Raise your glasses... (it helps with the small print)
Best of The inaugural I Love Beeston Awards take place later this month; we donned a tux and got the Bolly on ice: Beeston is changing, and changing fast. Wilkos is returning, the tram has already poked its head into the town and should be (touch wood) running soon, and the square is looking rather dapper after the refit. We’re also seeing a surge of optimism among local businesses: after years of tram work chaos, and the effects of the recession there is now a lot to be cheerful about: businesses, especially Indies, are springing up like never before. As such, it seems a fitting time to recognise this with a party. The Nottingham Post, Beeston BID, Beeston and District Civic Society and The Beestonian have join forced to bring you the first I Love Beeston Awards, to recognise and celebrate those who keep this town vibrant and alive. It’s not just businesses; people who have made a difference to the community are also to be given a much-deserved mention.
At the time of writing, over 500 entries have been received in the various categories, which means us part of the judging panel, we are going to not see much daylight while we work through them all. Awards presented on the night include Sport Award, Community Champion, Local Hero, Young Achiever, Family Business and Best New Business. There is also a special secret award planned....which we’re under oath not to utter. Stephanie Moss-Pearce from Beeston BID (and fellow judge) told us: “It’s about finding and celebrating the best Beeston has to offer. It’s a crucial time for our town with huge opportunity,” while Mike Sassi, editor of the Nottingham Post commented: “We’ve been banging on about why Beeston is an excellent place for years now, so it’s great that these awards have been put together to take that further... Honestly, to have this many entries astonishes me, and shows that Beeston is loved by it’s residents. The range of entries was wonderful, and paints a picture of a great town. I reckon these awards will be the first of many to come”.
Inside you’ll find more evidence of that excellence: from an exciting project down the nature reserve; our latest batch of Creative Beestonians; those lovely people at NG9 doing some excellent stuff making Beeston a brighter place; and tons more, included haunted buses; spaceships and David Attenborough. Now, we’re off to iron our best trousers and polish the champagne flutes…. MB
King of Mercy O
ur Medieval ghost guest writer ‘The Venerable Bedestonia’ exclusively digs up an archaeological shocker.
Unless you’ve been holidaying in outer space over the last few weeks, you won’t have missed all the hoo-hah over the Richard the Third reburial in Leicester. Amazingly, there has been a weird parallel right on our doorstep. Everything has been kept well under wraps up to now, but after the lifting of a secrecy order, we can be the first to reveal that a long-dead king has been unearthed right here in Beeston! Many locals and visitors to our fair town have scratched their heads in wonderment, that a short stretch of Humber Road has been closed for over two years whilst utilities are rerouted and tram tracks are laid. The reason is now apparent. The clueless-looking blokes wandering about aimlessly all day and redigging the same ground are in fact archaeologists in disguise, from the universities of Nottingham and Derby. They have been very busy painstakingly excavating the area around the Humber Road/Fletcher Road junction, as workies had discovered a ‘battle grave’ containing the remains of none other than King Bethelbarry the Gaunt. Who? You may well ask. Everybody is familiar with the portraits of portly and ginger Henry the Eighth, and his white-faced daughter Elizabeth the First. These were among the first real ‘national’ monarchs, whose power was far-reaching. Prior to that, a number of regional Kings held sway at any one time, far too many of them to fit in a GCSE textbook. It’s easy to forget that there was no means of mass communication, people didn’t travel very far very easily over land, and there was no way one ruler could command an area bigger than a couple of modern day shires. King Bethelbarry the Gaunt was one of these leaders, and whilst few written records of him survive, we have enough to get a feel for his life and times, as well as his grisly death.
