Lancashire nostalgia in 1989: Guild Hall takeover, market changes and PNE soccer spectacular

Here's a look at some of the stories that were making the headlines back in 1989:

Thursday, 27th February 2020, 1:20 pm
Updated Friday, 28th February 2020, 10:43 am
A 4m takeover deal for Prestons Guild Hall is being considered
A 4m takeover deal for Prestons Guild Hall is being considered

Tycoon offers £4m Guild Hall takeover

The takeover bid for Preston’s Guild Hall entertainments complex is worth £4m to the town, the millionaire businessman behind it revealed.

But it is not a straight cash offer, nor designed to change its prime purpose of being the tops in showbiz and sport.

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“It is a package deal offer and should be looked at as such,” said Hossein Ghiassi, head of local building and development firm Tustin.

And as such, he said, it involves:

○ A £2m-plus cash payment.

○ A complete £1.25m refurbishment inside and out.

○ The leaseback of Grand Hall and Charter Theatre to the council at a peppercorn rate.

○ A takeover of shops, bars, restaurants and cafeteria.

○ Complete responsibility for cleaning and security.

Mr Ghiassi, an Iranian-born entrepreneur and buyer of the former Red Scar works at Ribbleton, Preston, said they saw the acquisition - if successful - as a long-term investment. He had a lot of faith in Preston’s future.

But as it stood today, the Guild Hall was just a “second-rate environment” with a lot of wasted space.

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Look back at a selection of pictures from 1989 here

Market traders defend 800 years tradition in Preston

A multi-million pound plan to radically change Preston’s centuries-old open market would destroy the character of the whole town, say stall-holders.

Market traders crowded into Preston’s council chamber to hear details of a plan that would mean a second floor created in the open market and glass walls around the Victorian wrought iron frame.

Representative of the developers, Next and Wimpey, showed the traders how they want to turn the whole area into a themed shopping centre, retaining individual stalls, barrows and shop units.

Many stall-holders, especially those who trade from the open market, were not happy with what they saw.

George Lowe, vice-chairman of the Market Traders’ Association, told the developers: “If this scheme goes through, the one thing that we won’t have is an open market, something this town has had for 800 years.

“The people of this town hold their market in very high esteem and they won’t allow you to bulldoze this plan through.”

Traders want to know how the development, which would also see refurbishment of the indoor Market Hall, would affect their rents and where they could park their vehicles to get access to their stalls.

Many felt the market which has served the town for so long should not be changed.

Soccer stars to honour PNE hero

Deepdale is gearing up for a star-spangled soccer spectacular... and the likes of England captain Bryan Robson and Liverpool goal-ace Ian Rush are to take centre stage.

The big match - Northern International All Stars versus Preston North End - is being arranged to honour former Preston defender Mick Baxter.

Baxter, more recently the club’s community officer, died a few weeks ago of a suspected heart attack after successfully fighting off the cancer which ended his playing career five years ago. He was 32.

Bobby Charlton is being lined up to “manage” the All Stars, who hope to include England winger John Barnes, Welsh stars Neville Southall and Mark Hughes, Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish and former Deepdale and Anfield favourite Mark Lawrenson.