1. It was the birthplace of the UK’s motorway network.
The Preston By-pass, which is now part of the M6, was built in 1958 and was the first British road to be built to motorway standards. It was a little over eight miles long and ran from Bamber Bridge to Broughton.
2. Its football team were the first ‘Invincibles’
Preston North End may not be thought of as a giant of English football today, but they won the league and FA Cup in 1889 without losing a game all season. Only Arsenal (in 2004) have completed a top-division league campaign unbeaten since.
3. Preston invented the word ‘teetotal’
Referring to abstention from alcohol, the first recorded use of the phrase ‘teetotal’ was at a Preston Temperance Society meeting in 1833. You don’t have to be teetotal to visit though, as the number of quality pubs and bars in the city demonstrates.
4. The first KFC outside North America was built in Preston.
In May 1965, Prestonians became the first people outside the US and Canada to tuck into Kentucky Fried Chicken. Today, there are three KFCs in central Preston.
5. It was the first UK town to be lit by gas.
This year marks exactly two centuries since a chain of gas pipes was used to illuminate Preston. In a move that would probably not comply with today’s gas safety standards, some of the pipes were made from musket barrels.
6. It’s believed to have the UK’s longest row of red phone boxes.
How long is it since you last used a payphone? You can rediscover their charm with a row of eight iconic red telephone boxes, considered by many to be a hallmark of Britishness, on Market Street in Preston. The city wants to keep the boxes there, but recent years have seen talk of repurposing them.