A BOOK which traces life in Blackburn hundreds of years ago and tells the story of the town’s windmill and the founding of the grammar school, has been re-published.

Bygone Blackburn was first published in 1950, following meticulous research from local historian George C Miller.

In it he traces the town’s history through the 1500s to the 1800s, focusing not just on the leading families, such as the Hornbys and the Feildens, but giving an insight into the lives of ordinary townsfolk.

It tours the various areas of town, detailing the people who worked and lived in them, bringing Audley, Salford, Church Street, Darwen Street, King Street and Northgate to life, as well as the West End.

There is an insight into the running of the grammar school, quoting from the Record book of the foundation from 1597 to 1763, telling the story of the master who allegedly died of the plague in 1623 when the disease had hit Blackburn.

George also tells of the election riots of 1835 when W.H. Hornby, father of the the town’s MP, was flung over the old Salford Bridge.

He also details the numerous floods at Salford and how in 1729, 12 people drowned in the River Blakewater.

Also recorded for posterity are stories of the windmill at Eanam, the market cross and the stocks that were at the very hub of the town and the poverty and the riots which engulfed the people in the 19th century.

Read too about the church that stood on the grounds of the present cathedral and which dates back to at least the 12th century.

The man behind the republished book, Chris Vaughan, who lives in Blackburn, said: “When I first discovered the book I was intrigued by it and couldn’t put it down.

“It is truly amazing to discover how Blackburn used to be and how it has changed over the years.”

He added: “Miller is credited for his fastidious research and for his dedication to preserving the history of this town for current and future generations.

“With superb illustrations by Frank Watson and a penchant for making history accessible to all, Miller brings Blackburn's heritage to life.”

* Bygone Blackburn is available from Heritage Publications priced at £14.99. Telephone 01254 245709 or visit the website below.