Google ‘time machine’ explores Burnley streets of old

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Technology fans can “travel back in time” through the streets of Burnley with the help of Google.

The internet giant has created a “time machine” on the popular Street View application which shows users how the town has changed on their computer screen.

The virtual walk down memory lane can only take users back to 2007 when Google began mapping streets across the world with its car cameras.

But Burnley residents can see how their hometown has altered at the click of a button on Street View by moving a scroll bar to change the year in what Google chiefs have hailed a “digital time capsule of the world.”

The new feature has captured huge changes across Burnley as old buildings were demolished and new ones have sprung up.

Users can see the changes in the iconic Weavers’ Triangle between 2008 and 2012 as development pressed on as well as progress on the £85m. Burnley College building.

In 2008, Street View shows Sir John Thursby and Padiham Primary School as just building sites but images four years later show the schools have opened.

The application shows the contrast in huge areas around Burnley Wood, Accrington Road and Colne Road which had been awash with old terraced houses before they were bulldozed.

Flicking between years shows the old Moorhouses Brewery change into the firm’s new multi-million pound brew house.

Even clicking on Kitchen’s Garage in Trafalgar Street gives a snapshot of 90p petrol prices in 2008.

Local historian Coun. Roger Frost said: “Places like Burnley change so rapidly.

“I am always doing research on the changes to places and it would be really interesting to have the ability to look back even in a short span of years to see these changes.

“The town has changed so much in just seven years so it is fascinating to have something like this.

“So much can happen in a decade or two and this could be the beginning of something big which could be compared to the accumulation of information in the Census which started in 1801.

“It is a really useful tool to have in your own home.”