A few months ago I went to a zine fair and met some guys who do a zine called Preston Is My Paris, they produce it monthly and it’s full of found photos and their own photos of Preston, along with little bits of writing and stuff that make Preston sound like more than just a name on a list of stations. These guys’ names are Adam Murray and Robert Parkinson, and here they are in their own words (and pictures):

“To begin with, neither of us were actually born in Preston, but having lived here for 13 years between us we now consider ourselves Prestonians.  Preston is a place that is often overlooked due to the fact that it is near the seemingly more exciting cities of Manchester and Liverpool, and the kitsch beauty that is Blackpool is only down the road.  We love the place though, so much so we started our project – Preston is my Paris to show everyone how good it is.  This takes the form of a monthly zine and blog.

What we like about Preston is the fact that unlike most other cities it is relatively untouched and on the surface can seem like a bit of a nothing town.  But if you look hard enough its as interesting as anywhere else…”

The most iconic building in Preston is the bus station.  Once the biggest in Europe, this perfect example of 60s architecture is currently under threat by the plans to knock it down to build a load of shops on top.  We really don’t want this to happen.  There is a café that does a cracking breakfast for £4 and the characters in there are hard to beat!!  This photo is of a bloke who was threatening to throw himself off the top.  In the end he didn’t.

This is the top of the bus station.  Whenever we come here its always empty with some leftover booze bottles.  The lift to top is full of great graffiti and you can see views over the whole city.

One of the best things about Preston are the pubs.  Our regular USED to be the New Britannia, where this photo is from.   It served the best organic cider and homemade corned beef hash.  But then got bought out and painted white with brown leather sofas in.  We haven’t been back since.

Instead we go to other pubs and meet proper nice people.  This Polaroid is of a couple called Iris and John.  We met them in O’Neills and have kept in touch ever since.  They are cover stars from a past zine and always come to any exhibitions we put on.   They are proper funny characters and one time we put an exhibition on in Avenham Park and they followed us walking to the place looking through their binoculars whilst talking to us on the phone.

Another good pub in the Old Dog, basically because it’s the only place in town open when all the clubs are shut.  Everyone in there is different, you get proper locals, down and outs, students, basically anyone who’s drank too much at the end of the night.  This photo was taken in the beer garden one night when a woman happened to have her pet ferrets in her handbag.

Considering it is quite a small city there are quite a few beautiful parks.  The best are Miller and Avenham Park which are right next to each other.  We’re always amazed at how quiet they are even when the weather is gorgeous.  One of the best things on a Sunday is to go down, cross the river and skim stones.

With a name originally deriving from Priest Town it’s not surprising that there are a lot of churches in the city.  One of the best is this one called St Wilfrids and is by Winkley Square.  From the outside it looks like a big red brick building, but when you go in it reveals a proper beautiful interior and is just off the high street.

Between us we’ve lived in about 13 houses, all with different people and different conditions.  One of the best was one Robert lived in on Spring Bank.  The landlord lived across the road and sent quite a few eviction threats.  The sofas in the living room regularly made good beds.