Author Archive

PBHG slideshow review of 2017

Here’s our review of 2017 – a great year!


The Life and Times of Tommy Meade.

5pm at Jalgos Sports and Social club, Rose St Preston. A social evening of games, jokes, masquerades remembering Tommy Meade and raising funds for the recent hurricane disasters in the Caribbean. Free event – all welcome.

Black History Month 2017 events at Coffee Nubia in Manchester

28th Sep – Do We Really Need Black History Month?

5th Oct – RIP Dick Gregory, Black Activist.

12th Oct – The poetry of Claude McKay.

19th Oct – Harry Belafonte & the Civil Rights Movement.

26th Oct – The Legacy of Dr Sebi?

2nd Nov – Remembering the 1907 Earthquake in Jamaica.

9th Nov – Post-war Britain: Caribbean Migration & Resistance to Racism.

Hosted by Linford Sweeney

Coffee Nubia, 155 Princess Road, Manchester M14 4RE at 7.30pm

£5.00 contribution

Refreshments on sale

PBHGs Black to the Future 2017

PBHG’s Annual Celebration of Black Achievers and Black Achievements for Black History Month 2017.
At Fulwood Methodist Church, Watling Street Road, Fulwood, Preston. PR2 8EA.
6.15pm for light refreshments – programme starts at 7pm

This is a free event – come along and be inspired!

Exciting Conference on Russian Revolution and the Black Atlantic to be held at IBAR

The conference The Red and the Black – The Russian Revolution and the Black Atlantic will be held at the Institute for Black Atlantic Research (IBAR), University of Central Lancashire, Preston, on the 13-15 October 2017, to mark the centenary of the Russian Revolution.

The Russian Revolution was not only one of the most critical events of the twentieth century in its own right but an inspirational event across the ‘black Atlantic’ as a blow against racism and imperialism. For colonial subjects of European empires internationally as well as black Americans, the Russian Revolution promised the hope of a world without oppression and exploitation.

This conference aims to build on the growing scholarship and literature in this area to explore the impact the revolutionary events in Russia during 1917 made across the African diaspora and the subsequent critical intellectual influence of Marxism and Bolshevism on the current of revolutionary ‘black internationalism’ in its aftermath.

Keynote speaker: Professor Winston James (University of California, Irvine) Dr Cathy Bergin (University of Brighton), Prof Hakim Adi (University of Chichester).

Special performances from Linton Kwesi Johnson, Tayo Aluko and David Rovics.

Event organisers: Olga Tabachnikova, David Featherstone, Christian Høgsbjerg and Alan Rice.

Call for Papers available if anyone would like to consider participating – available online at

To download the conference program click here:RedBlackProvisionalProgramme3Sep.2017 (1)

To book tickets please visit the IBAR website here

Preston Montserrat & Friends Annual Reunion September Dance

Come and Join us on Saturday 9th September 2017 8pm til late

Goat Water

DJ Volcano plus resident DJ Babs

£6 entrance fee

Jalgos Sports and Social Club, Rose St, Preston

Caribbean Conversations

Caribbean Conversations

PBHG met up with a new contact in Nottingham who shares our passion for preserving our Caribbean Heritage. Catherine Ross from the National Caribbean Heritage Museum has made a series of 8 TV programmes available on Notts TV.

Check them out and let us know what you think.

Memorial Announcement for ‘Aunty’ Elaine Marshall

Memorial Announcement 24th June 2017 12 Noon

‘Aunty’ Elaine Marshall

Aunty Elaine passed away peacefully on May 13th 2017 in Tobago aged 95.

A memorial will be held at St Matthew’s Church, New Hall Lane, Preston and then at Wilbraham Club, Wilbraham St, 5 minutes walk from the church.

Aunty made many friends over the years who don’t have social media so could you kindly pass this message on to them so they can pay their respects and say farewell.

Thank you all, David Ferguson.

All at Preston Black History Group would like to pay their respects to a wonderful woman – she will be greatly missed.

