In 1963, a young Blackburnian and keen photographer by the name of John Eddleston, had bought himself a new camera which he was going to take with him on a forthcoming trip to Europe. He decided to familiarise himself with his purchase by traipsing around the town (mainly the centre) taking shots of a Blackburn that would soon disappear in the planned, phased redevelopment. He took hundreds of photos and has left us with a very important archive of that period of Blackburn's history.
In the late 1990's, most of John's photos were published in two small books, which were sold locally and the proceeds used to buy equipment for The Stroke Rehabilitation Ward at Queens Park Hospital (Royal Blackburn as it is now). Quite a few people were instrumental in the publication of these books, Peter Street, Ray Hull, Simon Allen, the printer John Brown and no doubt others too. My personal thanks to them all.
If you get an opportunity to buy either of the two books ''1963 - Blackburn - A Proud Town'' you wont regret doing so. They were only stocked locally, as far as I know and were a limited run, but they still come up on eBay and other internet sites from time to time.
Here I have tried to cobble together, as a short slide show, just a few of John Eddleston's photos. I was born in 1958 just off the top end of Regent Street, very close to Larkhill and lived there until the summer of 1967, so the first 9.5 years of my life were spent within spitting distance of many of these scenes.
Growing up, as a young teenager and also as an adult, whenever I heard John Lennon's lyric to the accompanying song, these are the streets that often appeared in my minds eye.
Please click on the link below to view the video (YouTube)