Preston Historical Society AGM with talk by Emma Heslewood

Posted on - 9th May, 2014 - 7:30pm | Author - | Posted in - Uncategorized

A scene from the first meeting of the season October 2013

The Annual General Meeting of the Preston Historical Society will take place at the usual venue of St. John’s Minster¬†at 7.15pm on Monday 12 May 2014. The society was founded in 1948 and has made use of many venues in Preston during its 66 year period of existence. The current venue of the St. John’s Minster in Church Street is quite a¬†prestigious building and probably the oldest church in Preston existing at its location for over 900 years although it has been replaced and rebuilt over time. From the humble former days of a very small membership of around 15 people the society now boasts over 200 members and regularly has 30 to 50 visitors attending meetings.

Emma at last year's PHS meeting with some of Will Onda's decendant relatives. Left to right Linda Whiteside, Jennifer Thomas, Carol Dickenson,. Emma Heslewood and Eileen Barker

Emma Heslewood (second in from right side) at the 2012 meeting with some of Will Onda’s decendants

The forthcoming Annual General Meeting will be followed by a second visit from guest speaker Emma Heslewood, the current history curator at the Harris Museum. Emma gave a talk in December 2012¬†and introduced the audience to Will Onda (Hugh Rain), who was one of Preston’s notable people of his time. Onda¬†was an acrobat, entertainer, filmmaker, cinema and theatre proprietor. The talk will include a brief introduction on Will Onda for those who missed the first talk on Emma’s personal research on Will Onda‚Äôs background and career on the stage. Then Emma¬†will present how he got interested in films, the extent of Will Onda‚Äôs work as filmmaker, and most importantly what has survived. This talk will be the essential guide to all with an interest in Preston’s early cinema and its development in the early twentieth century.

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The Preston Film Service, Kinema House, Corporation Street, Preston

The Preston Film Service, Kinema House, Corporation Street, Preston

Over the last year the society has expanded its membership quite considerably but unfortunately has lost a few committee members due to retirement and various other personal reasons. They are now looking to gain two to three new committee members who would be willing to dedicate a little time in the¬†general running of the society’s affairs. The existing committee is a strong and dedicated team of like minded people who have a desire to see the propagation of Preston’s great history and its heritage. New committee members would be given full support from the existing team and would be made most welcome indeed. The society also requires anyone who would care to volunteer to help with light duties on meeting nights at the Minster. This would be to help with serving refreshments, checking in members and help clearing away at the end of the meetings. Anyone wishing to become a committee member or to volunteer for light duties can speak to any of the current committee members before or after a meeting or contact them at any of the email addresses or phone numbers given on the Preston Historical Socitey¬†website ‘Contacts us’ section.

For more information you can visit the Preston Historical Society web-site or Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.

To find out more about Will Onda you can visit Emma Heslewoods blog.


Have you attended a PHS meeting or are you a member? Would you like to become part of this well established organisation? Let us know in the comments below.

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