Bill Naughton

Bill Naughton came to Bolton from Ireland at the age of 4 and left for London aged 30. He first wrote short stories about lorry driving, crime and his childhood in Bolton, in the 1940s. He then progressed to writing more personal, family and  adult themes with stories, radio and stage plays, some of these formed the basis for classic British films Alfie (1966/2004), The Family Way (1967) and Spring and Port Wine (1970).
His gritty and unsentimental portrayal of working class people life was rooted in an acute observation of day-to-day life as an Irish immigrant in Worktown, as the famous Mass Observation (MO) Study of the 1930s dubbed Bolton. From an Irish immigrant family Naughton the ‘outsider’ volunteered to participate as an observer in the MO's study -, the ex-mill worker and coal-man, rubbing shoulders with the literati of London. Through this he developed the confidence and skill to get his first work published at the age of 32 after moving to the London. This website aims to restore his reputation and status as the most successful all-round writer to emerge from Bolton. 

Live from Worktown a resident-led Community Arts organisation working with a number of partners to bring cultural activities to the heart of Bolton.

Writing Workshops   Performance Poetry
Comedy Showcases   Art Exhibitions
Acoustic Music   Jazz at Harvey's
Guided Tours   Public Debates
Talks and Lectures   Publishing Local Writers


'Worktown' was the name given to Bolton by the 1930's Mass Observation study.


Respect the Past * Enjoy the Present * Embrace to Future 



This project has been developed in conjunction with, and supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund