A local historian who launched a website about the history of pubs in Preston has been overwhelmed by the response.
Steve Halliwell, 68, of Minster Park, Cottam, Preston, set up the website just nine months ago and described it at the time as ‘his contribution to the 2012 Preston Guild festivities.’
Since then the website has attracted almost 100,000 page views from all over the world - with new information pouring in from the USA and Canada, as well as Australia and New Zealand.
Steve, a former police mansaid: “It’s taken me by surprise, from a standing start to that figure in nine months.”
Steve estimates that around fifty new pieces of information are being added on a daily basis.
“Some of the information I have received can only come from people who are related to the thousands who must be mentioned on the site. It’s good, interesting material that helps to bring it all to life,” he said.
“The site includes details of nearly eight hundred inns, taverns and beer-houses that have ever existed within the boundaries of the old borough, and I’m still finding ones I’ve not encountered before, and they’re listed on the ‘Latest Additions’ page to make things easier.
“The whole site is indexed and searchable, and includes as many of the ‘Mine Hosts’ as I have traced, together with all the relevant census returns from 1841.
“Added to that are thousands of pieces of anecdotal evidence of activities in each of the premises, which helps to recreate the social history of places that were largely central to everyday activities in the community.
“It’s become a really useful resource for many researchers.”
One of the things Steve hadn’t expected was for people to be using the website to trace their relatives.
The website lists the names of former licensees which people are coming across when researching their family history
He said: “I have been astounded at the number of people who have traced relatives through the pages of my site and it’s still only in its infancy.”
For more info visit http://pubsinpreston.blogspot.co.uk.