THIS township contains a large manufacturing village, 2 1/2 miles E. N. E. from Blackburn. It is a station on the Lancashire and Yorkshire line of railway and the Leeds and Liverpool Canal also passes through. It is in the parliamentary division of Accrington, and in the Hyndburn county council division. Under the Local Government Act, 1894, the Urban District Council consists of twelve members.
by Ellen Darwen, who bequeathed the interest of £60 to be expended on bread for the poor on the first Sunday in each month; one by Robert Clayton Mercer containing consols which produce £25 interest annually, to be expended in coals, clothing or food for the poor; one by George Riley, the nett income of £1,000, also to be distributed in coals, clothing or food; and another by the executors of Miss Mercer, of Clayton-le-Moors, for £1,000, for investment to secure an annual income which will supplement local subscriptions to the Rishton Nursing Association. The sum of £1,000 was bequeathed by the late Councillor Bernard Smith, the nett income to be applied for the relief of the poor of the district through the trustees of the charity. In addition to the cotton mills, there are in the town ship a colliery, quarries, firebrick works, a paper mill, and various other trades. Here is also a reservoir belonging to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal Company. The village is supplied with water and gas by the Accrington District Gas and Water Board. In 1922 the Blackburn Corporation laid a cable through the town for the purpose of supplying electricity for use of the public. On July 31st, 1923, the local fire brigade was disbanded and in 1924 two fire alarm call boxes were installed connecting the Blackburn Fire Station, one is on the westerly side of Harwood Road at the junction of Harwood Road and High Street, and the other on the northerly side of Hermitage Street, adjacent to Rishton Mill watch house.
A war memorial situated in Blackburn Road was unveiled or October 6th, 1923. The Public Library, Brook Street, was opened on August 15th 1929; H. N. Carlton, librarian. The township contains 2,981 acres, mostly of the property of G. E. A. Petre, Esq., who is also lord of the manor; and its population in 1841 was 916; 1851, 800; 1861, 1,196; 1871, 2,577; 1881, 4,056; 1891, 6,010; 1901, 7,031; and 1931,7,000. Rateable value £39, 235
The CHURCH, dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul, is a substantial Gothic edifice, consisting of nave, chancel, aisles, and transepts, the foundation stone of which was laid on May 24th, 1873, the consecration taking place on June 16th, 1877. The design included a tower, which, however, was only built to a height of 42 feet, until 1904, when it was completed. The tower is now 100 feet high, and has a full peal of bells, given by members of the congregation in 1905, at a cost of about £600. A clock was given at the same time by Mr. Robert Clayton. A beautiful oak screen, dedicated June 29th, 1924, was presented by Mrs. Clayton in memory of her husband, Mr. Robert Clayton, J. P. The church contains 574 sittings, all of which are free. The benefice is a vicarage, of the annual value of £420, in the patronage of five trustees, and held by the Rev. Wm. I. Brown.
The CATHOLIC SCHOOL dedicated to St. Charles, is situated in Station Road, and was opened November 8th, 1896. The mission was established in 1886, and service was held in the building formerly known as the Hermitage up to the opening of the new church, which, along with the presbytery, cost over £5,000. It is built of brick and terra cotta, with dormer windows glazed with cathedral tint glass. Four beautiful stained-glass windows, by Mayer & Co., have been presented to the church by Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Seed and Mr. and Mrs. Bernard Smith. A side altar of carved oak, dedicated to St. Joseph, in memory of the late Mr. B. Smith, has been given by his widow and family. Over the principal entrance is a bell turret. The church will accommodate about 500, and the schools about 500 children, the whole making a very picturesque and pleasing block of buildings. The Rev. Michael O’Leary is rector, and the catholic population is about 820.
The Methodists have a chapel in High Street, erected in 1862, one in School Street and one in Mary Street; and the CONGREGATIONALISTS have a neat chapel in Derby Street, built in 1863, at a cost of £1,600. There are in the village a national school, and two Methodists schools.
The Conservative Club, Cliff Street, is a large stone building, in the Elizabethan style of architecture. In addition to the club proper, which consists of reading room, library, two billiard rooms, two smoke rooms, committee room, card-room, steward’s room, and other offices, there is a concert and lecture hall on the ground floor capable of seating 300. A bowling green occupies a large proportion of the site, which contains nearly 3,000 square yards. Messrs. J. C. Howard Sandbach arid J. Parker were the architects. There are also in the village a Liberal Club, a Workman’s Club, an Harmonic Club, a Catholic Club, and a Free Gardeners’ Club. A police station was erected in 1893, at a cost of £1,500.
Urban District Council-
R. Leeming (chairman), B. Ainsworth, J. R. Booth, J. W. Edmondson, A. Smith, A. Trengrove, R. Gildard, G. Sanderson, J. H. Sowerbutts, J. C. Tattersall, J. Taylor and H. Wilson. Alfred E. Roberts, clerk; W. H. Cottam, rating officer; R. W. Renshaw, surveyor; C. Woodcock, sanitary inspector; J. Ferguson, L. R. C. P. and S., medical officer of health.
Post Money Order and Telegraph Office, 13 High Street; Mr. Thomas Howarth, postmaster. Letters arrive, via Blackburn, 6-0 a.m., 11-30 a.m. and 2-45 p.m., and are despatched at 9-15 a.m., 1-30 p.m. and 6-45 p.m.