It is from a contemporary manuscript created by the Dark Ages chronicler The Venereal Beade that we glean a physical description of Bethelbarry - “...thynne...twae fyngres on dyxtre hande...trye fyngres on synystre hande...” - in modern parlance, a skinny chap with only two fingers on his right hand and three on his left. An anonymous portrait of an unnamed ruler now known to be Bethelbarry shows him with a distinctive fish-shaped cloak-brooch. Exactly the same cloak-brooch found along with the skeleton of a man missing the right amount of fingers on each hand, underneath a gas main. It is recorded in a separate account that Bethelbarry died in the ‘Battele of Tyttyle’, long thought (and now confirmed) to refer to the Tottle Brook which runs through Beeston. This was one of dozens of skirmishes fought every year in the midlands alone during the time, which may have only involved a few hundred soldiers at the most. This record comes to us courtesy of Hywel Ap Bennette, a Welsh minstrel who travelled the length and breadth of the country documenting such clashes. It goes on to say that Bethelbarry was ‘hedde skywred’ (head skewered), a popular way to quickly despatch an enemy. True to form, the skull unearthed has a small circular entry hole on one side, matched with a corresponding exit hole on the other side. So now that the identity of the man in the trench has been proved beyond doubt, should we Beestonians have cause for wild but dignified celebration? Not yet, for two reasons. The first one being that King Bethelbarry the Gaunt was a very unpopular ruler, mainly due to his proto-puritanical views which were robustly enforced, particularly when it came to food. Shortly before the start of his reign, the market for north sea fish had grown very quickly, thanks to the increasing navigability of the Trent downstream from its junction with the Humber. Preserved fish, either salted or smoked, could be transported from ports to population centres quite far inland within a matter of days. The
frying of this fish in a substance we now refer to as dripping was becoming more and more popular, which angered Bethelbarry, who according to The Venereal Beade had previously been ‘heftye...burlye...portlye’. Pious Bethelbarry saw the sensuous temptation of delicious fried fish as an affront to God, and after a religious vision consumed nothing but ‘sweetenyde mylke’ which accounts for the lean appearance and possibly his name. ‘Gaunt’ may refer to Bethelbarry’s physical characteristics, or actually be a corruption of an Anglo-Saxon expletive still in common use today. Given that the local population were denied fried fish by Bethelbarry and his followers, it’s understandable that he would be subject to such an expletive. The second reason for not getting the bunting out is that Long Eaton have laid claim to Bethelbarry, and are demanding that he is reburied in NG10. Whilst he died and was buried in Beeston, Bethelbarry’s stomping ground was Sawley, and the likelihood is that he only travelled east of the Erewash to raze a fried fish seller to the ground. There has been much debating behind closed council chamber doors, and whilst a high-profile challenge like that issued by York is unlikely, don’t be surprised to see plenty of heated argument on the Bramcote Today website. It is a conflict which is likely to drag on as long as the tramworks themselves, and the biggest irony in all of it is that Bethelbarry is still preventing sales of fried fish, thanks to the continued isolation of Humber Road Chippy in the midst of barriers and cones during the excavations. Whether you’re a supporter of Bethelbarry or not, they are a business which has been particularly shat on from a great height by those responsible for the digging, and deserve our sympathy and business. Watch this space for further updates, preferably whilst enjoying haddock and chips. The Venerable Bedestonia
I ain’t ‘fraid of no... S
ome of you may remember back in October 2012, Barton’s unveiled their ‘Ghost Bus’. One of ten coaches that they had purchased in 1956, and were mainly used on European holidays at the time. But for the last twenty years, this has stood rotting away in a field in deepest East Anglia, before being dragged out of a hedge backwards and returned to their garage in Chilwell, covered in lichen, moss and other stuff that you only find in the country. Simon Barton took the wise decision of not restoring it. Instead, he decided to keep it in its unique dilapidated state. Fast forward two years, and a chance encounter between an Italian author and visual artist; famous in his native country for writing a biography of the current Pope, and the founder of Beeston’s very own arts & culture group ACT. Roberto Alborghetti was invited to Beeston by Marysia Zipser and during the visit; Marysia took Roberto to Barton’s for a look round, where he was stunned to see the Ghost Bus in all its aged decay. He was inspired by the rust and peeled paint, and started taking close up photographs of the damage, the different colours and the textures, and in around two hours had amassed some 500 photographs, which he had taken on a small Nikon camera and using only natural light, which streamed through the garage roof. Roberto often takes his
inspiration from cracks, textures and colours, while other artists use nature for the basis of their work. Since then, Roberto has been constructing a short film that used 130 of these photographs that takes you on a visual journey for thirteen minutes through four sections; Maps, Sky, Lands and Horizon, as with a little imagination these photos can resemble such things. It received
its world premiere at Barton’s on March 27, together with a shorter six-minute film called “Seaside Town”, with a soundtrack composed by Simon Barton and his children. One thing that people often wonder is whether the photos are actually paintings, as they look so unreal. Although many of them do look like they could be works of Jackson Pollock, they are 100% undoctored photographs. The audience thoroughly enjoyed the film, and there were audible gasps when the actual Ghost Bus was finally revealed, as it had been rigged up with lights and a smoke machine to give it a real supernatural presence. At the end of the evening Roberto gave Maryisa and Jeanie Barton a scarf each that he had designed in response to the 9/11 disaster of 2001. There are plans for the film and perhaps the bus itself to go on tour, so that more people can experience this remarkable endeavor. If you weren’t able to make the premiere, then an extract of the Ghost Bus film is available on YouTube https://youtu.be/1YWqP38vHQo and if you want to see more of Roberto’s work, then pop over to his website https://robertoalborghetti.wordpress.com for information, links and photos. CDF
Attenborough Oral History Project
ttenborough was known in Saxon times as Addensburgh. According to the “Place Names of Notts.,” the name meant either “the burh of the Endings,” or “the burh of Eadda.” .
