Libraries Newsletter
Extended opening hours for Cherry Tree Library

The gradual march back towards normality continues apace, with an extension to Cherry Tree Library's opening hours from Wednesday 1st September including a return to Saturday opening hours.  The new hours will be:

Mon: 2 - 4.30 pm
Wed: 10 am - 12.30 pm & 2 - 4.30 pm
Fri: 2 - 4.30 pm
Sat: 10 am - 12.30 pm

A number of weekly activities at Cherry Tree Library will also be restored.  You can drop in for a tea or coffee at Brew Time each Monday from 2 - 3 pm, or Wednesday from 11 am - 12 pm.  Weekly Story Times will also recommence for younger members and their adults on Wednesdays from 10.30 - 11 am.  Tai Chi is available on Tuesdays from 1.30 - 2.30 pm.  Please contact Age UK to book a place at Tai Chi.  Their telephone number is (01254) 266620.

Other libraries continue to open as follows until further notice:

Blackburn Library
Mon: 10 am - 7 pm
Tue - Fri: 10 am - 5 pm
Sat: 10 am - 2 pm

Darwen Library
Mon: 10 am - 7 pm
Wed: 1 - 5 pm
Thu: 1 - 5 pm
Fri: 10 am - 5 pm
Sat: 10 am - 2 pm

Mill Hill Library
Wed & Thu: 10 am - 12 pm

Roman Road Library
Tue & Thu: 9 am - 12 pm

IT Courses

A number of basic IT courses and classes are now available to book once again at Blackburn Library.  From getting to grips with your mouse and keyboard to getting started on the Internet, or from learning how to use GMail to researching your family tree or shopping online, you can make that first step in the library.  For further information or to book, please contact Louise Barnett, Learning Support Officer (01254) 587934 or phone the general Blackburn Library number (01254) 661221.  Sessions will take place on Monday afternoons.

We are also offering one to one IT support sessions at Darwen Library.  Please contact Louise Barnett (contact details as above) or phone (01254) 706021 during library opening hours for more information.

Return of story & rhyme times

Now that older brothers and sisters are going back to school, we know that many parents and carers will be desperate for things to do to keep the younger ones entertained.  Story and rhyme times will return at Blackburn Library on Wednesdays from 8th September until 20th October inclusive, starting at 10.30 am (note the change of time).  While we are still being careful to keep COVID-19 under control, places will remain limited so advance booking is strongly encouraged to avoid disappointment on the day.  Please help us to ensure that as many as possible are able to attend each session by only booking for dates when you know that you'll be available, and cancelling as far in advance as possible if circumstances change and you're no longer able to attend.  We will do our best to squeeze people in, but unfortunately we cannot guarantee that space will be available for people who haven't pre-booked.

As already mentioned above, story times are also starting again at Cherry Tree Library, and story & rhyme times at Darwen Library will return this month too.  We apologise that exact details for Darwen aren't available at the time of going to press, but keep an eye on the libraries' Facebook or Twitter pages where these will be shared as soon as they're available.

Heritage Open Days 10th - 19th September

To coincide with this year's theme 'Edible England' Blackburn Library and Darwen Library will be creating displays in their entrance lobbies of photos, adverts, flyers and other memorabilia from the archives celebrating local shops, markets and food outlets.  For full details of events and exhibitions in other locations, please check the Heritage Open Days website: where you can search by location, date and type of event.
Coming soon to a library near you...

Whether you're looking for something completely different or the latest instalment of your favourite series, we're sure there's something for everyone in your library this month.




Bath 250
The link between Blackburn with Darwen Libraries and a conference celebrating the 250th anniversary of the New Assembly Rooms at Bath may not be immediately obvious, but David Hughes (Blackburn Library Community History Volunteer) is giving a talk by Zoom as part of the celebration.  The Conference will take place over two days on 29th and 30th September, and David is giving his talk at 10.15 am on 29th.  Details of the conference, including booking and ticket costs can be found at

Save the date:  Local history author talk
coming up next month...

It will be nice to have some physical author visits back in our buildings after so many online interactions during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Richard Holden will be visiting Blackburn Library on Tuesday 5th October at 2 pm to talk about his book "Boom and Bust in Cotton Manufacturing:  The Holden Weaving Mills of Blackburn."  Entry is by free ticket, available from the library up to 2 weeks before the event.  Please note that capacity may still be limited depending on further lifting of restrictions, so early collection of tickets to avoid disappointment is strongly advised.

