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Column: It’s always nice to come home
EVERY time I see Ted Robbins on the television, I’m chuffed, as he is such a Lancashire man.
I’m saying that and I don’t even know if he is a real Lancastrian! But, the main thing is, he is to me.
I’ve been fortunate to visit and even live in many places — New York, Trinidad, Copenhagen, India and Africa, but I have always longed to come home and Blackburn and its folk, to me, is home.
Sometimes I feel a little sad that the Blackburn of my youth and teenage years is slowly but irrevocably disappearing.
Thwaites Arcade, where all the posh shops were, is gone, as is the market square and, with it, our great open air market, with goods of all description on sale.
Its rooty, tooty second hand stalls, gone, and with it went the open forum for speakers on a Sunday evenings and our site for the big Easter fair.
These things gave our town life, character and a reason for people from out of town to come in and spend.
The outdoor market was a great testing ground for folk trying out a new business; you had to get there early and, if lucky, you would be allocated a stall and then you were on your way.
At the end of the day you knew if your idea/product, in my case ‘bubble tubs’ and ‘snakes on a stick’, was a goer or not.
But while Blackburn’s big cotton industry and market might have gone, its spirit and friendliness, haven’t.
Thank goodness that’s still alive and kicking.
It was just a pity that those in charge at the town hall didn’t give us an opportunity to show it for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Where were the flags, the banners and the official demonstrations of celebration?
I feel they let us down and ignored the strong feelings of love and loyalty that the people of Blackburn feel towards our Queen and country, shame on you!
To end with, just a thought about ambition.
When I worked on the market stall my boss had a favourite saying — ‘everything is within walking distance, if you have the time’.