ferry. Before I knew where I was I was running the ferry quire regularly. In those days because most people did not have television at weekends they would get themselves out more and go for walks along the Trent. At weekends you couldn’t move along the Trent for people out walking. There were boats galore and lots of people out swimming. You had to be careful to avoid the boats that is how busy it was”. A ferry (Barton Ferry) used to cross the River Trent from the mouth of the River Erewash (near Attenborough) to Barton in Fabis. A crossing existed at this point since before 1774.
Jimmy Notts tells us of a fantastic research project at the Nature Reserve.
The site of Attenborough Nature Reserve is the result of gravel extraction from the periods of 1929 to 1967. The Nature Reserve was officially established in 1966 and opened by Sir David Attenborough. The reserve owes its unique landscape of islands, lakes and ponds to the excavation and extraction activities that took place when it was a quarry. The material left over from the quarrying process formed islands and shallows. With careful planning and land management over the years a mosaic of habitats for a variety of flora and fauna has been created covering an area of over 145 hectares. The site is now designated as a site of special scientific interest (SSSI) and is one of the most important sites for conservation in the East Midlands. A two-year Heritage Lottery funded oral history project is being run to capture people’s memories of the change in landscape and natural history of Attenborough Nature Reserve. The project’s aim is to capture everyside of the reserve’s history from dairy farmland to industrial gravel pits, to now renowned flagship SSSI nature reserve. The project captures people’s association with these changes, their memories, thoughts and feelings about the past and the present. Interviews have been conducted with various stakeholders of the Attenbrough community to capture their memories of the area. Alan Matthews recalls how he worked on Arthur Chamberlain’s Dairy Farm that was close to the River Trent. Arthur Chamberlain had a responsibility for the ferry. Alan recalls “I soon got use to the environment down there and I worked in my spare time with Arthur on the farm and soon got introduced to the
It was still very much a semi industrial site”. Laura Bacon, Wildlife Trust Project Officer at Attenborough, who is leading the project commented: “This project I can honestly say it has been one of the most fascinating and rewarding elements of my job, people have been so generous with their time and have entrusted me with some magical and heart felt stories that I will do my upmost to interpret and ensure future generations know about the history of the landscape and peoples involvement, so this isn’t lost” It really has been an honour to be part of this amazing project”. There will be a heritage weekend on the 5th and 6th of September this year that will showcase all the findings from the project at we Attenborough Nature Centre.
Sandy Aitken was born in Bulwell At and has lived most of his life that time around the Attenborough area. affectionately Sandy has been interested in nicknamed the ornithology since a young age reserve ‘The when his Dad gave him a book Gravs’. on Birds. Because Attenborough was the nearest gravel pit and because of it’s association with water birds Attenborough was the natural place for Sandy to visit. Sandy’s fondest memories of Attenborough are spotting many rare birds over the years. From the age of ten he frequently visited the area. Steve Fisher is currently the environmental project officer at Broxtowe Borough Council. He has been working with Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust in connection with Attenborough for the last twenty years. Steve recalls his earliest memories of the reserve, “I use to play down at Attenborough when I was a child which was in the late 1960s. At that time we affectionately nicknamed the reserve ‘The Gravs’. We use to come down fishing with friends. We were also interested in bird watching and wildlife in general. For us it was exciting to see birds like Great Crested Grebe which we had never heard of before. At that time the area was much more industrialised that it is now. The old car park near the village was covered in black foundry sand and slag from the local foundries.
Please visit: nottinghamhiddenhistoryteam. wordpress.com JE
ere I go, name dropping again – “welcome to the Attenborough Nature Centre Sir Dave, just loved the last series on the box”! Crikey, I was so over-awed I almost curtsied.
