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Local History

You are in: Lancashire > History > Local History > Blackburn: A History

Blackburn: A History

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What do you think of the pictures?

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John Raker
If Barbara Duffy goes to Cotton town website via the link on the right of this page and then clicks on previous headlines, then clicks on “remember the rag and bone man,” there is a picture of Val-De-Re. He used to push a pram around and had a little dog. As kids we always used to sing the Chorus to “I love to go a wondering “ when we saw him. Apparently he got his name through that song but I might be wrong about that. He had spent time as a regular soldier.

MR TIM J K MARGERISON
Excellent the picture in the home of old gent in front of fire was identical to my granparents house 91 dickens st blackburn

John Raker
For pictures and stories about Blackburn try the Cotton Town website. There are loads of pictures an articles.

Joan
Great to see the pictures since I was born in Blackburn. As a child I went to St. Annes school and St. Josephs. I left Blackburn when I was 10 to live near Preston. I remember going on my holidays during Blackburn's holiday week. The coal delivery man would go around picking up the peoples suitcases so he could take them to the railway station. We would then go on our merry way to Blackpool for the week. No one had cars in those days.Does anyone remember Higher Audley Street? I live in Tucson, Arizona now since I married an American during W.W.II.

Barbara Duffy
Amazing photos, i lived in copperfield street near audley range 1968\70.Does anyone out there remember the rag and bone man VAL-DEE-REE!! has anyone any photos of him??

mike gerrard
I have just read about the 1878 Wood Pit disaster in Haydock, Lancashire, one of many, many, many mining disasters in Lancashire. Over 200 men and boys as young as nine, lost there lives in that one disaster, making 100 women widows and 300 children fatherless. Many were breadwinners and as there was no Benefit system they were left pennyless and many homeless orphans. We have it easy today but that is on the back of our ancesters who endured these conditions for our today.

mike gerrard
Black and white images like these make it seem a terrible place to live, but when the sun shone there were realy nice places and times.

Gasworks picture 13.
My great grandad is on this one. front right. He is was called William Hodgson. He worked there, had 14 children and lived in little harwood. I am sure it is him.

Sue Wells, Australia
Wonderful photo's. I'm most interested in Blackburn as my Grandmother's Rhodes family lived there right back in the 1800's. They were shoemakers and came from Oswaldtwistle. My mother was born in Burnley and told me she was only eight when she started working in the Mills. It must have been a hard life for them in those days.

Barbara Riding
The picture of the men in the charabanc reminded me of a similar photo in my mother's old photo album. My grandfather had a paper mill on Randal Street and used to organise charabanc outings for his family and his office staff. As a little girl I thought the photo was a whist drive! When my mother said she was going to a whist drive I was very upset that she would not take me with her.I thought I was missing out on a charcbanc outing.

Maureen Woodward nee Reucassel
Must get this book! I was born & bred in Blackburn, Proctor St; in Grimshaw Park. We used to buy Parched peas from the tuck shop near Audley Modern Sec school.

kathleen Eastham
I too am an ex-pat, living in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, since 1974. The old pictures are wonderful and it's great to read so many memories. I wonder if anyone remembers the pantomimes at the old Grand Theatre during the war years, put on by local talent, and the songs we sang at the end of the shows? I remember two:Does the lampost get bronchitis in the winter, standing at the corner of the street? When it's wet and windy and it starts to cough, does the little mantle at the top fall off? It hasn't got an overcoat or nightie to cover up it's poor cold feet. Does the lampost get bronchitis in the winter, standing at the corner of the street? And...Oh! you mustn't miss the last bus home, it's a long long way to roam. Toodle-oo, toodle-oo, take your places in the gue, oh! you mustn't miss the last bus home.Great stuff, great talent! I'm in my early-mid-seventies, and wonder if any of those great entertainers are still living?

Kathleen Eastham
I was taught that Blackburn got its name from the river Blakewater on which it stands. "Black" being another pronounciation of "Blake" and "burn" meaning water.

melvyn john sunderland
Blackburn got its name from The old name of Blagbourne...

Margaret Whiteside
My grandma was the knockerup for Greaves Street,Leyland st,Derwent st, and all round that area. Blackburn

joycedugdale
try blackburn now and then there are loads of pictures of old blackburn they are really interesting

joyce dugdale
i well remember the knocker up tapping on our window in oxford street to get my dad up for work,and the dust cart with its big shire horse going up and down the cobbled back streets,and the horse and cart that delivered milk and how as kids we used to help the milkman,your pictures have brought alot of lovely memories back thank you.

joycedugdale
ithink they are great they are pictures i have never seen before,lets have more please

Roger
Gradely picthcers all Blegburners and Darreners should buy bookDust rememmber buyin'parched peighs cost kids couldn'r afford owt else!

Siegfried Hotter
it takes seeing pictures like these to understand how hard the English people had to work in an industry that brought them lots of power and wealth on one side, but also to recognize that a coal based industy produced a lot of collateral damages to the country and its people. It is always very fascinating for an engineer to see how coal, steam and the industry it drove formed the English civilization and culture since the 18th century. Blackburn is definitely a town that documents british industrial history. Put more pictures in your gallery.

