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|First appearance||14th October 1974|
|Last appearance||30th October 1974|
|Number of appearances||6|
|Played by||Donald Morley|
Fred Bolton was a storeman at the Mark Brittain Warehouse. Fred had been with the Mark Brittain firm for 20 years and was responsible for keeping track of the stock at the depot. He was immensely proud of his work, claiming that he knew the contents of the storeroom down to the last shirt button.
In October 1974, Fred started his son Tony at the warehouse, hoping that the job would keep the troublesome lad on the straight and narrow. Instead, Tony attached himself to his friend Paul Meggitt, the only member of staff who Fred didn't trust. When Fred was entrusted with the security of a load of stock which had to be left in the stores overnight, Paul persuaded Tony to borrow his dad's storeroom key and make a copy. The pair made off with three dozen suede and leather jackets, which they stored in a van left at the Canal Garage.
Being the efficient storeman that he was, Fred noticed the missing stock immediately but, suspecting Paul of the theft and knowing that he was friends with Tony, told his son what had happened and that Paul had until morning to return the stolen jackets before he went to the police. Fred also tackled Paul, who tacitly admitted his guilt and alluded to Tony's involvement. A spanner in the works then presented itself when Billy Walker, the Canal Garage mechanic, discovered the jackets while servicing the van and found Fred while looking for Tony and Paul. Billy refused to have the jackets on his premises but agreed not to call the police when Fred promised him that the lads would retrieve the jackets that night. Tony and Paul were told of the situation, but handed an ideal scapegoat, Paul shopped Billy and told the police that the van had been empty when he left it at the garage.
While Billy was interviewed by the police, Fred found himself in the untenable position of corroborating Tony and Paul's story, while pretending to CID Det. Constable Phillips and warehouse executive Ken Barlow that he hadn't noticed the jackets were missing. Although he protected Tony, Fred made clear his contempt for him and thumped him.
Ken found out the truth through Deirdre Hunt, Billy's girlfriend, and implored Fred to put the record straight. Ken's words fell on deaf ears until he said that Tony needed a shock to turn himself around, and if he got off now he may do something worse later. Fred went to the police station to change his statement, and Billy was released immediately. After his confession, Fred was sacked from the warehouse, and Tony and Paul were charged with theft.