Chairman’s Update 12th Feb 2021

12 Feb, 2021

Hello everybody, this is a quick update on the BARLOW ROOF PROJECT and a request for VOLUNTEERS……

This evening The Barlow Trustees agreed to a proposal to replace the Barlow Roof with a project to start from the early part of March and last through to some time in May. The plan is to replace the roof pretty much like for like with clay tiles as per the original although the roof will look somewhat different as the current tiles are some 110 years old and were originally a terracotta style red, and the new roof will be the same, we expect this roof will have a 70 to 80-year lifespan although the current roof in the same material lasted much longer. We are planning to keep the existing gutters which are made from cast iron and we believe that we have the expertise to refurbish the gutters in situ and that they will then have a further 50 or so year life span.

Volunteers Needed…

It is for this part of the project we are looking for around 6 volunteers to work at height on the scaffolding over a three week period from the end of March machine brushing the insides of the guttering, bitumen painting the insides, and Hammerite painting the outsides. Height training will be given and all technical and safety equipment will be provided. Anybody interested in helping please message either the Barlow Facebook page or directly to myself.

Contractors Get in Touch…

One further point, as part of the overall project we need to re-point all of the chimneys on the roof and we invite potential local contractors to quote us for the work required, again either message the Barlow or myself directly.

PS…… the Trustees also agreed on a package to replace all of the windows to the front and side elevations of the building, plus replacement doors to the Main Hall, Main entrance, and Reading Room. The windows will be like for like but double glazed, and the replacement doors will be aesthetically as close to the originals as possible and will also provide modern standards of both security and insulation.

PPS…….watch this space for an imminent artist impression of what the new playground will look like! ………..


Mike Fay
Trustees Chair


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.

Continue Reading

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  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.

For any further information please email or contact the office via or 01204 852216.

Sign up to our Newsletter

You can sign up to our Newsletter below

You will receive all our News and Info direct to your Inbox when we have anything to say...