Sue Cotton, CEO of CANW, said: “Blackburn Orphanage has such a rich history, something which we’re proud to still be living and breathing as CANW. As staff, we regularly shout about the vision and legacy of our founder, James Dixon – and the Extraordinary Women who helped him along the way – but this will be the perfect opportunity for the public to come into our home and see it for themselves.”
As one of East Lancashire’s longest-serving children’s charities, we’re looking forward to lifting the lid on our fascinating history this September. We’re inviting the public into our Whalley Road headquarters in Wilpshire to learn all about the history of CANW, which dates back almost 130 years. What’s more, it’s free to join us!
CANW Heritage Day will take place on Sunday 16th September from 10am to 4pm and our theme for this year is “Extraordinary Women”. As a charity, CANW was built on the foundations of Blackburn Orphanage, which was formed by James Dixon in 1892. Heritage Day will include an interactive exhibition with admission books from the orphanage, photographs and cot plaques on display, plus a series of talks.
Trevor Booth, who was left at Blackburn Orphanage in 1934, will be sharing captivating stories about the Extraordinary Women that crossed his path while growing up with us. There will also be two special talks that will bring to life the history of Jane Dixon, Mrs Taylor, Mrs Wilbraham and Mrs Street, four long-serving women of the orphanage.
Jane Dixon, the wife of founder James, was the Matron of Blackburn Orphanage for 35 years from its opening in August 1891. Mrs Taylor joined the orphanage staff in 1906 and worked as an assistant over the next 20 years, while Mrs Wilbraham became the orphanage cook in 1907, a role she kept for almost two decades. Mrs Street came to the orphanage with her husband Tom in 1928 and worked firstly as Assistant Matron until being promoted to Matron and later retiring in 1966. We’ll also be hosting a nostalgically-themed tea room with refreshments and we’ll have an arts and crafts table fully stocked for children.