High Street (A678) Rishton.

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Post Code(s):

BB1 4JZ Numbers: 1 - 45
Added to PAF Database: January 1980
BB1 4LA Numbers: 2 - 92b
Added to PAF Database: January 1980
BB1 4LD Numbers: 51 - 157
Added to PAF Database: January 1980
BB1 4LQ Numbers: 100 - 156
Added to PAF Database: January 1980
BB1 4LA Numbers: Clinic (108)
Added to PAF Database: January 1980
BB1 4JZ Numbers: Bridge House
Added to PAF Database: January 1980

Streets Off High Street.

1927 Church Jubilee
Parish Church Procession to celebrate the Church Jubilee in 1927 on High Street.
The same again, with the procession having moved along.

Right Hand Side (from Canal Bridge)

  • Spring Street
  • Commercial Street
  • Cliff Street
  • Harwood Road
  • Church Street

Left Hand Side (from Canal Bridge)

  • Henry Street
  • George Street
  • Walmsley Street
  • Mary Street
  • Eachill Road
  • Station Road
High Street 1960s
The High Street in the 1960's
Twenty past two in the afternoon according to the Post office Clock.

Buildings on High Street

Right Hand Side (from Canal Bridge)

  • 1 block of terraced shops (unnamed) containing 7? shop properties
  • 1 block of terraced shops (unnamed) containing 12? shop properties
  • Library (formally co-op stores)
  • Health centre (formally co-op stores)
  • 1 block of terraced shops (unnamed) containing 8 shop properties
  • 1 block of terraced shops and houses (unnamed) 3 shops 4 houses
  • 1 block red brick terraced shop (formally clinic and bank)
  • Norden Courts (formally a block of terraced houses to the junction with Harwood Road
  • West End garage
  • 1 block of 2 shop properties (unnamed)
  • 1 block of garden fronted terraced houses (unnamed) containing 3 houses
  • Saint peters and Saint Paul's Church of England
Outside the Church 1904

Left Hand Side (from Canal Bridge)

  • Former Methodists School building
  • 1 block of terraced shops (unnamed) containing 6 shop properties
  • Astoria Skating Rink building
  • Roebuck Inn and car park
  • 1 row of terraced shops (unnamed) containing 6 shops
  • 1 row garden fronted houses (unnamed) containing 8? houses
  • 1 row terraced shops (unnamed) containing 3 shop properties
  • Regal Cinema building
  • Walmsley Inn
  • 1 block of mixed terraced (unnamed) containing 12? properties
  • 1 block of mixed terraced (unnamed) containing 14? properties
  • 1 block of mixed terraced (unnamed) containing 2 shops and 2 houses.
  • West House (White House)
  • 1 block of terraced houses containing 3 houses (West View, 1867)
Early Pictures
An early picture of a cobbled High Street, the post office clock has yet to be fitted.
Quarter past Ten on the post office clock, this postcard picture is taken from the same place, and coloured in, but not quite as old as the alternative picture.

Known as the Front Street.

The back road from Roebuck over Henry Street was known as Marguerite Lane, giving meaning to the name Daisy Hill mill, and ran to Oswaldtwistle.

This road explains the sideways setting of the roebuck, built 1750. It was on the bend to the back street. The laying of the new straighter road gives it its sideways setting that we see now.

The top picture was taken from the centre of the town by Thomas Counsell. He owned the local photography shop that is included in this picture.

Earlier there was a road to Blackburn known as the Kings Highway.

High Street
Looking up High Street from the Canal Bridge.
This may be the same picture, but from a little further back. Shows the Gas lamp better!

In 1820 the lower end was built up and called Holt mill Brow with green fields either side. Later it became Hermitage Street, the middle section High Street, and the rest Blackburn Road.

How many roads have you seen from 1927 that were fully tarmaced? Well here’s one.

Many of these buildings have since been demolished, especially on the North side of the street.

This is the shot looking at were the above picture was taken from. This was taken around the turn of the 19th Century.

In 1754 a farm once stood on the right hand side of the street. A travellers rest stood opposite called the Roebuck Inn. This is still standing today.

From Church Tower
Harwood Road junction from the Church Tower.
The same picture from about 1987.

Back Lane (now known as George Street) lead off this towards the farm buildings to the South. This lane followed the lane of the canal.

The farm and surrounding buildings were demolished in 1851 when the mills and textile industry came to town.

This next picture shows High Street looking East from the Church Tower taken in 1905.

