Longridge & District Food & Drink Festival 2009

The Corporation Arms and The Corper Deli in Longridge will be playing host to a Food & Drink Festival over the weekend of 27th and 28th June 2009.

If you’re in the mood for over 40 real ales, live music, local chef demonstrations and no doubt a smorgesboard of local produce then get yourself down there.

Tickets are £5 per day but children under-12 are free. Tickets are available from the Corporation Arms/Corper Deli or by calling 01772782644/01772783883.

The event is being supported by Ribble Valley Borough Council, Longridge Town Council, BBC Radio Lancashire and The Lancashire Magazine.

Chipping Steam Fair

This is a guest post by Arran Wicher. If you’d like to write a guest post for Preston Blog see how you can get involved.

Steam engines of all shapes and sizes were at Chipping Steam Fair

Steam engines of all shapes and sizes were at Chipping Steam Fair

Once again, Chipping is hosting its classic steam fair. With such events the weather plays a crucial part, and with the days preceding being wet, getting onto the car park with out four wheal drive was tricky. Having found a parking space and put on wellington boots you make you way to the entrance.

Entrance fees are Adult £6, OAP and Children 12-16 £4. Along with me was my 5 year old nephew, so I was happy to find children under 12 get in for free.

Getting there for 11:30 I was in time to watch a show of local young talented dancers. It was obvious these were routines designed on harder surfaces than a muddy field, as doing the splits and lying on ones back gets messy on mud, much to the delight of the crowd.

There where hundreds of exhibits including full size and miniature steam engines, classic cars, military vehicles and amongst the larger exhibits you could find motor bikes, steam organs and other private made miniature engines performing a variety of tasks.

The three day event, which continues throughout this May Bank Holiday, is taking place at the Green Lane showground, about three quarters of a mile outside the village towards Clitheroe, and featured a large climbing wall and a fairground. There were stalls selling a verity of good from camping gear to classic corgi cars, there where also several refreshment stands, so never fair away from a good cup of tea.

I would recommend visiting the tanks and the working display of the rolls royce engine was impressive if not on the loud side.

Ice cream at Bonds of Elswick

One happy punter enjoys a scoop of vanilla and mint chop chip at Bonds of Elswick

One happy punter enjoys a scoop of vanilla and mint chop chip at Bonds of Elswick

Hidden in the twisty country lanes just outside Preston as you head towards Blackpool is Bonds of Elswick. Makers of some of the finest ice cream I’ve ever tasted it’s well worth the short trip. Head out of Preston through Woodplumpton, tear through Inskip, and you’ll be in Elswick. It’s about 15 minutes drive.

Bonds comprises of a restaurant, diner/cafe, ice cream counter and old school sweet shop. The restaurant was busy when we arrived, and we slipped into the diner. It’s a 1950s throw back, with turqoise blue seats and the staff wearing those white suits with hats. I had a coffee and my friend opted for a strawberry milk shake. Then it was time for the ice cream.

I went for a scoop of apple crumble ice cream, whoever thought of that flavour is a genius. A tub of mint crisp was also bought. It’s all reasonably priced and there was a constant stream of cars arriving, grabbing a cone and then roaring off into the distance.

The old school sweet shop is also great. If you’re ever at a loss for what to get someone for their birthday, grab a tenner and fill your bag with old fashioned pic’n’mix, gobstoppers, sherbert lemons amongst others. There’s also old school fizzy drinks. Brilliant.

So, if it’s a sunny afternoon and you’re at a loss take a trip out to Elswick and sample some real dairy ice cream. None of this American nonsense.

St Michaels on the Wyre

The church of St Michaels on the Wyre was built around 640 AD

The church of St Michaels on the Wyre was built around 640 AD

Venturing off into the Wyre countryside on a sunny Sunday we decided to stop at St Michaels on the Wyre. It’s a small village on the A586 between Garstang and Blackpool, easily within reach of the A6 and Preston.

We stopped off at The Grapes pub for our dinner. It was £9.95 for a three-course roast dinner, and it was smashing. A starter of chicken liver pate, followed by beef, yorkshire puds, potatoes and veg and finished off by strawberry cheesecake with cream. A great way to spend a sunny afternoon, and a pint of Black Sheep to wash it all down with.

