One Voice Blackburn has maintained an outstanding relationship with the Heritage Fund to deliver projects aimed at preserving knowledge of what has gone before, to shape the future for young people and others in Blackburn with Darwen, and the surrounding areas.

We have worked on a number of projects highlighting the influence of the local south Asian heritage communities in local heritage, and also involving young people in researching their local and international identities.

a Stitch in Time

A group of girls recreated the South Asian look of the 1970s in an inspirational fashion project. A Stitch in Time, was completed with a stunning fashion shoot where the girls wore the clothes that they researched, designed and created.

Made possible by money raised by National Lottery players, the project focuses on engaging young people in the history of South Asian fashion worn by ladies arriving in East Lancashire in the early 1970s. The project has been delivered by various groups of One Voice Blackburn. Supported through the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the project has enabled local young people to record the oral histories of the time, help with the design of the clothes, and purchase the materials.

Members of the group have collected images, interviewed designers and fashion houses, designed the outfits that were worn in the 1970s.

One Voice organised local seamstresses and tailors to produce the items before they are displayed in local settings. 

Working with heritage and fashion professionals from the local South Asian community One Voice participants have gained a deeper insight into this previously under-researched part of their history, as well as teaching them valuable new communication skills to use as they develop their careers.

The girls showcased the clothes in a fashion show, as part of a dinner, in front of 400 people in King George’s Hall, Blackburn.

One Voice has completed a project which allowed young people to discover the heritage of Blackburn. 

In September 2022 a group of 12 young people from One Voice Blackburn volunteered to uncover the history of the house they currently live in. This project, Making Walls Talk, has allowed them to see the changing face of Blackburn and how the town has changed overall both socially and physically. 

To find their information the girls took various trips to Blackburn Central Library where the Community Historian Mary Painter helped the girls access the register of electors. These records allowed the young people to research who lived in the houses during the different periods of time. The girls mentioned that it was ‘exciting’ to see the history of their house but also ‘fascinating’. The oldest house belongs to the Dadd family whose house was built in 1896 over 120 years ago. Before this project many of the young people didn’t even know books and records like this even exist even though in a few years they could potentially be featured in one. 

Ammarah Ikram who took park in the project said, ‘The heritage project was a project I thought I wouldn’t really like. I didn’t understand it initially but was surprised at how interesting it was and I researched who the first person who lived at our house and all the people that lived there from the year it was built in 1902 all the way till now. It was a fascinating project and broadened my understanding about how important heritage is and basically its backstory and everything.  Once I was done with the project, I was very fascinated by my house’s backstory and heritage.

Making Walls Talk was completed at the end of 2023. The young people discovered the purpose of land registries and they will be able to look through the ones for their own house to gain a better understanding of their house in the past.  It is anticipated that the young people will meet people who have lived in their house or their descendants.  Eventually some of the other young people are creating blue plaques to display in front of their homes showcasing the history they have uncovered.

My First Day in Lancashire Mills

My First Day in Lancashire Mills is a One Voice Blackburn project supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. It explores the arrivals of people from South Asia and Africa into Lancashire in the 1960s and 1970s.