When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
How they used to live in Roaring Twenties...
TODAY, we put the spotlight on life in Burnley in the twenties and thirties.
The textile trade still had a major bearing on families in the town — from the Depression, which shut mills, to the Wakes weeks holiday, when they closed for a fortnight.
As Burnley had expanded as a cotton weaving town, rows of back to back housing had been built to accommodate the large influx of workers.
During the 1920s and 30s, clearance of these slums became a major priority for the corporation.
Large areas of the worst of the 19th century back-to-back hovels were demolished and families moved out to the new council-built estates, such as Stoops, Rosehill, Barden and Casterton Avenue.
In a town with a high proportion of home owners, many others were tempted by the privately developed semis which sprang up on the outskirts.
The steady growth of motorised transport after WWI also highlighted a major deficiency in the road system of Burnley, which had been designed for horse and cart.
This there began a major reconstruction programme, coinciding with the purchase in 1924 of the corporation’s first bus, built by Leyland Motor Co.
It wasn’t, however, until 1932 that bus services were finally established and 1935 before trams were abandoned altogether.
Passengers endured a bumpy ride, though, as the majority of streets remained cobbled.
In the textile trade, life was grim. The general strike of 1926 hit everyone hard; rising unemployment and short time working, followed, while the thirties were a period of poverty for many families and a number of mills closed down.
Pent up anger boiled over in 1932 when the employers started to introduce more automatic looms and required weavers to operate six looms, not four, for a reward many thought inadequate, Trouble flared at Hapton and spread through Padiham and Burnley and then to the whole of the Lancashire weaving area.
Agreements were reached but not before ugly scenes between strikers and police drafted in from Manchester and Preston.
In 1929 cinemagoers were treated to another wonder of the age, talking pictures, and these were first shown at the Savoy, which had a cafe above.
By this time the annual visit of the fair to Burnley, coinciding with the local annual holidays, had developed into a ritual, while the once affordable day trip to the seaside had developed into a holiday lasting a week.
Most families managed a holiday, by keeping themselves, staying at a boarding house, yet buying their own food which the landlady cooked for them, carefully remembering to add a standing charge to their bill ‘ for the cruet’.
In 1934 Albert Hodson, a tackler, was married and chose ‘Burnley fair’ for his wedding day, so the couple could have a honeymoon.
They caught the train to Blackpool with hundreds of others and enjoyed five days by the sea, with the impression that the whole of Burnley was there, as well.
This era witnessed many important improvements in the town — Oswald Street gasworks opened in 1927, Thompson Park was built and opened in 1930 from a bequest from textile manufacturer J W Thompson, the new library, which cost £33,000, opened in 1933, and two years later Marks and Spencer opened a store on the site of the old Royal Oak Hotel.
Comments are closed on this article.