From Academic Kids

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".



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For general election results, see Blackburn (UK Parliament constituency).

Blackburn is administered by Blackburn with Darwen Unitary Authority, which has been controlled by the Labour Party since 1945. Blackburn 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.

In 2005, allegations of vote-rigging and corruption began to grow around the Labour controlled council. A local councillor, Muhammed Hussain, was jailed for rigging an election by stealing postal vote ballots. Straw was challenged in the 2005 general election by his former employee and British ambassador to Uzbekistan, Craig Murray. Murray stood for election in the seat of Blackburn on a platform of opposition to the war in Iraq and electoral corruption. The anti-war vote was split, however, and Jack Straw was returned with a comfortable majority of over 8,000.

Blackburn Rovers

Main article: Blackburn Rovers F.C.

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." [1] (


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Blackburn Cathedral capped by a recent snowfall



Secondary Schools

Coat of arms

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Arms of the former Blackburn Borough Council

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 during the industrial revolution.
  • The broad wavy black line represents the Black Brook (the River 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 an 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.

Famous Blackburnians

The following people were born or brought up in Blackburn:

The arts




Books about Blackburn

  • Jeremy Seabrook, "City Close-up: Blackburn", Penguin Books, 1973 [4] (
  • William Woodruff, "Billy Boy: The Story of a Lancashire Weaver's Son", Edinburgh University Press, 1993 [5] (
  • William Woodruff, "The Road to Nab End: A Lancashire Childhood", Abacus, 2002[6] (
  • William Woodruff, "Beyond Nab End", Abacus, 2003 [7] (
  • David Allin, "Blackburn Since 1900" [8] (
  • Derek Beattie, "Blackburn: The Development of a Lancashire Cotton Town", Keele University Press, 1992 [9] (
  • Jim Halsall, "Blackburn in Times Gone By" [10] (
  • Matthew Cole, "Blackburn's Shops at the Turn of the Century" [11] (
  • M. Baggoley, "Blackburn in Old Photographs", Sutton Publishing, 1996 [12] (

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