Surrounded by some of Lancashire’s most stunning moorlands and open countryside, Bolton is one of our region’s largest and most populous towns, with a rich industrial, cultural and sporting heritage, a growing student community and a vibrant arts scene. It’s a wonderfully diverse place that’s proud of its past and focused on its future, with stunning new developments currently transforming its commercial centre and reinforcing its position as one of the North West’s key towns.

Bolton originated as a small settlement on the West Pennine Moors known, appropriately, as Bolton le Moors, and is in fact an amalgamation of two small medieval towns: Great Bolton, roughly corresponding to the town’s present commercial centre with its parish church, St. Peter’s, and the market on Churchgate, at its heart, and Little Bolton, which was centred around the All Saints area and St. George’s Church. Nowadays, with a population of more than 261,000, it’s one of the biggest towns in the UK that isn’t a city.

During the Civil War, Bolton was a Parliamentarian outpost in a staunchly Royalist region. As a result, on the 28th May 1644, it was stormed and captured by more than 3,000 Royalist troops, led by Prince Rupert of the Rhine. Over 1,600 townspeople were killed in what became known as the Bolton Massacre.

At this point, Bolton was a thriving market town in a largely rural area. That said, Great Bolton and Little Bolton, separated by the River Croal, had both been centres of small-scale textile production since the 14th Century, after the Flemish Weavers had settled in the area following their expulsion from Flanders by the Huguenots.

The tradition of cottage spinning and weaving was revolutionised in 1779, when local inventor Samuel Crompton invented the Spinning Mule whilst living at Hall i’th’ Wood near Tonge Moor, immediately north of the town centre, basing his invention on Richard Arkwright’s Water Frame. Massive growth in the local textile industry ensued, so much so that Bolton became a boomtown during the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century with large-scale, mechanised textile manufacturing thriving in practically every district of the town.

Important transport links also contributed to the growth of Bolton and its industries, namely the Manchester Bolton and Bury Canal, which opened in 1791 to provide transport for coal and other raw materials. The Bolton and Leigh Railway (the oldest in Lancashire and now defunct) also connected Bolton with the Leeds-Liverpool Canal at Leigh from 1829, and thus on to the Port of Liverpool for the import of raw cotton from America.

Bolton’s industrial zenith occurred in 1929, when the town had nearly 220 cotton mills and 30 bleaching and dyeing works employing around two thirds of the area’s total workforce, making it one of the world’s largest and most productive centres for cotton spinning. The British cotton industry, however, experienced a sharp decline after the First World War and, by the 1960s, cotton manufacture had virtually ceased in Bolton. In actual fact, the town’s last working weaving company – King Cotton – closed down in 2004.

The legacy of its industrial past is evident in landmarks such as the iconic Bolton Steam Museum on Mornington Road, and the impressive Queen Street Mill Textile Museum, both of which provide fascinating insights into the town’s manufacturing heritage.

Of especial significance to me personally is Rock Hall in Moses Gate, near Farnworth; not just because I live nearby, but also as there are extensive re-furbishment works currently taking place there to restore this fabulous building for community use. The Hall was once the home of the Crompton Family (Samuel Crompton) and everywhere in Bolton, there are nods to this name, not least Crompton Way, which circumnavigates the town’s east side.

A town with a view

One of my very favourite things about living in Bolton is that I’m never far away from the countryside. On a weekend, you’ll generally find me in my walking boots somewhere above Bolton, either at Turton, Egerton, Belmont, Anglezarke or, of course, the iconic Winter Hill. Rivington has been a particular favourite of mine since childhood, with breathtaking 360-degree panoramic views from the famous Pike sweeping across Lancashire, the Ribble Estuary, Greater Manchester and even as far as the Peak District.

Closer to home, I regularly enjoy a leisurely stroll – or a run – on the towpath flanking the River Irwell at Ringley, and I also cycle alongside the Bury Bolton Canal. I’m also a regular visitor to Nob End Nature Reserve (yes, there really is such a place – lol!) in Prestolee, near Kearsley.

Strong artistic and musical associations

These days, Bolton is almost synonymous with comedy thanks to its favourite son, Peter Kay who is one of the world’s most successful stand-up comedians. His 2010-11 tour was recorded in the Guinness Book of Records as the most successful ever, selling more than 1.2 million tickets. Along with his childhood friend and fellow Boltonian, Paddy McGuinness (these days, a famous TV Presenter) and fellow comedian Dave Spikey, also Bolton born-and-bred, he created the unforgettable Phoenix Nights TV comedy series, which was filmed in Farnworth, Kearsley and Great Lever. Famous Bolton comedians also include Stu Francis (former host of TV children’s series Crackerjack), Hovis Presley and Bernard Wrigley.

Bolton-born actors include Hylda Baker, Frank Finlay, Shirley Anne Field, Sir Ian McKellen, Glyn Owen, Maxine Peake, Robert Shaw, Andrew Buchan and Mark Charnock (aka Marlon Dingle from Emmerdale). Many famous writers also hail from the town such as Monica Ali, Jim Cartwright, Kate Long, Geoffrey Moorhouse, Bill Naughton and Denys Corley Smith.

