Stuart Maconie meets devotees of Walt Whitman in Bolton and explores the history of the town's unlikely yet enduring relationship with the American poet.
A group of devoted fans established the Whitman Fellowship from 1885 onwards, and, although he never visited the town, Whitman developed strong ties through his correspondence with members of the group. Today, Whitman devotees gather for the annual Whitman Walk, to recite his works and share from Whitman's Loving Cup, a gift presented to his followers in Bolton in 1894.
Stuart joins this happy band of walkers and Whitmanites to discover why the poet is still celebrated there, nearly 120 years after his death.
A Made in Manchester production for BBC Radio 4.