Preston's colourful history has shaped today's town. The town is probably best known through the world for its' Guild Merchant. This is Preston's Royal Charter granted in 1179 by Henry II and since 1500 guild celebrations have been held every 20 years, the last being held in 1992 attracting millions of visitors.
The Guild celebrations have involved a full year of events in the town with one week being the main Guild Week with colourful processions, major spectacular indoor and outdoor events, street parties and much more.
Preston has been a main market town for the surrounding area since Anglo-Saxon times being placed in the heart of Lancashire and laying on the main route between the towns and cities of the south and Scotland to the north. The town as excellent transport connections with the motorway network via the M6, M55 M61 and now the M65 to the east. The main west coast intercity rail line running through the town allows direct access to London and Glasgow by rail within under three hours. There is international connections via Manchester and Blackpool airports which can be reached in under one hour by road or rail.
Preston as outdoor and indoor markets, a livestock market, a wholesale fresh food market the many shops, shopping centres or arcades all presenting a modern, convenient and clean environment for all your shopping needs. The former docks and docks area has been converted to an attractive Marina, entertainment, office and shopping area, this area is now know as Riversway.
Preston is the administrative, commercial, industrial and cultural centre of Lancashire there is also a wide range of educational and leisure opportunities and facilities. The University of Central Lancashire based in the centre of Preston is now an important feature of the town with over 15,000 students and now probably the biggest employer in the town.
The town has a wonderful collection of art and sculptures housed in the magnificent Harris Museum & art Gallery building of Greek Revival architecture.
There is a large selection of restaurants with international cuisine, pubs, clubs, entertainment venues and night-life. There is the towns entertainment centre, the Guild Hall & Charter Theatre which is home to major events, concerts and theatre productions. There are two multi-screen cinemas, leisure centres, golf clubs, museums, Preston North End football club, Preston Grasshoppers Rugby football club and many more attractions, so there is always something of interest for folk day or night.
Well the future in the town of Preston is looking very good, the M6 motorway now four lanes wide allowing even better access to the town , new multimillion pound central Law Court for Lancashire opened in 1995. The two main shopping centres, the Fishergate Centre and St. George's both investing in improving facilities which are already the best in the area.
The University of Central Lancashire has been awarded £8 million by the national Lottery to go towards their £12 million sports complex project, which is now under construction.
Preston North End football club (official web site is http://www.pnefc.net/ ) have just opened two new stands and will be starting to rebuild another, and with the team now in division one, the place is buzzing.
There are many new houses being built for this vibrant town to house the towns increasing population and its growing workforce. As Preston leaves the last century, which it started with its' many cotton mills and heavy engineering factories, we see the town evolving to meet the needs of its' town folk in this new century. There are new types of jobs being created in the service industrialises, in new factories using new technologies to supply the towns needs thereby ensuring Preston's future.
Copyright © 1996, Rob O'Gara : firstname.lastname@example.org : First issued 3rd March 1996.