Preparing for the Chamber’s centenary celebrations

The Harris Museum, Preston

The public can join business and civic VIPs as the North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce marks a significant milestone next week.

The Chamber begins the start of its centenary year with a special civic proclamation on Tuesday, 19th January, starting at 11am.

That is followed by a commemorative, invitation-only service at Preston Minster, conducted by the Vicar of Preston, Father Timothy Lipscomb.

Following the service, there will be a President’s Reception held at the Minster.

“We’d like as many people as possible to witness the proclamation at the start of a hugely significant year in our history,” said Babs Murphy, the Chamber’s Chief Executive.

“It also isn’t just about looking back and celebrating what has gone before in the Chamber’s history but also about looking forward to the next 100 years.”

Around 300 representatives of the business and civic community will gather on the Flag Market in celebration of the Chamber’s centenary.

They will sit in a special seated area to hear a celebratory speech made by Preston City Council before the formal proclamation is delivered by the Lord Lieutenant of Lancashire, Lord Shuttleworth.

Everyone present will be entertained by the marching band of the King’s Division, who will lead the delegation through the streets of Preston to the Minster.

Once at the Minster, guests will hear addresses from dignitaries including Ms Murphy, the Chamber’s President, Norman Tenray, incoming President, Dawn Cheetham, and Preston City Council’s Chief Executive, Lorraine Norris.

The service will also feature musical performances from Helen Lathom and Richard Belshaw.

“We’re looking forward to this event immensely,” said Stephen Ford, Director of Corporate Banking at RBS, one of the Chamber’s centenary patrons for 2016.

“The Chamber has played a huge part in the city’s life and it would be nice if that support could be repaid with a large turnout next week.”

“We’d urge anyone available to attend the Civic Proclamation, regardless of whether they have been involved with the Chamber or not,” added Graham Gordon from Moore and Smalley, the Chamber’s other centenary patrons.

“It’s a suitably momentous occasion to begin a landmark year for all connected with the Chamber. As centenary patrons, it will be an honour for us to attend.”

Tuesday’s diary date is the first in a series of commemorative events which the Chamber has planned throughout the course of the next 12 months.

These will include a reception at the House of Commons, a black tie business dinner and sponsorship packages at matches involving Fylde Rugby Club, Preston Grasshoppers, Preston North End and Blackpool.

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