KeithT
The chimney resisted several attempts to fell it - 3 as I recall over several weeks.The walls at the base were built of Accrington brick reputed to be 13' thick.

Keith T
I do not agree that the Market was in a poor state of repair. Certainly it was allowed to run down latterly but that was a political ploy.I was a young Town Planner working for Blackburn in the mid to late 1950's and worked on the severalTown Centre redevelopment schemes. (Comprehensive Development Areas as they were known at the time)Great experience for me but a sad loss of some remarkable buildings which ought to have been saved. For example the main contractor's for the new shopping centre undertook to rebuild the Market Hall clock tower. It never happened and the politicians quietly 'forgot' about it.

Roy Hession
I enjoyed these pictures. Where can I buy the book. I'me in my early seventies,though I know of the knocker up but never actually saw one. I too was born and raised in Blackburn, leaving in 1966 for the states.

Keith Eccles
Wonderful photos! Will have to see if they have this book in our library in Mississauga, Ontario.Haven't lived in Blackburn for over 40 years but enjoy reading the history of the town where I was born. Wonder if the Handloom Weaver in Photo 17 is a relative?

Jack Lightbown
As a old Audley Bridge lad remember elephants walking to Destructer yard , they stayed there for the night when the circus was on at the Grand Theater, and rememeber the knock down of the chimney , went to audley school , the pictures are great reminder

Sarah Tattersall
As an ex-pat now living in Detroit, Michigan I loved seeing the photos of old Blackburn - thank you! Does anybody know where Blackburn got it's name?

Jack Livesey
Brilliant, just a bit disturbing as I can remember the old market and the chimney at Audley. As a lad I lived on Fielden Street and can still remember the old town centre.

Judith
Great pics. I have just been scanning old slides to my computer from the 60's, seen one of Blackburn Town Centre, not sure of age, NOT black and white, probably 70's.... very interesting

kaz zafar
has anyone got pictures of everton high school ?

ken davison. From blackburn
i think blackburn history is very interesting. We have a lot of interesting history in this town. From the cotton era to blackburn rovers.i think we was the most well known town in the cotton era. I would love to see more pics

hannah
haha top

madeline polin
brilliant, brings back so many memories of Blackburn, i used to live there when i was young, my parents were evacuated there from London

abdul patel
thanxs alot you have shown me such wonderfull pictures of the past. if you can find more pictures it would be great.

John Mcnulty
Fasinating and brings to life so many stories from my grand parents and great grandmother. I will certainly be buying the book. And I hope the giant that my great grand mother knew is pictured.

Mr J.Frost ex Chorley resident
Fascinating insight into Lancashire's deep industrial history.A few more dates to accompany the pictures would have ben handy.

Linda Porter
My grandparents lived on Emily Street and worked in the mills from a very young age. They eventually left for Canada. My grandfather was always "knocking up" someone...we knew he meant he was going to call...now we know where the expression came from. Many stories were handed down and Blackburn is very special. My father was able to visit Blackburn in the late 70s and was extremely moved with the experience of walking the pathways of his parents. Loved the photos.

Philip Holt
I was brought up in the North-east surrounded by countryside , but coming to my fathers home town of Blackburn two or three times a year was one of the highlights of my childhood .Cobbled streets of Emily street , Stanley street and Portland street will stay in my memory forever .It was a sad day when the town centre gave way to a poorly thought out regeneration programme , discarding the market and most of the character of this old town .Derek Beattie's book is a must for younger generations to appreciate how lucky they are today .Or are they that lucky ?

Michael Fowler
A wonderful reminder of the town. The addition of some of the towns public services at work, ie. Police on Old Bank point duty, ambulance and local fire service at work might evoke some memories for older people.

sandra lane
wow! and we moan what we have now. we just dont know how well off we are! luv to see more pics. thanx

M.Usman Hafeez
I really enjoyed looking at these pics,we must keep all our history to show to the childern of tomorrowThanks

susan crowther
i have recentley found out that my gt grandfather was born at union buildings blackburn in 1892 these pictures gave me an insight of the area and the times they are very touching but at the same time sad.

jemima
those pictures are wicked cause i used to live there lol !!

Jane Tattersall
Excellent pictures,would love to see more.

peter taylor
I am overwhelmed by the fotos.I wnt to see more.born blkburn 1947.

Janet Woodhead
Only relatively young - 52. I worked in the industry in the 1970's. Ive researched my family tree, and have the greatest respect for my ancestors who worked in the most inhumane circumstances. But all children so far have been spared child labour, and women have been looked after. As yet no workhouse, so a caring family in the face of awful conditions, the era was not a nice one to endure, it was harsh and unendurable.

Jim Leach
Thanks a lot for sharing the pictures. I used to live at #4 Audley Range , I used to walk past the Chimney to go to School at St Mary's .I remember quite well the day they dropped the Chimney (A Sunday I think?). It was quite delayed as I recall.