The road in front of us shows the junction of High Street with Harwood Road. The road off to the left is Eachill Road.

The empty space in the middle of the photo was previously occupied by 3 cottages. In 1899, the council at the time described them 'Dangerous, injurious to health, and unfit for human habitation'. The then owner, Henry Petre of the Dunkenhalgh, was given seven days to improve them. Judging by the gap in the buildings we can only assume that this was never done.

High Street looking West on a Sunday Morning!
High Street looking West on a Sunday Morning!
Harwood Road and High Street junction.

One John Parker bought the land and built himself a house in the space vacated. This was later turned into a clinic, and the Manchester Bank in 1909, later becoming the Nat West Bank. In 1995 this became a restaurant. For many years the clinic remained next door to the bank, occupying the upper floors. This was closed during Government cutbacks during the early eighties.

Numbers 94, 96, and 98 have been demolished, and are no longer listed in the post code listings. I assume that this is now were Norden Court is built.

The clock time says 10 past 11 on a very quiet morning during the 1920's. (honest!). A visit now at this time of day would see you trying to cross the road for 20 minutes due to the amount of traffic!

Local Blackburn tripe dresser, George Monk, owned several shops in the area, one of them being delivered to here. He had another shop further down High Street which can be seen in various other pictures.

High Street
High Street with cobbles looking East towards the canal.
The same location but from the 1990's

On the corner of Harwood Road were built a bus shelter and public convenience in 1924. Westwood Garage, the local Mercedes dealer, has long since replaced this, being known as West End Garage. At one time Walter Barnes owned part of the garage for his coach company.

The parade marching up High Street was to celebrate the Coronation of King George VI in 1937. All the children had to wear a dark blue blazer with red, white and blue piping, which were very unwelcome as times were hard.

Weavers at the time were short of work, being paid by production, but having to keep 2 looms closed. This was known as playing for beams.

In 1935 a direction sign was erected in High Street with one arm indicating Great Harwood at Harwood Road Corner.

Original Post Office on corner of Henry Street.
Original Post Office on corner of Henry Street.
Smiths Printers in June 1914.

The Post Office previously at Number 9 High Street can be dated back to 1868. The cotton mill owners placed a clock in the window in 1875 and from the time shown on this clock, if you were late to the mill you were fined!

In the doorway are the two daughters of John Taylor, the postmaster. He was the previous stationmaster at Rishton.

By 1909 the post office had moved to its current location of 13 High Street. The clock on the wall is still there to this day, and still showing the correct time.

On the 12th October 1944. the Council Surveyor was instructed to make arrangements for the illumination of the public clock in High Street.

Upper High Street
High Street looking East towards the Church around the 1920's

The Conservative Working Men’s Club was formed in 1873.

A cottage at 52 High Street, one of the Petre cottages, and soon after a new 3-storey club was erected at number 61.

The club formally opened on 30th November 1878, 12 months after the club had started being used.

The ground floor housed 2 shops and the club keeper’s residence. This is a by law still in use on High Street today, that a property cannot be converted in to ordinary residence, the shop fronts have to be preserved.

High Street
Central High Street looking East.
The same location from 1987.

The first floor was a reading room and two small card or draughts rooms, and the third floor a billiard room.

The present club on Cliff Street was laid on 12th November 1896, and opened on 16th June 1900.

Mr. Smith the printer moved in to the shop and is seen stood at the doorway. The newspaper billboard reads Russian grand Duke blown to Pieces, which indicates the assignation that started the First World War on 28th June 1914.

The premises are still used by a printing company today â€" Fred Ellison's.

On the 21st May 1936, it was announced that the electric light at the corner of High Street and Commercial Street was to be converted to a pilot light.

The houses opposite Station Road are called West View.

High Street
High Street at the end of the 1960's prior to demolition looking West.
High Street at the end of the 1960's prior to demolition looking East.

During the 2nd World War, the Rishton Urban District Council was recommendation to rent the shop at Number 39 High Street, for food control purposes at 9/- per week excluding rates.

A communication had been received from the County Surveyor on the 14th March 1946, asking for Schemes of road improvement in this district which should be given priority. The following schemes were recommended for inclusion: The re-alignment of the Railway Bridge at Norden to remove the acute corner and the junction of Harwood Road and High Street.

On the 12th June 1947, Attention was drawn to flooding at certain properties at High Street, Cliff Street and Spring Street on the occasion of a recent abnormal storm, and the officials of the Council were instructed to investigate the cause and give a full report to a subsequent meeting.

