This selection of postcards touches on the four main elements which currently encompass Towneley. They are: The park Towneley Hall The family who used to live there The collections in the building All are linked. The Hall was occupied and the park owned for hundreds of years by the Towneley family. Their influence was far reaching with interests and concerns regionally and nationally. Part of their legacy exists in the building, the park and some of the museum pieces. But Read more>>

Special delivery – Towneley’s Top Five

Five: An un-posed photograph. The road is Keighley Road in Colne with a chap zipping by on his bike and others relying on shanks’ pony. The two workmen are engaged in conversation with someone who is partly hidden across the street. Much has changed but much remains. All that’s missing is a tram. For a modern view see google maps. Four: Janie sent the card below to Dora who was away in the local September holiday. The two would understand Read more>>


Johanna was born in 1886 in Cuerden, Lancashire. She was the second child from the family to bear the same/similar name as an elder sister died young. Johanna, after various moves, settled in Nelson with her three siblings and widowed mum. All the children worked as weavers in the cotton industry and most cards are holiday ones. Johanna married Wilfred in 1914 and the couple had one child.


Isabella’s family moved around east Lancashire but finally settled in Goodshaw. Isabella was born in 1892 into a Baptist household and spent most of her life in this part of Lancashire. The collection reflects her family and locality. Isabella married Fred in 1918 and the couple had one child, Nora, who also got the collecting bug.  The family relationship between the senders and Isabella was a complicated one. Both cards were sent from Colne to Goodshaw by Sarah and Jennina Read more>>

Find Me

Groups either – organised or not – were a favourite with commercial photographers. They offered interest, enhanced composition and faces on cards would sell which then gave the opportunity to send it along with a ‘pick me out’ message. Children pose for the camera as the factories turn out. Elizabeth Jane (Janie) was living with her husband, child Jack, sister-in-law and widowed mum nearby. She was in her mid-20’s when she posted the card. Photographed and published by Richard Broughton Read more>>

Town Centre

The buildings were on Church Street. John Holt sold horse meat for the cat even if you didn’t have a cat. The 16th century property was demolished in 1938 and the datestone is at Towneley Hall. Hall Street is the hill running to the right. The other photographs are the connecting Cannon Street looking in different directions. This was once a prosperous part of Burnley but by 1850 had become The refuge of the desolate, The strong hold of the Read more>>