1927 to 2015

The following is a list of some of the more ‘interesting’ events to have happened to the Meeting House and users during this period.

Jul 1928              Base cupboard for library books put in the large meeting room. Seats recovered.

Apr 1929            8 new hassocks bought, cost £1 18s 0d.

Aug 1929           The boundary wall in Paradise Lane needed repairing and rebuilding at a cost of £ 5 10s 0d.

Aug 1931           James Wood with members of the Men’s Adult School decorate the classrooms, cloakrooms, kitchen and passages, and painted outside at a cost of £10.

Nov 1933            The 2 schoolrooms decorated by Wesley Mather and George Bull. The walls are painted sunshine yellow.

Sep 1935            Members of the men’s unemployed group decorate the walls of the large and small meeting rooms, passage and all outside wood. A second hand gas boiler bought.

Jun 1936             Purchase of 2 cherry trees in memory of Frederick Stansfield and Richard Whittaker, cost 14/-.

Apr 1937             Purchase of 50 chairs.

Jan 1938             Premises Committee asked to enquire into the suitability of a vacant house in Paradise Street as a residence for the caretaker.

Mar 1939            Need for work on the exterior walls of the Meeting House, painting of woodwork Interior redecorating. A new heating boiler installed for £50. Quarterly Meeting asked to support an appeal for £100.

Jun 1945             Repairs to the heating system £14 6s 2d.

Aug 1945            Gas boiler installed for £30 (previous one was coke burning) Young Friends paint the outside of the Meeting House for £3 7s 0d.

Sep 1951           A working party clean and decorate the rooms.

Jan 1955            6 new lights installed in the large meeting room.

Sep 1957           Estimated £110 needed for repairs to the lantern light, roof, brickwork, rendering of large schoolroom.

May 1959           Burial Ground wall unsafe. Repairs cost: £67 10s 0d.

May 1961           Lancashire & Cheshire Young Friends decorate the schoolrooms and Blackburn Friends decorate the large meeting room at a cost of £33.

Aug 1962           Horace Bamford reports dry rot in the large schoolroom. Estimated cost of repair £260.

May 1963           Grant from quarterly meeting of £75, and Blackpool Preparative Meeting of £50. Cement rendering to schoolroom wall carried out also.

Nov 1963            Main repairs carried out at a cost of £116. Painting outside wood and pipes, resetting ridge tiles, new downspouts, removing rotten timbers.

Oct 1965             Passages and toilets painted.

Oct 1966             Further rampant dry rot discovered in large meeting room. Pulling down the schoolrooms considered.

Jan 1967            Estimated cost of repairs over £1,000. Over the next year, patching up done.

Feb 1968           Appeal to Preston Monthly Meeting for help towards decorating the Meeting House. Financial assistance received from Quarterly Meeting.

Mar 1970            Minute to Preston Monthly Meeting: “A concern of Blackburn Preparative Meeting relating to the Meeting House, the maintenance and upkeep of the building is proving a disproportionate burden to us, and we feel that, since it is the property of General Meeting, this should be considered at a high level”.

Jun 1970             Decoration of B room by Blackburn Friends £16.

Apr 1971             5 infrared light bulbs installed in the meeting room.

Jun 1971             A professional survey of the building carried out with the following recommendations: lowering of the ceilings in the large meeting room and the children’s rooms, together with extra fibreglass insulation. Floor coverings for the whole building. Renewal of the outside gates, paving of the paths and lowering of the wall on Paradise St. Installation of a pump to boost the central heating and of new gas fires in the children’s rooms and B room. Estimated cost £1500. An appeal to be made through Preston Monthly Meeting to General Meeting.

Sep 1971           Received a grant of £1000 from the Meeting Houses Fund and a loan of £400 through General Meeting.

Dec 1971            Negotiations with the Local Authority to take over maintenance of the Meeting House grounds in return for making it open to the public. A scheme costing £1000 was outlined, the Meetings contribution to be £250.

Dec 1972           Work carried out as proposed by the surveyor, except that the ceiling of the large meeting room was not lowered. The garden wall removed and a new paved path provided for Paradise Street.

Nov 1972           The interior of the building redecorated.

Feb 1973           ‘Buy a tile’ fund to provide money for floor covering in large meeting room. In the end £260 raised.

1974           Celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the building of the Meeting House.

1991           Over the years the area deteriorated. The terraced housing was demolished. The approach to the Meeting House became squalid and unwelcoming and the accompanying social problems and vandalism proved particularly challenging. In September 1991 vandals took up residence for a few days with disastrous consequences. This made the members take stock. Over the next few years we raised the money to have the old Adult School rooms removed with the rest being renovated. A new roof, new kitchen and toilets being our first priority. Later a garden was built, largely by our own members.

2004            We now have, on average, 17 at Sunday meeting. We also provide a home for a ‘Spiritual Healing’ group, Amnesty International, Blackburn Ramblers, the Corinthian Church and Blackburn Hindu Society.

Feb 2014         It was agreed that the curtains at the side of the small meeting room should be removed and replaced by a proper partition wall. This work was undertaken by Members of the Meeting, Chris Tonge and John Cookson.

Jun 2014         The new railings are now in place, at a cost of £4650. An external mail box accessible though the railings has also been constructed.

Aug 2014        The grills have been removed from the windows of the main rooms and external painting undertaken.

Apr 2015         After much discussion it was decided that a 4Kw solar panel system should be installed together with the provision of a high efficiency gas boiler, as part of our statement to the adoption of a greener way of living and the use of re-usable energy. The solar panel system was commissioned in April, shortly after the new boiler.