Blackburn, West Lothian

Blackburn is a town[3] in West Lothian, Scotland, near both Bathgate and Livingston, two of the larger towns in the county. . It is situated approximately 20 miles (32 km) west of Edinburgh and 25 miles (40 km) east of Glasgow on the old A8 road.

Blackburn

The approach to Blackburn from the south
Blackburn
Location within West Lothian
Population4,761 (2001 census)[1]
4,970 (2006 estimate)[2]
OS grid referenceNS985655
Civil parish
Council area
Lieutenancy area
  • West Lothian
CountryScotland
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Post townBATHGATE
Postcode districtEH47
Dialling code01506
PoliceScotland
FireScottish
AmbulanceScottish
EU ParliamentScotland
UK Parliament
Scottish Parliament

History

Blackburn means "the black stream", from the Old English blæc "black" and burna "stream". The name was recorded as Blachebrine in 1152. As a small industrial centre, Blackburn originally developed as a cotton-manufacturing town. In the mid-19th century, it became a centre for coal mining.

Its small population expanded rapidly from 4,302 in 1961 to around 9,000 by 1965 as a result of employment opportunities in Bathgate to the north and through in-migration following the inception of the Glasgow Overspill Plan.

The closure of the British Leyland plant in 1986 brought decline to the area, along with the destruction of many homes built during the 1960s.

The railway station at Bathgate attracts commuters to live in Blackburn and provides easy access to both Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Blackburn House

Blackburn House is a category A-listed Georgian building, situated to the east of the town.

Churches

Blackburn and Seafield Parish Church (Church of Scotland) is located in Blackburn. The congregation celebrated its centenary in 2008. Blackburn Gospel Hall (Christian Brethren) meets for worship services and Bible studies in a well-kept church building originally constructed as Blackburn's village school in the late 18th century. Our Lady of Lourdes, a Roman Catholic church located in Blackburn, also serves neighbouring communities and partners with a branch of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.

Educational facilities

The village has the Roman Catholic secondary St. Kentigern's Academy, which serves students from the surrounding areas of West Lothian.

Blackburn is also in the catchment area of the non-denominational secondary Bathgate Academy, which is 2 miles (3 km) away.

The village also houses three primary schools: Murrayfield Primary, Our Lady of Lourdes Primary and Blackburn Primary as well as Pinewood School, a combination primary/secondary additional needs school.

Formerly the village had its own Blackburn Academy, a non-denominational secondary school that also served students from the surrounding areas of West Lothian. However, the Academy was closed in 1992 after several new non-denominational high schools had opened in nearby Livingston.

Climate

Climate data for Blackburn (131 m asl, averages 1981–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 5.9
(42.6)
6.7
(44.1)
8.5
(47.3)
10.9
(51.6)
14.1
(57.4)
17.0
(62.6)
18.9
(66.0)
18.6
(65.5)
15.9
(60.6)
12.3
(54.1)
8.3
(46.9)
6.1
(43.0)
11.9
(53.5)
Average low °C (°F) 0.0
(32.0)
0.4
(32.7)
1.7
(35.1)
3.0
(37.4)
5.7
(42.3)
8.1
(46.6)
10.0
(50.0)
9.8
(49.6)
8.1
(46.6)
5.2
(41.4)
2.6
(36.7)
−0.2
(31.6)
4.5
(40.2)
Average rainfall mm (inches) 108.2
(4.26)
77.6
(3.06)
81.4
(3.20)
54.6
(2.15)
60.2
(2.37)
64.0
(2.52)
72.8
(2.87)
78.0
(3.07)
78.8
(3.10)
109.8
(4.32)
93.9
(3.70)
94.4
(3.72)
973.7
(38.34)
Average rainy days (≥ 1 mm) 15.5 12.1 13.6 10.9 11.4 11.0 11.6 12.2 12.3 15.9 14.5 14.5 155.5
Mean monthly sunshine hours 50.1 75.5 106.0 136.0 190.4 164.2 156.0 147.5 115.2 94.4 59.2 34.7 1,329.2
Source: Met Office[4]

Sport

Football

Blackburn is home to Scottish football club Blackburn United who play at the Purdie Worldwide Community Stadium (New Murrayfield Park) near the centre of the town and compete in the East of Scotland Football League Premier Division. The Club forms the pinnacle of the Blackburn United Community Sports Club.

Taekwondo

Blackburn is a big part of Scotia TaeKwonDo, with national competitions regularly held in the Blackburn Community Centre which is adjacent to New Murrayfield Park. Classes are also a big part of the Taekwondo activity in the area.

Famous natives

In British political culture

The town was notably mentioned in a famous speech by MP Tam Dalyell in the House of Commons on 14 November 1977 in which he posed what would become known as the West Lothian question.

References

  1. "Comparative Population Profile: Blackburn Locality". Scotland's Census Results Online. 29 April 2001. Archived from the original on 22 March 2012. Retrieved 31 August 2008.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 September 2009. Retrieved 2010-05-09.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. Blackburn - VisitScotland Archived 12 June 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  4. "Blackburn S Wks climate information". Met Office. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
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