Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Russians In Lancashire

A new blog has been set up for members of the Russian community in Lancashire

It's authors are Andy and Elena.

They say:

This blog is for the Russian speaking communities of Lancashire in the north west of England. (Русская версия данного блога здесь)

We plan to publish a wide variety of material about our meetings, events, experiences and interests. We hope that Russian speaking people visiting Lancashire will find useful and interesting information and will want to share their experiences with us.

We will try to keep you informed of forthcoming events and please let us know of anything you would like to see listed here on the blog.

We hope to raise the profile of people from Russia and the Republics in the north west of England and we are happy to hear your ideas!

you can read the English Language version here: http://russianlancashire.wordpress.com

The Russian Language version is here: http://russianlancashire.blogspot.com

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Penwortham Leisure Centre

The threat of closure to Penwortham Leisure Centre is one which Broadgate residents will take very seriously, as it is the easiest leisure centre to reach from our area, the others require at least two different buses to get to, and a long trip through Preston's usual state of traffic gridlock.

Last thursday night, a public meeting with over 400 people was held, with feelings running high. South Ribble Borough Council and Priory High School are failing to reach an agreement, and unless they can, a valuable community facility could be lost.

Ed Walker provides really excellent in depth coverage of the background to the issue, and of what was said at the public meeting over at 'Preston Blog', this is superb material which shows the very best of what local bloggers can achieve.

Click on the links below for the finest coverage of the Penwortham Leisure Centre dispute:

Public meeting called over leisure centred closure threat

The people's views

The council and the school state their positions

Let's support the people of Penwortham and the leisure centre workers in their campaign to keep this essential facility open, and hope that those in responsible positions feel enough hot breath on their necks to quickly work out a common sense way of delivering this.

Friday, 17 April 2009

Latest from the Continental

While the rest of Preston sinks into gloom, with more shop closures, a swathe of redundancies in different industries, and now some signals that the £750m Tithebarn scheme that the council had pinned all it's hopes and strategies on for the past decade may now be on dodgy ground, Broadgate is staying sunny and optimistic.

We actually seem to be bucking the national economic downturn, Broadgate has had several new businesses opening in our area such as smart sandwich bar 'Obertellis' and Indian Restaurant 'The Spice Lounge'.

One pub that's making Broadgate a really desireable place to be is 'The New Continental', with it's eclectic mix of art, literature, poetry, theatre, music and techie events, not to mention some excellent beer.

They've sent out their latest update of forthcoming events, and it looks really exciting, here's what it had to say:

Thanks to everyone who dropped in over the Easter weekend - we all had a fantastic time, and the weather was fabulous - a taste of the coming summer, we hope.

Taking us up to the end of April, we can't move for great events here at The Continental. May is filling up quickly too - keep an eye on the events page for an update in the very near future...

Next week, we've a two-night run of Stephanie Ridings' acclaimed one-woman show, Me, Mum and Dusty Springfield. The highlight of last year's Royal Exchange Blue Six festival, Ridings' comic monologue explores the mother/daughter relationship with insights we'll all relate to... all cut through with a liberal sprinkling of Dusty's lyrics. Shows are at 8pm on 23rd and 24th April, and tickets are priced at £7, or £5 concessions.

Also next week is Preston Writing Network's first event, Word Soup: Three published authors will be reading from their own work on the subject of Risk. Featured writers on the night are cult novelist Steven Hall (author of The Raw Shark Texts), alongside Preston's own Jenn Ashcroft (A Kind of Intimacy) and Chris Killen (The Bird Room) - backed up by bloggers Socrates Adams-Florou, Sally Cook and open mic from The Continental Collective. Plus musical interludes from the fabulous Ottersgear! Entry is only £3, and it all kicks off at 8pm on Tuesday 21st April. Those of you with a literary bent may also be interested in a new beginners Creative Writing Course which will be starting in the pub next month - drop us an email to info@newcontinental.net if you'd like to take part!

Music-wise, we've a full weekend - Tonight (17th April), we've a performance by Manchester-based nu-folk sensations Ivan Campo - they'll be taking over the snug for an evening of foot-tapping folk-pop, with a keen ear for catchy tunes. They pack us out every time they play, so it promises to be a smashing evening - the gig kicks off at 9pm.

Tomorrow (18th): Martin Carthy - this is now sold out, but there might be a few returns on the door if you want to come down anyway - but no promises! Monday (20th April) sees an album launch gig from Preston's dark electro-rock combo Playing Violet, with support from Stephen J Buckley and the Feverdreamers - Entry is free, and starts at 9pm in the events space.

Next Sunday (26th) is the last of the month, which (of course) means The Continental Jazz Club. This month sees the return of the ever popular (and evergreen) saxophonist Harold Salisbury, with Tom Vernon on Guitar, Norman Helm on Bass and Tim Franks on Drums. As always, we'll be launching proceedings from 9pm

The Beer List is currently being typed up for the Second Continental Beer Festival, which will be running from 30th April through to 4th May - we'll be sticking it up on the website as soon as it's done, and trust us, it's going to be fantastic - 5 days of the best beer, cider, food, music and (fingers crossed) weather Preston can offer!

Don't forget our book club - the next meeting is on the 20th April in the snug - email catherine.cable@talktalk.net for more details if you'd like to join in - the current book is Morvern Callar by Alan Warner. Yoga will be starting in the next couple of weeks after work on Thursdays - get in touch if you've not put your name down already with info@newcontinental.net and the start date will be finalised next week.

Alll the best,

The Continental Team

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Workers Memorial Day, Preston and Chorley

Workers' Memorial Day, International Workers' Memorial Day or International Commemoration Day (ICD) for Dead and Injured takes place annually around the world on April 28, an international day of remembrance and action for workers killed, disabled, injured or made unwell by their work.

According to the International Labour Organisation (ILO), across the world:

Each year, more than two million women and men die as a result of work-related accidents and diseases

Workers suffer approximately 270 million occupational accidents each year, and fall victim to some 160 million incidents of work-related illnesses

Hazardous substances kill 440,000 workers annually – asbestos claims 100,000 lives

One worker dies every 15 seconds worldwide.

6,000 workers die every day.

Work kills more people than wars.

In a world, where on occasions death, injury and illness at work are hidden away and taken for granted, Workers' Memorial Day is an opportunity to highlight the preventable nature of most workplace accidents and ill health and to promote campaigns and union organisation in the fight for improvements in workplace safety. The slogan for the day is:

Remember the dead - Fight for the living.

Although the 28 April is used as the focal point for remembrance and a day of International solidarity; campaigning and other related activities continue throughout the year right around the world.

Preston is no exception, and there will be a memorial service held in Chorley too:

Preston - March and rally on Saturday 25th April 11.30 am at Preston Flag Market for more information about it, please contact: WMD c/o Trade Union Education, 5th Floor, Buckingham House, Preston PR1 3LS, Chair: Andy Birchall, 01772 223112 www.lancashiretradeunions.org.uk

Chorley - Chorley Branch of Unite the Union are holding a multi-faith memorial service at the Unite Workers Memorial Tree in Astley Park, Chorley, on Friday 24th, April at 6pm Meet at the Park gates (Park Road) at 5:50pm, all welcome. For more information Steve Turner (Branch Secretary) Mob- 07859369492

This years memorial day will be particularly poignant, as millions of workers internationally have lost their jobs as a result of the catastrophic world recession.

Thursday, 9 April 2009

JuggleCon1 Avenham Park

Easter Monday is the day Prestonians traditionally head for Avenham Park to roll their eggs.

This time the event will be enhanced by "Jugglecon1" a self organised event by local people.

Here's what's happening:

* Juggling
* Circus (if you've got a Unicycle or anything Circusy please bring along)
* Food
* Games (please bring along anything you think we'd love)
* Fuzzies
* Easter Egg Rolling
* Fun!

