Lost Preston in Photos (part three)

Posted on - 5th March, 2014 - 2:10pm | Author - | Posted in - History, Nostalgia, Photos



Photos of things and places lost and forgotten in Preston.

Another in our series of both recently lost buildings or places in the city of Preston as well as tantalising reminders of things long forgotten. It is surprising what we have lost. It is also interesting to discover that in some places we still have lingering hints of what went before.

That leads us to the first picture above.

A sculpture called Gauging the Ripple once looked forlornly down at a lock by Lancaster Canal. Carved in oak by Thompson Dagnall, the £21,000 sculpture was commissioned by The Ribble Link Trust with British Waterways at the Millennium Ribble Link Preston Lancashire.

Locally know as the ‘peeing statue’ and the ‘piddler, the wooden sculpture was taken down due to extensive damage water and never replaced. The plinth now stands empty.

These rusting rails on the side of Fylde Road are one of the few remaining remnants of the long gone city end of Lancaster Canal. The old waterway made its way under the road, flowing along the path now covered by the grass to the right of the picture, ending up in a basin near the bottom of Corporation Street. The canal now ends at the Ashton Basin. There are similar rails on Marsh Lane near the UCLan buildings marking the canal’s path under the road.

canal rails

Many Prestonians know about the mysterious Miley Tunnel, running north from near the UCLan Media building through to Deepdale. The tunnel was opened in 1840 to be part of a rail line running to Longridge. The line closed to passengers in 1930 and to goods in 1967. A proposed new tram line may run through the tunnel at some point in the distance future. The line still exists and at the far end near the junction to the main line a single rail light glows red – maybe to stop any ghost train that might emerge from the tunnel!

miley tunnel

A last remaining relic of long gone Preston’s cattle market. As well as cattle the market also trading thousands of shirehorses. The Cattle Market built on Brook Street in 1867, with an Auction Mart erected in 1898. E. G. Hothersall and Sons Ltd. leased the site from the Council. The Cattle Market was sold to Kendal Auction Mart Ltd. in October 1983. Near to the Brook pub, formerly known as the Cattle Market or the’ big house’ to locals. The site is now a housing complex.

cattle market

Old organ tossed into the street from the then recently closed down Lime Kiln pub. It found its way into a skip to be dumped. Probably entertained many locals over the years. The pub later converted into the China House Chinese restaurant currently appealing a safety shut-down order.

lime kiln

Another long lost old Preston pub. The picture shows the ex-Red Rose Inn located on St Paul’s Square. The pub used to be called the Edinburgh Castle, later to be renamed after the nearby Red Rose radio station. The image shows the conversion works into accommodation.

red rose inn

Rusty propellers still to be seen at an old foundry in Preston. Friedenthals Ltd Ribble Engine Works, near the Atlas Foundry off Wellfield Road. The Canal Foundry set-up in 1892 , successors to Stevenson and Co. Later to make steel ladles and carriages then ships’ propellers, boiler feed and general service pumps for marine service. Still currently listed as Friedenthals Ltd, Marine Propeller Works. The rusty propellers are a relic of the shipbuilding and canal works in Preston. Telegrams were sent to the works using the word ‘screw’.


The next picture is an example of a lingering memory of bygone times. The Empress Cinema that once exited on Eldon Street. It was large 900 seat facility that opened in 1929. The cinema closed in the early 70’s. It became a roller skating rink for a short time. The nearby bus stop is a poignant reminder of the lost cinema.


Not lost as such, but maybe forgotten. A largely intact World War II concrete bunker at the entrance to Preston Docks. There aren’t many reminders of the last war in the city. Preston remained relatively unscathed during the war despite being huge munition and weapon manufacture. This box, the last remaining in the area would have been used as a base to attack German vessels sailing down the Ribble or infantry coming down the bank north of the river. It now protects the entrance to Trax at Riversway.


Finally, a relic of Porter & Co of Bamber’s Yard in Preston. Fondly remembered Bamber’s Yard was an ancient passageway named after Joshua Bamber, a cooper, who opened premises there in 1827 . The cramped area contained an eclectic collection of shops and manufactures. The whole area was demolished to make way for St George’s Shopping Centre. A relic of an old cheese maker at the site – a cheese press saved by the late Bob Kitching of Leagrams Organic Dairy.

bambers yard

Hope these pictures stirred some memories of old and not so old Prestonians. Remember if you have any old pictures of Preston let us know so we can share them with everyone.

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