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Historic trail to Darwen family’s roots
TWO descendants of a family that made a huge impact on Darwen returned to visit monuments dedicated to their ancestors.
The Huntingtons came to Darwen in the final third of the 19th century, to help the Potter family at their wallpaper factory.
And members of the family came to revolutionise the town, merging all wallpaper producers, commencing paint manufacturing and introducing electricity to the Potter factory.
They were also noted for their generosity, with two members of the family donating money to their workers in their wills.
Traces of the family can still be found in the town, with a large memorial at the cemetery, the remains of an old fountain in Bold Venture Park, and Huntington Bridge, in Sunnyhurst Wood.
The metal for the fountain was taken away and used during the Second World War, but a stone remains in its place.
Great-great grandson of William Huntington, after whom Huntington Bridge was named, Anthony Huntington, along with his nephew, James, were taken on a tour by Marie Owen, of history website Darwen Days.
Anthony, 69 and living in Northamptonshire, said: “I loved the tour. I am sorry I didn’t do it years ago.
“My nephew, Anthony, had come all the way from Australia for the tour and he was fascinated.
“And Marie was wonderful. We wouldn’t have been able to do it without her.
“It is amazing to see how much our family affected the town, and that the evidence is still there today. We will be coming back, hopefully in October. I have a lot of memorabilia I would like to give to Darwen Days or the library.
“I thought Darwen was a very nice place and I would like to look at cleaning up and restoring the Huntington memorial in the cemetery.”
Marie, of Darwen Days, said: “Anthony and I just hit it off. We got on so well.
“I took them up to the cemetery, then past Huntington Drive, up to Bold Venture Park and on to Sunnyhurst Wood.
“He was gobsmacked at what his family had done for the town.”