Some images (and an old flyer) of Notre Dame Convent, which used to stand on land between Whalley New Rd and Whalley Old Rd.
Originally built as Brookhouse Lodge, it was the home of William Kenworthy, one time co-owner of (Hornby's) Brookhouse Mills.
Formed by joining together the Convent Higher Grade School and its pupil teacher centre, it opened as the Convent Of Notre Dame School in 1908 and served to educate young Catholic girls, mainly with a view to them becoming Catholic schoolmistresses, of which there was a national shortage at the time. The Franciscan Sisters also had a convent/boarding school/orphanage, Staneleigh, which was on East Park Road. Staneleigh is still there, as far as I'm aware, but now just a convent for elderly sisters.
The convent on Whalley New Rd closed its doors in approximately 1986 -7 and was demolished a few years later. The site is now a housing estate.
Also check out ---> http://pagesperso-orange.fr/notredameblackburn/
Update 15 / 03 / 2011. In 2010 an ex pupil/student of Notre Dame put together a DVD about the convent. If you are interested in obtaining a copy, please e-mail email@example.com for more details. Please note, any transaction is between yourself and Eileen and is no concern of the Blackburnpast.com site or its administrator. I have only been asked to supply the contact e-mail address.
George Hull was a poet from Blackburn. I found the following on the 'net'
ODE TO A SISTER OF NOTRE DAME.
For a brief, happy space—
Yet not too brief for grace
To come to me through your devoted prayer—
I dwelt beneath your care.
Within that lowly school,
Remote from earthly strife,
I and my little comrades learnt the rule
Of faithful Christian life.
Then did we all rejoice,
As at the sound of Gabriel's own blest voice,
When, innocent and fresh, we knelt to say
The Angelus each day.
Now that a tyrant world
Bids us abide where Sin
Struts boldly in the noonday, we begin
To feel how precious was that golden time—
By innocence impearled—
Spent at your feet in Virtue's nursing clime.
And you, I have no doubt,
When day is done, all weary oft look out
Upon that world—by you long since forsaken—
Where we our place have taken,
And wonder how all fare
Who dwelt beneath your care
In those bright days gone by.
True, some have wandered far
From the clear light of Bethlehem's glad star;
But unto others faith, hope, love, and truth
Are dear as in their youth.
Yet even for these last
As toilsome years have passed
You may have heaved a sigh,
Thinking you seldom heard
A grateful heart give utterance to a kindly word.
For me, I know—
Fond memory keeps so green the long-ago—
That when I late was told
How you were still at work within the Fold,
It almost seemed that old times had returned:
And as I mused I yearned
To shape the message I have penned to-day
To cheer you on your way.
And if you think these humble words of praise
Have been delayed too long
Among the careless throng
On the world's highways,
Bethink you that your lot—
To seem so long forgot—
Is but the common fate of Mary's daughters,
Who, amid anxious tears,
Do cast the bread of Faith upon life's waters,
Yet find it, gladly, after many years.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF COTTONTOWN, THE COMMUNITY STUDIES DEPT. of BLACKBURN LIBRARY, DEBORAH MILLER-CROOK AND THE CP COLLECTION.
INFORMATION COURTESY OF MIKE ROTHWELL, DEREK BEATTIE AND THE 1925 BARRETT'S TRADE DIRECTORY
POEM COURTESY OF GEORGE HULL (1863 - 1933)
MAP SECTIONS, BOTH COURTESY OF THE ORDNANCE SURVEY