1st July is also my birthday!
Have you been into W. H. Smiths recently? Popping into my local Blackburn branch, it was nice to see a new Ordnance Survey display, especially because it contained the regional road maps which were discontinued over seven years ago. There was also the classic route planner map for Great Britain, and specialist interest maps like Roman and Ancient Britain – all with new attractive covers and styling.
Cannon Street Baptist Church (1874, listed grade II) is a large but compact building which shoots skyward from Accrington’s tightly drawn streetscape. Its tower and spire are set into the corner of the façade just yards from the street, which gives it great visual impact.
Altogether, it makes for an unusual Baptist Church of the 1870s, a time when the classical was still the ‘go-to’ style. Its predecessor, a Regency chapel rather like a large house, still exists on Blackburn Road adjacent the railway. It is also listed grade II and both are buildings at risk. Continue reading “Cannon Street Baptist Church & School, Accrington – George Baines, architect”
International Women’s Day is nearly over but, for my contribution, I’ve still got about 25 minutes to write something about Edna Walling (1895 – 1973), a British Australian landscape gardener whose work I find especially interesting. I would also say beautiful except that, since her work is in Australia, I have only seen it in photos, plans and a book about her called, The Unusual Life of Edna Walling, by Sara Hardy.
Edna was born in Yorkshire, lived till her teens in Devon and then moved to Australia via a few years in New Zealand. She developed the ideas of Gertrude Jekyll and others in the very different climate and context of Australia. She is sometimes called Australia’s finest gardener.
We may think the present snow is pretty bad but this photograph of Belthorn, Oswaldtwistle from Blackburn Museum’s Talbot Archive shows a much worse situation in 1958!
This weekend’s Talbot Conference centred on the marvelous photographic archive of the late Wally Talbot and his son, Howard. The father and son partnership photographed all aspects of Blackburn life from the 1930s to the 1990s. Their combined legacy of thousands of negatives and plates has recently been donated to the town and is now being painstakingly researched, catalogued and restored by Blackburn college photographer, Peter Graham. The restored photographs are steadily being published online on Blackburn Library’s “Cotton Town” website.
It’s a privilege to be working alongside The Prince’s Trust on a project to redecorate St. Oswald’s Community Hall, Knuzden, Blackburn. The team of volunteers comprises both young people and seasoned professionals. There is a distinctly positive air and a great enthusiasm for working through the issues and tackling the jobs from prep. to paint.