According to 'Visit Preston'

The annual Egg Rolling or Easter Fair on 13th April 10am to 3pm dates back to Victorian times although its exact origins are a mystery. However, the tradition has continued to modern times and continues to capture the imagination of all generations.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Learn Essential Zombie Survival Skills In Broadgate

With climate change, the credit crunch, celebrity culture, unhealthy diets and MP's expenses claims all getting worse, it's only a matter of time before the undead rise from their graves and slake their unholy thirst with the blood of the living.

That's the claim of Dr Dale Seslick, leader of a crack team of Zombie Apocalypse survival consultants, who will be visiting Broadgate this Friday, to host an Essential Zombie Apocalypse Survival Skills course at the New Continental.

According to the New Continental's website:

Seslick's popular Seminar deals with such sensitive issues as: What is a Zombie? Am I a Zombie? Is she a Zombie? Is he a Zombie? Are you a Zombie? Are they a Zombie? and of course the age old question - est tu un Zombie?

The impending threat from the legion of the undead is one that has been all too long ignored by the political establishment. Attempts to alert members to the danger of a crowd of stinking and rotting corpses asserting their diabolical will over the land of the living have made little impression in the House of Lords.

This is a course no Broadgate resident should miss, learning zombie survival skills, while supping a pint of real ale at the Conti, is far preferable to watching your own intestines being ripped out by lumbering cadavers.

Dr Dale Seslick is stopping in Broadgate as part of a national tour that will equip the whole country with zombie survival skills, a tour that will culminate in Edinburgh, city of Burke and Hare, the infamous body-snatchers. The seminar in Edinburgh coincides with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

For live video footage of Dr Dale Seslick's teaching, see fellow Preston Blogger 'The Temple of the Matmos'

Monday, 6 April 2009

Grafton St To Shut Down For 6 Months

Grafton Street in Broadgate is to be closed to traffic, and even resident's parking for up to 6 months. The whole street will resemble a massive building site, as it will be open only to contractors vehicles, the work is scheduled to begin in May, and may last until October.

Broadgate residents are preparing themselves for months, if not years of traffic chaos, as the work will continue along Strand Road, and involve the sinking of several tunnel shafts.

The crucial work is part of the Preston Tunnel Project, a major piece of civil engineering by United Utilities which will allow, when it is finished, for the storage of up to 30,000 cubic metres of storm water overflow, and will include 5 kilometres of pipework which will transfer waste water to the Clifton Marsh Water Treatment Works.

While residents are concerned about the inconvenience, noise, dirt and dust, most are aware of promises by the authorities that this work will significantly improve Preston's flood defences, as it enables much more effective drainage of storm waters that create the kind of flash flooding we're now all too familiar with, as well as improving water quality in the River Ribble, and in the Estuary.

The tunnels in Preston will follow the paths of existing roads and will not travel under buildings apart from those owned by United Utilities. Restoration will also be carried out after the underground work is complete.

Three shafts will be dug at Watery Lane, Marsh Lane and Fishergate Hill to allow digging machines to travel 26m underground to create a tunnel between the sites.
From Preston the pipes will travel under the river to a new pumping station in Penwortham, before passing beneath farmland and the river to Clifton Marsh.

The project has been planned to help the river comply with European legislation on bathing water quality.

Once complete, improvements should be seen to shellfish waters along the estuary and to beaches at Southport, Ainsdale, St Annes and Blackpool.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

'Broadgate Is Great' Reverberates Across The Blogosphere

"Who looks upon a river in a meditative hour, and is not reminded of the flux of all things? Throw a stone into the stream, and the circles that propagate themselves are the beautiful type of all influence" Ralph Waldo Emerson

The internet is like a constantly flowing body of water. If you chuck a big enough rock in, you can send ripples right around it.

Broadgate is Great is a very little blog, about a small, but pleasant, part of Preston, which is an ex-town trying a little bit too hard to be 'the third city of the North West'. You'd think a blog with such a small footprint would seem barely relevant to other people in other places.

Even so, in the short time it's been in existence, 'Broadgate Is Great' has certainly sent out a few ripples, and been noticed by quite a few people, and it is really nice to be noticed.

It's even better to be noticed by decent writers, and Jenn Ashworth is certainly that, she's Preston's brightest literary flame since Robert Service and Angela Brazil.