After the meal we went for a stroll along the River Wyre, taking in the view of St Michaels church from across the riverbank. The rain overnight meant the river was flowing fast and it was tranquil as the sun came through the trees to light up the Wyre countryside. All villages have their quirks though, and our tranquility was interrupted by a man, clearly disturbed by alcohol or drugs, who came running out of the bushes to play on a nearby rope swing. He recounted a tale of the dog he’d recently lost and then went on his merry way.

We followed the path a bit further and came out onto flat countryside with Beacon Fell brooding in the distance. Dinner was sitting heavy in our bellies so we decided to turn back and headed across the river to the church. It was built just before 640 AD and we wandered the graveyard, marvelling at how old some of the graves were.

We jumped into the car and left St Michaels on the Wyre, but judging by the number of Jags and MGs in the pub car park it’s a place often visited and lived in by affluence. There’s no doubt a waiting list for a house, and some of them on the roads nearby were impressive. If you fancy a bit of Wyre countryside, a lovely little church and good pub. St Michaels on the Wyre is 15-20 minutes drive from Preston and well worth a visit.

Museum of Lancashire

This is a guest post by Mel Webster. She is studying at the University of Central Lancashire and blogs at What do you do in Preston? If you’d like to write a guest post for Preston Blog see how you can get involved.

The Museum of Lancashire is housed in the Grade II listed former Preston Quarter Sessions House building.

NOT what I thought as I drove into the Museum of Lancashire’s car park.

Let’s go back a little first though shall we? Due to a strange turn of events, I live in Preston. Due to an entirely more predictable turn of events, my best friend lives in London and had decided to visit me in Preston.

After ascertaining that no, she did not want to sit in my house with the broken boiler and no, she did not want to go to the pet shop for something to do, we set out, complete with hangovers for the Museum of Lancashire.

First impressions were dire to be honest. We sat (complete with my boyfriend who had also decided that he didn’t want to sit in the boilerless house) in the car, in the rain, trying to work out if £3 was too expensive to enter what looked from the back to be an old psychiatric hospital.

Afer a good five minutes we made it the pay desk, still negotiating whether this was a good idea owing to the exhibition on the M6 clearly visible from said pay desk.

Scared of the frowning pay desk ladies we paid to go in.

You can’t help but notice it’s all a little homemade, especially the wax works in the medieval section (did you know the church more or less gave up on Preston for being such a sexually depraved town?)

But. And here is the good bit, there is a dressing up box in every room. Of course the clothes are all for kids but if you’re under a size 12 I reckon most of them should fit and if not, there are props.

If I could work this blog I would post highly embarrassing photos of me as a soldier, a child in a Victorian school room, in a gas mask, dressed in my road safety gear. But I can’t. So you’ll just have to imagine it.

Also if you’re interested in military history or, heavens forbid, the history of motorways, it’s well worth your £3. They have an impressive selection of old military jackets. Great if, like me, you love a gold button or two.

So there you have it.

The Museum of Lancashire. It’s not that bad.

Borders Quiz

Starbucks in Borders, Preston, where the quiz is held

Starbucks in Borders, Preston, where the quiz is held

For those who want something a little different to the normal pub quiz then the quiz at Borders on a Tuesday night is good fun.

The bookshop on Deepdale Retail Park hosts a rather challenging quiz from 7.30 PM every Tuesday, hosted by Andy a staff member at Borders.

The quiz takes place in the Starbucks Cafe at the top of Borders so you can enjoy a latte while puzzling over the picture round.

The first round is always a picture round, followed by general knowledge, a ‘themed round’ – usually related to a recent big event, and then the fiendish puzzles round.

There’s a big mix of people at the event, young, old, middle-aged and different sized teams. It’s amazing how much better you are at quizzes when you’re not drinking a few pints!

Whittingham Asylum… forgotten?

This is a guest post David Perkins, he is a keen photographer, web designer and urban explorer. He blogs at Planetperki and you can follow him on twitter @perki. If you would like to write a guest post for Preston Blog check out how you can get involved.

Whittingham Asylum

I know that there are a lot of people in and around Preston and the UK who know of or have been to Whittingham Asylum since it was shut in 1995, either to have a wander around, try to scare themselves or just to walk their dog. After quite a lot of research I decided to go to Whittingham and take some photographs before it is no more. What was Whittingham Asylum will soon be rubble according to some sources, so I wanted to make sure that this place was preserved in photographic form. Continue reading