PARKINSONS’ pills, manufactured in Burnley, were once known throughout the land – and even overseas.

The company claimed that it sold more pills than any other business in the world, with millions being produced annually.

It was also the first anywhere to coat tablets with sugar to make them more palatable.

Parkinsons’ range of products included ‘female pills’, ‘blood and stomach’ pills, soda mint tablets, and Red Indian ointment.

The firm was founded by Richard Parkinson in 1848 as a chemist and dry salter, in Brierfield, before it moved to Nelson, and then into Curzon Street, Burnley.

The wholesale druggists took over Bankfield Mill, and new laboratories opened up across the road in 1924.

Extensive garages for its fleet of lorries, seen above, were in Holmsley Street.

The story of R Parkinson and Sons is just one that can be found in a new book by historian and author Jack Nadin, which has just been published.

It showcases the changing landscape of Burnley over the last century, taking you on a journey through the town and its history.

Now and then colour pictures of particular areas are accompanied by Jack’s tales of local history.

Corner shops were once a familiar site in the town.

Pictured top left is one which used to stand on the corner of Finsley Gate and Cooper Street, and was owned by John Smith and his family.

It was strategically placed, in what was then a major residential area, en route to the footbridge over the canal, which was used by the weavers employed in the mills in Healey Wood.

Old advertisements show popular products of the time, Frys and Cadbury’s chocolate, Colman’s mustard, and Bovril.

Competition was fierce, though, as just across the road was another grocer’s shop run by the Newsham family, but both were swept away in the slum clearance that took place in the area in the 1930s.

Fish and chips were a cheap and staple diet for the working population of Burnley, around the turn of the 1900s — when records show there were no fewer than 106 fish fryers, and two or three chippies on every street.

The photograph left shows a fish supper bar, in Parliament Street, which was run by two generations of the Bennett family.

John Bennett the father founded the business around 1905, and was succeeded by his son Norman, until it ceased trading as a chippy just after 1945.

Jack also focuses on the former Basket Street area of town, which was off Yorkshire Street, but was demolished in the 1960s for the old Mecca ballroom.

There used to be an iron foundry on the site, a marine store, belonging to Henry Naughton and back-to-back dwellings. In the 1880s there was even a skating rink there, called the Alexandra.

The Mecca later became the Locarno and, in 1966, was described as being ‘the in place to be’.

In April that year, Dave Dee, Dozy Beaky, Mick and Tich headed the bill, with customers paying 5s to dance till midnight.

n Burnley Then and Now, by Jack Nadin, is published by The History Press and costs £12.99.