Preston potter to officially open BOB North event

18 February 2016

After a hugely successful debut event in 2015, Best of Britannia (BOB) heads back to Preston, Lancashire with a bigger and better BOB North (11-13 March 2016), promoting the best of British Manufacturers from across the North of England and beyond. Best of Britannia is supported by Creative Lancashire, Marketing Lancashire, Preston City Council and the University of Central Lancashire.

Best of Britannia announced today that BOB North 2016 will be officially opened on Friday 11 March by Preston-born Matthew Wilcock, winner of the BBC’s Great Pottery Throw Down. Matthew completed a BA in Ceramics at University of Central Lancashire before qualifying as a teacher and taking up the position of Resident Potter at Giggleswick School. He was the strongest potter throughout TV’s first every pottery challenge, coming top in three of the five episodes,  before emerging as winner in the final programme in December. 

Taking place in Preston’s historic Post Office building and on Market Square, BOB North is a unique celebration and retail experience for style-conscious shoppers and those wishing to support local makers, artists and manufacturers – whilst having a grand day out!

Friday 11 March, is a preview day for press and media, Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 March are open to the general public with shopping positively encouraged!  Buy your ticket in advance for just £4, includes a free cocktail or bottled beer, available now from

BOB North will showcase the best in contemporary British design and manufacturing featuring a host of inspiring brands, of the highest quality, from across the North of England and beyond.

For families, award-winning children’s author Christina Gabbitas (creator of the Felicity Fly book-series) will be holding readings and signings all weekend and Colour Me Wild will be hosting pottery painting sessions – for your own little potters in the making.

Also taking part from across the Pennines will be a pop-up from vintage cycling Festival Eroica Britannia and Lancashire’s coolest, bike-bag makers Carradice return after a very successful inaugural BOBNorth in 2015.

This year the BOB team is also offering support to brands, whose business and manufacturing has been adversely affected by the recent devastating floods these include: Hopeful and Glorious, Mitsy Bitsy and Brand New Wall.

As usual BOB will be keeping fashion enthusiasts happy with an array of beautifully crafted British apparel, footwear and accessories. Joining Preston-based performance clothing brand True Mountain will be Leeds-based knitwear designer Ross Barr and ties from LAD in Yorkshire. Shoes from Cheaney (Northampton), Lingerie from Shirley C (Windermere), exquisite lighting from Feature Lighting and Katie King Designs (Chorley). 

These will sit alongside furniture and furnishings, textiles, art and fragrances from The Thomas-Coles (from Chorley). Exhibitor Rory Thomas-Coles commented, "Best of Britannia North was the first big event for The Thomas-Coles, and it was a great success for us – we sold out on each of the three days! We also had multiple enquiries from stockists, all of whom we continue to do business with to this day.

"We're very much looking forward to exhibiting at BOB North again this year, as it's a great platform to build relationships with other makers as well as stockists. We're proud of our Lancashire heritage, and it's wonderful to be part of an event that showcases Lancashire talent across such a wide field of creative industries."

Creative Lancashire will be bringing a host of hot new local designers and makers to the show and University of Central Lancashire will be introducing some creative superstars of the future, in a showcase featuring work created by students past and present.

Speaking about BOB, non-executive Director, renowned designer, Wayne Hemingway MBE said, “As a born and bred Lancastrian, I was delighted to have opened the inaugural BOB North in 2015. The quality of the produce on show was wonderful and it is great that the event is returning to Preston to continue to provide a focus for celebrating the creative and manufacturing force of the region”

Businesses interested in exhibiting at BOB North, including those in flood recovery, should contact Director, Joe Pidgeon on Tel: 07557 375500 for more information or visit


For Media enquiries please contact:

Anna Izza, Head of PR and Communications   01772 426 459

Laura Crabb, PR and Communications Executive 01772 426 456

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