LETTER: How towns emptied for traditional Wakes Weeks holidays

BY the time this letter is printed it will be the first Friday of July.

Nowadays that date doesn’t really mean anything but many years ago the first weekend in July meant the Burnley Fair holiday fortnight.

The towns of Burnley, Nelson and Colne would all fall silent on the Friday evening as the mills would close down for the two-week break. The stampede to “get away from everyday life” would begin as Burnley Central Station would see extra trains (some 10 carriages long) leaving the area for an overnight journey down to the south of England, arriving there in the early hours of the next morning. Saturday morning would see the platforms jammed solid with people with luggage, waiting for the extra trains to Blackpool, Morecambe, Southport and the Lake District.

All that is now a distant memory, as the traditional “Wakes Weeks” are sadly no more.

The Preston-Colne railway line is just a shadow of those golden years, as a two coach pacer to Blackpool South from Colne every hour is the order of the day. Those days will never come back unfortunately but the memories will never go away. Happy days!


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