big burnley clothes swap sign

#BigBurnleyClothesSwap Burnley, Lancashire

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It’s Lancashire Day today 27th November. The day commemorates the first day the county was represented at Parliament in 1215; Lancashire is a wonderful county, so much to see and do here. I live in Eccles, which started out in Lancashire, but is now in Greater Manchester, but most people consider themselves Lancastrians.

I thought I’d tell you about my visit to Burnley in the Lancashire hills last weekend; I was invited by Burnley Social to the #BigBurnleyClothesSwap to cover the event (free of charge). Burnley Social are working to promote Burnley as a great place to live, work, study and visit.

They ran the event to support students and young people to #recycle and #reuse while supporting the local Hospice ( – and have a bit of fun too.  They’d laid on hairdressers and makeup artists, and a photographer – and music.

Boohoo supported the event by donating ‘samples’ for the event – thanks Boohoo 😊

row of party dresses on a rail

Why I love Clothes swaps #recycle #reuse

These are great ways to refresh your wardrobe – all you do is bring some clean, good quality items and swap for items from other people.   When you get to a clothes swap event you’re usually given token or coloured raffles tickets corresponding to the same number of items you’ve brought (swapping like for like). So a raffle ticket for tops means you can choose a top, accessories for accessories etc.

I’ve been to a few clothes swaps at my WI.  If you’ve not been to one – please try one out or get together with a group of friends yourselves. You’ll be surprised what you find – and swapping with real people means they have suggestions about what you should try that you’d never pick up.

I got a lovely checked shirt for my husband to add to his collection and a new party dress for me (under wraps for the moment)

Everything was well organised at #BigBurnleyClothesSwap and I saw people choosing some beautiful things.   Thank you Burnley Social 🙂 I hear there’s going to be another clothes swap in 2019.

canvas bag 'suits you girl' bagpurple yellow sequin skirt with blue and purple sequin skirt

Supporting Charity

Money from ticket sales and all the left-over clothes were donated to Pendleside Hospice (who have charity shops too).

Clothes swaps really do help with minimising ‘throwaway fashion’ so I’ll keep going to clothes swaps and searching out clothes in charity shops.


I hardly ever get to go to blogger events (I think I’m the wrong demographic) but the topic of this event really mattered to me.  I met some lovely bloggers Lyd from Whatlyddid, Abbey and her mum Yvonne from Abbey-Hearts Blog and Tasmin from Grandiose Days.  Big thanks to Lyd who took my new blog photo – we have the same camera.

Have a look at the Burnley Social Facebook page for more photos: –

Hazel – photographer –

Hazel was taking beautiful photos too; I had a good chat with Hazel about cameras (I should have taken my Lensbaby as she’d had good fun with it) and it turns out she loves taking photos of flowers and insects too.

stone mill building with a chimney

Sandygate Mill Burnley #nofilter

Burnley – Regeneration

It was a gloriously sunny Autumn Day in Burnley, I hadn’t been to Burnley for about five years – I’d been there for the day while My Chap was mountain biking up on the moors.   I had a wander around afterwards; it was good to see so many of the 19th Century mills and buildings repurposed. The University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN)have bases in Burnley including at Victoria Mill which is a sensitively restored mill.

Prince’s Trust Northern centre is based at Sandygate Mill in Burnley right by the canal – they do important work getting young people back into work and also helping them to set up new businesses.

Benedictine 😊

There’s another thing Burnley is famous for – the townspeople drink about a quarter of the annual production of the French liqueur Benedictine.  This goes back to the First World War when the Burnley troops of the East Lancashire Regiment were hospitalised in the Palais De Benedictine Fecamp, Normandy. ‘’ot Bene’ soon spread to the trenches and finally home to Lancashire.  The Burnley Miner’s Club began ordering it, 800 bottles a year at its peak – it’s less now, but don’t write this idea off until you try a hot toddy with Benedictine.

Charlie wrote about this a while back; and here’s a news item about the 100th anniversary of the first bottle celebrated at the Miner’s Club:

coppa batch gin, mini bottle of batch, hygge sign

Batch Gin

Batch Gin – made in Burnley!

Given how often I mention gin on this blog, or on social media, it may surprise readers that I only started drinking gin about five years ago. I’ve been drinking Pimms for years (which is usually gin based). I’d always hated the smell and taste, but my wise friend Charlie, who knows a lot about gin, said I hadn’t found the right style of gin – it turns out I don’t like London Dry Gin styles.

She ran a ‘science behind gin tasting’ at Manchester Science Festival – with a few other gins and I discovered I did like gin and needed different mixers.  So Batch Gin was the first gin I really liked 😊 and I’ve been drinking it on and off ever since.

Batch has gone from strength to strength starting in 2015, winning all sorts of accolades; they have a monthly gin box – and they make rum too now.

My pal Charlie wrote a review of ‘Batch Gin Rummy’ in September 2018:

Note: We were gifted a bottle of gin in our goodie bags for the event but I wasn’t asked to write about Batch.

Out and about in Burnley

I asked my pals about interesting things to see and do around Burnley – and here are some of their suggestions.

I saw this sign at Victoria Mill ( – it sums things up for me 🙂

sign saying we use our voices and our minds to positively influence those around us

wise words ‘we use our voices and our minds to positively influence those around us’

And if you want to know more about what’s happening in Burnley follow:

There’s always something interesting to see or try in a place, just look under the surface for the hidden gems. You might be surprised what you find – remember Benedictine 😉 I’ll be back to explore more of Burnley.



Have you been to a clothes swap? What did you find? Have you been to Burnley? Do you have a favourite place to visit?


Carpe Diem

Love Bec xx xx xx

*Note: I was invited to attend this event by Burnley Social free of charge, and received a goody bag in return for social media coverage and this blog post.  As mentioned clothes swaps are events I often go to and our WI is planning one next year

12 thoughts on “#BigBurnleyClothesSwap Burnley, Lancashire

  1. bluefitz17

    Sounds great fun, I’ve never been to a clothes swap and would love to try it. I have plenty to swap! I also love your background on Burnley – I’m aware of the Benedictine link to Burnley and it fascinates me! We used to have Dom Benedictine liquers at Christmas when I was a child

  2. Annette, 3 Little Buttons

    We’ve never been to a clothes swap before. It does sounds like so much fun and of course it’s always a good idea to swap or recycle clothes if you can – especially as what may be unwanted by one person could be someone else’s treasure.

  3. thetallwanderercom

    Happy Lancashire Day! Clothes swap is such a good initiative. Also I didn’t know there was a Burnley gin… I will have to check that out.

    1. Bec - views from my garden bench Post author

      it was great – I like clothes swaps, I’ve been to about 4 or 5 now and I’ve got some lovely things – and so good to reuse So sorry you didn’t get a chance to make it to this event. I hear there’s going to be another one in the Spring. love bec xx

  4. Jenni

    I love clothes swaps. When I was younger my friends and I used to meet at each other’s house with clothes that we had decluttered, swap, have a couple cocktails. It was loads of fun.

  5. Wendy

    Ohh I would love to go to a clothes swap! It’s such a great idea to recycle your clothes. I don’t know anything about Burnley as I’ve never been to Lancashire/Manchester so it was nice to learn more from this post xx

  6. NM

    There was a clothes swap near me recently but I’d missed it and wanted to kick myself in the shins for it! It seems like such a cool and fun idea I’d really like to get involved the next time it’s around the West Midlands!


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