I popped into the charity restaurant The Fork In The Road on 05/11/18 to meet its founder and driver Andy Preston. Andy’s a local business person who like myself is hugely passionate and proud of the town we both called our home :Middlesbrough .
I wanted to find out the reason why he decided to open the restaurant what positive impact the restaurant has had on the town and people of Middlesbrough and where he sees the restaurant going in the future. Also I wanted to know what Middlesbrough means to him, where he sees our town going in the future, what he believes needs to be done to make the town a better place. This is my interview with Andy Preston – Andy’s Middlesbrough. Project One –
What does Middlesbrough mean to you?
To me Middlesbrough means family,friends and history. It also means building and places I love. I feel a very strong emotional attachment to Middlesbrough and it’s something I’m proud of. Sometimes I am critical of the town and like many people I can have a love hate relationship with Middlesbrough. Middlesbrough is a truly great place and I think it can do so much better – it can really improve. There’s so much to our town and so much that needs to be done also to make Middlesbrough a better place.
When I was younger Newcastle was twice the sizeof Middlesbrough and it had three times as many shops, bars and restaurants .The best way to understand what has happened to Middlesbrough over the past 30 to 40 years is to see that Newcastle is still twice the size of Middlesbroughbut now has ten times as many shops, bars and restaurants as Midddlesbrough. So Middlesbrough has been hugely overshadowed by the progress of Newcastle and so many other places. Ss a town need to workout how this has happened – we’ll have to be honest about where we are as a town in 2018 and come up with a genuinely clever strategy to improve and catch up with Newcastle and other places that have progressed so much. And we do need to be positive – It’s really good to be positive – and we need to be honest about what can be done.
Middlesbrough needs a plan for the next five to ten years and that must include measurable targets . In my life I haven’t succeeded at everything I have done , but I have had some real successes. When I have succeeded its because I’d set clear goal with a timeline in mind .
Fork in the road- for me starting this restaurant and venture was a way of doing something positive for the town I’m from – bringing a derelict building back to life and helping to change the lives of some people in negative situations. I think the restaurant stands out maybe as a bit of a beacon, maybe to inspire others and touch people lives .Lots of people have come and eaten here and become impressed with the positive energy behind the placed and that makes me proud. If you read our reviews on trip adviser so many people from outside the area when visiting Middlesbrough have come and eaten here, people have said they think every city should have one of these .
What made you setup Fork in the Road- Wanting to make a little difference ,we supported people with their lives and to grow and achieve more with their life?
This is Andy Preston interview on what Middlesbrough means to him, and the story behind the restaurant The Fork in the Road. My meeting with Andy and discussing what Middlesbrough means to him and discussing Fork in the Road . I feel the Fork in the Road is one of many positive things currently going on in our town, the opening of the restaurant and concept behind it, will help Middlesbrough grow as a town, Hopefully inspire other local people to open a business within Middlesbrough . I believe Andy’s passion for Middlesbrough and wanting the town to grow and do well ,and his passion for the restaurant the The Fork in the Road a non profit restaurant that he has opened to help disadvantaged people to turn their life round through giving them employment,helping them grow . Shows somebody who wants to give something back to the town they are from, and cares a lot about Middlesbrough and people of the town. I deem that Andy’s work and passion and his loyalty to Middlesbrough makes him one the people that really makes Middlesbrough are great place to live.
Article and photos by Chloe Tempestoso