The rise of the small Instagram page: an interview with Lancs Benches

‘A good bench can change the course of your day’


One thing that makes Lancaster University somewhat unique is the recent boom of small Instagram pages that pop up. Some include small societies, like the new Charli XCX society, and confession pages, like Lancs Crush, which has over 2000 followers.

We spoke to Josh Farley and Jenna Woodhouse, the admins of the newest addition to the Lancs Instagram revolution, Lancs Benches, about why their account is different to other Instagrams that currently exist.

Upon asking them what drew them to benches, of all objects, to review, Jenna and Josh said: “It all started with our flatmates. We would go on walks to County and were intrigued by the ring of lit up benches. We decided to see which one was best and from then we took every new person we met to rate these benches. After that, the rest was history and we took it to a Lancs-wide scale”

‘It’s based on vibes’

We also asked if there’s a criteria that a bench has to fulfil in order to get a good rating. They said: “We don’t use any set criteria it’s more based on vibes. However, we do look at location, temperature of the bench, weather, texture, size and material.”

We also asked if bench atmosphere and location play any part in the rating, to which they said: “Definitely, as the view is arguably as important as the bench itself. You can take the bench out of the place but not the place out of the bench”

When asked what the worst bench they have seen is, Josh and Jenna said: “The worst bench is situated at the top of the hill from the Chaplaincy to the Sports Centre. This bench is slanted, next to a bin and with the view of a dingy woods. Also, this is the only bench to ever make someone feel motion sick due to the unfortunate angle.”

Instagram: @lancs_benches

‘It spoke to him in an hour of need’

Conversely, we also asked about their favourite benches. The two are divided as to the best bench in Lancaster. Jen’s favourite is “the bench dubbed “Velociraptor”, due to it mirroring that of a raptor pen with insane plant diversity. Also the bench is quite nice to lay on rather than just sit, it’s very versatile.”

They explained that Josh’s favourite bench is yet to be posted on the Instagram page, but of the currently posted Josh explained that he loves “the one we stumbled across in the dark on the way back from Preston when  [we were] stuck somewhere in Garstang. It’s not the best bench in terms of typical criteria but really spoke to [him] in a time of great need.”

Instagram: @lancs_benches

‘A good bench can change the course of your day’

Our final question for Josh and Jenna was that we see a lot of small, niche Instagram pages popping up to do with Lancaster Uni at the moment. Why should people follow you? Their response?
“We try to bring light to benches before the summer weather so people know they have options and don’t settle for less then they deserve. Also, it’s just quite fun because a good bench can change the course of your day.”

You can follow Lancs Benches here.

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• ‘Likeminded people just having a good time’: An interview with Lancs Charli XCX Society

• ‘It’s a community’: An interview with the Lancaster Peeny Greeny Society

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