MANY people reminisce fondly about when Bolton town centre was a busy, thriving shopping centre, attracting people from well outside of the borough.

And now their are big plans to recreate that buzz the centre once enjoyed.

News broke this week that Bolton has been chosen to go through to the next round of a £1bn government fund to improve town centres.

The council, which also succeeded in putting Farnworth forward for the Future High Streets Fund last month, can now progress with its £25m bid for Bolton town centre ­— and recreate the experience of people coming into the town to shop and socialise as they did as a matter of course.

Decades ago most of the household's general purchases would be bought either close to home at the local shops or in Bolton town centre.

In the early 1970s there were many larger shops and stores that no longer remain in the town centre or, indeed, remain in business.

Times have changed so much in shoppers' habits that smaller businesses have gone to be replaced by larger conglomerates.

Newport Street was once known as "shoe shop street" because of the large number of footwear shops it boasted.

They ran on either side and provided a wonderful array of different shoes and slippers including the popular platform heels of the 1970s.

Highlights include the "old arcade" that is now the Crompton Place and the Fine Fare supermarket that must have been one of the first supermarkets in Bolton.

Jackson the Tailor's and the old Co-op were just two of the many old stores and shops.

And it wasn't just shopping that brought in people, leisure is often put forward as a new way of revitilisng town centres, but it has always played a huge part in Bolton, which had a massive cultural offering.

A visit to one of Bolton’s many theatres would be a welcome break from the daily grind of working in the mills and a chance to meet up with friends and socialise.

It is almost impossible to imagine now, but there was a theatre on virtually every corner of the town centre and beyond, and some next door to each other.Theatre Royale, Grand Theatre and the Hippodrome are just two.