Here, up north, we say ‘once every Preston Guild’ to mean that something is a rarity, being a once-every-twenty-years celebration of all things Prestonian, particularly the business, or Merchant, community.
This year’s Guild celebrations were preceded by Lancashire’s “Be Inspired Business Awards”, the BIBAs, held on the evening of 31st August in a grand marquee at Avenham Park.
As the nominees and guests arrived for a spectacular gala dinner and award ceremony they knew only that there was to be an evening of promised top-class entertainment, the star’s identity being a closely guarded secret. Even the announcements were being made by that mysterious, unseen “voice of the balls”, Alan Dedicoat, from the National Lottery!
The secret is out now, of course, but the audience was delighted to discover that their star for the night was none other than Russell.
Several pictures quickly appeared on Twitter and were followed shortly by more on the website of sponsors the, Lancashire Evening Post .
Russell’s set included Amazing Grace, complete with a pipe band, We Are The Champions, Nessun Dorma, Jerusalem, and a rousing, flag-waving Land Of Hope And Glory.
The following pictures have kindly been supplied by Michelle Clarke of Talent Dynamics.
Reciprocating the warmth of their welcome, Russell praised the business community’s perserverence and innovation in the face of the current economic climate and said they were a credit to the country for carrying on and doing so well in such tough times.
More pictures have since been added to the BIBAs’ Galleries webpage.
+++business community at the BIBAs