That was 10 years ago, on the 18th March 2005 and your correspondent was manning the shop till at the newly opened Nature Centre. Well, I say manning, more guarding, ‘cos if anybody had wanted to buy anything we’d have been well and truly boggered – in our excitement we’d managed to lose the key to the till! My main (only!) task of the day was to make certain Sir Dave (that’s the other Attenborough, if you haven’t guessed by now) was the first to sign the smart new visitors’ book. So, there I was ready to go, all decked out in my two-sizes too big, smart new corporate T-shirt with the visitors’ book clutched under my arm, waiting for my big moment – fame at last! Imagine the scene dear reader - Sir Dave making his - admittedly steady - way up the bridge surrounded by the press with cameras flashing and rolling – there was I with book and pen ready, knees definitely trembling: after all it’s not every day you get to meet your hero in the flesh.
As it happened, I didn’t have chance for my moment of glory. A local councillor (no name, no pack drill as our military brethren would say) strode up behind me, snatched the book from under my arm and proceeded to sign his own name at the very top of the page I was reserving for the great man. To make matters worse, he did no more than pass the book to one of his borough-councillor colleagues, so he could make his mark for posterity on my pristine page. Talk about trying to find a hole big enough to climb in – one job to do and I blew it! So, the next time you call in to the Attenborough Nature Centre for a cup of their inestimable coffee, just ask to see the visitors’ book and you too can bear witness to my eternal shame – Sir Dave’s signature is down the page at number THREE! Mike Spencer, Beeston Wildlife Group. www.facebook.com/beestonwildlife
regular column, highlighting views from people who have lived in Beeston for years longer than most of us. To my mind, these are the most important people around. Take heed! I met Dick and Jean Hutchinson on a rainy day in February in their home on Abbey Road, which used to be Dr Hutchinson’s surgery. They arrived in Beeston as a married couple in 1951 after romance blossomed at ‘Miss Glendenning’s Dancing Academy’ in Edinburgh, where Dick was training to be a doctor and Jean training to be a teacher. They first lived in the Rylands and moved to the new surgery after Jean stalled her car on Abbey Road and spotted the house for sale. Excited to have found such a prime location, they later climbed in through the bathroom window to have a closer look – and the rest is history! How long have you lived in or been associated with Beeston? Jean: We arrived in 1951 and bought the surgery on Abbey Road in 1955. We paid a deposit of £235. Can you tell us a bit about your background? Dick:
I knew, I really knew just how those gorillas felt that day in the jungle on meeting the great TV presenter and all-round good egg; a mixture of nervous anticipation and curiosity in the presence of natural history greatness! Would I be up to the task, could I manage to hold the pen and the book steady as I uttered my only line of the day – “can you put your moniker here mate!”?
The beginning of my career coincided with big changes in healthcare delivery in the UK with the introduction of the NHS. I remember no money coming in for 15 months while payment systems switched over. It was extremely hard work. I went on from general practise to be a back specialist.
What’s your earliest memory of Beeston? Jean: Dick:
I remember taking turns to go to the Palace Cinema, because the surgery needed to be permanently manned. We used to sit in the same seat at different sittings! There was a large level crossing at Beeston station when we first arrived, which made the Rylands feel quite isolated. As soon as the flyover was built there was a huge robbery from Ericssons and the robbers got away easily. They were caught later but as far as I know the money was never recovered.
What’s the best thing about Beeston right now?
It’s such a shame that so many of the good things have gone. It used to be an urban district council here so it felt like you knew everyone. Lately we have enjoyed the improvements in Broadgate Park and new street furniture. The bus service is excellent as are leisure facilities.
And the worst?
There’s a general lack of personal service which has got much worse since the supermarkets came along.
What are your hopes for the future of Beeston?
Our greatest hope is that Beeston keeps its identity. Karen Attwood
Author and Creative Beestonian Megan Tayte tells us why Beeston is an ideal place for creativity to flow freely. I’ve been writing professionally for more than a decade now. I’ve written in The Eagle and Child, Oxford, haunt of ‘the Inklings’, J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. I’ve written in London, surrounded by the ghosts of literary greats in Poets’ Corner, Westminster. I’ve written in a Windermere hotel owned by Beatrix Potter, and a Devonshire hotel frequented by Agatha Christie. I’ve written many words in many places. But home, the place where I write the best, is Beeston, Nottingham. Everything I need in order to write is here ...
Space: Having lived shoehorned into London for some years, Beeston feels roomy to me. There’s enough buzz, but I can breathe here (and swing my arms about without whacking a bewildered tourist). Perhaps it’s just me, but when I sit at my desk in my home office and look out at the view, it seems that there’s a lot of sky to see.
