Saturday, 13 May 2017

FRONT PAGE for Photos, Postcards, Snippets, and Occasional Notices (archived after 7 days ...ish)


Faye Blackburn who lives at 366 Manchester Road (Road End) almost opposite to Houghtons Bakery and the old Newsagents shop is requesting information on her house if anyone can help her.

She has been informed that at one time it may have been a pub or part of a pub.  Can anyone give more information on this. Thanks

If you can help please let me know on and I will then publish the information here and also inform Faye.


Rudges Chip Shop at Prinny Hill (Click over to enlarge)

I have just included this in the HASLINGDEN PRINTING WORKS Blog which has been kindly contributed by John Dunleavy (thank you John)

Haslingden Borough News remembered.
J Dunleavy.

Haslingden Borough News
Every Thursday. Price 1d

Registered as the GPO                                                                                                                                    In which is incorporated
as a newspaper                                                                                                                                                         the Selling News
Local journals are not as popular as they once were. Many readers will recall how years ago most towns had not just one but several papers.  Haslingden, a town in east Lancashire, had several to its credit. Not all enjoyed a lengthy existence: how many now are able to recall the Haslingden Guardian, or even the Haslingden Times, a journal that perished in its infancy? Not all of these were published and printed in the town, though the Haslingden Borough News, had the distinction of being printed and published in the town and was unique in that its front page displayed the town's coat of arms with its motto, 'Nothing without labour.' This brief exercise is nothing more than an exploration of the part played locally by the Borough News, a journal that was invariably referred to by its original title as the Selling News.

     A study of this journal is hampered by the absence of a complete file. An enquiry to the British Newspaper Library at Colindale brought the information that their 'run' of the Borough News started in 1959, leaving many years unaccounted for. The information carried by the journal suggests in the early 1920s it started using the title of the Borough Selling News.

     The Selling News and its successor were printed in the office of the Haslingden Printing Works in John Street. Among those who first aroused the curiosity of the writer was the late George Hadfield who was not only a director of the company but was a working compositor. He was among those who started the paper as a freebie, given away each week. Such publications were possible thanks to local tradesmen, community groups and numerous individuals who were prepared to buy advertising space. All of this changed with the outbreak of war in 1939. The government imposed stringent restrictions on the use of paper and banned free publications. In future the imposition of a price became obligatory. While advertisements were permitted such papers had to carry a quota of news. An eight page journal for instance was to provide three pages of news. The distribution of the paper was unique in that instead of dealing with local news agents, a number of retired men assembled each Thursday in John Street and laden with canvas bags undertook to supply all districts with the paper.

     The paper had originated as an advertising medium and this was reflected in the pages throughout its sixty year run. The space allocated to news reports was always far below that occupied by advertisements. After all the latter brought in revenue. and the readership had come to expect advertisements rather than news.

     When the writer first became acquainted with the Borough News page one was given over largely to advertisements for the town's two cinemas. The Empire and the Palace were owned and managed by Bert Hoyle. Patrons were offered films on six days a week, a change of programmes taking place each Thursday.  Patrons complained the films were rarely ever recent releases, having been shown already in the larger, neighbouring towns.  How often the cry of 'that's as old as Adam!' was raised on Thursday evenings when patrons learned of the programme for the coming week. In answer to its critics the management maintained the availability of films was determined by the extent of the resident population if that was the case then Haslingden filmgoers were destined to be disappointed, neighbouring towns such as Rawtenstall and Accrington boasted of having  much larger populations. Gone with the wind proved to be one of the most lucrative films made in the 1940s, yet it was to be many years before it was shown in Haslingden. Most local filmgoers anticipating a long wait prior to its Haslingden debut reportedly were prepared to travel to neighbouring towns to satisfy their curiosity about this blockbuster movie that proved to be such a box office success.

     The rest of the front page was devoted to a number of smaller display adverts, among these was one for the fixtures of the Haslingden Cricket Club.  But this was a seasonal game, the Lancashire League team began its fixtures around Easter and finished in the autumn. This freed up more of page one for other advertisers others, and these usually consisted of announcements regarding a forthcoming event, such as a concert staged by a local amateur society or a Sunday school. Occasionally there might be a notice from the Haslingden Borough Council, the town at that time having its own local government.

     Inside pages were given over to paid announcements, in particular births, marriages and deaths. Of these the death notices were supplemented by reports of local deaths, and frequently followed up by accounts of funerals. Names of mourners, floral tributes and (in the case of Roman Catholics) spiritual offerings were listed.

     Following on from all this was what was termed 'Legal notices.' These invariably ran along the lines of:

I, John Smith, of Haslingden, will no longer be responsible for any debts incurred by my wife, Edith Smith. after the appearance of this notice.
(Signed) John Smith.     

This practice seems to have been observed for some years, yet such advertisements had no legal validity. Locally they were read with close interest since if anything they were informing the public that not all was well in the Smith household. Not surprisingly such announcements frequently proved to be a prelude to a legal separation. In any event such publicity was grist to then mill of the gossipmongers who were now likely to regard the Smiths in a different light.

