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Blackburn, West Lothian facts for kids

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Blackburn - Daily Record Image.jpg
The approach to Blackburn from the south
Blackburn is located in West Lothian
Population 5,730 (2020)
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
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, near both Bathgate and Livingston, two of the larger towns in the county. It is situated approximately 20 miles (32 km) west of Edinburgh and 25 miles (40 km) 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.



Blackburn is home to Scottish football club Blackburn United who play at the Purdie Worldwide Community Stadium (New Murrayfield Park) near the centre of the town and compete in the East of Scotland Football League Premier Division. The Club forms the pinnacle of the Blackburn United Community Sports Club.


Blackburn is a big part of Scotia TaeKwonDo, with national competitions regularly held in the Blackburn Community Centre which is adjacent to New Murrayfield Park. Classes are also a big part of the Taekwondo activity in the area.

Educational facilities

The village has the Roman Catholic secondary St. Kentigern's Academy, which serves students from the surrounding areas of West Lothian.

Blackburn is also in the catchment area of the non-denominational secondary Bathgate Academy, which is 2 miles (3 km) away.

The village also houses three primary schools: Murrayfield Primary, Our Lady of Lourdes Primary and Blackburn Primary as well as Pinewood School, a combination primary/secondary additional needs school.

Formerly the village had its own Blackburn Academy, a non-denominational secondary school that also served students from the surrounding areas of West Lothian. However, the Academy was closed in 1992 after several new non-denominational high schools had opened in nearby Livingston.

Famous natives

  • Susan Boyle, singer who first came to fame as a contestant on Britain's Got Talent and whose 2009 debut album I Dreamed a Dream became the fastest selling UK debut album of all time.
  • John Brown, footballer who attended Blackburn Academy and subsequently played for Rangers when the club won nine consecutive Scottish League titles.
  • Angela Constance, Scottish National Party (SNP) politician and ex-Scottish Government Cabinet Minister.
  • Steven Craig, footballer who, amongst others, played for Falkirk, Motherwell, Aberdeen and Dundee.
  • Jim Devine, Labour politician who was convicted of fraud and jailed in the United Kingdom parliamentary expenses scandal
  • Michael Gallagher, Australian paralympic gold medallist.
  • Alexander Young (engineer), mechanical engineer born in the nineteenth century and who went onto become a politician in the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Blackburn (West Lothian) para niños

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