FINAL preparations are under way before the Queen arrives in Blackburn tomorrow morning.

Hundreds of people are expected to line the streets to welcome her to town – and the weather is expected to be dry!

When the royal train pulls into the railway station, Her Majesty will be greeted by special posters, welcoming her to the town.

Hanging baskets have also spruced up the station, and an army of staff have been cleaning and painting the building ahead of her arrival.


Businesses along the route to the cathedral have also been busy making sure everything is spick and span, and setting up red, white and blue royal-themed window displays.

At the East Lancashire Hospice shop in Railway Road there is a colourful selection of regal-themed items for sale, displayed in the window alongside Union Flags and bunting.

Supervisor Louise Naughton said: “We thought we’d get it looking nice.

This Is Lancashire:

“We did think she might come out and buy a few things, so we’ve taken out anything royal related!”

Across the road at Sound as a Pound, bunting has been hung outside.

Manager Sohel Vaid said: “It’s a fantastic thing.

“If she comes into the shop I’ll give her a nice cup of tea out the back!”

And staff at the newly-opened No. 9 Barbers nearby said they would love the Queen to officially open their new shop.

Dianne Mason said: “It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

And Heather Heaton added: “I am interested.

“We want her to open the shop, and she can come in and have a bit of a haircut!”

At Blackburn Market, where stalls will be open from 7.30am, traders have everything from flags to cowboy hats on offer.

Roger Vaughan said: “We’ve been quite busy today, but we’re a bit worried that because of the good weather nobody will be tempted to come inside.”

And Mandy Phillips, who runs a fancy dress shop, said: “The tiaras and dickie bows have been selling the best, and the cowboy hats have been selling well. We’re all excited.”

Over at Blackburn Cathedral, red, white and blue flowers have been planted in the grounds, and inside the building, chairs have been set out ready for the arrival of the Maundy Pensioners.

Seating arrangements have been double and triple checked, and the clergy have rehearsed their prayers and readings ahead of the big day.

The Very Rev Christopher Armstrong, the Dean of Blackburn, said: “Outside, the police have been checking everything.

“We’ve had terrific support from them and the council, and everybody else really.

“There’s been a lot of extra work for the cathedral staff, who have had to work extended hours.

“The visit will be good for the town, the county, and the region.”