Archive for the ‘What’s On’ Category

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 London in September and the announcement of the Turner Prize winner is to be announced in December. We are all hoping that Lubaina will win.

Thursday 27th July 2017 – Trip to Windermere

On Thursday 27th July 2017 plans are being put in place for a trip to Windermere for a social outing, including a boat trip around lake Windermere. The details of this outing is .


>.  Date . Thursday 27th July 2017

>.  Depart 10.30 central Preston

>.  Free time in Windermere

>.  Depart Windermere for Preston 15.30.


The cost for this outing is £ 6.00, which does not include lunch, refreshments, or the cost of the ferry ticket.

To secure your place please contact me directly, my details are at the foot of this email.

Please feel free to circulate this information to your friends and family. Should you have any questions or queries please do not hesitate to contact me.


Clinton Smith



07583 343866

Preston Black History Group

Visit to Hull on Thursday 15th June 2017

The visit will leave Preston at 09.00, pick up will be from the now empty betting office opposite the bus station on Tithebarn Street, near the age concern charity shop. On arrival in Hull we will have lunch (not provided ). The programme in Hull is as follow


>. 13.00  Visit to Wilberforce House.

>. 14.00  Presentation of a project charting the black ( African ) presence in East Yorkshire

>. 15.30  Walking tour around Hull.

>. 16.30  Regroup and departure.


The cost for this trip is £ 14.00, but does not include lunch or any refreshment. To book your place please contact Clinton directly,

Please feel free to share this invitation with others who may be interested in joining this trip.

Should you have any questions or queries do not hesitate to contact Clinton.

Clinton Smith



07583 343866

Music and Freedom event being held on March 31st at UCLan as part of Ribble Valley Jazz Festival

On the 31st of March an exciting and innovative event is being held at UCLan, as part of Ribble Valley Jazz Festival between March 25th – April 1st.

The festival will involve a variety of musical and academic events including community events, seminars and gigs with an opportunity to get involved in some experimental music.

The IBAR event brings together distinguished international academics and dynamic Northern artistic and musical performers for a truly unique experience. Leading Civil Rights scholar and the author of ‘Just My Soul Responding: Rhythm and Blues, Black Consciousness and Race Relations’, Professor Brian Ward from Northumbria University will give the keynote address on “Freedom Sounds: Music and Civil Rights Movement”.

The other academic speaker will be Dr. María Rocío Cobo Pinero from the University of Cadiz whose paper will look at 1920s Jazz and Spanish flappers.

The performance element will showcase the links cotton establishes in the nineteenth century between enslaved Africans and the Lancashire working class using song and dance. This will be delivered by the ballad singer and clog dancer, Manchester-based Jennifer Reid and the black British performance artist Jade Montserrat from Scarborough.

For a programme click here.

Preston Jam is a brand new music festival curated by the University of Central Lancashire in partnership with the Ribble Valley Jazz Festival. The festival will be delving into jazz and other improvised music, exploring all its diverse forms from rap to hip-hop to electronica. Whether you are part of a band or just passionate about music, come along and experience the feeling of freedom music can create by exploring the different styles and genres that the 21st century has to offer.

The free event will take place in the Media Innovation Studio between 14:00 – 17:00 BST on the Fri 31st March 2017

Book tickets

Refreshments will be provided.

Slavery, Emancipation and Art Workshop – Thursday 20th April 2017

Location: Media Innovation Studio, 4th floor the Media Factory, University of Central Lancashire, Preston, PR1 2HE – 10:00 – 17:00

‘The artist must take sides. He must elect to fight for freedom or slavery. I have made my choice. I had no alternative.’ (Paul Robeson)


IBAR invites you to a workshop on Thursday 20th April 2017 examining some of the different ways that slavery and its legacies have figured within the art world.


Registration is free and lunch and refreshments will be provided.


Click here to book your FREE place


Art has a long and tangled history in relation to slavery, abolition, emancipation and cultural resistance. Both pro and anti slavery campaigners used art to make public political statements. Slave-based wealth was used to purchase and preserve cultural treasures – some of which can be found in our national and regional galleries and museums today. The legacies of both slavery and empire include complex and often unequal cultural entanglements. Artists and art institutions have been both complicit in and also resistant to slavery and its legacies. For the Black Arts Movement issues of slavery, colonialism, race and racism were key and they used art practice to challenge, subvert and deconstruct ideas of ‘blackness’. This workshop will explore issues of slavery, resistance, emancipation, identity, race and racism, institutions and collections, curatorial voice and authority. Speakers include established and emerging artists, curators and academics and the emphasis of the day will be on debate and discussion. Please join in the conversation!


Programme – 10:00 – 17:00

10:00-10:30 Registration, tea and coffee

10:30-10:45 Introduction

10:45-11:45 Lubaina Himid – Art and archive session (UCLAN/IBAR)

11:45-12:00 Break

12:00-13:00 Panel 1 Artists in Conversation

Wendy Asquith (University of Nottingham), Hannah Durkin (University of Newcastle), Kimathi Donkor, and Joy Gregory

13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-15:00 Panel 2 Curators in Conversation

Alan Rice (IBAR / UCLAN) and Jean-Francois Manicom (International Slavery Museum).

15:00-16:00 Sarah Thomas, Birkbeck – Slave-owners and art collecting (Birkbeck)

16:00-16:15 Break

16:15-17:00 Open session to discuss past, present and future projects


This event is funded by the British Academy and is a partnership between the Antislavery Usable Past project (University of Nottingham) and the Institute for Black Atlantic Research (University of Central Lancashire). Click here for more information

Stand Together Against Racism

Community Day, Preston Flag Market, 11am – 3pm
Come along to a FREEFREEFREE Community Day where there will be performances and music from local artists and Stalls housing numerous organisations providing information.

What’s Happening in Black History VI

What’s Happening in Black History VI

Thursday 16th March, Institute for Black Atlantic Research, UCLan

Keynote Speaker, Professor Gretchen Gerzina – Why Black History Matters: An America Perspective

The aim of the series is to facilitate discussion  between researchers, educationalists, artists and writers, archivists and curators, and policy makers.

It seeks to recognise and promote innovative new research into the history of people of African heritage or descent in the UK, and enable a discussion of the latest developments in the dissemination of Black British history in a wide variety of settings including the media, the classroom and lecture hall, and museums and galleries.

For more information on the event and to book your tickets, please visit: