Will Onda pictured at the 1922 Preston Guild!

Proclamation of the 1922 Preston Guild

Guild Mayor and Mayoress Henry and Mabel Astley-Bell with Will Onda!

The countdown to Christmas has begun but in Preston it is also countdown to the 2012 Preston Guild.

The first recorded Guild celebration was in 1397 but it has been held every 20 years since 1542 – apart from a 30 year break between 1922 and 1952 due to the Second World War.

Preston is unique in still celebrating a Guild – but is also the only town and city in Britain to have documented each generation’s fashions, tastes, streets, shops and businesses through photography and film. For more info on Preston’s Guild films see my earlier post.

Will Onda was a Preston councillor by the time of the 1922 Preston Guild and as such involved in the official events. The featured image in this post was taken on the day of the Guild proclamation by the Guild Mayor Henry Astley-Bell. Will is the man standing in front of the column on the right wearing a light coloured suit and round glasses.

Will and the other councillors also had their portraits taken for the official records of the Guild. These vintage portrait prints are now in the Harris Museum photographic collection. I have chosen his 1922 Guild portrait as the featured image in the new Will Onda display in the new history gallery at the Harris, which is opening in the summer. Will also filmed the 1922 Preston Guild and I am hoping to include some of his film footage too.

For more details of the 2012 and how you can get involved visit the Guild website.

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About Emma Heslewood

I am a historian and museum curator with broad interests including early topical films, social and industrial history, numismatics, archaeology and WW1. I am an expert on the life and work of the Victorian acrobat and topical film maker - Will Onda.
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