Saturday, 12 May 2018

Weʼre raising £50,000 to help fund Darwen Tower repairs

As we're sure you've recently heard, Darwen Tower has been closed because it's upper level has been declared unsafe. Friends of Darwen Tower has had an independent survey conducted on the Tower and it seems there is a lot more work to be done to ensure that our Darwen Tower is safe and secure for future generations to enjoy.
Friends of Darwen Tower estimate that the costs could get as high as £100,000 and are working with the borough council to get actual costs together ASAP.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Darwen Tower in Danger

DARWEN Tower needs urgent repair work, local historian Harold Heys has revealed.
He and a small group of Tower enthusiasts have been monitoring the state of the Grade II-Listed Tower in the past few weeks and they commissioned a professional survey to check it thoroughly.  
A second survey by engineering professionals was conducted a few days ago.
Major work will be necessary on the access to the top viewing platform.
The concrete landing and iron supports below the metal steps are in very poor condition and parts of it are in danger of breaking off and falling down the spiral stone steps.
Doors and windows are missing, some of the sandstone is cracked and little of the original cement pointing remains. It all needs repointing and the foundations need looking at.
Rainwater has been swilling down the inside stairs and there are cracks between the heavy steps around the base. Blackburn with Darwen Council have been kept fully in the picture and there has been some work recently on clearing the drains.
The tower was built in 1897-98 to mark the Freeing of the Moors and Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee.
There have been two major renovations – in 1947 and some 25 years later after an appeal led by Cllr. Dr Bill Lees. Renovation work now is expected to take two years and is likely to cost a lot of money.
The WEC Group spent about £30,000 replacing the dome after it blew off a few years ago. The track to the Tower from Bold Venture is also in a poor state.
• The photos, taken by the investigation team, show (1) the ornate lintel above the entrance to the first viewing platform cracked and much of the pointing missing and (2) some of the gaps between the heavy steps around the base. Who knows what lies in the darkness below?

Monday, 27 November 2017

A great gift for Christmas

CHRISTMAS presents are always a nightmare – no, not receiving them, of course, but buying them – especially for Mum or Gran or Auntie Ethel out in Australia. Worry no further; Darwen Library have just the answer at their coffee morning on Saturday (Dec 2) from 10am.

Their solution? A pair of limited edition tea towels featuring Darwen Tower in scarlet and with a rectangular frame. They are being sold in elegant white bags with a Tower sticker on the front and come complete with red tissue paper for wrapping and a FREE Tower fridge magnet in the same design. The cost? Just a tenner.

Kath Farnworth, chairman of the Friends of Darwen Library, says: "We usually have some sort of attraction at our pre-Christmas coffee morning. Usually it's a local history book but this time we have gone for memorabilia. There's so little of it about and the tea-towels will make excellent presents."

They will be particularly cherished by Darwen folk who now live abroad. The bags are very light and postage won't be expensive. There will be about 70 bags for sale – until 12 noon – and if a few are left they will be available next week at the Library on Monday mornings (10 to 12) and at Darwen Heritage Centre at Holker House on Wednesdays from 10-12.30 and on Fridays from 10 to 3.30.

Says Kath: "Once they're gone - they're gone! They really are a one-off."