Old Images of Blackburn, Lancashire

Old map of uk Lancashire towns in 1912

Glimpse history through old images of Blackburn, Lancashire, England, UK.

Audley Range School c1904

Around 1904, Mitchell and Kenyon filmed pupils at Audley Range School taking part in outdoor physical education.

Audley Range School Blackburn (c1904) – BFI on YouTube

Gas Mask Factory 1937

With the possibility of World War II on the horizon, the country got ready for conflict and defence of its civilian population.

The government paid to revamp one of Blackburn’s factories, to produce half a million gas masks each week. The factory was opened by Geoffrey Lloyd, the British undersecretary for Home Affairs.

Gas mask factory opens in Blackburn (1937) – British Pathé on YouTube

Idle Mills 1947

It’s a shame the sound was missing from this newsreel footage, because several cotton girls speak into the microphone. Many of them look very young.

Then there’s the scene of two men walking through the idle mill.

Cotton Mill Girls & Idle Mills (1947) – British Pathé on YouTube

Textile Queen 1949

In 1949, Blackburn’s Muriel Wilcox won the textile workers’ beauty and deportment competition, which was held at the Tower Ballroom in Blackpool. She received her crown from Barbara Castle, the MP for Blackburn (and not Blackpool, despite what the narrator says).

Runners up were Miss Brenda Brittain from Failsworth and Miss Ellen Johnson from Leeds. Also in attendance was Mr John Edwards, MP Parliamentary Secretary to the Board of Trade.

Blackburn Girl Wins Textile Crown (1949) – British Pathé on YouTube

Blackburn’s Town Centre 1995

A home video brings alive the sights and sounds of the town centre back in 1995. There are silver telephone kiosks, a busker, lots of shoppers, occasional cars creeping past the shops, hanging baskets and flowerbeds, and quite a few dug up sections of pavement.

Inside the mall there’s H. Samuel, Radio Rentals, Dixons, and so many more long lost national retail chains.

0:10 / 14:01

Blackburn Town Centre 1995 – Biker Paul on YouTube

Blackburn’s Buses

The next videos are trailers for transport DVDs sold by PMPfilms. While they focus on the buses, you’ll see lots of passengers, pedestrians, cars, streets and businesses, plus a couple of fire engines off to an emergency.

Between 1989 and the year 2000, you’ll see a noticeable change in the styles of buses and cars, as well as new style stands for passengers to shelter from the rain.


BLACKBURN BUSES 1989 – DaveSpencer32 on YouTube


BLACKBURN BUSES 1990 – DaveSpencer32 on YouTube


BLACKBURN BUSES 1994 – DaveSpencer32 on YouTube


BLACKBURN BUSES 1996 – DaveSpencer32 on YouTube


BLACKBURN BUSES 2000 – DaveSpencer32 on YouTube

Historic Book

Extract from “Parish of Blackburn, County of Lancaster – A History of Blackburn, Town and Parish” by William Alexander Abram

Published in 1877

Page 356

“In the town of Blackburn there was found in the hardest times of the
penal laws against ” Popery , ” a small colony of staunch Roman
Catholics ; and in 1641 one of their number , Mr. Richard Bradley , who
had been appointed Usher of Blackburn Free Grammar School in 1619 ,
was dismissed from his office ” by reason of his recusancie . ” The
Blackburn Catholics may have found it unsafe to have their place of
worship in the town , for I find no trace of any public chapel of that
communion in Blackburn until about a century ago .

It is stated that
the Catholic Chapel in an area between King Street and Chapel Street
was built in 1773. This was a plain structure of brick , concealed by
houses surrounding , and this Chapel sufficed for the needs of the Roman
Catholics about fifty years , until the erection of St. Alban’s in 1824 ,
when the old Chapel in Chapel Street was sold .

The walls are yet
standing , but since its disuse for Christian worship it has been used as
a workshop .

About seven years after this Chapel was built , the Rev.
William Dunn was appointed priest of the Blackburn mission . This
useful priest died suddenly at the altar when offering mass , on Sunday ,
Oct. 27th , 1805. A memorial of Dr. William Dunn was fixed in St.
Alban’s Chapel in 1844 , consisting of a marble mural tablet surmounted
by the religious emblems of Bible , Cross , Chalice , and Dove , and bear
ing the inscription : – ” D . O. M. Here lie the remains of the Rev.
William Dunn , D.D. , twenty – four years pastor of this congregation . He
was born in the year 1749 , and closed an edifying life whilst offering up
the Sacred Mysteries , on Sunday , Oct. 27th , 1805. R. I. P. ”

succeeding priest of this ” mission ” was the Rev. R. Abbott , who occurs
in 1819 , when a return was made of the Catholic Congregation in Black
burn , numbering 1,200 persons . Father Abbott was still priest in
Blackburn in 1824. “

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