Swiss Choir’s Sobriety Show

Professor Andre’s Alpine Choir performed annually for several years at The Exchange as part of a UK tour. Dressed in Swiss costume, they performed a mix of sacred and non-religious tunes with some musical sketches. This was part of a programme of events promoted by the Temperance Movement. The Blackburn Times advertised the show which…

Mesmerising Miss Annie De Montford

February 26th 1877 for six nights only, Miss Annie De Montford appeared at The Exchange, pronounced by the press and public of the time as ‘the greatest mesmerist in the world’. According to researcher, writer and performer, Christopher Green ‘she was also called a ‘psychological star’ and an ‘electro-biologist’, and occasionally a hypnotist. Her bill…

Right On Cue …

RIGHT ON CUE … 11 Feb 1871: The Exchange hosted a championship billiard match between the world’s greatest players of the time, rivals, John Roberts junior and William Cook. You can read all about Cook here: https://www.snookerheritage.co.uk/normans-articles/past-masters/william-cook-senior/ the image of John Roberts junior is from the National Portrait Gallery digital collection.

Days of Wine and Roses

The basement and cellar spaces of The Exchange were once used by wine and spirit wholesalers, Addison & Co who also had premises on Church Street. Here’s an advert from the 1870s. In the more recent past, this was where families celebrated milestone birthdays, anniversaries and Christmas works dos at Tiggis Italian restaurant. Do you have…

THE EXCHANGE HOTEL

Three weeks after the laying of the foundation stone,  a notice was placed in the local press by the secretary of the Exchange Committee advertising that a property called “The Exchange Hotel” was to be let with possession on the 12th of May 1863. The property was advertised as a capital hotel centrally situated opposite…

Architecture Competition was a RERUN!

On the 31 March 1860 the Blackburn Times carried an advertisement and editorial article promoting a competition for architects and builders to submit designs for the building of The Exchange. The winning design by Brakespear of Manchester was commissioned and the northern range and octagonal tower was built between 1863 and 1865. The southern range was…