Blackburn, West Lothian
|Scottish Gaelic: An Dubh Allt|
Looking west from the centre of the town
Blackburn shown within West Lothian
|Population||4,761 (2001 census)
4,970 (2006 estimate)
|OS grid reference|
|Council area||West Lothian|
|Lieutenancy area||West Lothian|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
Blackburn (Scottish Gaelic: An Dubh Allt) is a town in West Lothian, Scotland local to both Bathgate and Livingston, two of the larger towns in the county. It is situated approximately 32 kilometres (20 mi) west of Edinburgh and 40 kilometres (25 mi) east of Glasgow on the old A8 road.
Blackburn means "the black stream", from the Old English blæc "black" and burna "stream". The name was recorded as Blachebrine in 1152. As a small industrial centre, Blackburn originally developed as a cotton-manufacturing town. In the mid-19th century, it became a centre for coal mining.
Its small population expanded rapidly from 4,302 in 1961 to around 9,000 by 1965 as a result of employment opportunities in Bathgate to the north and through in-migration following the inception of the Glasgow Overspill Plan.
The closure of the British Leyland plant in 1986 brought decline to the area, along with the destruction of many homes built during the 1960s.
The Highlander Crisps factory was originally based in Blackburn until the M8 motorway was constructed beginning in 1965; it is now based in Whitehill Industrial Estate, Bathgate, with the motorway being the reason for the split.
The railway station at Bathgate reopened in 1986 and the 30-minute journey to Edinburgh attracts commuters to live in Blackburn.
Blackburn and Seafield Parish Church (Church of Scotland) is located in Blackburn, with the Rev. Dr. Robert Anderson serving as its minister since 1998. The congregation celebrated its centenary in 2008. Blackburn Gospel Hall (Christian Brethren) meets for worship services and Bible studies in a well-kept church building originally constructed as Blackburn's village school in the late 18th century. Our Lady of Lourdes, a Roman Catholic church located in Blackburn, also serves neighbouring communities and partners with a branch of the St. Vincent de Paul Society.
Another catchment is Bathgate Academy, which is 2 miles (3 km) away from Blackburn.
The village also houses three primary schools: Murrayfield Primary, Our Lady of Lourdes Primary, Blackburn Primary, and a combination primary/secondary special school called Pinewood School.
Blackburn Academy was a non-denominational secondary school; it closed in 1992.
Blackburn is home to the Junior Football (adult, semi-professional) Club Blackburn United who play at New Murrayfield Park near the centre of the town. The Club forms the pinnacle of the Blackburn United Community Football Club.
Blackburn is a big part of Scotia TaeKwonDo, where competitions are held in the local community center. Classes are also a big part of the area.
- Michael Gallagher, Australian paralympic gold medallist.
- Susan Boyle, singer and contestant on Britain's Got Talent.
- John Brown, footballer who attended Blackburn Academy and subsequently played for Rangers when the club won nine consecutive Scottish League titles.
In British political culture
- "Comparative Population Profile: Blackburn Locality". Scotland's Census Results Online. 2001-04-29. Retrieved 2008-08-31.
- An Stòr-dàta Briathrachais , retrieved 9 June 2010
- Blackburn - VisitScotland
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