Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- This article is about Blackburn in Lancashire, England. For other uses of the name, see Blackburn (disambiguation).
Blackburn is a town in Lancashire, England, with a population of about 140,000. It was a key centre for the textile industry during industrial revolution and is popularly known as the home of Blackburn Rovers Football Club.
Blackburn is known to fans of The Beatles as the town featured in the song "A Day in the Life". An article in the Daily Mail about a plan to fill potholes in the town caught John Lennon's eye as he was writing the song, giving birth to the lyric: "I read the news today. Oh, boy. 4,000 holes in Blackburn Lancashire". This lends itself to the title of the unoffical fanzine of Blackburn Rovers, which is called "4,000 Holes".
Blackburn is administered by the Blackburn with Darwen Unitary Authority, which is presently controlled by the Labour Party. It sends one MP to Westminster, the Foreign Secretary, Jack Straw. Previous MPs for Blackburn incluce former Labour cabinet minister Barbara Castle, who represented the town in Westminster from 1945 to 1979.
The Premier League football side Blackburn Rovers is based at the Ewood Park stadium. The club has done much to raise the profile of the town, winning the Premier League in 1995 and the League Cup in 2002.
In 1887, John Bartholomew's Gazetteer of the British Isles described Blackburn like this:
- "Blackburn. parl. and mun. bor., par. and township, NE. Lancashire, 9 miles E. of Preston and 210 miles NW. of London by rail -- par., 48,281 ac., pop. 161,617; township, 3681 ac., pop. 91,958; bor., 6974 ac., pop. 104,014; 4 Banks, 2 newspapers. Market-days, Wednesday and Saturday. It is one of the chief seats of cotton manufacture, besides producing calico, muslin, &c., there being over 140 mills at work. There are also factories for making cotton machinery and steam-engines. B. has heen associated with many improvements in the mfr. of cotton, among which was the invention (1767) of the "Spinning Jenny" by James Hargreaves, who died in 1770. There are several fine churches and public buildings. A Corporation Park (50 ac. in area) is on the outskirts of the town. Several lines of railway converge here, and pass through one principal station belonging to the Lancashire and Yorkshire Ry. Co. B. returns 2 members to Parliament." 
- Corporation Park
- Witton Country Park
- Blackburn Cathedral
- Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery
- Lewis Textile Museum
- Blackburn Railway Station features a 24ft mural by Stephen Charnock , which depicts eight famous faces associated with the town, including Mahatma Gandhi, who visited nearby Darwen in 1931.
- Ewood Park football stadium
- Blackburn Arena, home of the Blackburn Hawks ice hockey team
- Thwaites brewery has has produced real ale in Blackburn for nearly 200 years
- A section of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal runs through the town
- The River Blakewater, which gives its names to the town, merges with the River Darwen before joining the River Ribble.
- Al-Islah Schools (independent)
- Beardwood High School was formerly known as Billings school, changing its name to Beardwood some time in the late 80's.
- Jamiatul-Ilm Wal-Huda UK School (independent)
- Our Lady and St John Catholic Arts College
- Pleckgate High School
- Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School (independent, with 6th form)
- Queen's Park Technology College
- St Bede's Roman Catholic High School
- St Wilfrid's CofE High School and Technology College (with 6th form)
- Tauheedul-Islam Girls' High School (independent)
- Westholme school(independent, with 6th form)
- Windsmoor House School (independent)
- Witton Park Business and Enterprise College
Coat of arms
The coat of arms show in the picture here, has many distintive emblems, these are described below:
- Three bees in flight. The bee is an emblem of skill, perseverance and industry. “B” also stands for Blackburn; and further, as the Peel family sprang from this neighbourhood and bears a bee in flight on its shield, the idea naturally suggests itself that Sir Robert Peel had adopted the Blackburn bee.
- The shield is silver or white, and thus emblematical of calico, the product of the Blackburn bees.
- The broad wavy black line represents the Black Brook (Blakewater) on the banks of which the town is built.
- The silver bugle horn was the crest of the first Mayor of Blackburn, William Henry Hornby , It is also the emblem of strength.
- The gold lozenges, or fusils (diamond shaped), are the heraldic emblems of spinning, derived from the Latin “fusus” or “fusilium,” meaning a spindle, and they refer to the invention of the “Spinning Jenny” in 1864 by James Hargreaves, a native of the district. They also denote the connection of Joseph Feilden with Blackburn, as Lord of the Manor, as he bore lozenges on his shield.
- The background of green is there to remind us of the time when Blackburn was one of the Royal Forests in the time of Edward the Confessor.
- The shuttle is the emblem of weaving, the trade which has contributed more than any other to the prosperity of the town.
