Blackburn library facelift reveals mystery history

Blackburn Citizen: Blackburn’s Central Library where work has been carried out Blackburn’s Central Library where work has been carried out

WORK to remove cladding from the side of a 90-year-old landmark building has revealed a tantalising insight into its history.

Blackburn Central Library is undergoing a facelift to remove the stone work and masonry from the historic building in Town Hall Street.

And the revamp has revealed the remains of what appears to be a planning notice put up on the original wall of the building in the early 1960s.

Historians at the library have been left scratching their heads as to what the notice is and they have been trawling through their archives to hunt for clues.

Mary Painter, librarian in community history at the library, said: “We cannot find out what it is at the moment and have been looking through the archives of the Lancashire Telegraph and Blackburn Times newspapers.

“There is a sentence on it that refers to a meeting in December 1962, so we have been looking around that time. It has been buried since the stone cladding was put up when the library moved into the building in 1975. But the writing is so faint and difficult to read so it could take some time to work out what it is. It is very interesting, especially at a time when Blackburn is undergoing a modern day facelift.”

Earlier this year work began to restore and return the stone work and masonry of the historic building to its 1920s glory.

The work, which involves removing existing cladding, will also ensure the building exterior is safe for residents and library staff, as loose or potentially dangerous brick work is being removed, repaired and replaced.

Blackburn Citizen:

Bosses at the council said work was on track to be completed next year.

Martin Eden director of culture, leisure and young people, said: “The library is a landmark building in this conservation area and it is tremendous to have the opportunity to bring it back to its original glory.”

Comments (5)

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3:34pm Thu 22 May 14

woolywords says...

When completed, it's going to look like it was, originally?

Of course, this cladding work would have been done when the term, austerity measure, hadn't been invented then. Instead, BwD had to manage on just, profligate waste, to get by.
When completed, it's going to look like it was, originally? Of course, this cladding work would have been done when the term, austerity measure, hadn't been invented then. Instead, BwD had to manage on just, profligate waste, to get by. woolywords
  • Score: 8

5:19pm Thu 22 May 14

phil kernot says...

It's just to say thay have the power to cp the land on were the old market was and re develop it to the new laings precinct ,, but I must say the restoration is looking really good ,,, it's a restoration project , so it won't look brand new , but it looks better than it did before ,,, shame the cladding on the town hall can't be restored to somthing nicer ,,, looks like judge dredd city :)
It's just to say thay have the power to cp the land on were the old market was and re develop it to the new laings precinct ,, but I must say the restoration is looking really good ,,, it's a restoration project , so it won't look brand new , but it looks better than it did before ,,, shame the cladding on the town hall can't be restored to somthing nicer ,,, looks like judge dredd city :) phil kernot
  • Score: 7

7:05pm Thu 22 May 14

noddy57 says...

l went to the old co op emporium every saturday and remember it with such fondness, the old co op building was like an Alladin,s cave inside, they had everything under one roof.
l went to the old co op emporium every saturday and remember it with such fondness, the old co op building was like an Alladin,s cave inside, they had everything under one roof. noddy57
  • Score: 12

9:11am Fri 23 May 14

OnePostThenTheOther says...

" it is tremendous to have the opportunity to bring it back to its original glory"

Martin Eden is either an amnesiac, not from Blackburn or just very young. The building's original glory was as the Co-op as pointed out by Noddy57. The library, on the other hand, was originally in the museum on Museum St. Near to where Peepers and before that the "Slipper" Baths used to be located.

I can just about remember the Co-op and the old town centre as it was before the coffer-troughing dish-out that was the ridiculous Laing "modernisation" that remained "modern" (ish) for a decade at the most.
" it is tremendous to have the opportunity to bring it back to its original glory" Martin Eden is either an amnesiac, not from Blackburn or just very young. The building's original glory was as the Co-op as pointed out by Noddy57. The library, on the other hand, was originally in the museum on Museum St. Near to where Peepers and before that the "Slipper" Baths used to be located. I can just about remember the Co-op and the old town centre as it was before the coffer-troughing dish-out that was the ridiculous Laing "modernisation" that remained "modern" (ish) for a decade at the most. OnePostThenTheOther
  • Score: 4

9:15am Fri 23 May 14

OnePostThenTheOther says...

Maybe try the council archives if this a Building Notice. That might involve calling somebody on the telephone or maybe even leaving the office to visit the council.
Maybe try the council archives if this a Building Notice. That might involve calling somebody on the telephone or maybe even leaving the office to visit the council. OnePostThenTheOther
  • Score: 5

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