Timeline of the Exchange

Captured Moments in Time


26 April 1865

Blackburn Standard MORNING NEWS

The CONCERT AT THE EXCHANGE – The concert with which the new Exchange building is to be opened this evening promised to be in all respects one of the most attractive that has ever taken place in Blackburn. The leading performers whose names are announced occupy the highest rank in their profession and the Blackburn public may be assured that no ordinary treat is enforce them in hearing such a singer as Parepa, such a pianist as Arabella Goddard, and a violinist of European fame, like Herr Jonchin. The selection of music for the occasion is also attractive including many popular airs. Added to this there will be the fine effect of the interior of the hall when fully lighted up.

It is one of the most elegant interiors in the county; the open roof with its rich carved work gives it a pleasing and graceful appearance, and when the lamps are lighted and the hall filled, as we know it will be, by an unusually gay and brilliant assemblage, the charm of this spectacular will of itself be no inconsiderable addition to the other attractions of the concert. There is no doubt that there we be a crowded house on the occasion tickets having already been secured by numerous parties from the surrounding districts as well as by many inhabitants of Blackburn – and the friends of the infirmary May, we think, safely be congratulated in anticipation on the surplus to be added to their fund. From the advertisement elsewhere it will be seen that the arrangements are progressing satisfactorily, and that special trains are to be run for the accommodation of parties from the neighbouring towns. There are still a few reserved seats available and we would impress upon those who have not already applied for tickets the necessity of doing so as early as possible, in order that there may be no confusion or disappointment at the last moment.

(29 April 1865 – Blackburn Times – report of the Grand Opening of The Exchange)

 Any stranger passing along our streets at night, in front of the town hall, would naturally suppose that the very ecclesiastical structure, with stained-glass windows, was a church or chapel of a better order, and would need to be informed, before placing credit in other than the idea we have given, that the building was an exchange, sacred to cotton and cotton pieces.

There is an air of mosaic commandment about the fretted woodwork and the pillars, and when the visitor is within he expects to hear the peeling of organ and voices in religious worship. Who is there amongst us who does not understand all about the building? It has been talked about, written about, described, lithographed, and even its outward pavement has afforded scope for numerous letters on how public affairs are managed.

The foundation stone was laid by Mr Alderman Sturdy, on the 10th of March 1863, he being  then mayor, and those who remember how that day, the marriage day of the Prince of Wales was celebrated in this town, will need no further instruction.

When the building approached completion, the question arose, in what manner shall the opening be celebrated? We know that the formal opening is to take place next Wednesday, with as little formality as possible, but the grand opening was on Wednesday night last, with a concert under the guidance and conductorship of Mr David Johnson, who, for the energy and ability he displayed in bringing the best concert ever held in Blackburn to a successful conclusion, deserves special thanks.

At an early hour in the evening visitors began to arrive and about 7 o’clock carriages came closely down Preston New Road, and from other parts, bearing the precious freights of cloaked and brightly decorated ladies in company with husbands, suitors and fathers.

About 8 o’clock the interior of the building presented a very animated appearance, while outside the crowd was great, waiting to hear the opening strains of the concert. When it was known that the proceeds would to be given to the Infirmary, All knew that in patronising the concert they were, if there was any surplus, rendering aid to an institution of which we are all proud.

The platform of the Exchange was a fit up as an orchestra, at the end of the building from the platform, and near what will be the grand entrance to the Exchange was the picture. ‘ Laying the Foundation Stone’ which we noticed sometimes since. The picture has since that time been framed by Mr Walmsley of Clayton Street, and presented on Thursday night an attraction in the room.

