A Golden Milestone for Preston's Gujarat Hindu Society

Preston’s Gujarat Hindu Society marked its 50th anniversary on Sunday with an afternoon of joy filled celebrations, reflection and special displays of Indian classical, Bollywood and fusion dancing.

Society President Ishwer Tailor was joined by a VIP line up of society supporters and friends for the lighting of a special lamp at the start of the celebrations.

Celebrations including dancing displays  marked the 50th anniversary of Preston's Gujarat Hindu Society

Celebrations including dancing displays marked the 50th anniversary of Preston's Gujarat Hindu Society

The event at the society’s internationally renowned South Meadow Lane temple and community centre marked the culmination of its Golden Milestone Project and also included an exhibition, video presentation, refreshments and the cutting of a special birthday cake.

Thanks to funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund and assistance from the Harris Museum the society has now traced and recorded its history.

The society started as a small organisation, converting the former St Stephen's school on South Meadow Lane into a temple and meeting place, later developing its multi million pound temple and community centre on a by then extended site.

In a special commemorative leaflet to mark the event Ishwer noted how community members had joined special workshops and brought in memorabilia to help capture the society's 50 year journey.

The celebrations included a performance by younger members of the community

The celebrations included a performance by younger members of the community

He wrote: " Various workshops were held to capture life from the 1960s and 70s until present date ... The Hindu community came together and worked to buy an old school."

He explained that the vision and ambition grew to create a centre of excellence and the Millennium Commission had helped fund subsequent building and redevelopment work: "This dream came true in 1997 when we were awarded a grant of £1.64 m towards a total project cost of £3.28m"

Tribute was paid to all who had helped the society on its inspiring journey.

Special VIP guests helped with the lighting of the lamp

Special VIP guests helped with the lighting of the lamp

The celebrations included a performance by younger members of the community

The celebrations included a performance by younger members of the community

Celebrations including dancing displays  marked the 50th anniversary of Preston's Gujarat Hindu Society

Celebrations including dancing displays marked the 50th anniversary of Preston's Gujarat Hindu Society

Celebrations including dancing displays  marked the 50th anniversary of Preston's Gujarat Hindu Society

Celebrations including dancing displays marked the 50th anniversary of Preston's Gujarat Hindu Society