REV RON GREENALL: Pictures capture a real revolution

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In my recent post came my first picture from a Burnley reader following on some of my comments about the Industrial Revolution in Lancashire .

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How Preston changed with the first mill opened in Moor Lane in 1777.

And by 1820, the countryside around Preston, Burnley, Chorley, Accrington, Wigan, Blackburn, Lancaster and many other towns ,and the surrounding villages, had changed dramatically as my first picture reminds us.

Do you realise that at one time more than 80 per cent of the working population around here were involved in the textile industry, including making textile machinery?

The Pit Brow lasses of Coppull or Wigan feature in my second picture, while my third reminds us just what it was like inside a mill.

By 1825, cotton was Britain’s biggest import so no wonder the cotton famine of 1861/65 hit our readership area so badly.

This was caused by the blockade of Confederate Southern Ports in the USA during the American Civil War.

During this time of great hardship and depression, private local benefactors and councils undertook some of the public works and parks we enjoy so much today to try to alleviate the unemployment and poverty of the time

Now why Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament for my fourth offering?

Because it was just 160 years ago this week that the bells of this clock were cast at the Whitechapel bell foundry.

If I do not bring this fact to your attention, you will accuse me of dropping a clanger!

Notice the flag in my picture also, for it was in this week in 1606 that the Union Jack was first adopted as our National Flag.

No, I have not gone bananas, but my fifth picture is of a hank of them.

That is because it was during this week back in April 1633 that Thomas Johnson first put a bunch of bananas in his shop window in Snow Hill, London.

This was the first time they had been displayed in England.

But they were not regularly imported into England until the mid-19th century.

Recently, archaeologists have found a banana skin which they think dates back to Tudor times – found preserved in the mud on the Thames.

Back to where I began and the Industrial Revolution.

My sixth picture, from a very old newspaper cutting, is of a local industrial scene again.

Just look at the details of the smoke and chimneys as well as the engine and signal setter on it.

Lastly , do you realise that April 12 is kept as Cosmonauts’ day?

It was on this day in 1961 that Yuri Gagarin orbited the earth for the first time in the spacecraft Vostok.

I don’t have a picture that, but I do have one of Emmanuel Youth Club in Preston and their Skyliner production of 1953.

The curate then was The Rev Brian Oddy, and his wife trained the dancers.