Wednesday 23 November 2011

The Co-op Emporium - Northgate - c1935

This quite grainy old photo of the Co-op Emporium (now the public library) is from a 1935 Souvenir Programme issued by Blackburn Council to commemorate the Silver Jubilee celebrations of King George V.
The various departments of the Co-op at that time, included Grocery, Bakery, Butchery, Tailoring, Footwear, Furnishing, General Drapers, Millinery, Painting & Decorating, Undertaking, Coal, Laundry, Milk and an Excursion Bureau.
I'm not sure if the Emporium in Blackburn catered for all those, or if it was the Co-op in general they meant.
I love the old cars parked up on Northgate.  Eliot Ness must have been in the store getting his shopping.


  1. It's a shame it was re-clad with those concrete type segments - it looked much grander in this photo!

  2. Unbelievably, it looks like they're going to return it to this state!! Fantastic!

  3. I worked in General Drapery selling gloves, handkerchiefs, stockings, socks etc on the ground floor. There were two little windows that the 'proper' window dressers let me dress.

  4. A nice place to work I'll bet, back in the day Barbara. Blackburn's premier department store, probably only department store.



  5. I remember going in there in the 1940's and 1950's. I think that they sold furnishings, clothing, footwear and furniture. It was one of the better class stores in town. There was a ballroom on the upper floor. I went to a dance there in the mid 1950's.

  6. Our wedding breakfast was celebrated in the Emporium Ballroom in 1955.

    Never did ask my Mum if she got some "divvy" on the cost !!!!!


  7. Colin,

    Have you seen the 22 lovely quality pics of the inside of the co-op Julie Ann Walton has put on the facebook group 'Blackburn and District in the past', they would fill out this page very well, maybe you could approach her for the permission to do so?

  8. Hi Anonymous,

    No I haven't seen them. I'm not a member of that group and it's a 'closed' group from what I recall.

    The person you mention is a well known troll, who trawls other internet sites, takes images and passes them off as her own. She once downloaded a lot of images from this blog and put them on that group.

    She recently (a couple of months ago) uploaded quite few internal shots of the old police house on the bottom of Montague St. John S (who comments on here) then uploaded them onto another Facebook group and when the woman in question saw he had done so, she had the audacity to say in a comment on the group you mention ''I see my photos have ended up on THe Photos of Blackburn group''

    Well for information, John S was the person who actually took those photos originally, in the course of his working day (he has access to the old police house property) and had in the past (about 2 years ago) uploaded them to yet another Facebook group, which is where the woman you mention probably 'borrowed' them from in the first place.

    I could approach her for permission, as you put it, but I doubt very much that I would need her permission, as they're probably from Cottontown or elsewhere. Without seeing them, I couldn't say for certain, but from her past history, I'm 99.9% sure they will be from another site.

    But thank you for the suggestion, I appreciate it.

    Best regards.


  9. Hi Colin - after reading the above, I just had a search on cottontown and as you suggest, there is approximately 25 interior shots of the old emporium, showing the various departments, the ballroom and boardroom. I'm with you and I bet that is where the woman on facebook has got them from. I remember her name from the blackburn now and then days, I think she is the bonkers one into all that medium, clairvoyant rubbish. Stevo.

  10. Hi Stevo

    Yeah I knew there were some on Cottontown, which is why I mentioned it. I remember looking through them 12 months or so ago. They'll probably be the ones she's uploaded.

    Aye the same woman was on the BN&T Facebook group and she was always going on about some Medium bloke and all that nonsense. Maybe she spirits images away :-)