Cider & Perry Festival at New Continental

The festival is expected to be one of the largest in the North West. Image credit to neon bubble.

The festival is expected to be one of the largest in the North West. Image credit to neon bubble.

The New Continental in Preston, Lancashire is to play host to its first ever cider and perry festival. Over sixty different ciders will be on offer from all over the UK and continental Europe. It will run from Thursday 9th July to Saturday 11th July 2009.

The format will be similar to the Continental’s beer festival held back in May, the cider being dispensed from the pub’s arts space and a marquee erected outside with live music.

Confirmed acts include Manchester indie hopefuls Marble Krusher and Shrieking Violets, Lancaster nu-folk band Ottersgear and Preston’s very own With Knife, The Fifty50s, Baboon and Mrs & Mrs, who have just signed a record deal and are playing festivals including Solfest and Brampton Live.


Review: Russell Howard @ Guild Hall, Preston

This is a guest post from Louise Hendy. She is a student studying psychology, Spanish and IT at A-level. She blogs at the trick to life’s not to get too attached to it and can be found on twitter @louise_hendy. If you’d like to write a guest post for Preston Blog check out how you can get involved.

Russell Howard is a regular at the Edinburgh Festival. Image credit to Dave Smith.

Russell Howard is a regular at the Edinburgh Festival. Image credit to Dave Smith.

I think I’ll start by saying if you ever get the chance to go and see this man, you absolutely must go.

Russell had a support act for his show but unfortunately I have forgotten his name. I know his first name was Mark and he was from Bristol like Russell. He isn’t a well known comedian at all; I think he might just be friends with Russell. ANYWAYS, he was actually pretty funny and I can’t remember why exactly but he did get a huge round of applause at one point.

After a brief interval Russell came on stage in his trademark t-shirt and jeans combo.

He came and got distracted immediately by something someone shouted at him about wanting his babies.

He had amazing stage presence too. He seemed as hyper as he does when he’s on tv and he kept going off on little random tangents because of the stuff that members of the audience said.

The good people of Preston lived up to their dirty mindedness a good few times with Russell saying some things that he probably should have phrased differently.

There was a point when a man left to go to the bar and whilst he was gone Russell asked the people he was with to tell a secret about the guy and he would slip it into the show at one point and at that point everyone would cheer. The secret was um… the guy couldn’t get a hard on with a bar maid!

Like he said, Russell slipped it into the show and there was a monster cheer and round of applause. The guy wanted Russell to pose for a photo so Russell said only if you re-enact the scene with me. So he got on stage and bent over in front of Russell… that photo will look VERY dodgy to anyone that sees it on the Internet or something, put it that way.

At the end, when they ask if the audience had any questions. Someone asked for Russell’s top to which he said no as he had “very large, weird nipples” nice.

It resulted in a lady flashing her boobs at Russell’s support act.

I think the gig was one of my favourites I have ever been to and in the words of Russell “it was the single most oddest gig I have ever done”. It certainly was.

Celebrate Preston’s Fairtrade birthday

The Fairtrade Festival is being organised by Preston FM and local Fairtrade groups

The Fairtrade Festival is being organised by Preston FM and local Fairtrade groups

Today marks five years since the city of Preston was awarded Fairtrade status. To celebrate an event has been organised on the flag market, including music, guest speakers and dignatries. It’s taking place from 10 AM – 4 PM.

Brave the weather, head down and enjoy some quality entertainment and celebrate that Preston is helping those worse off than ourselves.

Preston FM will be there, who are co-organising the event, along with Preston & South Ribble Fairtrade Group.

Groovy outdoor film screenings @ GlastonFerret mini-festival

Cinematopia poster

Cinematopia poster

An outdoor film screening at a pub mini-festival? Is there a better way to spend a summer night?

The Best of Cinematopia 09 will showcase an awesome line-up of the grooviest short film, music video, animation and digital media from our past events at the outdoor Orange Peel stage. And all this with a turfed pub, live bands, barbeque and real scrumpy (and the outdoor area’s roofed so you don’t need to worry about the British weather).

Hosted by Kitsch Monkey Productions and the Mad Ferret, Cinematopia is Preston’s only regular movie night screening a themed programme of weird and wonderful films, animation and audio visual media. Themes have included kitsch, trash, psychedelic, avant-garde, sci-fi and spaghetti western.

Friday 26 June. Doors 7pm. Films 9.30pm £3 entry

Mad Ferret, 55 Fylde Road, Preston, Lancs PR1 2XQ

Full programme

Glastonferret myspace

Cinematopia Facebook group

Green Drinks July networking

This is a guest post from Martin Brown. He is a blogger on the built environment at isite and can be found on twitter @fairsnape. If you’d like to write a guest post for Preston Blog check out how you can get involved.

Green Drinks Lancashire, for people who work in the sustainability, construction, design or any environmental field, has been meeting every two months for the last six months as an informal network and discussion group on all things green.

We are delighted that the New Continental in Preston will host our next meeting on the 7th July

“We have a lively mixture of people from academia, government and business. Come along and you’ll be made welcome. Just say, “are you green?” and we will look after you and introduce you to whoever is there. It’s a great way of catching up with people you know and also for making new contacts. Everyone invites someone else along, so there’s always a different crowd, making GreenDrinks an organic, self-organising network.”

These events are very simple and unstructured, but many people have found employment, made friends, developed new ideas, done deals and had moments of serendipity.

