Sunday, 13 October 2013

Darwen Churches

There's no record of any chapel having been found earlier than 1577 when a writer describes 'Darwent Chappell' and later a drawing of 1598 illustrates 'Darcom Chap.' near the River Darwen.
Then a 1616 survey mentions  'Darwen Chappell' which also appears in a later in 1650.  The area is 'Chapels' as we know it today.  During that time there was a constant dispute between the Nonconformists of our town and the Vicar of Blackburn (sounds familiar doesn't it!).
In 1722 it was pulled down and the present Church of St. James was built there, standing on the site of the old Elizabethan chapel.  The rebuilding work was made possible by the congregation pulling together and donations were made over several years.
Pole Lane Chapel, opened in May 1793 was later demolished and a Methodist Society was formed in Over Darwen in that century following a visit from John Wesley to Darwen.  There were four Primitive Methodist Chapels used as temporary meeting places during 1825 and 1832.
Holy Trinity Church, built between 1827 and 1829 overlooks the town centre and in 1832 the Baptist Chapel in Bolton Road opened its doors.   Later, in 1874, St. Cuthbert's was founded.
Roman Catholics built a mission room on Radford Street in 1856 for both worshippers and learning which was succeeded by St. Joseph's opening its doors on Bolton Road in 1885.
As churches come and go a curious development can be seen at  the Railway Road Wesleyan Methodist church, founded in 1864 and closed in 1968 re-opening as a mini-supermarket.  Its present owners, a national pubs chain, is busy peeling back the building to its infancy.  Thankfully they're restoring the long-lost and beautiful stained glass windows in an attempt to remind drinkers of the future of its past.
Finally, history has highlighted the tenacity and sheer determination of Darreners - of all shapes, sizes and beliefs - to establish various places of worship in every corner of the town.
Carol Tapp

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Flood Watch survey Part 2

Blackburn with Darwen’s Flood Watch project is asking Darwen residents to complete a flooding survey to be in with the chance of winning a £10 Darwen Market voucher. 
The Flood Watch team are out and about in flood risk areas of Darwen this month where they will be speaking to residents about their experiences with flooding and steps they have taken to prepare.
Residents are being asked to complete a short survey which will establish how prepared residents and communities are for floods with a view to improve services and emergency response. 
Those who complete and return the survey will automatically be entered into a prize draw to win a Darwen Market voucher.
Flood risk areas of Blackburn will be surveyed in early 2014. 
The Flood Watch scheme was born after Blackburn with Darwen Council and Groundwork Pennine Lancashire bid for a share of a £5m pot funded by DEFRA to help communities combat the effects of flooding.
As part of the two year project, residents are being offered help in developing a flood plan so they can minimise damage and make sure they know what to do and who to contact in the event of an emergency. It looks at essential issues such as vulnerable neighbours, keeping essential medicines dry and the safety of pets.
It will also help them form support groups who will work within their community to help reduce the impact of possible future floods. 
The borough is most at risk of flooding when there is excess rainfall causing the rivers and drainage systems to be overwhelmed.  
Flooding can happen at any time of year, very quickly and with little or no warning.
Councillor Maureen Bateson, Executive Member for Regeneration said: “This survey is one of the first steps in the Flood Watch project that aims to establish how prepared our residents are for floods.
“Hopefully the findings from the survey will give the Flood Watch team an idea of the amount of residents in the borough who they can educate about ways they can be more resilient to flooding”.
The survey can be found on the Flood Watch page of the Council website: