Brief Encounter to be an array of song, projections and processions

More details have emerged about what’s planned for the Brief Encounter festival to signal the start of Autumn in Preston.

Building on last year’s Lancashire Encounter there is to be a blitz of arts, song, projections and walking attractions for a four-hour period on Saturday 23 September.

Preston City Council says it wants to use the event as a stepping stone into the biennial Encounter festival – to give a flavour of what they have planned in 2018.

The story of Lancashire’s landscapes is to be projected onto the front of the Town Hall by the team behind many of this year’s City of Culture events in Hull.

As the projection plays choirs from across Lancashire will join in song to echo down Lancaster Road throughout the Saturday evening.

Elsewhere a scaled-back version of the torchlight procession takes place featuring groups from Blackpool, Preston and Burnley and includes the landscape giant.

The giant will walk the streets, illuminated with other parts of the procession, starting in Winckley Square, heading up Cannon Street, Fishergate and down Cheapside into the Flag Market.

On the Flag Market itself, a number of interactive artworks will be installed including an Illumaphonium, which allows visitors to play a song, and also a spectacular umbrella tree.

A giant globe will take pictures of those looking at it and project them across itself.

A host of workshops and classes are to take place throughout the Saturday evening – all free to attend – with venues due to be confirmed soon.

Everything will be free to attend and Tim Joel, head of events at the city council, says it will ‘whet the appetite’.

He told Blog Preston: “The emphasis is on making sure this is brief, it’s a flavour of what we’re looking to have in 2018.

“A key thing for this year is that we’re working to improve the arts and cultural infrastructure in not just Preston but Lancashire as a whole.

“We’re working with community arts groups from Burnley to Blackpool so they can get involved and be a part of this, as they have been doing.

“Preston has the space, size and facilities to host these kinds of events – and showcase what Lancashire has to offer.”

Funding for the event is coming from the Arts Council, the University of Central Lancashire, Community Gateway and the city council itself.

Cabinet member for culture and leisure, Councillor Peter Kelly, said: “For a taste of local arts and culture join us for Brief Encounter this September.

“The evening will be packed with lots of exciting things to see, do and experience. A landscape Giant, an umbrella tree, a mini procession and a chance to play an illuminated instrument made up of two hundred chime bars. There will also be workshops to try your hand at – screen printing, dance, theatre and singing with a choir.

“You’ll have to wait until 2018 for the full Lancashire Encounter weekend to return, but the evening of 23rd September will be spectacular!”

All events are due to take place from 6 pm to 10 pm on Saturday, with detailed timings to be confirmed for the procession and the other events. More details on Brief Encounter can be found on the Guild City website.

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Fulwood father tells of diagnosis with rare disease

A father-of-four from Fulwood has warned about a rare disease.

David Stott was diagnosed with pulmonary hypertension (PH) a life-limiting illness causing high blood pressure in the vessels connecting the heart and lungs.

The 40-year-old told how in the same week he was diagnosed he and his wife also found out they were expecting their fourth child.

Mr. Stott, an operating theatre manager at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, said: “I had never heard of pulmonary hypertension when I was diagnosed so I did what any 21st-century boy would do and I asked Dr. Google. And that’s when it all went black. Out of everything I’ve been through health-wise over the last four years, the memory of being told I had pulmonary hypertension is still the thing that haunts me.

“That same week I was diagnosed I found out my wife was pregnant with my fourth child. Immediately, I wondered whether I would even see my baby being born. It was very difficult. I know everyone dies eventually, but it’s very rare that you’re given a sell-by date.”

Just 7,000 of the UK’s population have PH and Mr. Stott has opened up on what it’s like living with the illness.

He said: “If anything, it’s the mental strain that I have suffered from more than the physical symptoms. It’s a draining condition that, unless you look to get support for it, has the potential to drag you down.

“When my daughter Lorien was born, seven months after I was diagnosed, she reminded me that life is never hopeless if you don’t lose hope. My children help me manage my condition by making me smile more than anything or anyone can – even when I don’t feel able to.”

Symptoms of PH involve breathlessness, fatigue, blackouts and swelling around the ankles, arms, and stomach.

The Pulmonary Hypertension Association has been working to raise awareness of the condition.

Chair of PHA UK Iain Armstrong said: “Everyday life can be very challenging for people with pulmonary hypertension and the results of this survey show just how much the condition impacts upon quality of life for patients and their loved ones. This was vital research into what it means to have PH in the UK today and it provides concrete evidence which can be used to address the crucial need for targeted treatment and specialist care.”

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SCAM ALERT: Rogue traders target elderly in Leyland

An elderly person in Leyland was targeted by rogue traders who used illegal selling techniques to con them out of money, say police.

Police were contacted on Saturday, September 16 following the incident on Sandy Lane where elderly people were approached on the street by traders who pressured a resident into handing cash over upfront in return for landscaping work.

Officers say the work was not completed.

A warning has now been issued by Leyland Police asking residents to look out for their vulnerable neighbours and tradesmen who do not appear reputable,

A spokesman said: “Today we have had reports that an incident took place where we suspect that rogue traders have approached elderly people on the street and used illegal selling methods to obtain money.

“The traders commenced landscaping work and pressured the resident into handing over cash up front, the traders did not supply any of the paperwork they are required to by law to explain the residents consumer rights, the work was not completed.

“We would urge people to speak to their elderly relatives and make them aware of such methods used by criminals, we would also urge residents to take an interest in their neighbours who may be vulnerable and keep an eye out for any tradesman who may not appear reputable."

This matter is being investigated and will be referred to LCC Trading Standards Department.

Police guidance on how to spot a Rogue Trader
• They may tell you the work is urgent and needs to be carried out immediately.
• They will normally ask for payment there and then and may offer to come to the bank with you if you don’t have the cash at hand.

How can I protect myself from doorstep crime?
• Be on guard if someone turns up unexpectedly.
• Keep front and back doors locked.
• Use the door viewer or nearby window when answering the door.
• Fit a door chain or bar – use it and keep it on when talking to callers at the door.
• If you’re not sure, don’t answer the door.
• Don’t feel embarrassed – genuine callers expect you to be careful.
• Only let callers in if they have an appointment and you have confirmed they are genuine.
• Always ask for identification badges of anyone you answer the door to, but don’t rely on them. Identity cards can be faked – phone the company to verify their identity.
• Some companies offer a password system. Ask your utility providers if this can be used and if you have a password with a company make sure the caller uses it.
• Never let people try to persuade you to let them into your home even if they are asking for help – they may not be genuine. If someone is persistent, ask them to call at another time and arrange for a friend or family member to be with you.
• Never agree to pay for goods or give money to strangers who arrive at your door.
• Don’t keep large amounts of money in your home.
• Remember, it’s your home. There’s no reason why anyone should ever enter your home against your wishes.
• If you’re not sure, don’t answer the door.

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Adelphi Square and new student centre buildings plan lodged

The next step in Preston university’s £200million masterplan has been taken.

The new student centre and Adelphi Square element of the plans have been lodged.

The University of Central Lancashire wants to build the new flagship building on the site of the former Fylde building – and create a new public square.

Costing £60million the Adelphi Square will become a new civic focal point for the city.

Architects Hawkins Brown have lodged the designs for the building after winning an international design competition.

Chairman of the UCLan board David Taylor said: “Our ambition has been to deliver a centre of learning where people of all interests and backgrounds can feel at ease, comfortable in their physical surroundings and supported in their academic, social and business aspirations.

“We also wanted a landmark building and a new civic square that will transform the existing campus and the City of Preston, and provide a new heart for UCLan. The new centre will be a welcoming, functional, focal point for all front-line student, visitor and staff enquiries. It will also be an important public asset that embraces the city scale and positively contributes to the ongoing regeneration of Preston.”

The proposals include re-routing the Adelphi roundabout and changing the road priorities on the roads around the new public square.

The civic square is to be 5,220 square metres and used for a wide range of events.

Full plans can be seen on the Preston City Council website and comments for planners can be left there. It’s expected to go before councillors for a decision later this year or early in 2018.

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Match report: PNE 3 Cardiff City 0

Preston North End manager Alex Neil was correct in his pre-match chat when forecasting that his side were facing Cardiff City and not Real Madrid.

The Welsh outfit’s super start to the season – five wins and a draw – had some fearing their visit to Deepdale.

While acknowledging those opening results, Neil was also at pains to point out that this is the Championship and everyone is capable of beating each other – hence his line in Monday’s press conference ‘it is Cardiff City we are playing, not Real Madrid’.

So it proved as North End clipped the Bluebirds’ wings in some style, scoring three fine goals.

Josh Harrop and Sean Maguire found the net before Alan Browne upstaged them all with a finish anyone in a Madrid shirt would have been proud of.

When a shanked clearance from visiting goalkeeper Neil Etheridge fell to him in the centre-circle, Browne returned it first-time over him and into the net.

Although we are only in September, I suspect it will be in the voting for goal of the season in eight months time.

The Lilywhites were fully deserving of the victory, the scoreline tells you that.

Harrop’s first goal in PNE shirt set the ball rolling late in the first half, his free-kick from more than 25 yards finding the bottom corner.

