Archive for August, 2010

Blackburn goes Blake’s 7

A museum collection is never static. By that I mean it never stays as it is. We are always increasing our collection with items related to the borough or of historical significance.

Which explains why I was at Blackburn Fire Station yesterday morning. The fire station is moving premises and unfortunately they cannot take all the old material they have kept with them. This allowed me to look at any objects which relate to the museum collection and accept them as a donation. One of the items I collected was this space-age style suit.

Is it from Blake's 7? Star Trek? Nope, Blackburn Fire Station

The helmet and gloves for the suit

This suit, in all it’s shiny glory, is more befitting of hollywood than Blackburn. It reminds me of the suits worn by Marty McFly when he travels back in time in Back To The Future or the radiation suits worn in E.T. It is, however, a firemans outfit from the 80’s. Developed as a different option to the standard style of suit it would allow firefighters the opportunity to dash into areas with intense flames. It is lightweight and very thin making it suitable for moving around but the thinness of it meant it could only be worn for short periods of time.

FM Pete Johnson showing off his new protective gear to a slightly bewildered passer-by

The suit was on trial at Blackburn Fire Station to determine whether it was suitable for all Fire Services. I do not know what the outcome of the trial was, but am guessing it was unsuccesful as this is one of the very few suits left in the country.

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Spot the difference

Whilst Vinai is away enjoying the sun on holiday i’m taking over as guest blogger. I’m Vanessa, the Art Curator and have decided to play a game with you all.

During the holidays we have lots of free children’s activities at the museum. One of the ones is spot the difference and we have decided to have an online version. Below are two pictures, one from 1935 and one from 2010. Can you spot the one difference?

Newspaper clipping from 1935

At least we have colour photography now

Answer:  Obviously, in one picture is the donor, Rev. J. Clough, and the other is me. The pots, rare ceramics from Liverpool, are the same though. At the time of their donation, these 18th Century pots were considered the only known examples along with specimens held at the V&A Museum in London.


Blackburn Museum can be found in Blackburn, Lancashire. It houses objects documenting Blackburn's industrial past as well as a world class collection of Fine Art, Japanese prints, Icons, Numismatics and Manuscripts. Come and visit us to find out more.

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