Here is an article about Mrs Marshall from PBHG ‘Have You Heard’ News sheet from 2012

Elaine Marshall: Honorary Guild Burgess 2012

In Preston Guild week, September 2012 Elaine Marshall was made an Honorary Guild Burgess. A burgess is a registered member of the Guild Merchant whose history goes back to 1179. Originally, anybody who wanted to trade in Preston was required to be a member of the Guild Merchant. A Guild Court was held to admit people to the Guild, in 1542 it was agreed that this would take place every 20 years – a tradition still in place today. Only the Second World War has interrupted Preston Guild, when it was postponed to 1952.

When Free Trade was introduced in the 18th Century, the need for a Guild and the rights of the burgesses were abolished but by then the Guild had become a great social occasion and so the people of Preston decided to continue to celebrate their Guild. In 1992 history was made as daughters of existing burgesses were admitted to the Guild for the first time, numbering 274 out of a total of 808.

In 2012, for the first time, the Council asked members of the public to nominate people to become an Honorary Burgess based on who they thought should be honoured for their contribution to life in Preston. The 20 people chosen from the nominees received the honour at the Adjourned Guild Court on the morning of Saturday 8 September 2012 in the Guild Hall.  This traditional ceremony was witnessed by their families and friends. Honorary Burgesses can also pass their burgess status down to their sons and daughters. These new families will make the 2012 Guild Roll a more representative picture of Preston today – helping to bring a tradition that started over 800 years ago into the 21st century.


Transcription of interview

EM = Elaine Marshall

CS = Clinton Smith (Chair of Preston Black History Group)

CB = Christopher Balcon


CS:          Can you tell us your name please?

EM:        Elaine Marshall.

CS:          And how long have you lived in Preston?

EM:        57 . . . 58 years.

CS:          In this house?

EM         No, I lived in St Mary’s St when I came to Preston – off New Hall lane at the top end.

CS:          And how long have you lived in this house

EM:        40 years.

CS:          Which part of the West Indies do you originate from?

EM:        Well, I was born in Tobego but I went to school in Port of Spain, Trinidad. The two islands are sister islands.

CS:          You are the first member of Preston’s African Caribbean community to achieve the status of Honorary Guild Burgess – can you tell us how you were informed about this nomination?

EM:        Well . . . it came as a surprise to me ‘cos I didn’t know anything . . . what was going on. So . . it took a bit out of me to get there, you know?

CS:          And do you know who actually nominated you?

EM:        I believe it’s Sahara in Preston because there’s a place that I’ve always been and always will be at Sahara in Preston.

CB:         What was your role at Sahara?

EM:        Well there were a lot of people used to come in there – they had a lot of problems. Sahara was a resting place for them.

                You can see they have grief in them.

CB:         So you comfort them?

EM:        Yes . . . and help them.

CS:          So it’s a refuge centre for women?

CB:         And you used to cook for them?

EM:        Yes.

CS:          How did you find out about your nomination?

EM:        Well I had a letter written to me and asked me if I would like to attend the Guild, you know, and I get this letter and I gotta sign it to say if I would accept being there – which I did.


“When the letter came we sat down and read it fifteen times – we looked up what’s a Burgess and realised what a serious thing it is” Christopher Balcon

“Invitations came for all the functions and from the Guild Mayor – dinners, events, awards – it was lovely” Elaine Marshall


CS:          You mentioned the Guild, prior to this event did you know much about Preston Guild? Had you taken part in the Guild previously?

EM:        I was here for the last Guild before this one and we had the Caribbean Carnival, we all enjoyed ourselves and make the best of it.

CS:          How much did you know about the Guild Burgesses?

EM:        Nothing what-so-ever! I didn’t know anything about it. But as everything else . . . I followed everybody that was there, and make myself known.


