For one reason or another I missed posting about Preston. We returned there at the end of our fortnight on the Lancaster Canal because when we arrived we had made arrangements to have a new carpet fitted to Tacet.
So Friday was the day, and as is usual with such things; phone calls not returned or made when promised, things not in stock, plus the complication of non-boaters understanding about boats that don’t stay in the same place……… eventually the fitters arrived with the right carpet and settled down to the job.
And a good job they did too, after a lot of cutting around odd shaped bits and pieces. A great improvement on the old one, which was showing its age with wear and tear especially after the last two years of our feet and an often wet dog!
The town centre is quite a long walk from the canal, there are frequent buses, but we chose the exercise. It has a distinctive covered market, which I failed to get a picture of, with a tall canopy covering a large area.
borrowed from Google Images
The outdoor covered market is a Grade II listed landmark structure which was built in the 1870’s. It is built of cast iron pillars with a lattice work iron roof, originally with a wood an glass roof. It has a 90 foot span, the pillars just round the edge, leaving a large clear open space for the market stalls. The rainwater drains from the roof into a hidden gutter and is sent away down the inside of the iron pillars.
The glass skylights have since been removed and lighting installed, the original cobbled floor has gone too.
An impressive Town Hall and Museum & Art Gallery at its centre,
and a ‘Marmite’ Bus Station.
The Preston Bus Station is massive with bays for 80 buses and it seems people either ‘love it or hate it’. There is a multi-storey car park above the station with room for over 1,000 cars.
It was built in what is known as the Brutalist architectural style in the late 1960’s.
The building has been threatened with demolition in the City Council’s redevelopment plans. This has led to various petitions and applications for listed building status over recent years. Earlier this year it was granted Grade II listed building status. So perhaps now its future is secure.
The Marina area is a popular leisure time destination, with the large out of town shops, eateries, a steam railway, swingbridge and lock at the entrance from the river.
Preston was yet another boomtown of the Industrial Revolution gaining its prosperity from textile manufacturing. In more recent years it has faced hardship with the close of its engineering industries and the commercial docks.