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Blackburn, West Lothian facts for kids

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Blackburn - - 167034.jpg
Looking west from the centre of the town
Population 4,761 (2001 census)
4,970 (2006 estimate)
OS grid reference NS985655
Civil parish
Council area
Lieutenancy area
  • West Lothian
Country Scotland
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BATHGATE
Postcode district EH47
Dialling code 01506
Police Lothian and Borders
Fire Lothian and Borders
Ambulance Scottish
EU Parliament Scotland
UK Parliament
  • Livingston
Scottish Parliament
  • Linlithgow
List of places
Coordinates: 55°52′19″N 3°37′16″W / 55.872°N 3.621°W / 55.872; -3.621

Blackburn is a town in West Lothian, Scotland local to both Bathgate and Livingston, two of the larger towns in the county. It is situated approximately 32 kilometres (20 mi) west of Edinburgh and 40 kilometres (25 mi) east of Glasgow on the old A8 road.


Blackburn means "the black stream", from the Old English blæc "black" and burna "stream". The name was recorded as Blachebrine in 1152. As a small industrial centre, Blackburn originally developed as a cotton-manufacturing town. In the mid-19th century, it became a centre for coal mining.

Its small population expanded rapidly from 4,302 in 1961 to around 9,000 by 1965 as a result of employment opportunities in Bathgate to the north and through in-migration following the inception of the Glasgow Overspill Plan.

The closure of the British Leyland plant in 1986 brought decline to the area, along with the destruction of many homes built during the 1960s.

The railway station at Bathgate reopened in 1986 and the 30-minute journey to Edinburgh attracts commuters to live in Blackburn.

In British political culture

The town was notably mentioned in a famous speech by MP Tam Dalyell in the House of Commons on 14 November 1977 in which he posed what would become known as the West Lothian question.

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