NOT many of Blackburn's shopping public were taking much notice when this little group walked through the open market i9n 1963.

Clutching their shopping baskets and wearing boots and headscarves to protect them from the winter wind, the good folk of the town were more intent on bagging a bargain at the fruit and veg stalls than spotting a politician or two.

Easily recognisable in the centre, with his traditional Gannex raincoat and pipe,is Harold Wilson although, to be fair, when this image was captured by our cameraman, he was only the Shadow Foreign Secretary but on the brink of becoming leader of the Labour Party, following the sudden death of Hugh Gaitskell.

He became Prime Minister after narrowly winning the 1964 general election and went on the win a much increased majority in a snap election in 1966.

Of course, readers will all recognise Barbara Castle, who served as MP for Blackburn from 1945 to 1979, that then made her the longest-serving female MP in the history of the House of Commons.

She served alongside Wilson in the Cabinet in a number of roles.

The pair were on their way to a conference here, with local Labour Party chairman Harry Eastwood.