Nostalgia: Burnley marks engagement of Prince Charles and Lady Di


A royal engagement adorned the front page of the Burnley Express on Friday, February 27th, 1981.

The people of Burnley joined in congratulating Prince Charles on his engagement to Lady Diana Spencer.



In recent years, the Prince has become a firm favourite of Burnley folk, visiting the town several times and establishing his Prince’s Trust charity here.

But evidently as far back as 1981, Prince Charles was a popular figure.

An editorial said: “The town showed its warmth and love of royalty when the Prince of Wales was here in November, 1979, to visit Burnley General Hospital and tour Burnley Engineering Products.

“Streets were lined with small children, all with Union Jack sized smiles, and mums, dads, grandmas and grandads all squeezing together to catch a glimpse of our Prince.

“The response was just as enthusiastic this week as Burnley Express reporters went out to see what the feeling of the town was about the royal engagement. The answer was a resounding: ‘Burnley is delighted.’”

The paper also carried a picture montage of the Prince’s visit from 1979.

One Burnley lady had commented on how she believed the Queen would soon abdicate and Charles would make “a fine King”.

An unbelievable 33 years later and the Queen is still reigning over us, with no plans to abdicate. Indeed the third in line to the throne has just been born – His Royal Highness Prince George of Cambridge, born last July.

In other news, unemployment was reported to be up again in Burnley. February figures showed almost 4,200 out of work.

Large redundancies were said to be pending at Lucas Electrical, Hapton Valley and possibly Kirkstall Gears.

Including Padiham, the jobless figure was said to be 4,844 or 9.6% of the population – a new, unwanted post-war record.

Finally, Mayor of Burnley Coun. John Hudson was set to open an access way to the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. Only a few years before, the canal towpath through Burnley was out of bounds to walkers. But the efforts of Burnley and District Civic Trust and Canal 200 opened the way.

At Sandyholme Aqueduct, at the back of Thompson Park, a ramped access had been built – a project which won Canal 200 an award from oil company Shell.