IF this image is anything to go by, the pace of life, a hundred and more years ago, seems to have been relaxed.

An open top, Blackburn Corporation tramcar has just arrived at Billinge terminus and its driver, conductor and four passengers pose for the photographer, back in 1903.

On the pavement, one bowler hatted gent leans nonchalantly on a post and three others pass the time of day.

The Billinge area of Blackburn, as Beardwood, grew after Preston New Road was built in the 1820s at a cost of more than £20,000 which was originally a toll road.

The tram service, further aided its development, as manufacturing families, together with professionals were also drawn to this semi rural location of town and built a variety of grand houses.

Billinge House, had been owned by local gentry, who lived with servants, from Elizabethan times and it was in 1876 when millionaire brewer Daniel Thwaites moved there, building round the existing structure to create a huge mansion with an Elizabethan facade, complete with battlements.

It had 12 bedrooms, a coachman's quarters, several rooms for entertaining, a library and a school room.

* You can read more about the history of Billinge and Beardwood on the Cotton Town website, in an article by Community History Volunteer, Michael Sumner.