Early days of Todmorden Road Council Schools

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SEVEN photos rather than the usual single offering! A number of you would be pleased by that, though I realise many readers of this column prefer to have a single view, perhaps enlarged, to provide the impetus for my weekly article. I hope, however, those of you who share the above persuasion will forgive the publication of today's choice.

In my defence, I would argue that, although small, a number of panels on today's photo depict buildings and views not normally published by the makers of postcards. There are not all that many postcard views of Belvedere Road, but we have one – top right. The same can be said of St Catherine's Church in Todmorden Road (middle row, left) and what was originally Todmorden Road Council Schools (bottom right).

Most of the scenes shown on this compilation card would, more than probably, have enjoyed separate publication. It is not known how many of the individual cards were made (or indeed if any were made) but the producers of the card, H.G. Glen & Co., of Leeds, doubtless made more of the compilation card in the belief it would have wider appeal.

Some of you will be interested in the date of the publication of the card. As the card in my possession is both unused and undated, providing a precise date is not going to be easy. I feel the best clue we have appears in the panel, bottom right. Todmorden Road Council Schools, which look to be relatively new in the picture, were so called as they provided both senior and junior departments when first constructed. The building was opened in May, 1908, at the not inconsequential cost, for the time, of 16,900 and it provided accommodation for 840 children. The school, like Heasandford which was built in 1903, also had facilities for the teaching of cookery and laundry which not all Burnley schools could boast.

All the properties you can see in Belvedere Road (top right) were built by 1912 but, at that time, the road itself finished at Thurston Street, above which there was only farm land. This land was attached to Ridge Bottom Farm which was situated opposite the top row in Belvedere Road.

I learned something when thinking about this article because, in checking out street names, I discovered the tiny street which connected the rear of the top row in Leyland Road (which now runs parallel to Belvedere Road) to Park Shed was known as Doris Street. I wonder if those who named the street had a particular Doris in mind?

The chimney at Park Shed can be seen in this photo. Recently it has been demolished and the site upon which its mill stood has been used for a housing project. Another thing which has gone, but this time some years ago, is the structure you might be able to see on the extreme right of the Belvedere Road picture. On the map of 1912 it is merely names as "Hall", but I suspect it was the church hall attached to St Catherine's Church, a view of which appears on the left middle of the card. St Catherine's dates from 1897.

The church above St Catherine's is St Mary's in Yorkshire Street, although we see it from an odd angle. St Mary's is the largest Catholic church in Burnley, and the oldest. It dates from 1849 and it replaced the even older Catholic chapel which stood in Burnley Wood.

I just about remember this building which had been moved from its original site, just below Handbridge in Todmorden Road, to one adjacent to St Mary's where it had been used as assembly rooms. It was in a dangerous condition and was not in use when I knew the building, and it must not be far short of 50 years since it was demolished.

The remaining pictures are all associated with the eastern part of Burnley. They depict, bottom left, the upper Lanehead area; the Briercliffe Road/Thursby Road junction (middle) and Duke Bar, the small image centre right.

The latter needs no explanation from me, but readers might not realise that this area has not always been called Duke Bar. That name derives from two buildings that were situated here, the Duke of York pub and a toll bar of the Blackburn and Addingham Turnpike Trust.

There is still a Bar Street close to the buildings which until recently was a pub, but the name by which the earlier buildings on this spot were known was Hebrew Hall Toll Bar. Hebrew Road, which still survives, starts just opposite the pub, taking its name from Hebrew Hall itself. I believe this building stood not far from where Abel Street joins Hebrew Road, but, as yet, I have not been able to discover why Hebrew Hall, and consequently, Hebrew Road was so called – a mystery I must resolve when I have the time.

The photo of the Briercliffe Road and Thusby Road junction shows the "gawmless" lamp with the tower and spire of the old (1887) New Jerusalem (Swedenborgian) Church in Briercliffe Road. The properties in the background, right, are on the old Burnley Lane, the road which gave its name to the area. Both Burnley Lane, the older name for the lower Colne Road part of Burnley, and Lane Head come from the old highway which is now known, at least in Burnley, as Briercliffe Road and Marsden Road. You will notice that, on the picture, bottom left, there is no roundabout at Lane Head and that there are no houses on the right. Both of these came later, but that is another story.