‘New Order Blackburn’ Banner (Material Memory)

Year: 1989/90

Origin: Blackburn

Donated By: Mark Tennant

This battle-worn banner connects to Blackburn’s legendary musical heritage, harking back to its iconic warehouse party scene of the late 80s and early 90s. Back then, Blackburn was the mecca for Acid House enthusiasts, attracting young people who flocked to partake in the all-night raves in its vacant mills. The Hacienda music scene in Manchester ran in parallel with the raves in Blackburn and although different, were deeply interconnected.

Factory Records, responsible for The Hacienda nightclub in Manchester, and orchestrated a weekly Hacienda club night in the local Blackburn venue, Manhattan Nights.

Hung outside the venue was the flag reading ‘Hacienda Blackburn,’ which, over time, fell into the hands of Mark. As a devoted follower of this scene and a fan of the band ‘New Order’, whose sound was a big part of the clubs in Blackburn and Manchester, Mark modified the flag to proudly display ‘New Order Blackburn.’

Amongst many outings, this flag notably travelled with Mark and ten friends to Barcelona, where they experienced New Order perform live to a crowd of 120,000 people. The band’s opening words on that stage were: “This is for you, Blackburn.” 

Remarkably, this particular flag represents the third generation of its kind, diligently replaced by Mark, who continues to carry the torch of Blackburn’s musical legacy.

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