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The Preston Guild is a celebration, held every twenty years in the Lancashire town of Preston, of the granting of a charter by King Henry II in 1179 for a guild of traders, craftsmen and merchants to be set up in the town, those individuals having the monopoly to undertake such business henceforth. Ceremonies were soon established to check members of the guild and these evolved into civic celebrations, the first recorded one being held in 1397. In time it became apparent that frequent events were not required as the membership of the guild only changed once a generation and therefore the membership checks and the civic celebrations involved were staged only once every two decades. The control by the guild of trade in the town lasted until 1790 but the accompanying celebrations, parades and fairs have lasted to the present day, an unbroken sequence from 1522 only being interrupted in 1942 because of the wartime situation. A saying also exists in Lancashire regarding infrequent events that they happen only "once every Preston Guild".
The Preston Guild in Coronation StreetEdit
Within the storyline of Coronation Street the 1972 Guild featured when a party of residents travelled to the town to partake in "all the fun of the fair". Events took a sour turn though when the police contacted Ena Sharples at the Guild as her great-grandson, Jason Lomax, had been taken from outside the Rovers Return Inn while his parents Colin and Karen were inside waiting for their grandmother to return. The unharmed baby was found a few days later on waste ground by Emily Bishop and Betty Turpin and six months later it was established that a disturbed woman named Christine Peters had been behind the abduction.