THE Fuse Factory, as it was known among its workers, played an important part in the Second World War.

Blackburn’s Royal Ordnance Factory produced fuses for the shells and bombs that would later fall on the Western desert and German cities, including Munich and Berlin.

In its production halls clockwork mechanisms were machined and assembled, mainly by women.

It is said there were three men, to every 200 women, as most of them were fighting in the conflict.

The site at Blackamoor was a prime target for enemy planes, so it was covered in special camouflage paint, designed to reflect the landscape and make the buildings invisible to pilots in the sky.

There was a pillbox, where machine gunners would have been scrambled if a lucky Luftwaffe crew managed to pinpoint it – as well as a lookout post, where, one day employee Albert Whiston spotted a German Dornier aircraft on its bomb run.

The enemy did know about ROF Blackburn, however, and several unsuccessful raids were made, though production continued round the clock.

During the war, the factory employed a 5,000-strong workforce on two 12-hour shifts, seven days a week, while a big loudspeaker would belt out wartime favourites across the shopfloor.

The workers knew how to have fun, too, and Christmas parties were a highlight.

Our picture (number one) shows party tables at the factory; probably at a later date, as there are a lot of couples enjoying the entertainment.

Picture 2: Being initiated at Duttons brewery seems to have been quite a messy business as this 1966 photograph reveals. It shows a young Norman Robinson in the traditional ceremony as his colleagues, who no doubt, went through it all themselves, many years earlier, look on.

Norman was the brewery’s last apprentice cooper.

Picture 3: There’s been quite a lot on our pages about the Ragged School in Blackburn, and here is another dating from the mid fifties, which shows a group from its sea scouts giving their craft a lick of paint, ready for sailing.

Picture 4: This shows fleet of buses in the Pendle village of Barley, we think, sometime in the 1940s.

The fleet was founded by Tom Barrett, who is on the left, while his drivers are named as Raymond Stapleton, Harold Catlow, Len Berry and Harold Heap.

Picture 5: I’m sure there are readers who could tell us more about this image – taken from our archive library, the caption simply says ‘the construction of Accrington’s new culvert in 1954’

Picture 6: Blackburn’s last tram left the Boulevard for the Intack depot shortly after 11.30pm on September 3, 1949. Specially illuminated for the occasion, it was driven by transport committee chairman Coun Robert Weir, with the mayor and mayoress and council members and officials as passengers.

Along the route people placed pennies on the tram lines, to be crushed as souvenirs.

Once at the depot, Arthur Potts took over the controls, for the honour of driving it into the shed – just as he had with the town’s last steam tram nearly 50 years before.