Celebrate bus station in parade

The Gate 81 model of Preston Bus Station's famous curves for the parade
The Gate 81 model of Preston Bus Station's famous curves for the parade
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Large panels creating a giant model of Preston Bus Station’s sweeping curves will be displayed during tomorrow’s parade through the city.

The procession, organised by the Save Preston Bus Station group, will celebrate the Government’s decision to grant the building Grade II listed status.

The Gate 81 model of Preston Bus Station's famous curves for the parade

The Gate 81 model of Preston Bus Station's famous curves for the parade

Preston Council has gone back on its plan to demolish the 44-year-old structure and hopes to find County Hall and lottery funding to refurbish the station.

The parade, which was already set to feature a woven banner made by the acclaimed artist Ed Hall, will now also include the work of Gate 81, a collaboration between Preston’s creative arts group They Eat Culture (TEC) and Manchester School of Architecture.

Sally Stone, from Preston, who lectures at the Manchester School of Architecture, said: “The students have designed it - they said everybody in the unit can be a part of it, so everybody gets a panel. We’ve got 32 panels and each of them are about 0.8m by 1.5m.

“There are 16 representing one side of the building with four parapets and 16 of the other side with five parapets.

The Gate 81 model of Preston Bus Station's famous curves for the parade

The Gate 81 model of Preston Bus Station's famous curves for the parade

“They are made from corrugated cardboard and all folded together and laminated with PVA glue.”

Gate 81 has held many events this year to raise awareness of the building’s plight, including workshops with schoolchildren, architects and designers.

It commissioned detailed drawings to be made of the bus station, as the original blueprints were lost in a fire at BDP designers’ Vernon Street office.

The project now exists online as a set of downloadable documents, which are free and open so that anyone who is interested can create proposals for the bus station’s development.

Sally said: “We set the group up with the idea of raising the profile of the building and celebrating it.

“Gate 81 wasn’t designed to be antagonistic or to make demands, it was just a dire situation and we wanted to inject a bit of happiness and optimism into the building.

“If the profile of the building is raised then people can start to appreciate how good it is. Sometimes people forget or they just take it for granted.”

Participants in the parade will meet in Lune Street at 11am before walking at noon to the Flag Market along Friargate.

Save Preston Bus Station campaigner John Wilson said: “We want the people of Preston to come along to pull the curtain down, to say ‘we’ve achieved what we set out to do’.

“We’ve achieved listed status, we’re going to get the building refurbished and now we want to celebrate it.”

The group is still looking for a band or musicians to join the parade.

Visit www.prestonbusstation.co.uk for more details.