Our aim is to save photographs showing the history and heritage of Darwen and its people, before they are lost in time. In our two short years, we have discovered that the contents of shoeboxes in each others' attic spaces hold priceless memories and hours of nostalgia for both young and old, current Darreners and those who couldn't put up with the weather and escaped to sunnier climes!
With your help, we can preserve Darwen’s history. Not only will it enrich our lives at present but enable future generations to learn and to become proud of their town. Darwen Days invokes many emotions; It will make you smile or perhaps bring a tear of joy or sadness. Here, you can revisit your childhood and bring back fond memories. You may be able to reconnect with old friends and meet many more for the first time.
Darwen Days was born in February 2011 from a personal collection of photographs belonging to Dave which he published on his personal Facebook profile. News of this nostalgic trip down Memory Lane soon spread, as Dave's friends added their photos to his album, as did their friends. Before he realised it, his Friends List on Facebook had swelled to several thousand people with uploads of previously stored away family photographs being uploaded and commented upon.
Soon Dave was receiving emails from the Facebook Management, suggesting that he built a page instead to build this now epic collection of photo albums upon. Today, the Darwen Days Facebook Page over 5,000 Likes with twice as many hits on this website, which attracts visitors from all over the world including ex-Darreners and tourists captivated by this picturesque Northern town in Lancashire. Darwen Days now holds a collection of over 16,000 photographs and countless pieces of memorabilia, film footage and artefacts associated with our much-loved retired cotton town. We produced a DVD entitled Bygone Days, featuring a photograph slideshow of changing Darwen in 2011 which sold several thousand copies both online and at the different events attended by Dave and Marie as they became more embroiled in the ever expanding Darwen Days community.
Soon Bri was helping out too, taking his camera out in the bitterest of Lancashire weather and spending his spare time photographing the ever-changing local landscape, capturing local events, building construction and epic views of the town for our older Darwen Days fans who cannot perhaps tackle the hills as perhaps they could years ago.
In 2012, Dave contacted EJ for help with the Darwen Days website so together with Tim and Cook from Red Helmet, a new website was constructed to display as many of the photographs and exhibits that have been donated, bought or collected from the last two years as we possibly could. This same year Red Helmet produced a second DVD, Real To Reel, constructed entirely from VHS and cinefilm footage from the Darwen Days archives.
With the new website, Lesley stepped forward to assist Dave, Marie and EJ to maintain the website, spending hours tirelessly uploading new images, dealing with enquiries and monitoring the Facebook Page.
In 2014, Darwen Days can be found on Twitter, Facebook and on it's own YouTube channel, and is steadily expanding, running entirely from donations and the countless hours of our volunteers' spare time. We do not make a profit and are all equal as proud and passionate about Darwen as many of you.
Darwen Days is run on a shoestring. Access to the huge collection of images on our website is free. If someone asks us for a print we send them one. We don’t charge, but more often than not they return a small donation which helps to keep us going. We made a profit on our first DVD and that has allowed us to buy photo paper and ink and so on. But, we have to say, it’s not easy, especially as interest is always soaring – together with the workload.
If you would like to make a small donation we would be entirely grateful. If you can afford to donate any monetary funds, these are always invested straight back into running costs, which include postage, printing, server hosting for the website and very rarely anything else! If you have any photographs, postcards, books or any sort of memorabilia of Darwen that you feel should be saved for future generations, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any of the Darwen Days team the usual way.
Our volunteers hold regular meetings and there are several big things in the pipeline for Darwen Days in 2015- as for what they are? Well, you'll just have to wait and see!
Darwen Days exists as the direct result of the donation of original images that are donated to the Darwen Days website. We then resize, catalogue, watermark and upload every single image. The copyright of images ultimately rests with whoever donated the images and in that sense, the Darwen Days staff serve as representatives for the owners of said images.
Equally, if you require a copy of an image for personal or community reasons, we ask that you get in contact to obtain permission from us beforehand. Even if the image will not be used for commercial purposes, it still has an owner and you still need to contact us so we can obtain their permission.
Many of the kind people who have donated their family albums to Darwen Days have trusted us with the responsibility of safeguarding their property, and we frequently test our website to ensure that the personal media exhibited is not being used in ways that be construed as a blatant breach of copyright.
In summary, all images on the Darwen Days website are subject to copyright and we regularly audit our content to ensure that it is not being used/copied/edited/embedded elsewhere on both online and print media without our express permission.
Access to the extensive collection of photographs, videos, newspaper clippings is free. If someone asks us for a print of one our images, we send them one through the post. We don’t charge for this service, but more often than not a small donation is given in exchange which helps to keep us going.
If you would like to make a small monetary donation, we will thank you from the bottom of our hearts. If you have any photographs, postcards, books or any sort of memorabilia of Darwen that you feel should be saved for future generations, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with any of the Darwen Days team.