In 1895 Colne became a Municipal Borough (after very briefly being an Urban District) with a “proper” elected town council complete with new town hall from which to exercise its powers. Prior to this, the town had been the responsibility of the Colne and Marsden Local Board of Health since 1875.
The surviving archives of both bodies can be seen at Lancashire Archives and the catalogue to the collection can be browsed online here. The records contain an overwhelming amount of information about the town. “Minutes” for example, though a bit dry sounding, contain a wealth of detail about the decisions made by the board and the council which affected life in the town and local people feature on every page (minute books can also be seen at Colne Library). For anyone interested in any almost any aspect of the town’s twentieth century history, this is one of the main places to look. The council had a huge amount of responsibility for what happened locally, from water supply to trams, schools, civil defence, health…..through to burying the dead, and all of these and more are in the archives.
In 1973, local government reorganisation saw the municpal borough disappear and the creation of Pendle District (later Borough) Council. Again the archive collection can be seen at Lancashire Archives and the online catalogue is here.