Selling Bolton’s ancient artefacts to private collectors a ‘real loss’, says MP

A campaign to safeguard Bolton’s artefacts from the hands of private collectors is vital for the community, according to the town’s MP.

Julie Hilling, the MP for Bolton West, has championed the protection of the Hulton Archives which has items from all parts of the ancient county of Lancashire.

Speaking at a meeting of Westhoughton Local History Group, the MP said that it would be a ‘real loss’ for Bolton if the items were sold.

“I do not want to see such important artefacts documenting much of the history of Bolton being lost to private hands across the world,” she said.

“These Archives are a major part of Bolton’s heritage and it’s very disappointing that they should be up for sale.

“For the past 70 years, The Hulton Archive has been in the safekeeping of Lancashire County Council’s Lancashire Records Office,” added Ms. Hilling.

The campaign is being led by The Friends of Lancashire and they are still £50,000 short of their £95,000 November target to save the historical items.

The present owner, who is looking to sell the more than 1,000 items, is an indirect descendent of the Hulton family.

Established as one of the leading families in the North West, they have a heritage dating back as far as the year 989.

William Hulton for example is notorious for giving orders to the cavalry at the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester on August 16 1819.

David Chadwick, a member of Westhoughton History Group, is hopeful that a benefactor will be found to keep the artefacts in Bolton.

“It is rather distasteful that many of the Hulton family’s artefacts are now up for sale to the highest bidder,” said the councillor for Westhoughton South.

“The family have resided in Bolton for many, many years and these mementoes ought to be given to the Bolton Museum for posterity.”

Main image courtesy of lindsey kell via YouTube, with thanks.

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