It was a lead doubled in the 70th minute as Maguire danced past a couple of challenges before finding the net from a tight angle.

Step forward Browne to steal the show and cap a fine performance in the engine room.

Neil had made three changes to the side which had drawn with Barnsley last Saturday, Harrop, Ben Davies and John Welsh coming into the starting XI.

It was Welsh’s first start since last October, his first-team return having come as a substitute in the Barnsley game.

North End were in their usual 4-2-3-1 system, Harrop playing the No.10 role behind Jordan Hugill, with Maguire on the right and Tom Barkhuizen down the left.

The first-half performance from the home side was bright to say the least – even brighter than Cardiff’s luminous green shirts.

Maguire’s early low shot was spilled by Etheridge, while Paul Huntington’s free-kick was headed on by Hugill to find Josh Earl on the left of the box, his cross cleared out of the six-yard box.

In the 11th minute, Maguire’s pass released Hugill down the left channel, the striker getting into the box and getting away a low angled drive which Etheridge dived to palm away – Maguire’s follow-up blocked at the far post.

Cardiff had a couple of chances, Kenneth Zohore shooting wide from outside the box, then a Joe Ralls effort hit Davies and looped behind for a corner.

At the other end, Davies connected with a Harrop corner but sent a header just wide of the back post.

Harrop gave North End the lead seven minutes before the interval with a quality finish.

When Sol Bamba went over the top of Hugill as they challenged in the air, referee Oliver Langford awarded a free-kick 25 yards out to the left of goal.

Harrop gave himself a good run up and hit it right-footed, the free-kick staying low as he flashed past the wall and nestled into the far bottom corner of the net.

Chances followed in quick succession for PNE, with Hugill lifting a shot too high from the edge of the box and then Maguire headed straight at the keeper after meeting Barkhuizen’s cross.

In the run-up to half-time, Harrop sent a 20-yard shot too high after Maguire’s industry had carved out the opening.

A minute into added-on time at the end of the first period, Aron Gunnarsson’s long throw-in bounced through to Bamba unmarked in the box but he could only poke a weak shot at Chris Maxwell.

A swift attack through midfield saw Preston go close to stretching their advantage in the 53rd minute, Browne winning a challenge in the centre-circle to start it off.

Harrop played it to Barkhuizen who slipped a pass to Darnell Fisher in the box, the right-back checking inside and hitting a low shot which Etheridge got down to save.

With an hour played, Huntington put a header too high after getting on the end of Harrop’s corner.

Two minutes later Hugill chased the ball out to the left-wing and sent over a fine cross which found Barkhuizen, but the winger put his header the wrong side of the far post.

PNE’s second goal arrived in the 70th minute, Maguire’s persistence paying off in abundance.

Barkhuizen won possession and slipped a pass through the defence to find Maguire just inside the box.

The Irishman skipped past a couple of tackles as he tried to dig the ball out of his feet and get a shot away, before finding the net with a shot between the keeper and near post from quite a tight angle.

Nine minutes later, Browne stole the limelight with an early contender for goal of the season.

Etheridge shanked a kicked clearance on the edge of his box, the ball falling to Browne in the centre-circle who lifted a first-time shot goalwards and over the back-pedalling keeper who flapped at it on the line but couldn’t prevent it going in.

PNE: Maxwell, Fisher (Woods 80), Huntington, Davies, Earl, Welsh, Browne (Gallagher 86), Barkhuizen, Maguire (Horgan 86), Harrop, Hugill. Subs (not used): Spurr, Mavididi, Robinson, Hudson.

Cardiff: Etheridge, Peltier, Morrison, Bamba, Bennett, Ralls, Gunnarssson, Mendez-Laing, Damour (Tomlin 63), Hoilett (Feeney 63), Zohore (Ward 79). Subs (not used): Ecuele-Manga, Richards, Bryson, Murphy.

Referee: Oliver Langford (West Midlands)

Attendance: 10,796 (363 away)

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Amber wind warning as Storm Aileen set to hit Lancashire

The Met Office has issued an amber warning for wind as Storm Aileen is set to bring strong winds to Lancashire.

The warning is in place from 00.05am until 6am on Wednesday morning.

It is expected the weather will cause delays to travel and may also damage trees, structures and cause power cuts.

The Met Office chief forecaster said: “The strongest winds are expected to arrive in the west around midnight and move quickly eastwards, with the worst of the winds likely to affect any one place for 1-2 hours.

“Gusts of 70-75 mph are most likely over hills and western coasts, but even further east gusts of 60-70 mph are possible.”

There is also a yellow weather warning for rain in place for Lancashire between 5pm on Tuesday and 8am on Wednesday.

