Wednesday 13 February 2013

Thwaites Arcade - 1963

Thwaites Arcade viewed from the Lord St entrance, with Church St visible at the opposite end.
Courtesy of John Eddleston


  1. Looks like the Burlington Arcade in London (but more impressive). Wish I was old enough to remember it.

    Did John Eddleston take any photos of Telegraph House? That was one of my favourite Blackburn buildings.

    You probably already know about Michael Grigsby's 1962 film "Tomorrow's Saturday" -- it was shot in Blackburn and Preston over the summers of 1959 and 1960. It's on a BFI DVD set "Free Cinema".

    Thanks for taking the trouble to put up these photos of a vanished world.


  2. Hi John

    I think a couple (well at least one) of Eddleston's photos of Railway Rd caught a bit of the Telegraph building. There's plenty of other photos of that building. Have a look on Cottontown sometime, there's some on there.

    Yeah I have a copy of the Grigsby short film, but I wasn't aware of the actual years it was filmed. My copy never plays too well any more though. I think the odd shot is in Bolton as well. I'm pretty sure there's a glimpse of Burnden Park at one point.

    Glad you're liking the Eddleston pics. I'm hoping to upload them all in time, it's just finding the time to do so.

    Best regards.


  3. Hi Colin,

    Thanks for the tip. I found a few photos on Cottontown.

    Michael Grigsby told me by email four years ago that the mill interiors were shot in Preston.
    The market and pub scenes are particularly interesting. Nearly everyone is drinking halves. I spotted Thwaites' "Green Top".

    Sad to read that Michael Grigsby died earlier this year. "Tomorrow's Saturday" deserves to be better known.



  4. Hi John

    It's quite a while since I last saw it, but at one point a bloke steps out of a Lion (as in brewery) pub and then walks around the corner down a street lit by street lamps. I've never been able to place the pub. Mind you, Lion had pubs all over the region, not just here in Blackburn.

    The scene near the beginning (not the opening, looking down Preston New Rd) where the kids chase an ice cream vendor down a backstreet looks familiar to me as well, but again, I've never been able to pinpoint it. The ice cream man is Boggiano though, I'm pretty sure of that.

    I noticed the Thwaites bottles in the pub scene, but again, Thwaites had pubs all over (still do really).

    There's a great clip on Youtube of a Preston pub. The name escapes me at the moment, but the pub is still there. Filmed in the late 40's or early 50's I think. It reminded me of Grigsby's film when I saw it, as the commentary seems to be dubbed on in places.

    The Moor Park, that's the pub name. Just type Moor Park pub Preston into the Youtube search and it should appear.

    Yeah sad to hear MG died. I didn't know much about him, but I read a few things on the internet a few years ago and he seemed to be well respected.

    Kind regards.


  5. Can you tell me where the Thwaite Arcade was in context to Blackburn today? Also when did it close?

  6. Hi Lynda

    If you know Church St, which I'll assume you do. Well we have the three Georgian pavilions still there on the Cathedral side of the street. The entrance to Thwaites Arcade was opposite the uppermost pavilion (the one closest to Darwen St).

    The arcade ran between Church St and Lord St, which was a street that ran parallel with Church St. The top end of Lord St is still there, where the doors to Debenhams are (the ones at the end of King William St).

    The shopping Mall now covers where the arcade was.

    It was demolished in 1970 - 1971, so would have closed shortly before that. Probably it closed gradually, as each business left / relocated.



  7. In fact Lynda, if you look at the above photograph from 1963, at the far end you can see part of the pavilion mentioned above and you can also see one of the gateposts of the Cathedral. I'm pretty sure those gateposts still stand.