The Council Surveyor was instructed to have three lamps illuminated all night at certain points on Blackburn Road and High street to act as pilot lights on the 13th November 1947.

Application was received for a Food Catering Licence for 81, High Street on the 11th October 1951. The Council Resolved  That a licence be granted, subject to the premises being made suitable for this purpose.

An application was received for a licence to keep a Pet Store at 43, High Street on the 18th June 1953. It was resolved that a licence be granted.

On Saturday 14 March 1998, A young woman was plucked to safety by her husband after a blaze started in a takeaway and restaurant. Ruhala Tarek was asleep in an upstairs flat and was pulled to safety by her husband Shokar as smoke poured from the building at number 3 High Street.

The fire brigade was still investigating the cause of the blaze the day after, at the Rishton Curry and Pizza Takeaway and Balti House Restaurant and Takeaway.

High Street
High Street looking East during the 1970's.
The same location, High Street February 2001.

The alarm was raised shortly after 1.30pm by shopkeeper Keith Byrom, who spotted smoke coming from an air vent above the front door of the premises which were closed. Mr Byrom, of Choose 'n' Use DIY, said: "By the time I came off the phone from ringing the fire brigade the smoke was billowing out of the roof slates."

Nearby shop owner Graeme Woodhouse, 29, said Mrs Tarek's husband returned from the mosque and said his wife was inside. They both ran around the back of the restaurant and up the steps to the first floor flat. Mr Woodhouse, of nearby Use-It Software, said: "There was intense smoke. It was so black he disappeared and I couldn't see him. He came out with his wife and I took her into the shop until the ambulance came. I think she had been asleep. She was coughing a lot and pretty shaken up."

The young woman was treated by paramedics but did not go to hospital.

High Street
High Street looking East to the Canal with the pedestrian crossing on the corner of Commercial Street.
Lunchtime on High Street in 1910.

Station officer Jim Owen, from Accrington fire station, said: "Mrs Tarek was very lucky. With the quantity of smoke that was there, if her husband had not returned when he did, and if the fire had been burning any longer while she was asleep, we could easily have been attending a fire where someone died."

There was severe fire damage to the newly-opened pizza takeaway, and severe smoke damage to the rest of the ground floor, as well as damage to the first floor. Traffic faced delays as emergency services dealt with the incident.

High Street Through The Years

The following is (hopefully) a view of the buildings found on High Street throughout the years.


House Number



House Number

  Station Road     Church Street
    Bridgefield Dentist    
    Nobles Sweet Shop    
    Bradshaws Ladys Outfitters    
  Eachill Road     Harwood Road
    Confectioners Co-op Butchers  
    Chip Shop    
  Mary Street      
    Hardackers Mixed Grocers    
    Holding Decorations Gibsons Ironmongers  
    Confectioners Sandy Mellets Greengrocers  
    Greengrocers Bentleys Milliners  
    Hairdressers Clinic  
    Smiths Printers Manchester Bank  
    Confectioners Whalleys Sweet Shop  
    Chemist Ralph Hamers Plumbers  
    Walmsley Arms Dorans Mixed Business  
  Walmsley Street     Cliffe Street
      Proctors Provisions  
      Nelly Shaws Fish & Chips  
      Boardmans Milliners  
      Althams Grocers & Travel  
      Ormerods Furniture Shop  
      Gallaghers Tripe Shop  
      Green Grocers  
      Charlie Cartwright Watch Repairs  
      Yorkshire Penny Bank  
      Webs Bike Shop  
      Smiths gents Outfitters  
      Frances Wool Shop  
      Counsells Photographer  
      Gas Office  
      Philips Bedding  
  George Street     Commercial Street
1920 37   Grimshaws Sweetshop 42
      Midland / HSBC Bank  
2010-     Empty  
1920 35   Davidsons Shoes 40
1920 33   Simpsons Greengrocers 38
1920 31   Batesons Ladies Outfitters 34 & 36
1920 29   Ridehalghs Tripe 32
1920 27   Davis' Confectioners 30
1920 25   Butchers 28
1920 23   Dobsons Greengrocers 26
1920 21   Cyril Cockshuts Gents Outfitters 24
1920 19   Cruise & Travel Agents 22
1920 17   Fruit and Veg 20
1920 15   Kenyons Plumbers 16 + 18
1920 13   Towlers Confectioners 14
  Henry Street     Spring Street
1920 9   Greenhalghs Loose Potato Pies 10
1920 7   Argent Meat Co. Ltd. 8
1920 5   Eccles Newsagents 6
1920 3   Fieldings Ironmongers 4
1920 1   Canal Agents House 2

Five Shops Damaged after Arsonist Strikes

On Monday 3rd April 2006, Aronists caused damage to five Rishton shops after starting a fire in a basement.

