AS more and more televisions were turned on in homes across not only East Lancashire, but the country, the firm which had made millions of radio valves, switched its manufacturing process.

By the 1950s, a little over a decade after the electronics company Mullard became the first business to occupy land on the new Whitebirk Industrial Estate, in Blackburn, it was manufacturing cathode tubs for the new thing in home entertainment - TV.

Before the end of the decade, the company had also opened another factory in Simonstone, where this photograph was taken in 1959.

It shows skilled assembly workers, sat at their work stations, in crisp white overalls, producing electron guns, using, according to Mullard, 'advanced quantity production techniques'.

Afterwards they were examined under microscope to ensure each component had been assembled in its correct position.

Mullard grew to become one of the major employers in East Lancashire - at its height the Blackburn factory had 6,000 workers and its site, as technology improved, grew to more than 46 acres.

In Burnley, new homes were planned by the local authority to provide the housing necessary for the workers taken on at the Simonstone plant and Mullard built a club, to provide a social and sports centre for its hundreds of staff.

The huge Simonstone site was closed in 2004.