Blackburn celebrates the life of campaigner George Dewhurst

Published Thursday 18 November 2021 at 17:55

Blackburn born George Dewhurst fought for reform and workers’ rights all his life, it is due to his passionate campaigning that he is being remembered on November 20th.

Blackburn Museum is holding a Day of festivities on George Dewhurst Day in recognition of George’s achievements.

George was a working-class man who made a huge impact on wider society and Blackburn’s Heritage.

He believed it was his vocation to support the case for better working conditions and although was a warm and caring man was termed ‘a radical’ due to his passion.

It was this passion that would result in him spending two years in Lancaster Prison for High Treason. Sadly, during his imprisonment his six-year-old son died due to extreme conditions of poverty.

George went on to become a Blackburn Councillor and was instrumental in campaigning for the town to become a Municipal Borough Council. He was also part of the team that campaigned for access to open spaces (for working class people) and helped to develop Corporation Park. Unfortunately, he died just a few months before the park opened.

A silver cup awarded to George in the 1800s was returned to the town last year after his family crowd funded more than £1,000 to buy it. It now sits in Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery so it can be kept as part of the town’s history.

Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Executive Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, Councillor Damian Talbot said:

George Dewhurst played an important role in our Borough’s history. It gives me immense pride to see him recognised in this way. I’m sure the day of festivities at the museum will be a great success and highlight his achievements to the younger generation.

George’s family have also announced that they have put in an application to have a road named after George Dewhurst.

Emma Speed, 4th Great Grandaughter of George Dewhurst said:

All George’s descendants are really excited about the day, as it will be the first time George’s cup will go on show to the public after being saved from private sale through crowdfunding. I know that George would be so proud and humbled that people could enjoy it as he did. This also signifies a great partnership between Blackburn Museum and The University of Central Lancashire who are joining together to create this event in celebration of George’s little-known achievements in raising the profile of Blackburn, and championing workers’ rights.

Find out more about George Dewhurst Day and book your free ticket to attend the celebrations below:
George Dewhurst Day | Blackburn Museum

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