Friday 5 November 2010

Azalea Rd in the Preston New Rd area of town. - c1900

Azalea Road, looking over St Silas's Road and down onto Granville Road at the bottom. Not a car in sight. Today there's usually just a narrow gap down the centre, with cars parked at either side. Photo taken around 1900, I think, perhaps a decade later.


  1. This street hasn't changed much since this photo was taken.

  2. No it hasn't John. Take all the cars away today and it would look pretty much as it does in the photo above. The trees have probably grown a bit, but that's about all.

    That lower stretch is one of the worst in Blackburn for parked cars, it's always choc-a-bloc with them.

  3. I've just been looking at the 1912 CD and the occupants at the time were mainly all professional people,not a weaver or cart driver in site up there !!
    This area must have been where the better off, at the time, aspired to live in order to distance themselves from the poverty and poor housing conditions in other parts Blacburn, yet only 1/2 a mile away was one of the poorest parts at Snig Brook.
    My late Dad was brought up in Snig Brook in the mid 1920's and used to tell me of how life was there in his childhood, and although it was a rough place to live, he never had a bad word for it.

  4. Caton St...Shear Brow and now Snig Brook.
    Are you "on the run" or something !! ;-)

  5. And Rawstorne Street in between the latter two.

  6. I live just a few houses down on the right here... it looks virtually identical! The parking is indeed a nightmare, mostly compounded by the primary school run and the giant coaches from QEGS trying to squeeze down Granville Road. Nightmare.

  7. I was trying to find the location of Snig Brook in the Internet and came across your site. Does it still exist? I'm looking for a photo of 101 Snig Brook, where my Grandad (Eric William Grime) was born. Hope you can help! Fiona

  8. Hi Fiona

    Snig Brook used to run between Hope St and St Paul's St in Blackburn.

    At some point between 1925 and 1951 Snig Brook became Denville St. As far as I'm aware, nothing else changed, just the name. The numbering remained the same.

    I have 3 diferent trade directories, one for 1894, one for 1925 and one for 1951. In the first two, it is listed as Snig Brook, but in the 1951 directory, it is listed as Denville St (which is how I know it changed name during that 26 year window).

    In my 1894 directory at number 101 Snig Brook, there is a J. W. Grime and he (I'm assuming it was a he) is listed as a plasterer.

    In my 1925 directory they are listed as J. W. Grime (executors of) plasterers and they've expanded, as they now operate from 95-101 Snig Brook. I say 'they' as ''executors of'' infers that the proprietor of the business (J. W. Grime) has passed on and others were now looking after his / her affairs or carrying on the business. Now whether those executors were family members or not, I couldn't tell you, as the directories don't give any more information, other than what I have typed above. I suppose it's feasible that his son (Eric William that you mention?) could have been the executor. Or maybe J. W Grime left someone else to run his business, because (maybe) Eric was still a child or hadn't come of age (18 or 21 or whatever it was back then).

    I'm only assuming that Eric was JW Grime's son, as they both had the same 101 Snig Brook address, I can't be sure.

    In my 1951 directory, as I say above, Snig Brook was known as Denville St (I have no idea why the name change came about, but it definitely did) and at 101 Denville St there's now a Mrs L Gibb and it doesn't give any occupation for her. Numbers 95, 97 and 99 Denville St aren't listed. The next number listed is 93 Denville St and there's an A Parkinson (labourer) living there.

    So either numbers 95,97 and 99 had been demolished or were unoccupied when the directory was being compiled.

    I've been able to work out from the directories that the top house/property on the 'odds' side od Snig Brook / Denville St was number 105. So number 101 was just two houses from the top.

    Now if you type Winter St into the search in the top left corner of the homepage, it will take you to a post titled MMMmmmmmmm and there's a photo of Winter St / Hope St (yet another name change for a street) on there, but sadly all you can see is the opening / junction of Snig Brook / Denville St.

    I hope some of the above helps.




  9. Hi all.

    There is brook in my garden it comes from the park , is this snig brook ? I live opposite the park gates on Preston new Road.


