THE BARLOW, COMMUNITY HUB OF EDGWORTH…
At the heart of the Lancashire village of Edgworth is The Barlow, a truly amazing community facility which, together with the wider Barlow Estate, offers unparalleled opportunities for recreation and leisure, as well as playing host to a wide range of social events and activities of every kind.
Originally, a benefaction from the local philanthropic Barlow family to promote the health, education and social well-being of the local community, the Barlow Estate can trace its development back to 1898 – check out our History to learn more.
Today, The Barlow still holds community well-being at the heart of its core values and is now an entirely volunteer-led charitable organisation.
The Barlow’s centrepiece building, the Memorial Institute, first opened its doors in 1909 and has recently undergone extensive renovation works. Inside you will find a warm welcome awaits in the Reading Room Coffee Shop and Bar. Look further and you will discover our stunning Main Hall, home to many of our community groups and events, but also a truly unique venue for weddings, private parties and corporate events.
Upstairs, and you will find more community facilities including our Library and Snooker Room, which still retain many original features. Visitors can also explore our WW1 Memorial Collection – a Heritage Lottery Funded project tracing the history of many local soldiers during World War 1.
Whatever you want.. we’ve got it..
The Woodland Walk
If you enjoy the outdoors then head out to explore the Barlow’s 3 acres of beautiful woodlands.
Originally known as Barlow Park, the area was laid out in the early 1900s for woodland walks and the opportunity to explore nature in all its glory complete with streams, waterfalls and even a boating lake.
Today, Barlow Woods, as it is now known, still provides woodland trails and, thanks to the efforts of a dedicated band of volunteers, there is much to be discovered. Over 1000 new trees have been planted, new picnic areas and seats have been provided, wildlife habitats are being created and activity areas for children include a Grotto, a Giant’s Seat and a Storyteller’s Area.
Walkers can combine the woodland paths with adjoining trails to create longer walks taking in the scenic countryside around Edgworth and the wider area.
Sport & Recreation
The Barlow Estate started life as a recreation ground and sport is still very much at its heart today.
The recreation ground, the home of Edgworth Cricket and Recreation Club, continues to thrive with both senior and junior teams.
What better way to spend a summer afternoon than relaxing in the sun and taking in a game of cricket? The Club boasts excellent facilities, a modern clubhouse open to members and visitors, and puts on an extensive programme of events and activities.
A floodlit Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA) has been a welcome recent addition to the facilities and is available year round for both community use and private hire.
Also, still popular and well used is the floodlit bowling green, the home of Edgworth Bowling Club – a friendly club, again with its own clubhouse, that welcomes members and visitors of all ages.
The Play Area
For family fun, children could not wish for anything better than the Barlow’s fantastic new Play Area.
At the centre is the spectacular tower of our double slide helter-skelter and, if you are not feeling so brave, there are swings, climbing frames and roundabouts to suit children of all ages.
FRIENDS OF THE BARLOW
Blackburn with Darwen Council handed over the running and upkeep of The Barlow to the community in 2013. Since then The Barlow Charity has relied upon the generosity of benefactors and income from users of the facilities, plus the efforts of volunteers to sustain this much valued community facility. Significant improvements have been carried out to help ensure a long-term future, including a new roof, replacement windows, new hygienic worktops in the coffee shop kitchen and a new hot water & heating system. Most recently (summer 2022) the renovation of the outdoor veranda has been completed and a new adjacent decking area has been installed. In addition the snooker room has been restored to its former splendour by a small group of volunteers.
An important source of funding that has contributed to the above mentioned improvements is The Friends of the Barlow scheme. By becoming a Friend you can contribute to a fund that is used for repairs and renovations to the structural fabric of the building and pathways etc, and to upgrade, refresh and improve facilities e.g. now that the building is once again weathertight there are plans being drawn up for the main hall can be deep-cleaned, re-decorated and refurbished and other water-damaged areas such as the main stairway & its beautiful large, stained glass window to also be restored to their former glory.
As a Friend of The Barlow, your regular donations provide a much appreciated, steady income stream that to date (summer 2022) has raised in the region of over £40,000, which has been mostly used contributing towards paying for the roof, windows and heating system.
We intend to soon publish the overall list of improvements/tasks and from that you will see that there is a significant amount of expenditure still needed to achieve all of the identified tasks and improvements. We would welcome donations/sponsorship for specific items that may be of particular interest to individuals or families or groups, but the regular donations by Friends of The Barlow are also crucial. Therefore, we welcome any and all new donors and are grateful for whatever amount you choose to donate.
We are of course also very grateful to all of our existing Friends of The Barlow and if you are able to increase your monthly donation by any amount, that would be hugely appreciated – you can either make the increase to your standing order directly with your bank or you can complete a new form and send it to your bank or give it to us to process.
Please also consider increasing the value of your donation at no extra cost to you by using Gift Aid – as an example, an £8 donation from you becomes £10 with the Gift Aid add-on!
If you wish to donate please click on the link below, complete the form and either send it to your bank with an email copy to our email address email@example.com or return the completed form to the Barlow’s office in a sealed envelope addressed to Friends of The Barlow. Paper copies of the form are available from The Barlow.
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