Every seat in the building was occupied, and many had to stand. Looking down the vast room, one could not help feeling thankful that a place has at last been built in which meetings and concerts may be had without damage to the constitutions of those who speak and sing, as has been the case with the town hall, in consequence of the deficiency in its acoustic properties. in consequence of the deficiency in its acoustic properties. In order that there may be no omission we print the whole of the names of the artists,













Mr Edward De JONG




Mr C A Seymour

Mr W F Buck

Herr S Jacobi

Mr Iles

Mxxx C Roguler

Mr W Walker


Mr J Harrison

Mr Owen Edwards

Mr George Eliix

Mr J R Openshaw

Mr S Pyecroft

Mr J Steward

Mr F Vetter


Mr T H Jackson’s

Mr Hogarth

Mr Millar

Me J Wilde







Mr Ward

Mr H thorley

Mr E Jansen


Mr E D Jong

Mr R Chorlton


Mr Jennings

Mr Drake


Her Grosse

Mr J Blaney


Mr Walters

Mr Shepherd


Mr L Edwards

Mr G Batley


Mr J Elwood

Mr F Banks


Mr Wielopolsky

Mr J Green

Mr H Roberts


Mr Batley


Mr W L Constantine

Conductor: Mr David Johnson. We must not forget to mention that the choir of Saint Peters Church aided in singing the opening thanksgiving, ‘Praise God from Whom all Blessings Flow. A notice in each seat informed the visitors that this was at the request of several of the clergy added acknowledgement of the goodness of God and in praise that the building had been reared without accident.

The programme was as follows:

Part first

 ‘God Save the Queen’.

Overture ‘Il Barbiere’

Recit, ‘I rage, I melt, I burn,’

Song, ‘Ruddier than the cherry’

‘Acid and Galsten’ (Handel)

Violin concerto E minor (Mendolssohn)

Herr Josohim; Arioso, ‘Ah mon fils’ (Le Prophets)

Miss Palmer; pianoforte solo ‘Last rose of summer’ (Thalberg)

Madame Araballa Goddard; captains ‘O Luce Di quest anima’

Linda Di Chamounix (Donizetti)

Madam Parepa; song ‘The storm’ (J Hullah)

Miss Palmer; overture ‘Oberon; (Weber)

Part second; overture ‘William Tell’ (Rossini)

Ballad: ‘I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls’ Bohemian girl (Balfe)

Madame Parepa; sonata in A minor op 47 pianoforte and violin dedicated to Kreutzer (Beethoven)

Madame ARABELLA Goddard and Herr Joachim; two movements

‘Andante con variazioni,’ F minor

‘Presto’ A major;

Song, ‘The Bell ringer’ (Wallace)

Mr Patey; flute solo, ‘Carnival de Venice’

M de Jong; song ‘The Minstrel boy; (Irish Melody)

Miss Palmer; song ‘The nightingale’s trill’ (W Gans)

Madam Parepa; overture ‘Massaniello’.

It would be vain to attempt to criticise the performance and less so well versed as to be able in the presence of so many professionals, to be hypercritical. In the violin concerto from Mendelssohn her judge him one for himself to medicine applause, the violinist in the orchestra taking the initiative in the cheers. Madame Arabella Goddard was encored in the pianoforte solo, ‘The last rose of summer ‘ and played ‘Home Sweet Home’ for which she was heartily cheered.  Miss Palmer was encored in the song of ‘The Storm’ and sang the last three verses again. The rendering of the lines

‘Cowering among his pillows white

He prays, his blue eyes dim with fright

Father says those at sea tonight

Miserere Domine ( The opening words of Psalm 51, in which the Psalmist asks for forgiveness.

Lord Have Mercy)

was of splendid order and impressed the vast audience with Miss Palmer’s powers of song. Madame Parepa was loudly encored in the ballad, ‘ I dreamt I dwelt in Marble Halls’ and bowed her acknowledgements. The pianoforte and violin performance of Madame Arabella Goddard and Herr Joachim highly pleased the assembly.  Mr Patey in ‘The Bellringer’ gave great satisfaction and was rewarded with loud applause.  The flute solo by M de Jong was  listened to with great pleasure while ‘The Minstrel Boy’ by Miss Palmer and ‘The Nightingale Trill’ by Madame Parepa called for the applause of the audience. The overtures were great favourites all concerned seem to understand what they had to do and did it with willingness. The thanks of the public are due to all who took part to make the concert a success and we feel assured that the evening whether asked to arrangements performance or attendance will be looked back to with pleasure.