Immediately after the second World War a lot of left-wing activism was centred around the Spinners Hall.
However, as the cotton industry went into terminal decline, more unions and groups began to use the Club for their committee and general meetings and to organise in various ways.
In the mid-60s an anti-Vietnam war group met at the club to organise local demonstrations and coach trips to take people to the national ones.
Similarly, the Bolton committee of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) met informally in the club to produce and organise leaflet drops, demonstrations and trips to national marches and rallies.
In 1969, a group called 'The Libertarian Circle' met at the club for about four years.
The brain-child of Paul Harris, it began as a broad based coalition composed of Anarchists, Labour Party Young Socialists, SPGB members, International Socialists, non-aligned individuals and, perhaps surprisingly, some young Liberals. With so many predictably diverse points of views, it would seem obvious that the group was doomed to fail eventually but, even though there was a great deal of heated exchanges, it was surprisingly successful.
Apart from Bill McKinney and Paul Harris who were in their mid-twenties, most of the people involved were under twenty years old, though most had already been involved in counter-culture politics for some time.
The group aimed to develop a radical presence in town and, amongst other things, instigated:
a campaign agaist the Biafra genocide, A Claimants Union (with SPGB), a successful free speech campaign, a work creating initiative (Workpiece), a debating chamber (Mouthpiece), a help bureau for young people (Concern), a shelter for young people (Nightpiece) and an alternative newspaper (Bolton Free Press).
One afternoon in May 1979 the club was raided by police and the club lost it licence for serving drinks to non-members.
The decision was taken to close the club.
However, the club reopened again a year later but debts soon started to mount.
Substantial funds which the club had built up over many decades were now all gone and in May 1982 a General Meeting of members voted to sell the building.
Furniture and fittings were taken out and put into store and an estate agent's 'For Sale' sign went up outside the building.
But in a dusty corner of the attic, abandoned and unnoticed for decades, a large pile of minute books was discovered.
On the cover of the first was written 'Social Democratic Federation 1896'. The long forgotten history of the Bolton Socialist Club was about to re-emerge.
As the story unfolded, It captured the imagination of the members who read it and inspired them try and stop the sale of the building.
Talks were arranged, the local press printed a series of articles, and gradually socialists and labour movement activists in the town began to realise what they were about to lose.
However, legal difficulties arose. it was discovered that Bolton Socialist Hall Ltd owned the building and its committee had not met for ten years and not one single shareholder could be found.
Though there was opitimism it took a year to find a way forward.