After this blog ended up going viral on Facebook, Blog Preston asked me to write a version for their site too which you can read here.
Preston is a proud city, but we know not everything is fantastic. So this takes a tongue-in-cheek look at everything born and bred Prestonians know to be true.
1. Any holiday abroad would involve trying to explain to people just exactly where Preston is in England; before eventually giving up and muttering “It’s near Manchester’. You would never mention it’s geographically close location to Blackpool in fear of annoying your PNE supporting dad.
2. You know what a Butter Pie is. Not only that, you regularly enjoyed the delicous onion and potato combo that was originally known as The Catholic Pie. It only seemed like a weird concept when you were trying to explain exactly what it is to people outside of Lancashire. If you move to Liverpool, like I did, you can dine out on the fact that your beloved Butter Pie was mentioned in the Paul McCartney song “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” which contains the lyric, “I had another look and I had a cup of tea and butter pie”.
3. You won’t have attended any function put on by a Prestonian that didn’t serve a Hot Pot Buffet. 21st birthday parties, wakes, engagement parties, weddings – you couldn’t avoid that dish that Betty from the Rovers loved so much. You’d normally consume your serving, with red cabbage or beetroot, and listen to your nan tell you just how perfect Hotpot is for a function – “It’s cheap, it’s easy to make and everyone loves it. You can even freeze any left-overs”.
4. “Chippy tea, Chippy tea…”
“What on earth are The Lancashire Hotpots?” This is a question you’ll have to answer many times when your friends outside of Preston Google us.
5. If you think it’s hard explaining The Lancashire Hotpots, try telling someone about the fact whenever PNE are relegated, a funeral (or resurrection if we’re promoted) take place in Bamber Bridge – complete with a coffin (which holds a creepy Chuckie doll), a full procession and floats. People may mock it, but it’s the best piss up you will ever go on.
6. Preston may be the home of the parched pea but you’d always refuse your grandad’s offer to try them.
7. While we’re on the subject of food; it’s not a roll, a bread-cake, or even a muffin – it’s a BARM!
8. Up until a few years ago, Preston held the record for Europe’s Largest Bus Station and you like to make people aware of this fact; whilst quickly brushing past the fact the underpass was known as ‘Mugger’s Paradise’.
9. Preston is also home to the UK’s first ever KFC. You’ll have spent your university years telling boring anyone enjoying a hungover bucket of the Colonel’s finest chicken about this ‘achievement’.
10. If you ever went to a working men’s club as kid, when Phoenix Nights came out you could have sworn it could have been an actual documentary set in your local.
11. When people refer to Preston as a town, you automatically correct them that it is in fact a city; gaining the status as the 50th UK city during the Queen’s 50th year of reigning, dontcha know?
12. You know who petrol drinking petty criminal Toxic Terry is and more than likely saw him wandering around town while you were on a night out.
13. You could always rely on The Lancashire Evening Post’s headlines to capture and represent all that was happening in busy and bustling Preston:
14. Although, some would have you proud of the animals of Preston…..
15. You remember the Chinese lady who would sell the LEP outside Primark in town; yelling ‘Evening Post’ all day long, come rain or shine.
16. That episode of Come Dine With Me is officially The Greatest Episode of All Time and you excitedly squealed when you recognised Bernard’s Carpet Shop.
17. Everyone can keep their Diesel and their Snakebite – you grew up on Sass.
18. Radio One’s Big Weekend coming to Preston in 2007 was the best thing to happen to Preston since Spice Girls performed Avenham Park. Unless of course, you couldn’t get tickets and then you “weren’t even bothered anyway.”
19. It was all fun and games getting to go to Toys R Us on Deepdale Retail Park until it took 34,567 hours to get out of the car park.
20. Your gran would drag you round the Fish Market whilst shopping and the smell still haunts you
21. You’ll never find anywhere that does spuds as good as this place:
22. As a young teenager, you’d go to Tiggis for a meal in order to feel fancy. Bonus points if one of you would lie and say it was your birthday in order to get a free cake.
23. You could gauge how old someone was based on what they called this nightclub. If they referred to it as Tokes still, they were far too old to still be going in. And then your parents would telling you about how it was Clouds back in their Hey Day. You now feel old when you learn that Lava has evolved into Evoque.
24. You watched this viral video and realised exactly where it was within seconds; the home of your misspent under aged drinking youth. You may have even frequented the club after you turned 18, not that you’d admit to it.
25. When going through your ‘mosher’ or ‘I’ve stared reading the NME so now I’m indie as hell’ phase during college, you’d spend your Fridays at The Warehouse.
26. Thursday night student nights at Lava were a quid in and quid VKs. You didn’t care that the queue would be round the corner and you’d be barely clothed in the freezing cold, waiting – the cheap, sugary rip of WKD’s made up for it once you got in.
27. Chips, cheese and gravy from the chippy near Squires was a gift from the Gods after a night out. Why would anyone ever choose a kebab over this thing of beauty?
28. You quickly learned Preston North End and play-off matches weren’t really a good combination. In fact, before we ended the curse this summer, we became record holding losers.
29. Freddie Flintoff’s boozing after The Ashes victory made you proud to be from Preston.
30. You’re even prouder that one of England’s greatest ever footballers, Sir Tom Finney (aka the Preston Plumber) not only hailed from the same place of you, but loved it so much he was never tempted by big money offers to leave his beloved Preston.
31. Wallace and Gromit was even more enjoyable when Nick Park slipped in a reference to his hometown. PNE may not always conquer the play offs, but they were always winning according to Gromit’s paper’s headlines.
32. Preston rarely got a shout out in the national media so you had to take what you could get.
33. Wherever you have moved to now, the crime rate will never be as bad as it was in Preston during your youth.
34. If you don’t live there anymore, you may mock your place of birth now and again, but God forbid anyone else from outside your city does – unless they want a rant filled with fun facts about the home of the UK’s first KFC.
See also: Myths About Liverpool