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Hyndburn Borough Council have announced a replacement banner on Broadway in Accrington is set to be installed in the coming week. 

The Accrington Pals Banner has been in place since 2014 and has come to the end of its life. The new banner design is inspired by Tiffany Glass and features recognition of those who lost their lives due to conflict with an image of a soldier and poppies growing. Alongside the nod to Accrington Pals, the new banner also illustrates many elements of the history and heritage of the local area including: NORI Bricks, the textile trade, calico printing, Oswaldtwistle coke ovens, Accrington Stanley, native flora and fauna. 

The new banner follows the theme of ‘Where nature, heritage and culture connect’, depicting rolling Pennine hills, waterways and lots of hidden stories and innovations that are unique to Hyndburn. 

Cath Holmes, daughter of Walter Holmes (Pals Historian), was involved in the original banner design and has also had a pivotal role in the elements of the new banner, she also has recently received Freedom of the Borough, the highest award a local authority can bestow. Cath said:

“The Accrington pals are intertwined into who we are and what we are. A proud town and a proud borough. I’m really looking forward to the new banner, it’s exciting and we have much to be looking forward to in Accrington and the borough as whole.”

“The new banner features much of our history, culture, heritage, and green spaces. We are surrounded by wonderful countryside with lots of parks and open spaces in the borough.”

“I know many people are going to be really sad to see the banner go. I was really proud to be involved with its design along with Walter Holmes, historian, and Ruth Turner, widow of the late Bill Turner, who wrote the Pals books.”

The new design of the banner is one part of wider work to elevate local history and heritage in the area. Following it’s installation the elements of the banner will also be seen as part of other new signage on Accrington Town Square. Videos and information to raise awareness of the inventions and people of the past, to inspire young people today, will also soon be released. 

Community feedback so far has included: 

Snowdrop Doula, based in the Accrington Arndale Centre “I can’t wait to see it”

Sam Mahmood “It’s time for a change and colours are lovely and vibrant”

Joanna Donovan “I think it looks great, its exactly what we need down there to start the ball rolling to get the town back to its former glory”

Kersha May “Looks Great!! Nice to see some colour”

Marty Smyth “The new one looks nice, nothing lasts forever”

Terry Fielding “Now ive seen the banner im well impressed”

Lucy Hamlin “The new banner looks very vibrant”

A full animated version of the banner, which brings all the elements to life individually, can be seen as part of a display inside Accrington Market Hall. This is open to the public during usual market opening hours. On Hyndburn Council’s social media this animation has been shared with narration about the stories intertwined in the design from local born actor, Julie Hesmondhalgh. 

A spokesperson for Hyndburn Borough Council said: 

“The Accrington Pals banner has been loved for almost a decade and thankfully has stood the test of time. Unfortunately following an assessment, it was necessary to remove this banner. The UK Shared Prosperity Fund has meant that the banner can be replaced and over several months hundreds of people from the community have been involved in shaping the heritage-led vision for Accrington’s transformation that has informed the new look. 

“When talking about Accrington Town Centre, particularly with young people, overwhelmingly the ask was to add colour, happiness, nature, greenery and inspiration for the future. The wider vision for Accrington has been led by stakeholders, leaders and community, with a heritage-led theme the core element of funding allocations received.

“This banner and the stories it shows from our past is just one small part of major transformational works about to commence. Including planning permissions soon to be submitted for the three major levelling up projects on Accrington Town Square: The Market Hall, Burtons Chambers and Market Chambers. Part of levelling up plans also include greening of Accrington Town Centre, refurbishment of the Accrington Pals Memorial, a new programme of cultural events and business support packages.”

On Saturday 21 October at 12pm a civic ceremony will be held with the Mayor, Mayoress, Town Crier Rawden Kerr and community representatives on Broadway in Accrington to give a formal farewell to the previous banner and welcome the new one. Everyone is invited to attend and honour the past, whilst looking towards the future. 

On this same date the Accrington Makers Market will be held on Accrington Town Square from 10am-4pm and a live show ‘BLAST’, which includes fireworks and music is coming to the UK from France for its debut appearance. The show starts at 7pm, it is free to watch and no tickets are required.

The banner, events and activities have been funded through the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, allocated to Hyndburn earlier in 2023.