For more info twitter @fairsnape

The #hashtag for this event is #GDLancsJuly

Green Drinks Lancs is supported by CWM, fairsnape and Constructing the Future

Preston South Asian Mela 2009

Watch Viva TV’s coverage of Preston Mela

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “PRESTON MELA 2009 | Viva TV“, posted with vodpod

Avenham Park was transformed on Sunday 14th 2009 into a vibrant cultural hotspot, with live music, traditional Indian food and stalls.

The annual South Asian Mela has been running for 13 years and brings together Preston’s Asian community for a celebration.

The name Mela means ‘Fair’ and there was all the fun of it, with rides for children and plenty of action on the main stage.

The food was fantastic, a real taste of the East, with dosa (a spicy pancake with a masala filling) costing only £4 it was an excellent lunch. There was also a vegetarian thali, that included rice, curried chickpeas, chappattis and a sweet snack.

The music on the main stage was provided by a variety of groups, including a rather lame boy band by the name of 3 Mix. They were blown away when followed by Punjabi MC (yes, the real one that worked with Jay-Z) who had the whole of Avenham Park grooving to some proper punjabi beats.

Watch Punjabi MC perform at Preston Mela

The Mela also featured a range of stands that allowed people to get health, housing and financial information – so alongside having fun there was also a serious side to the event.

It was also an excellent use of Avenham Park and let’s hope that Preston City Council can put on more events throughout the year to make use of the spaces that our city has.

Penwortham Gala 2009

This is a guest post from Paul Holmes. He is an IT manager and part-time IT teacher. Find him on Twitter @psholmes. If you’d like to write a guest post for Preston Blog check out how you can get involved.

Penwortham Gala featured street processions

Penwortham Gala featured street processions. Image credit to vintage vix.

Penwortham Gala 13 June 2009 part 1 The Afternoon.

I have lived in Penwortham for most of my life, and when I was a kid in the 80’s one of the highlights for me was being on the back of a lorry parading through Penwortham and then spending the day on the park trying to win a prize or eating far too much candy floss.

During the 90’s I outgrew the gala but when I moved back to Penwortham 5 years ago from Leyland I was amazed at the sense of community this event brings, and never more so than this year’s gala event. The weather was perfect and all morning Penwortham had a buzz about it, and by noon side roads were swarming with families making their way to Cop Lane for the lunch time parade.

My wife and I meet up with all our family then joined some friends in their front garden across from Hurst Grange Park. Standing outside their house I was amazed at the good feeling on the streets, and how everyone knew everyone else. I saw people id not seen for years, but on a day like Saturday you instantly pick up from where you left off. Kids were excited, parents laughing and then the parade started.

Watch a video of Penwortham Gala 2009 from Viva TV

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “PENWORTHAM GALA – 2009 | Viva TV“, posted with vodpod

I was impressed with the pipers and the marching bands – also the floats were excellent (the Star Wars one my favourite), but we did feel that the parade was a little short – could this be the credit crunch, is it difficult to get a trucker to work Saturdays with the price of fuel?

After the parade went past people began to make their way to the park. The park was the busiest I’ve ever seen it. The rides and stalls were really attracting the crowds, and my young niece loved the rides and I suppose that’s who they are aimed at. Also with the incredible weather ice cream sellers must have made small fortune. Next year I’m going to have a stall selling spray on hair colour as every kid on the park was buying the stuff and walking round with bright green hair.

After an hour we decided to retire to the Fleece for a few drinks – again very busy but I was a bit put out that they had run out of Pear Cider and didn’t have enough staff behind the bar, but again the sense of community in the beer garden was brilliant, and everyone had one aim to return to the park at night.

Penwortham Gala 13 June 2009 part 2 The Evening

By 6.30 walking to Hurst Grange Park, you could smell barbeques and see people gearing up for a night of entertainment on the park. We took a cool box and picnic chairs and got a good spot in front of the stage. Again I couldn’t believe how many people had turned out, families had bbq going on the park (wish I thought of that) and numerous groups of people carrying chairs and picnic rugs.

First on stage was the Blues Brother Tribute band who really got the night going, singing not just Blues Brothers songs but other soul numbers. As the park got busier I wished the stage had been bigger, but as it was donated I suppose it did the job.

By 8.30 the park was again heaving, noticed the usual groups of teenagers with bags of cheep booze, tattooed blokes with their tops off, groups of giddy girls and families sprawled out across the fields, but not once did I see any trouble or bad feeling. Noticeable Police presence, but everyone was soaking up the last rays of sun before evening set in. Sat around the park with good friends and cold wine is a great way of spending a Saturday night.

The Robbie Williams Tribute was ok – if the crowd had thought he was Robbie Williams as much as the performer did the atmosphere would have been brilliant, saying that towards the end of his set, people did get up and sing along, however if I had got up on stage and sang Angels – people would have sang along too. Did think the Blues Brothers would have been better going on second as they could have really got the place going.

However don’t get me wrong – the entertainment did the job and it was free, a good job Penwortham Town Council. In this day and age it could have been easy to have organised nothing at all, as Preston City Council would have done. Maybe next year the Gala could show case some local talent and even have a theme where everyone could dress up, but in a year of constant doom and gloom, the Gala lifted my spirits and was a shining example of what a community event should be like. It made be proud to be British and more proud to be from Penwortham.