20th Changes: Production and Decline


Blackburn was at its zenith as a cotton centre at the beginning of the 20th century. Its dependence on just one industry caused major problems for the town when the decline began. The second world war boosted the industry temporarily and afterwards there were labour shortages and employees were recruited from India, Pakistan and from the Asian communities of East Africa.
By 1976 there were only 2,100 looms running in the town, that from a high of 79,405 in 1907. By the end of the 20th century the industry was dead.
Diversification, regeneration, re-use became the watchwords, as the Blackburn reinvented itself as a modern, successful, multi-cultural community.