Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff- A “Preston Legend”

Following our previous blog posts you might know that three “Preston legends” have given their name to new meeting rooms in the UCLan Student’s Union building. The winners were Edith Rigby, Nick Park and Freddie Flintoff. You may have hear of them but do you know what they have achieved and why they were chosen?

We have introduced Edith and Nick, and now it’s time to introduce our last winner, Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff.

Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff was born on 6th December 1977 in Preston. Freddie was a pupil at Greenland County Primary School and Ribbleton High School, now called City of Preston High. His nickname Freddie or Fred comes from the perceived similarity between his surname and that of Fred Flintstone.

Freddie after training at Adelaide Oval

Freddie’s father was obsessed with cricket, which might explain Freddie’s success. Freddie began playing when very young and was signed to the Lancashire under-11 at age nine. He made his first cricket debut for Lancashire in 1995, and in 1998 earned his international honours during a Test Match vs South Africa. His career peak was being named the PCA Player of the Year in 2005 due to his performance.

Flintoff has played as captain and vice-captain of the England cricket team. Despite retiring at age 31 in 2009, he came out of retirement to play for Lancashire and Brisbane Heat from 2014-2015. After a poor season for the latter he announced his final retirement and has taken up professional boxing, where he competes as a heavyweight and has had 1 win so far!

Freddie Flintoff

Since then, he has been busy, as is the ambassador for multiple brands, such as Jacomo and Morrisons supermarkets. Freddie has also embarked on a successful presenting career and features on a number of shows, including Sky One’s A League of Their Own. In 2015, he won the Australian series of “I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!”. Freddie also currently holds 14 Guinness World Records in aid of Sport Relief. These include the fastest time zorbing 100 metres, furthest distance from which to score a bullseye and popping the most party poppers in a minute!

Freddie was made an honorary Freeman of the city of Preston, like Nick Park. This honour has no real privileges nowadays but it is awarded to women and men of note who have a connection to the city. Freemen are allowed to walk ahead of councillors in processions, such as Remembrance Sunday and supposedly the right to receive a free beer in any bar or pub in Preston! In 2006, he was awarded an M.B.E. by the Queen for services to cricket after his successful role during the Ashes.

Picture credits

Freddie Flintoff, image via

Freddie Flintoff after training at Adelaide Oval, image via


#LoveSUs Day- A Short History of UCLan Students’ Union!

In 2008 the Union decided that ‘making life better for students’ should be its mission statement. But how did it get there? Find out in this blog post as we celebrate #LoveSUs Day!

UCLan Students’ Union began life as the as Harris Students’ Association in 1957, and was renamed the Harris Students’ Union in 1961. Another change of name was in 1973, when it was renamed as the Preston Polytechnic Students’ Union.

The Students’ Union originally resided in the Foster Building. However, a committee for the Academic Board recommended in 1970 that the Union needed a purpose built building, as the accommodations at Foster were too cramped.

Fylde Road in 1957 before the Students’ Union Building was started

Planning for such a building were approved in 1975. It took another two years to finish the Students’ Union Building at Fylde Road. Improvements were then made in the 1990s and in 2005.

UCLan’s Student Union Building in the 1990s
53 Degrees by night

In 2005 work on another building on Brook Street began, a venue for concerts and club nights called 53 Degrees. Over the years it attracted big names to the stage, such as Ellie Goulding, Johnny Marr, Orbital, The Vaccines and The Streets to name but a few.

Over the years the Students’ Union has helped to support the needs of many students. In 1979, the Students’ Union campaigned for better nursery provisions and threatened the then Polytechnic with a boycott and strike following student issues over lack of and poor quality accommodation and rent prices.

The Students’ Union actively fought for improved gender equality and equal opportunities within the Polytechnic. In 1987, the Students’s Union President at the time voiced her anger during a meeting of the Equal Opportunities Committee where she was the only female involved during a recruitment process for two new members of the academic board. In a report to the executive meeting at the Students’ Union she said:

“I do not look forward to the prospect of an all male Directorate, it can only serve to hint at hypocrisy within this institution”

The issues over gender continued until the start of the 90s when significant advances were made to improve equality, including the introduction of a Women’s Officer in 1991.

In 1986 the Students’ Union supported a group of special needs students, whose aim it was to convince the Academic Board to accept students with special needs from all disabilities. This was successful, and the main outcomes were that a Special Needs Advisor was appointed and budgets for special equipment was allocated.

Today, UCLan Students’ Union still campaigns for many issues such as rising tuition fees, refugees and gender neutral toilets. It continues to strive to make life for students better. For example, the Stressed Out Students’ (S.O.S) Campaign in 2015 that led to the introduction of a temporary ‘Puppy Room’ to help students to cope with the pressures of exams and essays!

UCLan’s Students’ Union at Fylde Road



 Picture credits

Rex Pope and Ken Phillips, University of Central Lancashire: A History of the Development of the Institution since 1828 (University of Central Lancashire, 1995).