Fire crews worked for more than two hours to extinguish flames and clear smoke from the shops and living accommodation in High Street.

The alarm was raised by a member of the public after they saw smoke coming from Rishton Second Hand Shop at 8.15pm.

When fire crews arrived they found that the shop had been broken into and material had been deliberately set alight.

A fire spokesman said: "The fire caused severe damage to the basement of the shop and some heat damage to adjacent properties particularly the DIY shop and hairdressers. However, the smoke from the blaze affected up to five neighbouring properties, which included accommodation. We had to send in six fire-fighters to ventilate the properties so residents could return. This fire was started deliberately and a joint investigation was launched with the police."


On the 6th July 2010, a car involved in a police chase, which had been stolen, ended its journey on Rishton High Street.

Moments earlier the Volkswagen Golf had careered into a Saab travelling the opposite way, which was being driven by a nursery boss and his wife.

The vehicle continued to tear through Rishton, but lost control again at the pelican crossing, narrowly missing stunned pedestrians in High Street at 2pm.

Witnesses said the driver and his female passenger got out of the crumpled wreckage, before running off in different directions.

The smashed up car on the pelican crossing in the middle of Rishton.
(Picture from Lancs Telegraph)

The owner of a furniture store carried out a citizen’s arrest on a 24-year-old woman from Blackpool, while a 34-year-old man from Accrington was arrested after climbing down from the roof of the Fitness 4 U gym in Henry Street.

They were last night being quizzed by police. Officers said the car was believed to have been stolen from Carnforth on July 1. It was first spotted on Dunkenhalgh Way near junction seven of the M65 for Accrington, Rishton and Clayton-le-Moors, police said. The car initially stopped for officers, before heading off at speed, sparking the pursuit. It headed up towards Rishton from the motorway junction, but soon lost control. 

The vehicle crashed into Angus MacLean’s Saab in High Street. Mr MacLean, who owns Toppers Day Nursery in Henry Street, was on his way to Accrington for a coffee with his wife Annalene, 63. He said: "We had just turned out of Henry Street when I saw the car come over the bridge. All four wheels were airborne and I knew that something was going to go wrong. I tried to get out of the way but it hit me and then sped off.  It was so frightening. The car was coming so fast. We could have easily have died in the crash. We are very lucky to be alive."

The couple were checked over at hospital, but found to be okay. The Golf then crashed further up High Street.

Corinne Hartley, owner of E. Haworths furniture, High Street, said: "We heard a loud bang and then there was a flash of silver and a car had crashed right outside the shop. Then a policeman was shouting at me to stop a woman so I started running after her. But I couldn’t keep up as I was wearing my sandals and I shouted at this guy to grab her. He managed to stop her. I brought her back to my shop. She was in shock so I made her sit down and got her a glass of water."

The woman was taken to hospital where she was found to have minor injuries. Police said she was then arrested. Across the road in Henry Street a suspect had climbed the roof, police said.

Witness David Farrar, 44, said: "Police were shouting at him to come down and he finally climbed down the lamppost." On the crash itself, he said: "We have never seen anything like this before. Thankfully it was quiet otherwise someone could have been killed. If it had been a little later there would have been all the kids from the school."

High Street was closed in both directions for five hours afterwards. Passers-by locals lined the street to watch as police carried out an investigation of the scene.

Sergeant Peter Sculpher, from the road policing unit, said: "Fortunately nobody was seriously injured with a number of people receiving treatment for minor injuries at the scene. There has also been some damage to two other cars. The road had to be closed for some considerable time as Accident Investigators needed to carry out their work and a beacon for a Zebra crossing had to be made safe by United Utilities."

Photo Gallery

High Street
High Street in 1906.
High Street in the 1940's with the pedestrian crossing outside the Post Office.
High Street
High Street looking South from the Church.
High Street celebrations.
High Street
High Street North before demolition in 1982.
The back alley to the coop which is now part of the car park with the toilet block on the corner, taken in 1971.
High Street
High Street being demolished in the 1980's
High Street Coop
Norden Court


Rishton Street Names by E. Furber. Published October 1995.

Lancashire Evening Telegraph, Saturday 14 March 1998, Tuesday 6th July 2010.