They thought we wanted churches
but all we wanted was somewhere to meet,
our own pew, somewhere to sit off the doorstep
out of the stench of Brown Friargate,
the opportunity to wear a new hat and shoes
and keep the husband out of the pub for an hour or two.
There was a temporary peace
much like the click of knitting needles
and how we needed something
to while away the hours whilst we grew old.
All we wanted was a patch of land.
All we got was a family grave.
Even that was taken away
when they tore down the church,
dismantled the crypt, dug up the tombstones
and our trembling remains,
clattering teeth mee-mawing,
unable to remonstrate.
They concreted our patch,
painted white lines,
signposted cars between,
coins sliding into their coffers
to feed their horrible echoing greed.
Between the lines we, something, remain,
resistant as unpassing time, persistent as the rain.
The Holy Trinity Church and its graveyard stood on the site of present day Trinity Sqaure Car Park between the years of 1814 and 1951. All that remains are a set of gates leading down to Trinity Place. Photographs of what it looked like prior to demolition can be found on Preston Digital Archive.
There are many places in Preston where churches have been knocked down, along with their graveyards and the bodies buried there have been moved and reinterred to make way for carparks. I was quite shocked when I heard about this. I’d always assumed once I got buried or cremated my remains would stay where I wished them to. This wasn’t the case for these people.