53 Degrees by night, image via

Fylde Road in 1957 before the Students’ Union Building was started, image via Harris Museum & Art Gallery.

Students’ Union Building on Fylde Road, image via

UCLan’s Student Union Building in the 1990s, image via Harris Museum & Art Gallery.








EVENT: Life, Work and Study in Preston during the First World War Exbition

Ever wondered what University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) was like during the First World War?

This Saturday in the library at the Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Dr. Keith Vernon from UCLan Humanities and Social Sciences (and UCLan Through the Ages partner!) will be exhibiting his current work that looks at life, work and study at the Harris Institute during the war.

Excited to learn more about the just one part of UCLan’s diverse and interesting history! Look out for more events in the future that are linked with this project!




Edith Rigby- A”Preston Legend”

Following our previous blog post you may know that three “Preston legends” have given their name to new meeting rooms in the UCLan Students’ Union building. The winners were Edith Rigby, Nick Park and Freddie Flintoff.

You might have heard of them but do you know what have they done for us and why they have been chosen?

In a series of blog posts we will introduce the “Preston legends”, and this week we will begin with Edith Rigby.

Edith Rigby

Edith Rigby was a famous suffragette from Preston. She was born as Edith Rayner on 18th October 1872 in Preston, Lancashire, at 1 Pole Street, near where Preston’s infamous Bus Station is built. She married Dr Charles Rigby and moved to an elegant house at 28 Winckley Square. She was interested in many social issues of the day, and tried to improve the working conditions of many women who worked in the many thriving factories in and around Preston.

However, she is best known for being a suffragette. Women did not have the right to vote at the beginning of the twentieth century, which many women (and men) believed to be unfair and many organisations were formed in this period to support their cause. The term “suffragette” came into to use to describe people who used organised protest to demand the vote for women. One of these organisations was the Preston branch of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), which was founded by Edith in 1907. She worked tirelessly to secure the vote for women by holding meetings at her house and asking people to join the WSPU.

Blue Plaque dedicated to Edith at 28 Winckley Square, Preston

Many of the methods used by Edith and her sisters were considered to be militant, but many of these today would be considered harmless, for example interrupting a public meeting where Winston Churchill was speaking for example. She also threw black pudding at a local MP in Manchester in 1913, as a ‘black pudding is more derogatory than tomatoes or eggs’!

Over time the Preston movement became more radical, which might explain why she was blamed for tarring and feathering the statue of Lord Derby in Preston’s Miller Park. The son of Lord Derby had opposed granting the vote for women. As an act of protest some women defaced the statue, while Edith did not commit the act she might have helped to plan it.

Earl of Derby statue at Miller Park

However, some of the acts carried out would be considered extreme even today, for example Edith burned down the bungalow of Lord Leverhulme in 1913, though nobody was hurt. She saw this as a valid form of protest. These acts shows how desperate some suffragettes were to fight for their cause and to secure the vote for women.

Many suffragettes were arrested and imprisoned for their activism, Edith included. She was imprisoned in 1907 for four weeks, one of seven times spent in prison in total. The treatment they received was brutal.

Many suffragettes chose to go on hunger strike during their imprisonment. This was an act of protest to not being held as political prisoners, even though what they had done was with a political reason. The police force fed the suffragettes on hunger strike, which was brutal and damaging to the health of many women. This caused outrage and embarrassed the government.

The government felt it had to do something to end this. To break the will of the suffragettes they introduced the “Cat and Mouse Act”. The name came from the way in which a cat plays with its prey before finishing it. When a suffragette was arrested it was likely that she would go on hunger strike which would weaken her. She would be released in this state, and when she got out she would eat again and get stronger. If she then did another crime then she would be arrested again. And so the circle would start again.

After the outbreak of World War One in 1914, all suffragette activities ceased in order to support the war effort. Edith and her husband moved to a small cottage in Penwortham called Marigold Cottage where she did her best to support the war. She joined the Land Army and started to grow food on her land. Using her produce she gave help when there were food shortages and sold produce on the Preston Market. She was also influenced in new agricultural methods, like those developed by Rudolph Steiner.

Marigold Cottage in Penwortham, where Edith Rigby lived during the First World War

Edith pursued a wide range of interest in her later life, which ranged from stone circles to translating works from German to English. She died near Llandudno in Wales in 1948.

Edith (second from left) on LLandudno Pier

After the war, advancements were made for the women’s cause. By 1918, women over thirty who owned land were granted the right to vote and this was extended in 1928 to full suffrage and all women over the age of 21 were able to vote in their first election, often referred to as the ‘flapper election’.

It is fair to say that Edith was a remarkable and unusual woman. It is thanks to women like her that women have the right to vote today. This was achieved with a struggle, and many suffragettes paid a high price for their commitment. It is important to know their stories, as they can continue to inspire us and we hope this determination will be reflected in her meeting room at UCLan Students’ Union.

Picture credits

Edith Rigby, image courtesy of Lancashire Archives via

Blue Plaque at 28 Winckley Square, image courtesy of Tony Worrall via

Earl of Derby Statue at Miller Park, Preston, image courtesy of Preston Digital Archive via

Marigold Cottage in Penwortham, image courtesy of Heather Crook via

Edith Rigby on Llandudno Pier, image courtesy of Paul Swarbrick via

New Meeting Rooms!


Over the summer break the UCLan Students’ Union building has undergone a number of changes with brand new furniture, creative wall signage, and three new modern meeting rooms created on the corridor between the Atrium and St Peter’s Art Centre.

As part of the UCLan Through the Ages project we were tasked with giving these new meeting rooms a historic twist! In May, we asked students to nominate their ‘Preston legends’, who were people from history that had made an impact on Preston or the university.

The campaign received a number of brilliant nominations that were put up on the SU website at the end July for students to vote on. We patiently waited until the excitement of Fresher’s has passed to announce the three winners, who are…

Nick Park, director, writer, and animator best known as the creator of Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep!

Nick has sent us a message in response to the result and says: ‘It is really lovely that the students have chosen for there to be a ’Nick Park’ room at UCLan. It’s not every day that you have a room named after you, and it’s a great honour. Thank you. I hope that there are lots of inspirational and creative meetings in the ’Nick Park’ room.’

Edith Rigby, Preston’s most famous suffragette, social activist and the first lady to ride a bicycle in Preston in the early 1900s!

James Arnold, History Curator at the Harris Museum & Art Gallery, has noted the significance of Edith’s win and says: “Congratulations on choosing such great names for your meeting rooms. It seems fitting that Edith Rigby triumphed in the midst of such stiff competition. Her quiet determination to look for ways to improve the lives of women and her courage to stand up for what she believed in continues to inspire us today.”

Andrew ‘Freddie’ Flintoff, presenter, broadcaster and Lancashire cricketing legend!

Unfortunately we were unable to speak to Freddie but we are sure he will be very happy with the result!

In response to the campaign and result, Activities and Participation Officer, Ed Evans says: “It’s great to see that the students’ union has nice new meeting rooms which are colourful and are flexible spaces. Each one is now named after a Preston legend so can’t wait to see what events are planned for the future!”

Work on incorporating the winners into the design of the meeting rooms will begin soon, so keep an eye on the blog to see the new look for the Park Room, Rigby Room and Flintoff Room!

Meet the Team! UCLan Through the Ages Project Assistant


Hard at work on my first day in the heritage corner of the office!

Hello, my name is Miriam and I am the new Heritage Project Assistant for the UCLan Through the Ages project. That means that I will help organise events and activities and do research around the history of UCLan.

I am currently a third year History, Museums and Heritage student. I feel very fortunate in that the UCLan Through the Ages project will enable me to gain valuable work experience in the field which I am studying. Thank you, UCLan Students’ Union!

I have always been interested in history, and I love to share this passion with others. As a History, Museums and Heritage student you learn not only how to dig deep into history, but how to make it visible to others. This can be challenging, as there are often little traces left of the history that came before the present day. Buildings get demolished and memories fade, and so the past can seem like a very different place.

At the moment, the University of Central Lancashire is at a crossroads. The main campus is being re-designed and old buildings will be taken down and replaced by new architecture. These changes provide an ideal opportunity to reflect upon the area and its history. Since arriving at UCLan I have noticed that this history seems somewhat neglected- I will do my best to rectify this! The project will make not only make the architectural change visible that occurred over the past centuries but will also uncover forgotten and/or neglected histories of local people.

So much for me. Watch this space as we are about to get started with lots of events and activities in the coming weeks!

If you feel inspired, why not volunteer for the UCLan Through the Ages project? Read more about the volunteering here: Become a Volunteer!

Or if you have any suggestions for upcoming events, why not get in touch through our Contact Us page.

Meet the Team! UCLan Through the Ages Project Coordinator

Me on placement in the Harris Museum & Art Gallery, one of UCLan Through the Ages partners!

Hello readers!

I’m Hannah, the Project Coordinator for UCLan Through the Ages. I have been involved with the project since its launch in February 2016 where I originally started working for the project as the Heritage Project Assistant student staff member whilst in my final year studying History, Museum and Heritage Studies at UCLan. After graduation, I was able to carry on my time at UCLan and became the coordinator for UCLan Through the Ages.

I am extremely excited to be part of such a brilliant project and to be able to help and encourage students to engage with local history and heritage. The history of UCLan and Preston is incredibly interesting and diverse, to showcase this we have a fab range of activities and events in the planning and I cannot wait to share these with you all!

My job usually varies from day to day but my roles include planning and putting on events, managing volunteers, running the project’s social media accounts, researching and working with students, staff and the local community.

As a recent graduate I count myself very lucky to have a job doing what I love! I currently split my time between coordinating the project, studying part time for an MA in Art Gallery and Museum Studies and volunteering for various heritage projects in the North West.

For any project question please drop me an email at or

Don’t forget to follow us on twitter: @UCLanHeritage and like us on Facebook!

Look out for our next post from Miriam, the newly appointed project assistant who explains a bit more about the need for the project!