The warning says this could cause issues on the transport network.

A statement from the Met Office said: “30 to 40 mm of rain falling within 6 to 9 hours seems likely to lead to flooding of some sections of road and perhaps also properties.

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Future of Broughton will be decided by a referendum

How and where new housing can be fitted in around Broughton village is a sticking point for the area’s new development plan.

Parish councillors are to re-think this section of the proposal for the future of Broughton.

The Neighbourhood Plan is due to be put to villagers in a referendum.

Any new housing would have to be small-scale to maintain the Broughton area’s present character.

Chairwoman of Broughton Parish Council Ann Hastings said: “This is particularly welcome given the pressures for major development that the village is facing as we now have the date for the opening of the bypass.

“These pressures make it even more important that the area has a Neighbourhood Plan to control and shape the form of future development.

“Any development needs to be in line with the plan and the local community’s priority to safeguard the village’s rural character and setting, and to maintain an ‘Area of Separation’ from Preston’s urban area.”

An independent examiner made his recommendations on the report, praising the level of consultation that had been taken with Broughton communities.

More than 100 villagers attended a consultation event at the Marriott Hotel as part of putting together the plan.

Parish councillors are now working to amend the Neighbourhood Plan before it goes to a referendum – pending approval of Preston City Council.

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Lancashire police constable charged with sexual offences against children

A West Division special constable is due in court after allegedly engaging in online sexual activity with a what he believed to be a 13-year-old child.

Special constable Jack Baxter, 22, from Greater Manchester, has been charged with misconduct in public office and two offences of attempting to cause a child to watch a sexual act.

He was arrested in November last year following an investigation by Lancashire Constabulary’s Online Child Abuse Investigation Team. It is alleged that he engaged online in sexual activity with a girl he believed to be 13-years-old while he was on duty.

Baxter, who is currently suspended, is due to appear before Preston Magistrate’s Court on September 14.

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Body found in River Ribble

A man’s body has been found in the River Ribble, say police.
Emergency services were called to the river close to Holme Road at around 5.55pm on Wednesday, September 6.

The body of a 79-year-old man from Preston was recovered with assistance from the Penwortham fire crews.

A spokesman for the police said: “We were called yesterday to reports the body of a man had been found in the River Ribble.

“We attended and sadly recovered the body of a 79-year-old man from Preston.”

Police have confirmed that the man’s death is not being treated as suspicious and his next of kin have been made aware.

A file will be passed to the Coroner.

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Five years on since Preston came together to celebrate Guild 2012

This week marks five years since the people of Preston came together to celebrate Guild 2012. The Lancashire Post reflects on the success of the festival and its ongoing legacy as a catalyst for change within the city.

Here was how we covered the Guild year:

Unique celebration
The first Preston Guild took place in 1179 when King Henry II granted Preston market town status.

A Guild Merchant in that age was an organisation of traders, craftsmen and merchants to trade high-quality goods.

Those wishing to trade had to pay a membership, and their goods were closely scrutinised.

Since 1542 the event has only been held every 20 years, but it is the only Guild still celebrated in England.

In 1790 freedom of trade was announced, but the tradition carried on in the form of feasts, processions and celebrations.

The only time the Guild didn’t go ahead was in 1942 when it was cancelled due to the Second World War, meaning there have been 26 events since its inception.

Historically the event saw performances from comedians, circuses, fairs and tightrope walkers, as well as horse racing on Moor Park.

More recently the Guild has seen music stars such as Maverick Sabre and Labyrinth perform on Avenham Park, as well as a variety of processions through the city.

One of the most notable processions is the Torchlight procession when illuminated floats wind through the city at night.

World renowned fashion designer Wayne Hemingway, a Lancashire lad, played a lead role for the Vintage Weekend event as part of Guild 2012.

He told the Lancashire Post: “Guild 2012 was brilliant because it was led by someone, Stella Hall, of national and international significance and experience who absolutely knows what they are doing creatively, artistically and in organisational terms.

“The team working on it, working alongside UCLan and people from the council, was also great. It was one of those things that really worked because everyone pulled together.”

“Avenham and Miller Park is just a fantastic place to hold a festival and that helped to set the scene.

“The energy levels were maintained through the build-up and into the event itself. Sometimes working with councils, it can feel a bit flat, but this one didn’t.

“The media really got behind it to the point where regional broadcasters were doing their weather forecasts there each morning.”

And looking ahead to Guild 2032, Wayne said he would be happy to help out in an advisory role.

He added: “Gerardine and I will have just turned 70 and it should reflect the new generation, that’s the whole point of something that comes around every 20 years, it should reflect how culture and society have moved on.”

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