As I mentioned in my last post - the review of High Wages by Dorothy Whipple - Jane Brocket who wrote the excellent introduction to the Persephone Books edition, has written a number of pocket guides to towns which she charmingly calls Grand Provincial Tour Guides. These are wonderful antidotes to the negative Crap Towns guide, and in the case of this week's offering, Preston, showcase the much missed treasures in our industrial heritage. Jane Brocket has been tripped up by the changes on VAT rules (like many, many small businesses) and can't sell the guides herself because of the prohibitive costs and VAT paperwork so she is offering some of them free on her website in return for a donation to the Trussel Trust.
This week, as I say, she is releasing Preston on free download which is well worth a read is you're a Lancastrian or if you've read High Wages or other novels set in the industrial North of England. The guide is beautifully illustrated with lots on the architecture as you'd expect but also lots on food (Butter pies! My Preston North End supporting husband was pleased to see them!) and on bookshops and other delights, as well as a Pevsner style perambulation for those wanting a quick way to take in the most interesting areas.
Jane has already published Chichester and will be releasing Shoreditch next week.