The outbreak of war in 1914 split the socialist movement right across Europe and brought a bloody halt to the hopes and dreams of the previous years. Socialists like Robert Blatchford, the Clarion editor, and Harry Hyndman, founder of the Social Democratic Federation, stepped onto recruiting platforms for the British Army, while others, like Keir Hardy, remained opposed. The Bolton socialists were equally split. Close votes were recorded at Wood Street meetings, for and against the war.
The campaign for women's suffrage followed a similar pattern.
Even the Pankhurst family were split - Emmeline and Christobel strongly for, Sylvia just as strongly against.
Alice Foley remembered: " 'poor Belgium' was brandished like a flaming torch to laggards, and silly women proffered white feathers to embarrassed boys." (Alice Foley; A Bolton Childhood).
The club's minute books are strangely quiet in 1917 and make no mention of either the February or October revolutions in Russia.
We can only assume that members supported them, because when, in 1919, there was a British military intervention against the Bolshevik government, a meeting was organised on the Town Hall square, under the slogan 'Hands off Russia!'.
Also Jim Paulden, club secretary at this time, some years later wrote and published a hundred-page epic poem in praise of Lenin!
In the years following the WWI, Wood Street continued as one of the main centre of radical activity in the town echoing the increasing unrest throughout the country.
Literature sales got under way again with papers like Solidarity, Plebs, and Sylvia Pankhurst's paper The Workers' Dreadnought and outdoor meetings once more became the order of the day.
During the early 1920s Bolton Trades Council was strongly affected by radical trends championed by members of the club and to those of the pre-war syndicalist movement: a far cry from the right wing sentiments of the leaders of the Bolton Spinners (and Trades Council) of the 1890s and 1900s.
Bolton also seems to have been very active during - and significantly, before - the coal mining dispute which led to the 1926 Lock-out and General Strike.
The defeat of the General Strike and the Miners' Lock-out produced a right wing backlash and the Bolton Socialist Party along with other revolutionary groups' influence and membership began to fade away.
Early in the 1920s some ILP members joined the Communist Party, while others joined the Labour Party. Indeed in 1921 a majority voted to affiliate to Bolton Labour Party.
Despite its gradual demise, however, the Bolton Socialist Party was never formally disbanded. Over the years membership of club and party became synonymous.
Even now an application to join the club is an application to join the 'party'.
When town centre pubs closed between 3 and 6 o'clock in the afternoon, the club gradually became one of the favourite places to get a drink. This reached its height during the second world war when it was used by many, many service men - when one looks at the 'visitors' book it sometimes seems impossible to have so many people in the club at one time.
'Wood Street Club', as it became known, gained an unenviable reputation as a haunt of drunks, prostitutes and black-marketeers.
As Jim Paulden remembered, 'From then on, the club, in spite of generous donations to political and other causes, steadily accumulated funds.'