Sunday was the only rest day permitted to cotton workers and that was for religious rather than recreational reasons. For shop workers the situation was worse; they worked on Sunday as well and from 7.00 am until 11.00pm every other day. Mill owners were aghast when workers campaigned for an early finish on Saturday, convinced it would be the ruin of them. Inevitably the temptation to spend what little leisure time they had in the pub was overwhelming for many.
Gradually the situation improved. Government legislation limited hours and introduced Bank Holidays and recreational opportunities expanded. Football was born as a major spectator sport. Cycling and walking became popular. The potential of the countryside for recreation was beginning to be realised. The phenomenon of 'Wakes Weeks', when mills closed down arrived. Going out to the pictures and the theatre became popular and it is believed that Blackburn had the worlds first purpose-built cinema.
Trams enabled people movement to shop, to travel to work and of course to head out of town on a day off. Why not step aboard our tram ride from Darwen to Blackburn or Blackburn to Darwen?