Sunday, 31 August 2008

wishful thinking

In July there was an open meeting organised by Bikhu Patel to discuss proposed developments for Winckley Square. Over a hundred people attended and it was a splendid example of democracy in action. Personally I felt that at the end of an evening of heated debate the differences came down to whether a fountain and a shelter should be included in the design. The majority seemed to be against them.

But the whole evening got me thinking about what, if any, improvements could be made in the Broadgate area. I started off on the basis that they should be low key, sustainable and affordable but then veered off into a dreamlike state where the North West Development Agency gave BRAG £3,000,000 as well as giving it to Winckley Square.

But I’ll come to that later as there are a few things that I wouldn’t mind developing now. The first being that patch of land opposite the Ribbleside Inn which seems such a waste hidden away behind a not very attractive hedge. Don’t get me wrong – I like open spaces that hang around and don’t seem to do much but that space seems to attract just drunks and the entire pigeon population of central Lancashire.

I’d like to turn a couple of green areas into allotments that would help people as food and energy prices rise. That linear path that used to be the old railway would be one. Then there is the area on the left going up Fishergate Hill and the spaces around Fitzroy Street. People could sell the surplus to the Continental as the new owners want to source local produce.

I’d ban cars from parking on one side of Broadgate and make it a cycle lane.

I’d convert all the pubs that have closed down into sports and leisure centres for the kids to use.

I’d love the shop that used to be the bookies to re open as a greengrocers or Broadgate Cycles again.

And then for my, sorry our, three million pounds I’d build a walkway under Penwortham Bridge to link up with a paved and lighted path along the Ribble with a level crossing to get to the cinema.

If there was anything left over I’d build a small station at the Strand and open up the railway through the tunnel to Preston station and have a regular steam train service running along it.

And, of course, if we did get three million the BRAG Chair and Secretary would have to go on a fact finding mission to the Cayman Islands to investigate..err…well… facts.

Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Rebirth of A Much Loved Preston Pub

I got this newsletter from the 'New Continental':

Lets hope for sunshine on Saturday 16th August, so that we can sup in that beautiful beer garden and remember all those glorious summer days of the past!

Hello again and welcome to Continental's second newsletter. Some very exciting news this time; that's right, we now have a definite opening date.

Mark 12 noon 16th August (yes, that's this Saturday!) in your diary and we hope to see you then.

If you read the first newsletter you may recall us mentioning the opening was dependent on the flooring being completed on time?
Well, our gallant team is working through the night to ensure that this happens and we have every faith in them.

It has been hugely exciting for us seeing the place gradually come together. The furniture has arrived, the light fixtures have been installed and the conservatory now has windows, which is always a big plus in our book. We've also had bicycle stands fitted, got the garden up to scratch and 'Captain Coconuts' has now well and truly left the building - so long, sailor!

Best of all though, we have taken delivery of large quantities of quality beer, wine and spirits for your delectation and supping pleasure!

Our expertly trained chefs are on the premises, preparing the kitchen to deliver that mouth-watering menu we promised, and, believe me, I've seen it, it's going to be fantastic. The garden is looking rather fabulous (if we say so ourselves) and if we're lucky enough to have some good weather you'll be able to sit out and enjoy it for yourself. Failing that (this is 'The Great British Summer' after all) the outdoor covered area is ready and waiting, but the pub is looking so great on the inside that we think you'll be quite content to spend your visit indoors.

So, Saturday it is hope to see you there and tell all your friends.

Be excited now!

The Continental Team

PS: Don't forget to keep up with the latest news on Ruth's blog on
and on our website at