The Transports Human Cargo


Human Cargo comes to Mellor Brook Community Centre near Blackburn on 12th May. For Parallel Lives, we're delighted to partner with People's Enterprise and Empowerment Forum (PEEF) - a wonderful organisation which works widely to support local communities in Pendle.

Blackburn Peef Near Neighbours Project

Our Parallel Lives partner

The Near Neighbours Project aims to bring together local communities in Pendle through shared activities. Its cooking class and lunch club ranges from ginger biscuits to Arabian lamb cakes and Moroccan couscous. The project is one of many activities organised by People's Enterprise and Empowerment Forum (PEEF) including language lessons, IT training, fitness, a jobs club and an allotment. PEEF is particularly active in supporting Syrian families who have settled in the area.

The Preston General Sessions of 30 August 1844 tried a young Blackburn house servant, MARY ANN ABBOTT, 24 years old, for stealing a dress. It was her first conviction and the jail reported on her good behaviour. Yet such a small crime earned her a large punishment. She was transported for seven years. She arrived in Tasmania the next summer. Two years later she was married to a shoemaker called JOHN BLACK. The new colony desperately needed young, single women. This must have influenced the sentencing. Mary Ann fitted the bill, she was trained as a servant, could read, was ‘orderly and obedient’, 4’7” tall with brown hair and blue eyes. In effect, she was a comfort bride trafficked by the British authorities. 

GEORGE YATES was a 21 year old labourer from Blackburn. In 1847 he was tried in Preston for stealing a leg of mutton. For this, he was transported to Tasmania for seven years. He was 5’8” tall with brown hair and fair complexion, he could read, the end of the fingers on his right hand were crippled.

21 year old WILLIAM STIRZAKER from Blackburn was transported in 1850 for seven years. His crime? Stealing a coat. He ended up in the horrors of Tasmania and, even worse, Norfolk Island, some 1,000 miles from Sydney.  Within four years he was freed, married the daughter of a miller and participated in the Australian Gold Rush.

Our partner organisations inBlackburn

People's Enterprise and Empowerment Forum (PEEF)