Preston Guild 2012 Solution-focused gathering
I am a proud Prestonian and one thing that Prestonians tend to be proud of is the Preston Guild, “England’s oldest festival in England’s youngest city” (though it was supplanted as youngest city by Chelmsford earlier this year). The Guild dates back to 1179, and takes place every 20 years. Its original function was for traders, craftsmen and merchants to renew their membership of the Guild Merchant and so be able to carry on their business, but although these requirements have died out, the accompanying feasting, celebrations and processions have continued and indeed grown.
Aged 10, and with parents who had moved to Preston from Liverpool the year that I was born, and so who weren’t steeped themselves in Preston traditions, I missed out somewhat on the first Guild in my lifetime, in 1972. In 1992 I returned as a 30-year-old, along with many others from the Prestonian diaspora scattered all over the world, and, discovering it as a place that drew in its past and present inhabitants, and celebrated them, fell in love with my home town (still a town then) for the first time.
So now I am looking forward to my third Guild, taking place in the first week in September, and to its ancient civic and trade processions. And to the opportunity to get together with other solution-focused practitioners with Preston connections, to celebrate the slightly less ancient trade of solution-focused practice. Nick Bohannon is one such – an adopted Prestonian who has been teaching an excellent couple of solution-focused modules at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN) in Preston for some time now. Our first idea, of a solution-focused gathering, has been extended by a fabulous idea of Ruth Dark’s – to meet on Preston Flag Market first, to partake of some parched peas, a Preston delicacy, and then walk together to UCLAN for the gathering. And so was born the first ever Preston Guild Solution-Focused Procession!
We’ll be meeting at 1pm on Monday 3 September, at the parched peas seller on the Flag Market, then walking to UCLAN for the gathering there at 2pm, to talk about our successful pasts and preferred futures as Prestonian solution-focused practitioners. However tenuous your Prestonian-ness is, come along and join us! Drop me a line if you want any more info.