In celebration of Lancashire Day, PM+M partner David Gorton takes a look at what it means to be a proud Lancastrian and some of the many great achievements of our county over the years.
I was born in Bury in 1969. I live in Bolton and work in Blackburn. I am a season ticket holder at Manchester United, my favourite times are climbing Lake District fells and I am a passionate donor of time and money to Blackburn Youth Zone. My favourite drink as a teenager was Thwaites Best Mild and while I have to admit non-Lancastrian single malt whisky and red wine have made it into my heart, I am still extremely partial to ales such as Moorhouse’s Black Cat Mild, Bowland Hen Harrier or Bank Top’s Flat Cap.
I am extremely proud to be a Lancastrian. We are a county with innumerable glories of history, of beauty, of society – most of all of people.
Some examples are below:
– We transformed the global economy with the Industrial Revolution, we led the fight for democracy in Britain (whether parliamentary reform, male voting or female voting), we founded the Cooperative Movement empowering consumers everywhere- we have driven change improving the world for centuries.
– When I speak of beauty I am referring not just to the fabulous people in our county, but the countryside (even after reorganisation took the Furness Fells from Lancashire), the art galleries and stately homes, the architecture (ancient, Victorian, modern and everything in between – I even love Preston Bus Station!) and the cuisine. Our food and drink are magnificent beyond measure!
– Our society in Lancashire has taken some blows from economic driven change over the last 70 years or so – the shattering of our textile industries, the draining of power and influence from our local government, the enticement of our bright young people to places more favoured by luck and government. Through all of these we have welcomed people to our county who have helped make it stronger. With them our communities have risen through the challenges to show great strength, great cohesion and fantastic innovation. In Blackburn, Scout groups have waiting lists over a year long, Burnley Bondholders trumpet across communities and the country how brilliant Burnley is, and Preston’s joyful celebration of its city status is something to behold.
But it’s the people – the honest people, the laughing people, the trying and achieving people – that really make Lancashire what it is today. Most of them are too modest to be proud of what they do; most of them don’t even know what is great about what they do. We are generous, kind, welcoming, interested, interesting and honest – I can’t tell you how proud I am to be a Lancastrian.