How it all began - do we need a museum?
In October 2011 the question was posed to interested residents of Accrington and the surrounding area:
"Should we have a museum in the town?"
After all we have a fascinating heritage but much of it is in danger of being lost and forgotten unless something is done to preserve it for future generations.
Like most Lancashire towns Accrington played a major role in the cotton industry with weaving mills throughout the town and calico printing at Plantation Mill and Broad Oak Print Works, where Polyester was first discovered.
Nearby in Oswaldtwistle lived James Hargreaves, the inventor of the Spinning Jenny which revolutionised the cotton industry, causing a loss of work and leading to riots throughout the area.
Weaving looms, spinning frames and cotton processing machinery was manufactured by Howard & Bullough at the Globe Works in Accrington and then transported throughout Lancashire and exported worldwide.
Add to all of this the world famous Nori bricks, E.J. Riley snooker tables and sporting equipment, Accrington Stanley Football Club and the Accrington Pals of WW1 there is indeed much of historical interest in the town.
The answer was "Yes!"
By the following month the first steps were under way. It was agreed to form a focus group for the purpose of creating a community heritage museum for the people of Hyndburn.
Initially an area was offered to be set aside at Haworth Art Gallery for exhibiting items of historical interest to the area but the group felt that although this was a start it really would not be sufficient to display everything
They consequently hoped to campaign for use of the stables in the art gallery grounds for use as a permanent museum site.
However, this was not to be but the museum found a home in the town centre, initially in the middle of Accrington Market Hall.
The collection began
Local people were asked to donate or loan anything they had which might be of interest to present and future generations and to come along to the first meeting which was held in the Hospitality Suite at the Accrington Stanley Football Ground on 1st. February 2012.
The group now known as Hyndburn Heritage & Community Group was created and formed a "Museum Action Group In the Community" - The Hyndburn Heritage Museum was born.
One of the first items featured in the museum was a Ewbank carpet sweeper, once a common item in many homes before the advent of the vacuum cleaner. The sweepers were manufactured by Entwisle & Kenyon in the Ewbank works on Hyndburn Road in Accrington on the site where ASDA supermarket now stands.