Westhoughton History Group


Over 150 people came to Westhoughton Library on Saturday 23 September to see Tom Newton MBE launch their latest Exhibition and Timeline. The Exhibition will run from 23rd September to 31st October whilst the Timeline will remain as a permanent feature.

The exhibition has two major segments, one comprising material which expands upon that featured on the wall-mounted panels, and the second a most colourful and impressive display of superb water-colour paintings illustrating the Westhoughton of yesteryear. These are all the work of one of Westhoughton’s best-known and much-loved sons, Tom Newton MBE, whose artistic talents have augmented many of our activities over the years, including a number of the images which feature in the Timeline.

Much of the embryonic work was undertaken by Pam Clarke, the Group’s former president who sadly died earlier this year. Pam had hoped that the library could be adorned with a comprehensive town timeline profiling in graphic fashion all the events in Westhoughton’s history which could be viewed in perpetuity by all visitors to the Library.

Having conceived the idea she was not destined to see her vision implemented. Now, however, working in close collaboration with key members of staff at Bolton Library and Museum Services, and aided by a generous grant from Westhoughton Town Council, the project has been brought to fruition, the result being a most impressive and colourful graphic display, comprising a series of themed information panels, 3 feet high, and with an overall length spanning 65 feet.

The exhibition has been coordinated by our vice-chairman Garth Ratcliffe, who was also responsible for many of our previous successful major exhibitions, including those commemorating the centenary of the Pretoria Pit Disaster (2010), the bi-centenary of the Burning of Westhoughton Mill (2012),  Westhoughton and World War I (2014), and ‘Westhoughton Under Siege - The threat of the 1960s Overspill Project’ (2015).

The Raffle for one of Tom’s paintings was won by Hilary Turner and was collected by her husband Bill, seen here with the artist.

Site updated 26 September 2017