The Twitter rise of Preston's inanimate objects
They are everyday objects and landmarks, and they never say a word... until now.
Hot on the heels of the remarkable popularity of the (potentially soon to be award winning) Fishergate Bollard, more accounts have sprung up on the Twittersphere, and they even talk amongst themselves while you are sleeping.
Some with an axe to grind, but mostly with a cheeky sense of humour, these parody accounts pass the time of day commenting on anything from the weather to the KFC crisis, they have an opinion on most things.
At the last count our city boasted 7 personalities online, and the number is growing. Here's the rundown on Preston's latest internet 'celebrities':
Arguably, Fishergate Bollard started all this nonsense back in 2016, and has gained notoriety and press coverage since he (she? it?) could be found at @FishergateBllrd - just don't call it a roundabout!
Mischievous and irreverent, it makes up for the abuse it seems to get from short-sighted drivers who crash into it regularly, and likes to give the Fishergate shared space scheme short shrift.
Talking of small lumps of stone with attitude, Lostock Hall Henge (@Lostock_Henge) claims to have been made by the devil himself, but could do with the fires of Hell to warm him up in this weather. The comings and goings of the Spar where he resides are a feature, as are the unwelcome attentions of passing dogs in need of relief.
The row of red phone boxes near the Flag Market tweet as @PrestonPhoneBox who boasts being the 'original Preston landmark' and is often distraught at being vandalised. Has fostered a love/hate relationship with The Bollard, but all that boisterous animosity is kidding no one. Likes a pint and does much to promote activities and businesses in the city centre.
The pylon in Penwortham which hit the headlines when it was found to be in the way of a road widening scheme on the A582 has taken to social media as @PylonPenwortham, and harbours a secret desire to take over from Fishergate Bollard on its little plinth. High on energy, low on movement.
The Leyland tank monument has joined the fray recently @LeylandTank, and with its gun barrel ("a big one") pointing north it promises to keep the people of Leyland safe from the onslaught of the 'Preston rabble'.
Riversway were not to be left out as the dock bridge swung into action as @SwingBridge2 - scenic pictures of the docks are a speciality.
And just when you thought things couldn't get dafter, along comes the Preston Market Thermometer @PR1Thermometer, who has much to say about the lack of heating and ceiling at the newly opened Preston outdoor market. "Baby, it's cold inside" it says, while mulling over a job swap to Baxi Heating. Has a penguin called Karl, who seems to prefer the market climate to Antarctica.
Silly, yes, but if it raises a wry smile, and some good publicity for businesses, events and issues around the city, why not?
With Preston finding itself in a non-human Twitter frenzy, you'd be forgiven for wondering what might be next. Morrisons Lighthouse? A Deepdale floodlight? We can only guess.