“She could invite nine people to see her receive this award – it was a long list and a headache to get it down to nine!” Christopher Balcon

“I invited Clinton to the ceremony because of his contribution to the community” Elaine Marshall

“Very much appreciated” Clinton Smith


CS:          I’m assuming that now you know quite a bit more about being a Guild Burgess?

EM:        Yes . . . yes, try to.


“Elaine has nominated her nephew, David Ferguson, to continue the family line as Guild Burgess. In 2032 he and his family will continue this 1100 year old tradition” Christopher Balcon


CS:          Can you share with us some of the emotions that you went through from that initial notification that you had been nominated – through to the official invitation to become a Burgess – through to the day when the actual ceremony took place. What were some of the emotions that you went through?

EM:        I was thinking who I am and all where I came from. What have I done to be here . . . to be in something like this. Maybe I’ve done something that I didn’t know that I did and they were happy with it . . . whatever it was.


“In the Guild this year is the first time that they have honoured a woman – not only is Aunty Elaine the first African Caribbean person, she is one of the first women that was nominated as well”

Christopher Balcon


CS:          So in terms of life after your admission to being an Honorary Guild Burgess – What next?

EM:        Heaven Knows . . . sky’s the limit.

CS:`        Elaine Marshall, I think most of the community, the African Caribbean community in Preston will be extremely proud of your achievement, the recognition as a groundbreaker for that. I think you’re on a pedestal that most people will simply look to admire.

Thank you for taking the time to share some of your memories with us.

EM:        Thank you.

Spectrum Carnival Troupe show their appreciation of Philip Duncan aka ‘the Boss’ with an afternoon of Carnival Arts and Dance.

Spectrum Carnival Troupe was started by Philip over ten years ago and was his great joy and passion in life. He encouraged participation in Preston Caribbean Carnival and many other carnivals throughout the north of England, leading his troupe with dedication, commitment and an impish sense of fun.

Sadly, in recent years Philips health has made it impossible for him to continue in his role as Spectrum’s Troupe Leader. His legacy to the troupe has been carried forward by Lisa Hopkins with help from other Spectrum committee members, Shirley, Rhianne and Kirsty. The troupe is going from strength to strength with Philip as their guiding light.

This May the troupe gave Philip and the other residents of Banksfield House an afternoon filled with the fun, colour and music that Philip loves so much. It was a Carnival in miniature on a hot sunny Sunday afternoon.

The Troupe members have been practising their dance routines to perfection and they delighted Philip with their skills and enthusiasm. He joined them and Carnival Costume artist, Nadine Knight in dancing to the infectious tunes the troupe will be sharing at Preston Caribbean Carnival on 25th June 2017.

Don’t miss it – if the ‘Boss Man’ can be there he’ll be dancing with his troupe as always!

Preston Artist and PBHG supporter Professor Lubaina Himid gains Turner Prize nomination.

PBHG are delighted that our good friend Lubaina has been given this artistic accolade for her work. We have worked with Lubaina a number of times including her appearance at our first ‘Black to the Future’ event in 2014 and a talk she gave about her work for Black History month at Jalgos in the same year. We visited the Making Histories Visible black arts archive where Lubaina shared her passion for encouraging research into the creativity of artists of African heritage.

Our continuing relationship with Lubaina includes her work with UCLan’s Institute for Black Atlantic Research which she leads with Professor Alan Rice. IBAR explores the legacies of the Atlantic Slave Trade from a cultural perspective and has included PBHG in some very interesting seminars and events, making the forefront of current research accessible to all interested members of PBHG and the African Caribbean community in Preston.

Lubaina has organised lectures with artists from African and Caribbean backgrounds which have enriched our understanding of a broad range of cultural experiences and given us much enjoyment.

We will be following Lubaina’s progress throughout this year, her Turner prize exhibition will be on show in Hull in September and the announcement of the Turner Prize winner is to be announced in December. We are all hoping that Lubaina will win.

The Harris will be showing Lubaina’s work in 2018 – if you are interested in getting involved in this exhibition please contact PBHG or Kyra Milnes from the Harris.