IT'S election time again but for one Greater Manchester town hall the focus has switched from 2019 to 1910.

Thanks to a cash grant handed to Wigan Council, dozens of posters from elections more than 100 years ago will be preserved for future generations.

The documents are part of a collection of 141 pieces connected to the 1910 general elections, 55 of which are linked to Wigan in addition to neighbouring Newton and Chorley.

Officers from the town hall’s archives and local studies team have secured £8,000 from the National Manuscript Conservation Trust and Pilgrim Trust to help prevent the posters crumbling away.

Team leader Alex Miller said: “This collection is of national, as well as local importance.

“It includes electoral campaign material that has not survived elsewhere and helps to chart the history of our democracy.”

The cash will be used to restore and digitise the posters – which include picture based electioneering – so that they do not become illegible.

They are part of the conservation project "Posters, Power and Parliament".

Two general elections were held in 1910 amid a constitutional crisis caused by the House of Lords rejecting the "People’s Budget" proposals of the Liberal government.  

The second election – held over several days in December – was the last to be held before the First World War.

Campaign issues such as the reform of the House of Lords, free trade, the rights of working people and Irish Home rule are illustrated in the posters, the council said.

Mr Miller added: “With the kind support of The National Manuscript Conservation Trust and the Pilgrim Trust, it has been possible to professionally conserve and restore the posters, making them available to researchers for the first time.

“I would encourage anybody to take a few minutes to look at the first batch of images we have managed to digitise, as not only do they give a unique insight into political views at the time, but there is also a series of coloured, pictoral posters that resemble cartoons – a very different approach to what we would see today.”