as Holidaytown.

Bolton Museum is open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 5pm, except Wednesday when it opens at 9.30am, and Sunday from 10am to 4pm.


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