Mr tony Hinchcliffe
The chimney on benington st was known as the distructer as all the rubbish was burned there, I remember the old shire horses pulling the carts up bennington st in the 40s

David Dawber
Rhodes Mill chimney in Middleton was taller than the one at Audley; that one was (I think) 404 feet high. It was pulled down brick by brick in about 1980.

/Bernard Downes
Wonderful. Interesting, educational and I am old enough to recall some of the more recent photos.Excellent, more please.

Elaine Fallon
Just like my gram barnes stories, now I can see the photos! She said the big danceing bear used to sit on her back door step, and its owner having his dinner!

kathleen townley
Fasntastic thought provoking pictures I was glad but sad to see some of them recalling the gut wrenching poverty and grinding underpaid workers.Just hink not even the money for an alarm clock , still it made some kind of a living for someone .Many thanks for the looking back series .

Pete Campbell
Good old Pics,especially the knockerupper, I can hear him now, at 6am!to get Mum up for work at British Northrop Limited on Harwood Street/New Moss Street,Blackburn. Where I was Born and Bred all them years ago and Proud of it,Thanks for the Marvelous Memories,Pete Campbell,Radio Hospital Blackburn,Lancashire,Bye for Now ///

Philip Rudge
Out of all these wonderful photographs, I was deeply moved by No 16, 'A young orphan' This image brought me to tears. He looks so vulnerable, so innocent, so unloved and uncared for. The power of this image reached out to me over all those years. I wonder whatever happened to him? Reading about 30% of people in the 1890's living under the poverty line brings yourself back into the reality of how lucky we are, even with all the pollution, terrorism and global warming problems. I congratulate the photographer and this Web sight for this truly marvelous experience.

Bernard Kennedy
The shop below this is Kennedys Oyster Bar.My dad has this photo and recognises the two gents as his ancestors.The oyster bar moved to Lord St and existed through to the 1950s alongside Thos Kennedy and son Fish Market No stall in the market.Will enjoy showing my dad this photo and would welcome any more market pictures.

Nicky Lewis
I really enjoyed looking at these pics, especially the Knocker Ups! I would love to see some more...

denise procter
blackburn is a good a good town and place people and blackburn college and libuary and vue and wailk and waves and town

d.webster
we must keep all our history to show to the childern of tomorrow

John Fenton
Brilliant! Love the pics-oh happy days. Apparently, I was so scared of the rag and bone man when he shouted "any rag bone?" I used to hide behind the settee!

Keith Wilson
My daughter gave me this book for Christmas. It gave me new insights into Blackburn and the way it is now. Excellent pictures!

sammy
FANTASTIC Brings our local history to life, thanks.

pat ford
memories to cherish

Joyce Gower nee Turner
Revived many nostalgic memories of stories from my parents [both born in Blackburn, early 1900s]. Not acceptable today but my father remembered the dancing bear in the street. My great great grandfather was the last brushmaker in Blackburn. Sad to see the disappearance of the old crafts. The photos really give a wonderful record of the way it was.

Hamid
Blacburn's history is brill

keith shorrock
we all should take a step back in time to help us realised just what our families lived like ,it is only from this we can appreciate our luxuries. thankyou for the pictures, blackburn is where i was born.

stacey aslam
These photos are fantastic, some relatives of mine came from blackburn so it is great to see some photos of the area and people !!

anthony shorrock
an outstanding contribution to our towns history, i think Blackburn museum should do a large exhibition on photos. im 25 years old and have been told stories of knocker uppers and rag and bone men, and im always on the look out for familiar roads and buildings. THANKYOU

marjorie
the pictures are great i was born and bred in b/burn old photos bring back memory,s

elaine Fallon
This picture gives off warmth and relax, not like today homes this is a real home poor but contented.

Sandra Longworth
The pictures highlight the hardship and toughness that bred the people of this old town. The later picture shows the progress of the past 50 years in bringing Blackburn into the 21st Century.

ryan beardsworth
top pics

Chris Hocking
Great to see the photosof Blackburn i think that it has changed just a bit would loce to see more is there any of Colne

martin
who got the knocker uper up?

Ms Wearne
Excellent pictures my Mother worked as a weaver in Blackburn decades ago and remembers world war 2 and the bombings and woolworths being blown up etc and remembers working in the mills and St Hildas School she attended when she was a young girl and now in her 70's has many a tale to tell and its great to see these pictures as i love old photos of days gone by and how things use to be in the oldern days way before my time era

muriel mills
very interesting would love to see more.

peter shuttleworth
fascinating. I have always been interested in the history of Blackburn.

james d cole
excellent

Majid (Blackburn)
I find it truly remarkable the way people lived. Blackburn has such a strong past. I love the idea of "knocker ups". I'd love to have been able to live in that era. I'll certainly be buying Mr Beattie's book.

Brian
How rich and informative the pictures are. A first rate interview.

Tom Flanagan/ Mick Nolan
Absolutley fantastic. Are there any more pics.....its great to see how people lived not that long ago

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