Guild 2012 Themes • Visit Preston
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Preston Guild City

Guild 2012 Themes

People dancing in vintage clothes at Preston Guild celebration.

The Guild 2012 saw the theme 'Innovation and Creativity' celebrated throughout the city

Preston is home to an abundance of creative talent. The most recent Guild was a great opportunity to showcase this talent by involving artists, journalists, designers and performers.

The 'Creative Guild' was exemplified through a 10 day festival in Avenham Park and across the city. The programme included sporting events, food and vintage festivals and music performances alongside a variety of other small and large scale entertainment. People were able to celebrate, spectate and participate.

Preston Guild - everyone's a part of it

Residents, visitors, artists, businesses, athletes and performers – everyone was involved. The Guild has a long history and has evolved over the centuries, but one thing that has always remained the central focus is the people - the people that plan it, participate in it, promote it and the people that then pass on the story of the Guild to their children and grand children.

From volunteering programmes to tool kits assisting community groups in planning their own events, we made it as easy as possible for everyone to get involved.

Green Guild

The Guild has been a long-running celebration and unique part of British heritage, but to ensure that future generations are able to carry on the traditions on a healthy planet we did our best to make Preston Guild 2012 the greenest Guild yet. With a specific Guild Green Charter, we worked towards a greener city, offering advice for local businesses and residents on how to improve their carbon footprint. From carbon neutral transport to recycling schemes, a sustainable events management approach and green energy to power the Guild City Festival saw us pulling out all the stops.

And it is not just about the environmental credentials, we also worked to develop sustainable communities by getting people involved, adding to the cultural offering in the local area.

Merchant Guild

From the outset, the Guild was about promoting trade and commerce. Skilled tradesmen, craftsmen and merchants were admitted to the Guild as burgesses. Being a member of the Guild allowed people to have confidence in the quality of the goods and services they received.

The history of the Guild is about promoting trade in Preston and raising quality standards and this is true of the Guild today. Preston Guild offered a fantastic opportunity to share Preston’s achievements and possibilities with the world. Through conferences, events and networking opportunities we raised the profile of the city as a place to do business and highlight why Preston is already the chosen location for a number of high profile businesses. It also gave Preston the chance to act as a showcase destination for regional commerce.

Businesses always play a crucial role in the Guild celebrations, be it by taking part in the hugely popular trades procession or as sponsors or advisors. There were a number of ways in which businesses could be a part of the 2012 celebrations.

International Guild

Preston Guild, as a unique part of British heritage, has attracted visitors from far and wide throughout the centuries. What was an event of national significance in the early 20th century, now brings Prestonians from across the globe back home for the celebrations. Burgesses and ‘ordinary’ citizens of Preston return to their origins, along with many other friends and visitors, to celebrate, spectate and participate. In 2012 Preston was also given the honour of the 'European City of Sport' (UK), extending its welcome to international athletes and friends from across Europe and the wider international community.

To reach friends around the globe and connect with them, the ‘Scrolls of Friendship’ were sent a year before the Third proclamation. The scrolls were displayed in prominent positions around the world for people to send their well-wishes back to Preston in time for the peak of the celebrations. The scrolls were contained in two identical emblems in the form of replicas of the old Town Hall clock tower, carved from wood salvaged from the tower which burned down in 1947. As well as the traditional paper scrolls, we also welcomed messages of good will on our virtual scroll site, bringing the Guild into the digital age.

Guild welcome

We welcomed many visitors to Preston during the Guild year and worked with our tourism providers and city wide partners to ensure visitors received a warm Lancashire welcome. A team of dedicated ‘welcomers’ ensured a red carpet welcome at key entry points and events. Most importantly, we encouraged every Prestonian to be a part of that warm Lancashire welcome.