     News  reports fell into two categories.  There was a column headed 'News in brief.' Lacking its own reporter the News was obliged to rely on other local papers for much of its information. Titles appearing in Rawtenstall, Accrington and Blackburn were scoured for stories that might have  a bearing on Haslingden. These might be supplemented by referring to the evening journals published in Blackburn or Manchester, though neither were inclined to give much coverage to Haslingden. 
     The other source consisted of reliance on stories brought in by local people. These varied widely in numbers and content. Most often they reported events promoted by the Sunday schools and other local agencies such as the clubs of which there were a great number at this time. Sports enthusiasts liked to see accounts of the various cricket and football fixtures receiving some attention in the local weekly though again much depended on the readiness of individuals to bring in stories.
     The News originated as an advertising journal. Readers seemingly continued to perceive the medium in this way throughout its existence. One of the most popular features of the paper was a column headed 'Sales and Wants.' Household items such as pianos, beds, tables, kitchen cabinets and so on appeared week after week. The appeal of this column was a reflection on continuing shortages after the second World War. Many items we now take for granted were in short supply, often unobtainable.
Hence it was a case of accept used items or do without.  
     There was also the serious housing shortage to consider, a problem persisting long after 1945. Some home-seeker exasperated by the lengthy waiting list for new rented properties often decided to rent rooms, or try and purchase a home. Houses for sale were sometimes advertised along with a price tag, while other property owners were prepared to gamble on determining the value of their home by resorting to a sale by auction. 
     No consideration of the News as a popular weekly journal would be complete without some indication of  the other items were to be found among the advertisements. Having already mentioned the cinemas, no attention has been paid to the religious institutions of the town. 'Churches and chapels' advertised not only the weekly services and Sunday schools, but also acknowledged some of the highlights of the church year, such as Christmas and Easter. And there was also what were termed 'the sermons.' These were usually linked to an anniversary or a jubilee when some eminent clergyman was invited to  preach and the services were enhanced by special music rendered by soloists accompanied by choir, organ and instrumentalists. For the nonconformist churches especially the sermons provided an important source of revenue. Silver collections were expected at the services, while an additional source of income was made possible by utilising the services of soloists and musicians who might be prepared to participate in a secular concert on the Saturday evening.  
     Haslingden Industrial Co-operative Society resorted to the advertising columns of the News frequently. Apart from offering a wide range of services to its members through its numerous retail outlets located in most parts of the town, 'the Co-op' was a great employer of labour. In its heyday the society attracted and retained members by offering a generous dividend based on a record of sales. After World War II societal changes came to be reflected in declining profits and a diminution of members. The appeal of the co-op and its quarterly 'divi payments' failed to respond to the challenges presented by newer, more aggressive commercial retailers.
     Not surprisingly as an advertising medium the News  rarely ever provided its readers with an opinion column. Some chose to give vent to their feelings by addressing a letter to the editor on matters of local concern. These in turn might provoke the editor to pen a reply, though this was  a rare event. However the writer recalls  distinctly the arrival in the printing office one day of a letter purporting to come from a Mr. L. Ipra Loof,. The correspondent claimed he had recently visited the
town as the guest of an acquaintance at Manchester University. While busily exploring the hilly landscape the visitor claimed he was intrigued to come across an earthenware utensil not unlike those that could ne found extensively in his home country. However the local find carried an inscription which the visitor suggested   readers might help him to explain. The only fragments of the inscription remaining ran, according to the visitor  as: ITI-SAP-ISP-OT.  
     The delivery of a letter to the News was not a regular event and this aroused the suspicion of the editor that all was not quite right. On referring the matter to one of his of his colleagues the editor was advised to establish the credentials of the writer. Having studied the name  - or nom-de-plum - of the writer  it dawned on the editor  that the correspondent was emulating others who were inclined to take up their pen at this time of year in an attempt to embarrass journal editors. The News editor, a well meaning retiring man having considered the matter determined to give as good as he got. He  dismissed the April prank - for such it was - in just  a few words. That was certainly an interesting find made by your friend, he observed:  he should have crowned himself with his discovery! 

In Memoriam

Haslingden Borough News

Born 1922
Expired 1984

Gone but not forgotten



I have just added a further verse to my poem "Knock it Daaern". It was not right to have not included the beautiful "majestic" Churches and Chapels and to reflect a more true record I have now also included: Salem, Trinity, Primitive and Wesley. Hope you like it and if you prefer to check out the blog with its photographs of the buildings please CLICK HERE

It's a bonny place so knock it daaern"

It's a bonny place so knock it daaern,
So all can watch with a drooping fraaern.
There's tons and tons of Hassy's best,
Millstone grit can't be seen to rest!
Knock it daaern, knock it daaern!

Vicarage that stood up on that bonk!
In its shadow was Martins Bank,
Grammar School was a buried Road,
Good few ton did mek that load,
Knock it daaern, knock it daaern!

Major, would turn over in his grave if he knew,
What had happened to his Highfield view,
Lions at Carter Place have gone with rest,
We're left with a porch without its crest,
Knock it daaern, knock it daaern!

Town Hall! Council will have a Ball,
With all thi hard earned cash,
So lets get shut for once and for all,
Before they have their Annual bash.
Knock it daaern, knock it daaern!

Its only a building is yon Con Club,
For some I suppose it was their hub,
Another fine place was Workhouse past,
Who needs a hospital on yon hill,
Knock it daaern, knock it daaern!

Even the "mighty" can fall but we'll not have a ball!
Salem, Trinity, Primitive and John Wesley preached!
but all went down with a "bang"
and no more did the bells ring or did the people sing"
 so Knock it daaern, knock it daaern!

Nah! don't let it stand still,
Or tha'll get a bill,
Knock it daaern!


Salem Chapel

Trinity Baptist

Primitive Methodist - Grane Road
Photo: Kindly shared by Chris Kirby

Wesley Chapel

or if you still want to check out
After one week the above photographs or text will be moved over to their appropriate blogs and will also be transferred over to  PHOTO ALBUM and SNIPPETS NO.5 (YEAR 2017 which can be accessed by clicking here

PHOTO ALBUM AND SNIPPETS NO.4 (year 2016) which can be accessed by clicking here

 PHOTO ALBUM and SNIPPETS NO.3 (year 2015) which you can access by clicking here

or if you still want to check out


Dont Forget!  HASLINGDEN ON FILM is accessed from the title further down on the left hand column - please enjoy the films.