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Posts Tagged ‘Preston Guild’

Working loom in the 1952 Preston Guild

 

This loom had been manufactured by Gregson and Monk of Preston.  They wanted to display their product on a wagon but to have it weaving required the expertise of one of the local weaving mills, Taylor Brothers of Bute Mill, which is still in Essex Street but ceased to be a weaving mill many years ago.  My father, on the left, rode on the wagon and had to keep the loom weaving if at all possible.  He told me that one problem was that the shuttle had a tendency to fly out of the loom into the crowd from time to time !!!  Also, it started to rain and so he had to send runners to all the local shops to buy up all the packets of starch to sprinkle on the warp to try to dry it sufficiently to avoid the threads breaking.

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For ten years now we have been told that the Tithebarn project would be the best thing since sliced bread for Preston, with a complete redesign of the City Centre.  First it was going to be a show piece for the 2012 Preston Guild – then there was going to be a delay and we would be in the middle of a building site for the Guild.  Then further delays and it would not be likely to start until after the Guild.  We had an exhibition showing a large model of what the new City Centre would look like and numerous articles in the local paper.  Now it has to go to a public enquiry, which will cost £800,000 and there are fears that the developers will pull out and the whole project will collapse.  One letter to the editor of the Lancashire Evening Post said that the writer had a scrapbook full of cuttings from the paper, with countless different versions of the design for the revamp, now its on, now its off – and dire warnings about the chaos which would result once the builders started.

I have yet to meet anyone who believed that it would ever get off the ground so none of this comes as any surprise – just disgust at the amount of money being wasted talking about it.

Then, as if this wasn’t enough – let’s redevelop the historic Winkley Square, with fountains, flashing lights and all sorts of futuristic nonsense.  This has been met with a great deal of opposition but still simmers on.

Once the planners get on a roll there is no stopping them so the next idea was to tart up the Flag Market.  The best thing they could do with that would be to demolish the ugly Crystal House but no – lets have seven 17 meter high electronic banners !!!   Todays paper has the headlines “Flag Market Revamp Blow”  The revamp of Preston’s historic Flag Market was on the brink of collapse today.  The City Council is in danger of missing out on vital cash to fund the £4.5 million project.

I’m quite sure that most people would consider that spending £4.5 million on the flag market is hardly VITAL and the money could be much better spent.

The good news, after all this doom and gloom, is that approval has been given to build a huge pumping station on green belt land just outside Preston with five miles of tunnels, up to 100ft deep, below the streets of Preston.  There are fears that it could cause severe disruption to motorists while it is being built.  I guess that they might be right on that one.  They say that it could be up and running by late 2012.  Well, like all these other schemes, I’ll believe it when I see it but one thing seems certain – they are determined to find some way of bringing chaos to Preston during  Guild year.   If all goes well they may just get all four schemes well under way by 2012 and then we might have to cancel Preston Guild.  We could always ask Blackpool Council if we could hold Preston Guild there.

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It will soon be 2012 and the next Preston Guild.  A major event by anyone’s standards and we look like having it in the middle of a building site.  The Tithebarn project, which will transform a huge part of the centre of Preston has been on the cards for many years, is expected to start in 2010 and will take 4 years to complete.  Or so they hope!  My guess is that it will start late, will drag on for years and be full of snags and problems. 
I wonder whether we will be allowed to take part this time?  In 1972 our Church took part because we were then part of the Preston Trinity Circuit.  In 1992 only those Churches in South Ribble who had taken part in the 1972 Guild were allowed to walk. 
I still remember sitting on a grandstand on Avenham Park in 1992, sitting next to Rev Steven Wild and his wife, with Graham Kendrick on the stage, singing Shine Jesus, Shine, and the rain was cascading down in torrents.  The strange thing was that it didn’t seem to matter; we were defying the Devil who was trying to destroy what we were doing – and we won!!
On several occasions recently I have heard it said that when things seem to be going wrong it is because we are doing God’s will and the Devil is threatened by that.  It is when everything is running smoothly that we might just be in trouble.  When we do things our way and in our own strength the Devil can relax and take it easy.  

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