The Hot Potato Tram teams up with Lea Community Primary School to celebrate Halloween, Bonfire Night and Preston culture

The famous local business is helping the school children celebrate, whilst also learning about their local culture.

Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 4:55 am
Updated Tuesday, 19th October 2021, 8:36 am

Preston' s famous Hot Potato Tram has donated 30 pumpkins and plenty of its iconic parched peas to a local primary school to celebrate Halloween, Bonfire Night and the city’s culture.

Pupils at Lea Community Primary School in Ashton-on-Ribble are tasked with carving their pumpkins in time for Halloween, and the owner of Hot Potato Tram, which has been on Preston's flag market since 1958, will then be choosing a winner.

Tony Nelson, who took over the Hot Potato Tram last year after the sad death of ‘spudman’ Keith Roberts, said: “With it coming up to Halloween and Bonfire Night, which is probably one of our busiest times of the year, I thought it would be nice to involve a local primary school with the whole theme of Halloween and Bonfire Night and what it means. I'm going to go down to the primary school, choose which ones are the best and give them a little prize, and display some of the pumpkins at the potato tram, which is also in keeping with what we’re all about, it's that community spirit."

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Oscar Lee, Emilia Pawlak and Evie Patton from Lea Community Primary School carving some of the pumpkins last Friday.

He added: “We also donated 30 bags of parched peas because parched peas around Bonfire Night are a really traditional food in Preston. Parched peas started in Preston, were made famous in Preston and I think we’re one of the only outlets now that still do them, in the world even, so we told the school that the kids could take them home and make some parched peas with their mums and dads, ready to eat on Bonfire Night. I just thought it would be nice, they could do a little research on it as well, looking at the history of parched peas and Lancashire.”

Just as the parched peas allow a chance for the students to celebrate their local heritage on Bonfire night, some of the pumpkins have also been decorated in reference to the local area.

Each class at Lea Community Primary School were given three pumpkins, and in small groups, they began their decorating last Friday, and whilst some pumpkins have been carved traditionally in celebration of Halloween, others have a Preston twist as well.

The school’s Business Manager, Sophie Inman, said: “The children have really enjoyed it, it’s been a really creative activity for them. We have linked it to our geography skills so in Key Stage 1` they’ve been doing about where we live, and about significant local people and landmarks of Preston, so some of the pumpkins have been designed along that theme. Then in Key Stage 2 they’ve been doing ordnance survey symbols and have identified the most popular landmarks of Preston so again there’s been some pumpkins designed with that theme too."

30 pumpkins were donated to the school by the famous Preston' business, Hot Potato Tram.

Sophie added: “It’s been really good to work with a local business and to organise this event, it’s just been really enjoyable for the children, it’s brought learning to life really in a creative way.”

Tony Nelson, the owner of The Hot Potato Tram, also donated some of their iconic parched peas to the students as well.
A handful of the pupil's pumpkins will then be chosen to go on display at the tram.
Tony Nelson took over the Hot Potato Tram last year following the death of 'spudman' Keith Roberts.