Set in Stone: Local Institutions
Police Commissioners and Local Boards of Health had been enough to run towns for many years before industrialisation and subsequent rapid growth. Services and facilities were now needed with public bodies to manage them. Blackburn was incorporated in 1851 and Darwen in 1878. The vision, energy and indeed money, of early industrialists and councillors led to the building of public halls, libraries, hospitals and schools. Later a combination of central government legislation, wider enfranchisement and local taxation through rates ensured that public services were properly established and funded.