Sir Lindsay Hoyle, Speaker of the House of Commons, meets Jodie Walsh of Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses in Preston (Image: ©UK Parliament/Andy Bailey)
From cheesemakers to brewers, Michelin-starred chefs and sports experts, Lancashire’s best were welcomed to the House of Commons this week to celebrate Lancashire Day.
The Speaker of the House of Commons and the MP for Chorley hosted a ‘Lancashire Day’ themed reception to give MPs, politicians and businesses in the county the opportunity to find out more about the place he describes as ‘their own God County.”
Lancashire Day is traditionally celebrated on 27 November to mark the date (727 years ago) when Lancashire’s first elected representatives were summoned to Westminster by King Edward I in 1295.
The annual day celebrates the people, community and culture of Red Rose County.
‘Biggest cheerleader in the county’, Sir Lindsay, said: “From amazing food such as hot pot, Chorley cakes, tasty cheeses, ale and black pudding; to beautiful scenery, and some of the loveliest and funniest people in the world, you won’t find anywhere better than Lancashire.
“As a proud Lancastrian, I can tell you what an amazing place it is, but I am so grateful to the many entrepreneurs, educators and entrepreneurs in the county for joining us in showing what a creative and industrious place it is.”
The display at Speaker’s House was organized by Lancashire County Council to showcase a variety of organizations that have contributed to the success of the county ahead of their annual day of celebration.
One of the guests was Paul Heathcote, one of two chefs from the North West who has two Michelin stars.
Paul, who ran the Longridge restaurant, said: “Lancashire has a lot to offer and there’s certainly too much choice when it comes to dining out.”
Warren Bennett, managing director of Bowland Brewery, which is based in Clitheroe and employs 500 people, said he was interested in “encouraging people to consider a career in the hospitality industry.”
He added: “It’s so much more than just standing in front of the house, having a pint these days.
“We have never been more flexible. Our chefs have a good work-life balance; we encourage apprenticeships and there are many other different roles in marketing, accounts and on our design teams to aspire to.”
Nigel Murray, managing director of Booths, the family-owned supermarket chain, said: “This year marks 175 years and we’ve been doing business in Lancashire all that time.
“I am incredibly proud of the county I grew up in and take pride in promoting it at every opportunity.”
Matthew Hall, fourth generation owner of Butlers Farmhouse Cheeses in Preston, added: “We were proud to be heading to Westminster, especially in our 90th year as a Lancashire family business.
“The renaissance of British cheese is truly exciting, and we couldn’t wait for Westminster MPs to sample some of our best-loved cheeses and join the farmhouse cheese family for Lancashire Day.”
As well as businesses, sports representatives from Blackburn Rovers and Lancashire County Cricket Club also attended.
The occasion also saw the publication of the Lancashire 2050 Framework, which sets out a strategic plan for all Lancashire councils to work more closely for the benefit of the people of the county.
Cllr Phillippa Williamson, Lancashire County Council Leader and Lancashire Leaders Group Chair, said: “It was wonderful to see so many proud and talented Lancastrians come together to promote our amazing county.
“We are very proud of our county and know that if all sectors work together we can ensure that its bright future is even brighter.”