The town also has a notable music history with 1970’s female vocalist Annie Haslam, classic composer Simon Holt, pianist and band leader Jack Hylton, 1960’s blues musician Mick Weaver, Damon Gough (aka Badly Drawn Boy), Danny Jones (McFly), Cherry Ghost and members of 1990’s indie darlings The Verve all hailing from Bolton. Radio 1 DJ and TV presenter Mark Radcliffe is also a Boltonian, as are fellow TV personalities Sara Cox, Vernon Kay and Jenny Ryan (better known as ‘The Vixen’ from ITV’s hit quiz show, The Chase) and BBC Presenter, Victoria Darbyshire. Older readers will also fondly remember TV presenter, steeplejack and engineer, Fred Dibnah.

Local centres for the Arts include The Octagon and Bolton Little Theatres, as well as the Bolton Museum and Art Gallery on Le Mans Crescent.

Location location location

The town itself has played prominent roles in British and World Cinema, as well as television. Films set or shot in Bolton include The Family Way, Spring and Port Wine, A Monster Calls, The Mark of Cain, The Ipcress Files and The Full Monty. TV series filmed in and around the town include Peaky Blinders, A Gentleman in Moscow, It’s A Sin, Nolly, Brassic, Ridley, Last Tango in Halifax, Sherlock Holmes, Sleepers and Funny Woman. Famed film director Danny Boyle was also born in nearby Radcliffe and educated at Bolton School.

Sporting excellence

The town’s most famous sporting institution is Bolton Wanderers Football Club, established in 1874 and a founder member of the English Football League. After 120 years of continuous play in the town, the Wanderers now play their home games at the University of Bolton Stadium in the nearby town of Horwich. Famous footballers from the town include Nat Lofthouse, Tommy Banks, Tommy Lawton, World Cup winner Alan Ball, Francis Lee and Paul Mariner.

Bolton is also the home of Lightweight Boxing Legend Amir Khan, Olympic cycling gold-medallist Sir Jason Kenny, England test-cricketers Sajid Mahmood and Dick Pollard and Chess grandmaster Nigel Short.

Culinary classics

Bolton is also developing a reputation as something of a foodie haven with a host of restaurants, gastropubs and award-winning curry houses, and its very own Food Festival taking place every August Bank Holiday. Local culinary classics include Lancashire Hotpot, Carr’s Pasties and Warburton’s Bread, makers of the famous Lancastrian breakfast or supper treat, the crumpet. The town has one of the largest food markets in North West England (known locally as the Ashburner) selling fish, meats, vegetables and cheeses sourced locally, regionally and internationally to cater for the town’s multi-cultural population.

A regional centre of activity

Bolton also boasts one of the region’s largest and most diverse town centres, the centrepiece of which is Market Place, a Grade 2 Listed Building housing two floors of shops, a restaurant and entertainment complex in its vaults and a multi-screen cinema. The town’s principal shopping street features Victoria Square and the stunning Bolton Town Hall. Other major retail areas include Deansgate, Bradshawgate and Knowsley Street. There are also major out-of-town retail centres located at Orlando Bridge (Central Retail Park), Middlebrook and Bolton Gate.

Community Spirit

Along with the countryside, another aspect that characterises Bolton is its strong sense of community and hospitality. Whether you’re attending a local festival, browsing the bustling markets, or simply striking up a conversation with a stranger, you’ll find warmth and camaraderie wherever you go. The town’s vibrant community spirit is reflected in its numerous cultural events, charity initiatives and grassroots projects that bring people together and foster a sense of belonging.

Moreover, according to a 2007 survey undertaken by the British Association for the Advancement of Science, Boltonians are the friendliest people in Britain.

Strong connections with local schools

As an organisation, Moxi Recruitment is in the fortunate position of having strong partnerships with schools throughout Bolton, including our partner EdStart Schools located at Castle Hill, just outside the town centre, and Horwich.

The educational make-up of Bolton is, like many of Greater Manchester’s boroughs, diverse with 110 primary schools and 37 secondary schools; a significant number of which are rated either ‘good’ or ‘outstanding’ by Ofsted. Bolton also has a sixth-form college with campuses throughout the town, a community college and, since 2005, its own university (formerly the Bolton Institute of Higher Education). The town also has a co-educational CE school and Sixth Form (Canon Slade in Bradshaw) and a Private Day School (Bolton School), founded in 1516, in Heaton, immediately west of the town centre.

As with any major town, Bolton encompasses a broad demographic and is home to a significant Asian population (17.7%), concentrated particularly in the Deane, Daubhill, Gilnow and Halliwell areas. It also boasts some of the most upmarket housing areas in the whole of Greater Manchester, in Rivington, Turton and Bromley Cross. Conversely, districts of town such as Crompton, Breightmet, Halliwell and Harper Green rank among the most deprived areas in the North West of England.

A key point of difference between ourselves and other education recruiters, is that Moxi is community-focused and, wherever possible, we always seek to work with local candidates who know the area, its strengths, its demographic profile and its challenges. In this way, we can make a really lasting contribution to our region’s educational environment at all levels, and help drive the local economy.

We have a fantastic cohort of classroom-ready candidates currently available in and around Bolton, all looking for long-term, permanent roles in Early Years, Primary and Secondary schools. The training of these candidates – some of whom are new to the world of education – is ongoing, and we work in collaboration with our partners across the North West of England to help people take that all-important first step with regard to a career in teaching, teaching assistance, admin and support.

As part of our all-encompassing package, we can provide bespoke training that includes a Level 2 Teaching Assistant qualification, Mental Health First Aid, Lesson Planning and Mindfulness.

If you’re looking to get a head start in education as a career, then call me today on 0300 303 4414, email or visit our ‘Contact’ page and send us a message. We will always try and support you in the best way we possibly can. Whether that be through new career opportunities, training or CPD!