Wednesday 7 April 2010

Limbrick viewed from Sudell Cross

Brilliant old postcard image of Limbrick, as viewed from Sudell Cross. Not sure of the exact date, but at a guess, I would estimate it to be the mid - late 1920's. With the Central Garage on the left being in existence, motor cars must have been around for a while, to warrant having a garage? That's my theory anyway.
On the right is the YMCA, which had opened in 1910. Then just over Tontine Street is the original Sir Charles Napier pub. You can just see the start of the D.Thwaites & Co signage on the Tontine St side.
Central of course, is the statue of W.H. Hornby Snr, Blackburn's first mayor. As mentioned under a similar shot elsewhere on the blog, this statue now stands just to the right of the Old Town Hall.
The YMCA still stands and became the latter Sir Charles Napier pub and the cottages in the distance on the same side are still standing. The garage property on the left disappeared in the late 70's or 1980's, though the majority of the terraced houses further up still stand to this day.
Barbara Castle Way now cuts across the centre of this old photograph (This photo enlarges a bit, just click on it).


  1. Nice Photo Colin,I remember this part of Limbrick in the late 50's from my Junior School days at St John's on Altom St. Didn't the Central Garage later become "Walsh Bros" car showroom ? If old W.H was the first Mayor of Blackburn in 1801,and presumably the first leader of the Town Council, then how was the Town run prior to an elected Council ?
    Just to the right of his leg in the distance is a factory chimney which seems to be in the London Rd area, but I can't remember there ever being a factory anywhere in that vicinity?

  2. That garage did become Walsh Bros John.

    1851 (not 1801) was the year of incorporation. Prior to that, decisions will have been democratically or undemocratically made by the leading townsfolk of which the Hornby's, Sudell's, Feilden's, Astley's, Ward's, Harrison's etc etc would have been a part of and would have had a lot of influence. They met in ''Assembly Rooms'' like the 'Hotel' on King Street, or in places like the Old Bull and Golden Lion.

    Is that chimney not on the small mill / factory that was on Bold Street, just lower down than Altom Street? There wasn't any mills further up in the London Rd area in my lifetime, nor any evidence there had ever been any up there. It was all residential.

  3. I meant 1851 Colin,why I didn't notice the error is Mr McEwans Export's fault!
    It's amazing that within 30 Years of the Corporation's inauguration they managed to accumulate enough money to purchase the land for Corporation Park and develop it, plus build the Town Hall and Market Hall.
    I think that you are probably right about the Mill being the "Limbrick Cotton Mill" which was on Bold St,but it must have been long gone before I went to St John's in 1955 because I don't recall it. Mind you, as a 5 Year old Lad I could have passed it without even giving it a second glance.

  4. The market hall was opened in the 1840's John, it pre-dates incorporation.

    The foundation stone for the Town Hall was laid in 1852, just a few months after incorporation and was finished and opened by 1855/6. The plans and finance for it were probably in place long before incorporation.Corporation Park too was opened in the 1850's.

    Without ploughing through books, I can't give you exact years, but the dates above are approximately right.

    There will always have been money around, private and public. Blackburn was quite a civilised and settled place for at least a century and a half (if not more) before incorporation and there would always have been some kind of governing body. Hell, we have had a grammar school since Queen Elizabeth 1st reign.

  5. Shot down again, Ouch !!
    I really do need to get my head into the few books that I have about Blackburn's Past Colin. As Summer is now here I have decided to take Derek Beattie's book with me on my Weekend trips to the coast to read instead of the Daily Mirror !

    I had a quick look at it tonight(Not the Mirror!) to see if the dates you quoted were right(And they are)and discovered that the Market Hall and Fish Market were built years apart, I always thought that they were built at the same time.

  6. I remember someone on BNAT saying D. Beattie's book was full of inaccuracies and I read a review of it around the same time, which kind of said the same. I haven't read it myself, so can't really comment / judge, but take a couple of other books as well, just to compare notes;-))

  7. Thanks Colin for the book review..That's another £20 down the pan then !!
    This "History of Blackburn" is costing me a Bloody fortune (Only joking)
    Can you suggest anymore accurate and informative books Colin ?

  8. As mentioned above John, I HAVEN'T read it, only read a review of it and read a comment on BNAT about it. I wouldn't recommend any books other than the trade directories.

    Just read anything and everything, cross reference, then arrive at your own conclusions as to what is likely to be true and what is nonsense, but don't take any one statement as fact, as every author/historian is reliant on other research (books, records, documents, photos etc) and is liable to make mistakes. No one account is the whole story.

  9. That is a really lovely photograph. I never knew that the Hornby statue had once stood there.

    Jayne B.

  10. Thanks Jayne, it's one of my favourite photos too.

  11. Please can anyone tell me the history of the Sudell Cross - why, when, for whom etc. and also any information about the Sudell family as in the blog you refer to them as 'leading townsfolk': What was the trade/profession/connection and are they still practising locally in the same? Are they connected to a Pharmacist I have heard of in the Blackburn area? I heard this surname came from Waterford in Ireland - is this the correct spelling? Would be lovely if you can throw more light on this ....

  12. Sorry but I personally don't know much about the Sudell family, but someone else looking in may do.

    The family was in Blackburn in the 16th and 17th centuries and were very wealthy from what I can gather.

    One of the main routes into Blackburn town centre is called King Street, but before it was called that, it was known as Sudell St.

    Henry Sudell built Woodfold Hall (also on the blog - just type it in the search, top left).

    If you look on the Cottontown site (link in the right hand column), I'm sure you'll find some info on there, but be prepared for a wait, as it can be very slow to load the pages, though it is generally worth your patience, as there is a lot on there.