Jenn was kind enough to say about this blog:
Broadgate is Great does what is says on the tin. As a community news portal specific to the Broadgate area, this blog is hard to beat. The writing is clear, informative and characterful, and the look and layout of the blog make the most out of the template and include some amazing pictures of the area.

Read more of Jenn's opinions on our, and other Preston Blogs at Preston Writer's Network

A lot of people liked the post on '85 ways to build community', which got featured in the Britblog Carnival on Redemption Blues Here's their opinion on that post:

Riversider at Broadgate is Great, drawing on Professor Robert Putnam’s initiative across the Pond, lists, in a creditable effort at transplanting it to British soil, 85 Ways to Build Community. Predictably (though not without justification), "Turn off your TV or PC" features as admonition number one (on the original American list, top spot goes to "Organise a social gathering to welcome a new neighbour". Switching off the goggle box is to converse with friends or family occupies 71st position only). "Go outside" comes in at number two. Interestingly, "Say hello to strangers" is number 51 (85 in the US version). People still where I come from and it is part of the charm of the place, but nowadays chiefly the preserve of the older generation. "Join in to help carry something heavy" would be a non-starter in Waffleland, where nobody would dream of giving up their seat for a white-haired matron on a bus, never mind a pregnant woman.

Even our article on the Broadgate Flood Wall repairs made an impact on the blogosphere. Greentime said this;
Global warming brings with it heavier floods in traditionally flood-prone areas. Are our local flood defenses up to the challenge? Follow one example of posing and answering this question at Broadgate Is Great: Broadgate Flood Wall Repairs.

Closer to home, the admirable Preston Blog took up our post on the threat to build a 'Super Surgery' over the Hartington Courts play area.

The latest blog to feature an article from Broadgate is Great is The Soul of Rock and Roll the blogger there suggests our coverage of Damo Suzuki's gig at the Continental will lead him to seek this experimental underground rock adventurer out.

Lots of other blogs have also posted links to Broadgate Is Great, and we always try to reciprocate. If you look at the bottom of the right hand sidebar, you'll see the very latest posts from some of Preston's most excellent blogs.

Broadgate is Great has just been going for a few months, but we're already getting the word out about some of the great things happening in this area. We're proud to belong to a community that's starting to make some pretty interesting and exciting things happen for itself.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Riversway Blog Probes Sport

Blogging gives ordinary people a voice that otherwise might not be heard.

It is with this in mind that 'Broadgate is Great' welcomes the new 'Riversway - Labour and Industry' blog started by Callum D'Souza, a postgraduate journalism student at the University of Central Lancashire.

Callum has big ambitions for his blog, he says the blog will be
"about industry and the labour force, there is only one print correspond for labour and industry in the whole of Britain"

The first aspect of Industry and the Labour force Callum is probing is Sport.

He explains:

I am going to look at the sports industry in Preston. Looking at how sports centres in Lancashire will become a training base for the London 2012 Olympics. Fiffteen Pacific Island countries including Fiji, Paupa New Guinea, Samoa and Tonga want to make use of facilities in Preston, Myerscough and Clitheroe. This means that Preston will financially 'get a piece of the action'.

So far Callum has blogged about how the Pacific Island Countries are all set to use sports facilities in Preston - despite the fact we do not have an olympic size swimming pool.

He comments:
It seems strange that a country would specifically choose to use a swimming facility which does not match the length of the Olympic sized pool.
Although there are plans to build an Olympic size swimming pool in Preston, this is unlikely to happen in the near future.

Athletes which represent the Pacific Islands will have little or no access to swimming facilities in their own country.

So the facilities which are presently available in Preston are still considerably better than in the Pacific Islands.

Other blogs set up by journalism students include: 'Preston Town Centre Health and Social Services at http://prestonisacityofjoy.blogspot.com, authored by 'pocket venus' who's been focussing so far on the closely linked subjects of alcohol, sex and pregnancy. Pocket Venus's blog has the innate advantage that you can read about sexual misbehaviour in it without feeling guilty, because it's basically for your own good.

We wish both bloggers lots of luck, and great futures as journalists.