PRESTON GUILD: '˜2032 will be even better' - Coun Carl Crompton
The 15 years between now and the next Guild will fly by says Coun Carl Crompton. 'It'll come around sooner than you think.'
Five years ago this week, as the 2012 Guild Mayor, the Labour representative would have been in the middle of his “non-stop” duties.
From performing a key part in the ceremonial proceedings, such as the Guild Court, to being able to enjoy the processions, festivals and concerts, there are lots of memories.
Some of those at the forefront, however, may not be what you would expect. Especially as they involve a rogue water-skier and a wandering chair.
Here was how we covered the Guild year:
“A couple of things do stand out,” Coun Crompton tells the Lancashire Post.
“For example, being brought into Preston Docks on board HMS Charger was special.
“We were picked up and sailed down the River Ribble and I remember a speed boat with a water-skier over-taking us and then the skier letting go and getting stuck right in front of us
“The captain was giving orders, because the guy was right in front of us, luckily nothing came of it.
“I then remember us having to wait before we could enter the docks because there was only something like a 20cm clearance between the bottom of the boat and the bottom of the docks.
“So we have to wait for a particular time of high tide, then all of a sudden it was full steam ahead.”
In another fond memory, the pomp of the Guild Court was punctured momentarily by a troublesome piece of furniture.
“I remember the grand chair I had to sit on was placed on casters and each time I stood up to speak it whizzed off. It happened five or six times, it had a mind of its own.”
The privilege of being Guild Mayor is something that has not been under-valued by the representative for University Ward.
And Coun Crompton says his successor will have a bit more help in settling into the role.
“I was very proud that the Labour group had the faith in me to do it, it’s a great honour being mayor and especially so during a Guild year.
“Usually there’s someone within the council who has been through it before to guide everyone through but we didn’t really have that in 2012. We videoed a lot of the ceremonial things to help out for 2032, which should make things easier for them.
“A time capsule was organised during the Guild and I have written message for the next Guild Mayor, but I can’t say too much about what I’ve said in that.
“But I just wish they enjoy it, as I did.”
Looking ahead to 2032, he believes the next incarnation of the Guild will surpass its predecessors.
“Each time it improves because of the technology. We saw the torchlight procession, that happens each time, but because of the technology, it becomes more spectacular.
“Even though I think 2012 was a superb Guild, everything moves on so 2032 will be even better.”
And as we continue to reminisce about 2012, another stand-out memory emerges, highlighting how the festival captured the public’s imagination.
He recalls: “We were in-between events and the officers were saying we could go back to the town hall for a cup of tea and a rest before going onto the next engagement.
“I suggested we should go down Fishergate and get a drink there, they didn’t really want to do it as I was in full ceremonial dress, with the chains on, and there was just a bit of a worry about taking those out.
“But I insisted and we had people coming up and saying ‘it’s the Guild Mayor, it’s the Guild Mayor’, it was absolutely fabulous and we really enjoyed it.
“The people of Preston really enjoyed it, it was one of those things you will always remember in your life.”