- The dove taking wing with an olive branch in her beak (the emblem of peace) attached to the thread of the shuttle, represents the beneficial results emanating from the art of weaving.
The following people were born or brought up in Blackburn:
- Fashion designer Wayne Hemingway spent most of his childhood in Blackburn, moving there after being born in Morecambe in 1961. He attended the local private school for boys (QEGS - see above) .
- Film maker Michael Winterbottom, director of 24 Hour Party People, was born in Blackburn.
- Actor Ian McShane, famous for playing antiques dealer Lovejoy in the BBC drama series of the same name, was born in Blackburn on 29 September 1942 .
- Kathleen Harrison, one of the greatest British film character actresses of the Forties and Fifties, was born in Blackburn on 23 February 1892. She found a new audience on television in the Sixties with the hugely successful comedy-drama Mrs Thursday.
- Actor Jon Walmsley was born in Blackburn on 6 February 1956. He gave his voice to the character of Christopher Robin in the 1968 Disney film version of Winnie the Pooh and went on to portray Jason Walton in the TV series The Waltons from 1972 to 1981.
- Musician, singer and composer Tony Ashton was born in Blackburn on 1 March 1946. A gifted organist, Ashton came to fame with his trio Ashton, Gardner & Dyke , best known for their 1971 smash hit "Resurrection Shuffle". He also played on sessions with Jon Lord of Deep Purple and with Jerry Lee Lewis.
- Writer Josephine Cox was born in Blackburn, setting many of her novels in Lancashire. Her annual sales in Britain total nearly one million copies.
- Actor Steve Pemberton was born in Blackburn in 1967 and is most famous for co-writing and co-starring in BBC television comedy series The League of Gentlemen. He has variously been involved in theatre production, performance and direction, and is a founder member of 606 Theatre .
- Alfred Gregory , official photographer for the 1953 ascent of Mount Everest by Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay, was born in Blackburn.
- Broadcaster Russell Harty was born in the town on 5 September 1934. He will probably be best remembered for an edition of his chatshow in which he was physically assaulted by the black American singer, Grace Jones.
- Wilfred Greatorex , writer and television script editor, was born in Blackburn on 27 May 1922.
- Four times Superbike World Championship winner Carl Fogarty was born in Blackburn on 1 July 1966.
- Bill Fox , chairman of Blackburn Rovers and president of the Football League from 1998 until his death in 1991, was born in Blackburn on 6 January 1928.
- Blackburn Rovers captain Ronnie Clayton was capped 35 times as an England international.
- Rock climber John Sumner was born in Blackburn on 13 March 1936. Sumner was the preeminent exploratory climber in his chosen domain of mid-Wales, climbing cutting-edge routes on the remote crags and cliff-faces south of Snowdonia starting in the mid-1950s.
- England Rugby union player Will Greenwood was born in Blackburn on 20 October 1972.
- The 1985 World Professional Snooker Champion Dennis Taylor moved to Blackburn from Northern Ireland in 1966 at the age of 17.
- The industrialist Jack Walker was born in the town on 19 May 1929. The steel magnate ploughed his fortune into his beloved Blackburn Rovers, leading to their Premier League title success in 1995.
- Mathematician David Fowler was a leading authorities on the history of mathematics in ancient Greece. Born in Blackburn on 28 April 1937, Fowler studied at the Russell School , near Morecambe Bay and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge.
- Arthur Maitland was a pioneering figure in laser physics research. At St Andrews University, he very quickly established a group working on gas lasers , recognising that the gas-discharge laser had enormous potential for practical use. He was born in Blackburn on 7 December 1928
Books about Blackburn
- Jeremy Seabrook , "City Close-up: Blackburn", Penguin Books, 1973 
- William Woodruff, "Billy Boy: The Story of a Lancashire Weaver's Son", Edinburgh University Press, 1993 
- William Woodruff, "The Road to Nab End: A Lancashire Childhood", Abacus, 2002
- William Woodruff, "Beyond Nab End", Abacus, 2003 
- David Allin , "Blackburn Since 1900" 
- Derek Beattie , "Blackburn: The Development of a Lancashire Cotton Town", Keele University Press, 1992 
- Jim Halsall , "Blackburn in Times Gone By" 
- Matthew Cole , "Blackburn's Shops at the Turn of the Century" 
- M. Baggoley, "Blackburn in Old Photographs", Sutton Publishing, 1996 
- Cotton Town, a website telling the story of the rapid social and economic changes that occurred as Blackburn and Darwen began to expand in line with the United Kingdom textile industry.
- Jeremy Seabrook , "No one asked Blackburn's people what they wanted", The Guardian, 30 December 2002 (The far right is feeding on the dislocation of the industrial north )
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