  10. Hi Ash

    Yes that's Snig Brook. It used to emerge (briefly) at the foot of Hope St (which is just behind you), by the garages, but after it overflowed at that point a number of years ago (about 10 years ago) and flooded properties on the Denville Rd estate and lots of the college buildings, they culverted it better, so I don't think it is visible there any more. It is now entirely underground from the bottom of Hope St to where it merges with the Blakewater down on Whalley Banks somewhere.

    I just had a quick read through of the comment above this. I went through a lot of books getting that info together for Fiona and never heard from her again. Some people eh :-)

    The Snig Brook I am referring to in my reply to her, was the name of the street, which took its name from the little brook/river/stream. In fact going back to the early 1800's, the area bordered by Montague St, St Paul's St, New Park St and Preston New Rd (approximately) was known as Snig Brook



    1. Hi colin i was wondering if anyone had any maps of the snig brook / denville street area from around 1950. My dad grew up in the area and the family had the chip shop on hope st. Many thanks ruth

  11. Hi Ruth

    If you go onto the MARIO Maps (Lancashire County Council) website and find the area you're interested in on their present day map, you can then click a button on the left hand side that will bring up one of their historic maps (1910 I think it is). That map will show you those streets, as they hadn't changed much by 1950.

    You can also buy a map on eBay etc 'The Godfrey Edition' Old Ordnance Survey Map - Blackburn (West) 1929. They cost about £2.50 - £3.

    I think the central library also sell the Godfrey maps now.

    If you do buy one, make sure it is the Blackburn WEST one, as that is the one that has Denville St on it. It is over on the right hand side of that particular map section, as that is where they cut it (for want of a better word). So you get Blakey St, Denville St, Joseph St, Montague St etc on it and all the area left of there, but you don't get the streets to the right of there (ie Alma St, New Park St etc), you would need the other section, Blackburn 1929, to see those streets and the town centre.

    Try the MARIO (Maps And Related Info Online) website first. It might take a bit of time to suss it out, but if you persevere you'll get the hang of it. There's also aeril photos on there, that you can see from clicking another button.



  12. Hi,

    I am an author writing the first part of my latest novel set in Blackburn in mid to late 1800's. Although originally from Liverpool, I don't have much recollection of Blackburn. Two of my characters are bakers and I have placed them in Penny Street, but they live in Azalea Road. Just wondered if this would be feasible in the time period? Also are all the houses in Azalea Road terraced large stone r brick fronted. I cannot really tell by the old photos. Your help would be much appreciated. Many thanks, Jenna Hines e-mail

  13. From memory Jenna (I haven't been up that way for a while), I would say the houses on Azalea Rd are brick fronted. You should be able to check that out on Google Earth /Google Maps / Google Street or whatever it's called.

    Penny Street is on Gillies map/plan of Blackburn from 1822 and was probably in existence even earlier than that. It was always a major thoroughfare and certainly one side of it was mainly retail/commercial properties, so I'm sure it would be quite feasible for there to have been two bakers based along there at some point in history.

    I'm not too sure when Azalea Rd was first built, but it is listed in my earliest Blackburn trade directory, which is from 1894. Most of the houses were occupied in my directory and each house has the name of the main occupant and their profession. There is at least one 'confectioner' living there in 1894, whether that was just their home or also their shop premises, I couldn't say.

    Matthew Cole in his book 'Blackburn's West End' seems to suggest that many of those roads and streets in that area (Granville Rd, Cranborne Terrace etc) were named after prominent figures of the 1860's, so maybe some, if not all, of those roads/streets were built during or soon after that decade.

    I would think it believable that bakers with properties on Penny St could have lived on Azalea Rd. That area of Blackburn at that time was where the middle classes and the aspiring middle classes would have chosen to live. It was still a very 'respectable' area, well into the 1970s. The decline probably set in from about 1980 onwards (no offence to anyone living around there now, but it is not the area it once was - fact).

    I hope that is of some help Jenna. You can always use a little artistic license. You're writing an novel, it doesn't necessarily have to 100% historically accurate.

    Best regards.