Search on for Guild Burgesses

The role is open to those who have made a mark on the city by contributing to life in Preston. For the first time, these honours will be awarded to people nominated by the community.

Preston Guild festival director, Stella Hall, said: “The Burgess tradition dates back to 1179 and, originally, anyone who wanted to trade in Preston had to be a member of a merchant Guild.

“Being a Burgess is an extremely special honour which has been passed down from generation to generation. Only once has this process been interrupted, which was in 1942 due to the Second World War.”

Honorary Burgesses have included past Mayors, Guild officials and prominent Prestonians including Sir Tom Finney.

Twenty people will receive the honour at the Adjourned Guild Court at Guild Hall in September and each will be recorded on the Guild Roll which is updated only once every 20 years.

Nominations are now open and will close on 31 March 2012. Guidance notes, criteria and nomination forms will be available at www.prestonguild2012.com.