First World War walking tours return to the city

Posted on - 21st June, 2016 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - City Centre, History, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston News, What's On in Preston
From left clockwise: Joseph Garstang, John Gregson and Beatrice Blackburn

From left clockwise: Joseph Garstang, John Gregson and Beatrice Blackburn

Guided tours explaining the stories of three Prestonians caught up in the First World War are to return once more.


John Gregson, Joseph Garstang and Beatrice Blackhurst are to have their stories told by tour guides around the city centre.

Gregson was killed in the trenches in June 1915, leaving behind a wife and three children.

Garstang was a conscientious objector. He was imprisoned and force fed 38 times.

Blackhurst was a mother and campaigner, she was part of the committee that set up the Preston Station Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Free Buffet.

Read more: Plaque unveiled to remember Preston’s Victoria Cross hero

Funded by Preston Remembers and the Heritage Lottery Fund more dates have been added for the tours which are painstakingly researched and led by Preston Remembers volunteers.

Deputy leader of Preston City Council councillor John Swindells said: “The stories of soldiers being killed in the trenches during the First World War is a history everyone is familiar with and should never be forgotten. Many people have connections with their own family members who were lost.

“What is less well known is the untold effect it had on all corners of society -from people like Joseph Garstang who suffered horrendously for his beliefs – to the families left behind, refugees forced to flee their countries and those soldiers who came back but were forever changed by their experiences.

“It is extremely important to remember the far reaching effects of the First World War and how it changed our society forever. The walking tours tell these fascinating stories and capture the time perfectly.”

When are the tours

30 July – John Gregson tour
21 August – John Gregson tour
25 September – John Gregson tour
16 October – John Gregson tour
Sunday 26 June – Joseph Garstang tour
31 July – Joseph Garstang tour
21 August – Joseph Garstang tour
18 September – Joseph Garstang tour
31 July – Beatrice Blackhurst tour
20 August – Beatrice Blackhurst tour
18 September – Beatrick Blackhurst tour
22 October – Beatrice Blackhurst tour

All the walks are free, and take between one hour to an hour and a half. The longest walk covers a mile.

For the Gregson walk meet at the reception of the Museum of Lancashire, for the Garstang walk at the row of red telephone boxes in Market Street and for Blackhurst walk at the entrance to Avenham Park at Ribblesdale Place.

You are advised to register for the walk of your choice via Eventbrite to ensure you have a place.

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