Having a thirst for all things Preston I stumbled upon a Facebook group which has the very unusual title of ‘You know you’re from Preston when….’. Having joined the group, I was soon to find that several hours had passed by and I was still reading the posts of other members with great interest.
The fundamental idea of the group is for members, which are generally resident or ex Prestonians, to share with others a memory or an amusing anecdote from their past or even an old image, all of the former town of Preston.
What I realised was that this group is really an incredible cornucopia of living social history of people’s lives, experiences, reminiscences and the places that used to exist, possibly still being there to this day.
The whole concept of the group intrigued me so much that I just had to contact the original owner of the group, Kate Fenton and her co-administrator Scott Shaw.
I asked kate how the group began and what was the reasoning behind it and the following passage was her reply.
“I got the idea for the group on Facebook; ironically I saw a group called “You know you’re from Hull when….”.
It’s random but I have family there so that sort of explains it. I thought it was really nice to see the community spirit amongst people who lived in the same city yet didn’t know each other being brought together by their own experiences, memories and funny stories. It made me think of all the things Preston is known for and wondered what others could come up with that tell them they are from Preston and Proud of that fact. I solely set up the group and it just grew and grew, very rapidly. I couldn’t say what the group numbers peaked at but it was tens of thousands, which was amazing. Sadly Facebook archived any groups which had not updated to the new format and we lost the group details and statistics.
I made Scott an administrator due to the amount of spam that was originally being posted. He helped me remove it and ensured everyone was playing nicely; funnily enough we have never even met!
The group has somehow become popular again and has a totally different feel, now attracting the attention of older generations, which is fantastic as I am fascinated by days gone by. To see and hear about how things have changed over 30 years and how the place is so different, it makes me wonder how is it for those who maybe twice my age?”
To give an idea of the type of statements and questions asked on the group I have compiled a very small sample of posts by current members.
You know your from Preston when….
You used to have to cut the string from the the new shoes your Mum bought you at Tommy Balls.
Your birth certificate says you are from Amounderness
You had a chamber pot under the bed!
When my Nan and Auntie Ann took me to see wrestling at Saul Street Baths but for some strange reason it had to be kept secret………until now!!
You remember Henry and Ivy from The Oddfellows Arms. Charm personified.
You remember shopping at Owen Owen!
You Loved to visit the peacocks on Moor Park
You’ve had a night at the Caribbean club
You remember the open air swimming baths on Moor Park… Freezing !!
You have been in the beautiful St Marys Church in Friargate which I believe is the oldest Catholic chapel in Preston.
You went to the sat morning Top Rank then to Pizza Land for lunch
You went to the Odeon on a Saturday morning n had a sherbert (with the liquorice stick in it)
You had to force your way to the bar in the Jolly Farmer as it was that packed!
You remember having ‘Sunlight Treatment’ at the old PRI in Meadow Street around 1958ish?
You had to go to Lingard’s for your school uniform
you rolled your eggs in the dip on avenham park and it was always late home for tea cos my mum and dad spent lots of time talking to family and friends not seen for ages
You remember the man who came round twice a year to change the clocks in the lamp-posts?
You got rainbow kayli at the corner shop on the way to school and maybe a choc yoyo bicci on way home if it was grandma who picked you up
You went to central Methodist youthclub and the Schooner coffee bar afterwards
You had a family member who was a weaver in the cotton mills.
You sat freezing in Saul Street baths wishing you’d chosen Rugby instead
You understand what I mean by ‘lets meet in the Welly’
So there you have it. If you like the idea of sharing memories, experiences, tales and images of old Preston Town or just simply fancy browsing the posts of members then I would say that this is the Facebook group for you.
At a recent glance, the ‘You know you’re from Preston when….’ group had reached a staggering 460 members in just a few months and numbers are rising exponentially.
Let us know in the comments if you are a member and what you think of the group. Would you consider joining?