Sneaking into Blackburn via Sewers and Trams

Whilst I am not really a telly addict (sport doesn’t count!)  I do like certain types of shows. I like my detective shows and enjoy shows like Spooks and Hustle. These shows move from the sublime to the ridiculous and back again with great speed but provide good entertainment.What always astounds me with these types of shows is the ease with which the main protaganists get their hands on plans and maps. They need to sneak into a building and wihtin minutes they have an A1 sized map detailing all the entrances, air vents, sockets and even securtity cameras. Is this possible in real-life? I doubt it! Even after finding the maps or diagrams you then have to decode them and find the information you want.

We have old plans and maps in the museum and I went to have a look at some of them to see if they would be any use to any would be burglars of yesteryear. The short answer is no but I did come across this little jem…’Some particulars of the Municipal and Sanitary Works of Blackburn by J.B. McCallum’  who was the borough and water engineer. It has a fantastic array of detail relating to various aspects of the municipal system including sewer works, Gas works and the tram system.

The book, from 1885, provides some fantastic maps and descriptions which may not help a spy or jewel thief, but will help historians with understanding the development of the town.

Map

The dirty ways in and out of Blackburn

This map shows the sewer network in Blackburn. Whilst in may not seem instantly fascinating, I suppose sewers never are, it provides historians with a fantastic example of the size of the town and the nature of the sewer system. Don’t be expecting any Hollywood blockbuster style chases through these sewers either. With the majority no bgger than 15 inches it would make for a slow, smelly and ultimately pointless pursuit.

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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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