Blackburn with Darwen
Blackburn is a minster and industrial town. In fact, it is on the southern edge of the Ribble Valley, 9 miles east of Preston. Blackburn is bounded to the south by Darwen, with which it forms the unitary authority of Blackburn with Darwen.us, Blackburn had a population of 105,085, whilst the wider borough of Blackburn with Darwen had a population of 148,850. Blackburn had a population of 117,963 in 2011.
A former mill town, textiles have been produced in Blackburn since the middle of the 13th century, when wool was woven in people’s houses in the domestic system. Flemish weavers who settled in the area in the 14th century helped to develop the woollen cottage industry. The most rapid period of growth and development in Blackburn’s history coincided with the industrialisation and expansion of textile manufacturing. Blackburn was a boomtown of the Industrial Revolution and amongst the first industrialised towns in the world.
Darwen is a traditional Market Town retaining its heritage and set in miles of stunning countryside. Indeed, there is a good variety of restaurants, cafes and bars in the town centre offering all types of festive cuisine and entertainment. Darwen is renowned for hospitality and a warm welcome as well as fine food and ales.
Darwen Town Hall and Market recently underwent refurbishment. This created five traditional shops in the front of the building. As a result, this helped restore it to it’s former state of the 1880’s. The units provide a retail frontage to the market linking with the public square which hosts a number of events throughout the year. The new shops include an Italian deli, traditional sweet shop, barbers and children’s clothing and gifts store.
Darwen Market has over 130 stalls offering amazing choice, quality and value. The Market specialises in local produce from local traders for fruit and Veg. In addition to meat, cheese, fish and local delicacies, shoppers can also get arts & crafts, collector’s items and gifts.
GROUPS & CLUBS
Established in 1875, Blackburn Rovers were one of the founding members of the Football League when it was established in 1888. Rovers play their home games at Ewood Park which was built in 1882. Along with Aston Villa and Everton it is one of only three clubs that helped to found both the Premier League and the Football League. In 1992 they appointed former Liverpool hero and managerial maestro Kenny Dalglish as manager. Within three years he achieved the ultimate prize, winning the Premier League title in the last game of the season – at Anfield of all places. They are the only club apart from the ‘big four’ of Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United and Manchester City to win the title since the top-tier was re-formed as the Premier League.
The club has a motto which in Latin is ‘Arte et Labore’, but when translated to English becomes ‘by skill and hard work’. They have won the FA Cup six times, most recently in 1928. They won the League Cup a little bit more recently that that in 2002, whilst they won the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2007. Although their Premier League win is the most famous of their trophies they’ve actually won the top-tier of the English game three times and finished as runners-up in the Premier League the year before they won it.
Witton Country Park at 480 acres is one of the largest urban open spaces in the country. In fact, the land was purchased by the municipal authorities in 1946. Indeed, it was the ancestral home of the Feilden family. Nowadays, it is larger than all the town’s other parks and playing fields put together.
With a full-size athletic track, currently being redeveloped, it is home to the Blackburn Harriers. Famous for producing three finalists in London 2012 Olympic Games. These include hammer thrower Sophie Hitchon, pole-vaulter Holy Bleasdale, and modern pentathlon silver medallist Sam Murray.