Local history & dialect books in Tesco

Walking past the book shelves in Tesco, Burnley, I spotted this stand-alone display of books all about Burnley, Lancashire history, Lancashire recipes, and Lancashire dialect. As an old cotton town (the most productive in the world at one time) there’s certainly a lot of history around these parts.

P1030473I was amused to see that the author of the Lancashire dialect book had a good old fashioned Lancashire name Zajac! Her name sounds slavic in origin but she clearly has a handle on her subject as she’d produced other books on dialect from different parts of the country.

Manchester Museum of Science and Industry

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DSC_0055.jpgPaid a visit to the Manchester Museum of Science and Industry last week as part of my industrial heritage visiting campaign.

It is a good few years sine I was last there and considerable development has taken place, not least the creation of a “working textile mill” on the ground floor of the museum.


It is brilliantly laid out so that visitors can stand above the textile area and see all the working machinery. The young man who was speaking about the industry was very knowledgeable and kept our interest throughout the 30 minute presentation (although I could have done without the PC mention of “how bad we had been to slaves”).

The machinery was wonderful and various ones were set working as we were taken through the process of manufacturing the cotton, from raw cotton import to finished goods.


As we were moving around I saw one of the…

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Canal renovation opens up new vista on old Lancashire town

The Leeds ad Liverpool canal was closed and dredged a couple of years ago in this part of Burnley and the embankment rebuilt.

At the top of it there is a now a fish and chip restaurant and from its car park you can see views of Burnley, Lancashire, previously obscured by the shells of old mill buildings.



In the first photograph you can see the open air stadium built for concerts etc The canal is out of view just to the left.

In the second photograph you can see a jumble of buildings from Burnley’s industrial past interspersed with some more recent and more colourful buildings. You can also just see the canal towpath at the bottom of the picture.


The photographs were taken by my enthusiastic 4-year old grandson who grabs my camera whenever he gets the chance.

The “straight mile” on the Leeds and Liverpool canal

I’ve posted before about the Leeds to Liverpool canal The straight mile was one of the most difficult parts of the canal to build and has been described as one of the “Seven Wonders” of the British canal system. Last time I set out to photograph his section the battery in my camera died on me (not well prepared) but I got a nice picture of an old factory chimney by the canal side.

This time I was well-prepared but the weather was decidedly unhelpful with an overcast sky. Nevertheless you can still see some interesting features of this part of the canal.P1020067

There is no wall between the towpath and the canal of course but in the old days when boats were horse-drawn that wouldn’t have worked. These days I’m surprised that Health and Safety haven’t had something to say. I remember when I was in my teens people being thrown in the canal and recently an 11-year old boy tragically drowned taking a short cut across it.

P1020068The canal embankment is 60′ above the town as you can see when you cross behind Tesco and look down to the bus station. The towpath is popular with dog walkers and cyclists but only a solitary duck on the water!P1020075

P1020069P1020085Walking towards Leeds you soon come to the famous culvert which carries the canal above Yorkshire Street near the town centre.

You can also see the rusting remains of the hoist that was intended to be used to drop large pieces of wood into the canal to block the flow if ever the culvert was bombed during WWII. P1020071There were fears that the canal would empty its contents into the town centre if that happened.

I also found a vandalised mosaic piece of art dedicated to the long-gone Odeon cinema which was on Yorkshire St.

It was built in 1937 in the art deco style and a popular place for young couples to go. It even had double seats on the back rows! P1020072

I didn’t walk much further; I’d hoped to see a boat but it wasn’t to be so I headed for the nearest coffee shop instead.P1020070



Our industrial heritage 2

Travelling along the Leeds to Liverpool canal in the opposite direction from the one shown in my last post, past the Weavers’ Triangle and behind the new college buildings on Trafalgar Street, there are a couple more examples of the magnificent chimneys in the town.

P1010908P1010912Before you get to them you pass extensive works on the canal where it looks like they are widening the canal but they are in fact just replacing the retaining wall. A few weeks ago the canal was actually blocked off to allow the rubbish to be cleared from the bottom but the weather was too awful to get a decent picture.  P1010914