Menu

Preston in 1973: Guild Hall opens, Led Zeppelin banned

Posted on - 22nd January, 2023 - 7:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Friargate, Preston City Centre, Preston Guild Hall, Preston Railway Station
Avenham in 1973 Pic: Preston Digital Archive
Avenham in 1973 Pic: Preston Digital Archive

Fifty years ago the country was undergoing an upheaval that was worse than today. There was a double energy crisis with an oil embargo from the Arab nations, such as Saudi Arabia, and a miners’ strike that led to a three-day week. There were long queues for petrol as well as the threat of more power cuts. However it was not all gloom; the new Guild Hall opened in Preston and life continued.

Advertisement

Led Zeppelin cause deafness at the new Guild Hall

The new Guild Hall Pic: Wikimedia
The Guild Hall in 2015 Pic: Francis Franklin / Wikimedia

A key event in Preston in 1973 was the opening of the Guild Hall. However the venue got off to a rough start. David Bowie, Led Zeppelin and Roxy Music were banned from appearing again. Apparently, at their performance, Led Zeppelin screwed their rather overpowered (4,500 watts) PA system to the new wood floor of the stage. They were never invited back! It was so loud that some patrons complained of hearing loss for days afterwards.

Friargate shops in 1973

The junction of Friargate and Ringway in 1973 Pic: Preston Digital Archive
The junction of Friargate and Ringway in 1973 Pic: Preston Digital Archive

The image above shows Friargate looking north towards the University. Interestingly this part of Friargate looks more or less the same today. There is evidence – on the end of the build to the left – of where it was demolished to make way for Ringway. A rather stylish Ford Capri is turning left, while a Vauxhall Viva follows. The Jobcentre Plus is now on the right.

Friargate today Pic: Google Earth
Friargate in the modern day Pic: Google Earth

Bad flare day

Cheapside in 1973 Pic: Preston Digital Archive
Cheapside in 1973 Pic: Preston Digital Archive

Flares were all the fashion in 1973. However, inflation was at 8.7 per cent and rising. By 1979 it was 13.3 per cent. High inflation sparked a range of strikes, the key one being the miners. Most power stations still ran on coal and the threat of more blackouts, as in 1972, was real. Notably a new Ford Cortina cost less than £1000.

Preston Station in flux

Preston Station, 1973, the old East Lancs platforms Pic: John Evans
Preston Station, 1973, the old East Lancs platforms Pic: John Evans

Preston Station was in flux in 1973. The old East Lancashire platforms were still in place but disused. Here we see a Class 25 in corporate BR blue with a ballast train. The main line had just been electrified. Also the Park Hotel can be seen on the right. 1973 saw the introduction of the TOPS computer system for managing locomotives. The blue livery had been introduced in 1967.

Advertisements

Fishergate in 1973

Fishergate in 1973 Pic: Preston Digital Archive
Fishergate in 1973 Pic: Preston Digital Archive

Fishergate in 1973 and a Preston Corporation double decker bus travels down the not yet pedestrianised main road. The UCP restaurant is prominent. UCP stood for United Cattle Products and they sold mainly tripe. Tripe was once a staple in Lancashire, and was made from the lining of a cow’s stomach. UCP cafes were a common site in northern towns.

Follow Geoffrey on Twitter for more Preston history.

Read moreSee the latest Preston news and headlines

Share
Advertisements
barton manor gym
Preston in pictures Converted beer barrelsSunset at the bull nose24.02.18 - Preston [Queuing] 240216Past Times1Bistrot PierreCrystal HouseAnd dog food pleaseDocklands @ Preston View more Advertisement Subscribe to the newsletter

Sign up below to receive Blog Preston's email newsletter. It wings its way into inboxes every Sunday and Wednesday rounding up our top stories and more.

Advertisement News by location

Find news by location, select an area of your choice to be kept up to date with the latest goings on.

The Preston Guide

Discover local businesses and services near you.

    Advertisements
Advertisement Categories

Find news by category, select an category of your choice to be kept up to date with the latest goings on.

Blog Preston email updates

Receive our digest of the biggest and best stories every Sunday to your email inbox

We respect your privacy and you can unsubscribe at any time from our emails