Mystery history

Congratulations to those of you who correctly spotted that last month's photo (above) was an old view of Darwen Street, Blackburn.  It was, to be more precise, the junction of Darwen Street and Church Street - roughly where Debenham's was until its recent closure.

This month's photo (below) is from Darwen in 1979 (as evidenced by the tower of St Peter's in the background).  I'm reliably informed that the mill and bridge are still there, but where are they and what has the patch of grass on the right become?  As usual there are no prizes for guessing - it's just for fun!

World Suicide Prevention Day Friday 10th September

To mark World Suicide Prevention Day in 2021, Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and partners are inviting people to 'Walk a mile in someone else's shoes'.  This can be in memory of a friend or family member, or for yourself.  There will be a vigil outside Blackburn Town Hall at 10 am, before the walk starts.  A similar event will take place in Darwen that afternoon, starting with a vigil in Darwen Town Hall Square at 12.30 pm.  Registration for both events is via  Simply search for 'Walk a mile in someone else's shoes'.
Care Network

Our partners at the Care Network have advised us that the Care Network Hub is now open for business again.  This is located on Town Hall Street, just across the road from Blackburn Central Library.  Some social distancing measures and restrictions remain in place (eg limits on the numbers in the building) but customers can now drop in, and if their issue can't be resolved straightaway then they can make an appointment to return at a later date.

Vulnerable Blackburn with Darwen residents who need advice or support with physical or mental health needs, trusted trader services or information about activities and events in the wider community should get in touch with the Care Network as their first port of call.  You can give the hub a ring on (01254) 507255 or visit their website
Other services supporting physical and mental health in the community...
  • Andy's Man Club: A peer to peer support group for men.  Come and have a brew and a chat.  Email or check their website for more details.
  • Flourishing Minds from Lancashire Mind is available to anyone living in Blackburn or Darwen and registered with a GP here.  It's a community based, tiered service that empowers people to learn self care and coping skills, enabling them to self manage their mental and emotional health alongside other health conditions.  For general enquiries about the service, please contact
  • Long COVID Peer Support Group will meet on Wednesday 22nd September at Blackburn Central Library from 1 - 2.30 pm.  If you've had COVID-19 and are still struggling with symptoms after more than 12 weeks come along to meet those with similar experiences, and get tips to cope with Long COVID and manage symptoms.  Phone (01254) 588111 for more information.
  • If you're a veteran who's served in the forces (British Army, Royal Navy, RAF etc) then you may be interested in attending the Rovers Veterans 'Breakfast Hub'.  It's at the Ewood Park Football Stadium, Darwen End Stand each Tuesday morning from 10.30 am - 12 pm.  There are quizzes, raffles, games, tea/coffee, support, advice and music.  It costs just £3 per week, but the first session you attend is free of charge.  To get involved please contact or phone 07787 585109.
Learning opportunities from partner services available...
  • Learning English Together website:  There are lots of free ESOL classes across the borough starting this month.  The site includes information from a partnership of learning providers and makes it easier for people to find the right English class to help them improve their language skills and get more involved in local life. has information about classes at various levels, and in different places in the borough, delivered by a range of different providers of English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) in Blackburn with Darwen.  The website is managed by the team behind the borough's Our Community, Our Future social integration programme, and has been funded through the Ministry for Housing, Communities & Local Government.  People can use it to search for classes by level, by provider, and by the venue.  They can also register for an assessment to find out which level of class they need to join.  For more information about this co-ordinated approach, please email or phone (01254) 304597.
  • Blackburn with Darwen Adult Learning brochure for Autumn 2021 is out now, with details of all sorts of courses that you can enrol on!  You can view it on their website or phone either Audley and Queen's Park Neighbourhood Learning Centre (01254) 507720, or Bank Top Neighbourhood Learning Centre (01254) 581175 for more information.
...and finally for all budding writers...

Comma Press has been in touch to say that the 2022 Dinesh Allirajah Prize for Short Fiction is now accepting entries up until 29th October 2021 on the theme of crime stories.  Full terms and conditions are available at

Please note: Any opinions expressed in this newsletter are the contributor’s own and are not necessarily endorsed by Blackburn with Darwen library and information service.

If you no longer wish to subscribe to this newsletter, please send an email with the subject heading ‘Unsubscribe library newsletter’ to and you will be removed from the distribution list.

For the latest information about what’s happening in Blackburn with Darwen libraries, follow us at or
Copyright © 2021 Blackburn with Darwen Library and Information Service, All rights reserved.
Our mailing address is:
Blackburn Library
Town Hall Street
Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp