Viewing Britain from a Preston perspective
The town was humming this afternoon, not least because of a particularly gifted duet of buskers in the centre – fluent black jazz trumpeter and white guitarist.
The train was no economic indicator of value – plenty of passengers both ways. £45 return not bad, I thought – second class. The University of Central Lancashire has completely regenerated the centre of Preston. A vast amount of new buildings.
The students were energised and in profusion. Good zesty questions, but a deep awareness that out there there is a cliff to fall off. My friendly blogger reports he liked my lecture. I thought it went well.
I’m beginning to get a picture of a provincial Britain where new universities have transformed economic life. No new manufacturing, but lots of new get up and go.
Our London-centricity threatens the country. It seems we media folk have lulled ourselves into basking in the multicultural capital and viewing everything from that perspective. “They”, the “other” Britain, are living a better quality of life, I suspect – less materialistic, more community based.
Impressionistic, I know, but I’m going to try get about a bit more. I met a man from The Independent on the train. He asked me how many correspondents we have north of Watford. I told him two. He said most newspapers now have none.