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Observer is vital piece of family history

For Barbara Blackburn and her family the Accrington Observer has become more than just a newspaper, it’s now a treasure trove of memories.

Barbara Blackburn has four scrapbooks and she hopes to fill many more in the future

For Barbara Blackburn and her family the Accrington Observer has become more than just a newspaper, it’s now a treasure trove of memories.

Since she was first featured in the Observer more than 50 years ago, Barbara has collected four albums bursting with dozens of photos and stories.

Over the decades the Observer has also featured four generations of Barbara’s family including her father-in-law, daughter and grandson.

She contacted us as part of the Observer’s 125th anniversary celebration which includes a series of features to mark the paper’s launch in January 1887.

Barbara, 73, said the Observer has meant a ‘great deal’ to her and never thought she would still be going five decades later.

She said: "I get the paper every week, I never miss it. I’m always on the lookout and if there is anything I will cut it out and stick it in the book.

"I think everybody I know at some time or another has been featured in the Observer. It’s amazing what’s cropped up over the years when you look back."

Barbara said some of her favourite stories include the charity work and events she has done at Cambridge Street Methodist Church.

In 1983 she took part in the church’s centenary celebrations and also crowned the May Queen in 1984.

Her father-in-law Reginald Blackburn, who worked as a compositor at the Accrington Observer, was pictured in a story in 1976.

Barbara’s late daughter Kathryn was also featured in 1975 winning first prize for her float at the Accrington Carnival and her grandson Connell David Green also made an early entry into the paper in 1993 in our Baby of the Year competition.

Barbara, of Water Street, Accrington, said: "When you have a clear out sometimes you get rid of old photos but if I have then I still have the copies and the memories in the Observer.

"I want to keep going on for many years to come and then hopefully it can be passed on to someone in the family who can carry it on. They will have a lot of fun looking through it."

 
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