Scenery: I’m the kind of writer who wonders as she wanders, and there’s no shortage of walks within Beeston and on the periphery to stir my muse. Old favourites are the nature reserve at Attenborough and the university campus where I once lived as a student.But even a walk about the streets can be inspirational: the old buildings and the new ones, the forgotten corners and welltrodden thoroughfares, and the strange sights you encounter, like a stone beekeeper decked out in funky legwarmers.
Community: I’ve never lived anywhere with
The arts scene: There are so many creatives in Beeston, they had to set up the Creative Beeston website to house us all. Illustrators, painters, sculptors, animators, film-makers, photographers, musicians – the list is endless, and we all inspire each other. The Chilwell Arts Corner, the film festival at the White Lion, Barton’s events, the amazing Oxjam Music Festival, and a little further afield the Lakeside Arts Centre; honestly, it’s a wonder I get any writing done with so much culture to get stuck into.
a stronger sense of community. Out and about, people – strangers – actually talk to one another (quite a shock when you grew up in the South East), and I’ve found a great deal of support locally for my writing. In one cafe, the staff who’ve watching me type away in a corner for years know all about my books, to the point that right after they ask after me, they ask after my characters.
Books: Anyone who’s serious about writing is serious
Sustenance: Officially, I work from home, but in truth I spend many hours writing in Beeston coffee shops. Sometimes, if I’m lost in a chapter and the coffee keeps on coming, I’ll stay for several hours (thank you to the baristas who accept me hanging about!); other times I’ll cafe-crawl – my record to date is five cafes one rainy Saturday: The Bean, Belle and Jerome, Mason & Mason, Relish and Fusion. The coffee, the cakes, the atmosphere, the people chatting at the tables around: it’s the perfect backdrop for sociable (sugar-fuelled) writing.
about reading too, so ready access to books is a must. We have an independent bookshop of our own (hallelujah) as well as the chain-store options, and if you’re in the mood for a rummage, you’ve plenty of choice in charity shops; I’ve found some absolute gems in Oxfam Books to my delight (and my husband’s despair – we’re running out of room for books). Then there’s the library. Not just any library, but surely one of the best local libraries in the country. Large, light and well-stocked, with knowledgeable, friendly staff, a great programme of events for readers and writers, and a coffee machine to boot.
It comes down to this: to be a writer, you have to be a dreamer, and to dream, you have to live in a space with character and soul, inhabited by people who are inspirational and intelligent, openminded and excited about change while respecting tradition. That, to me, is Beeston. And I’ve no doubt that someday it will be covered with blue plaques commemorating all manner of people who were at once creators and proud Beestonians.
Mouni Feddag – Illustrator
“You say my name like ‘Moony’ (it’s Algerian) and I draw things. I suppose I’m an illustrator. Apparently I drew a cat when I was three. Later I spent an awful amount of time trying to draw manga, and eventually I studied graphic design. Beeston’s got a great feeling about it. I love busy high streets with no cars and plenty of funny-looking humans to look at, which Beeston delivers, and it’s so nice that it’s still such a thriving little place.”
Sara Gaynor – Photographer
“I have always had strong visual memories from a very young age, playing in nature and running away into my own imagination. As a child I obsessively looked through my grandparents’ photo albums. Photographs give me a real sense of mystery about the lives of the people I am looking at. They are much more than a photo to me. An inner dialogue is often being caught.” saragaynorphotography.weebly.com
Mathew Plowright – Painter, Designer, Book Designer, Surrealist
“I don’t think painting reality has ever been my strong point. It doesn’t excite me and it is beyond my ability to slave over a really accurate depiction of something exactly as it really is. I think my natural reaction to that is to delve into surrealism. Until I discovered Surrealism and identified with it, I was just someone that loved to draw and paint but felt I didn’t make sense. Since I’ve related to surrealism I’ve been able to apply myself how I would like and seeing my painting ability develop has been very pleasing.”
Bunny Moonstone – Vlogger
“Vloggers are Video Bloggers: people who instead of typing out a blog use film to keep a journal. It’s really taken off recently, and seems to be well established right now. I’ve been doing it since last August, and have already got 125 subscribers, which is pretty good for such a short time. I talk about lots of things; from make up to rabbits, from thoughts on Beeston to requests from viewers. I’m a born and bred Beestonian, and love living here. It’s cosy, friendly, chatty. All life is here.” Twitter. www.twitter.com/bunnymoonstone Facebook www.facebook.com/bunnymoonstone YouTube : www.youtube.com/bunnymoonstone
Beeston’s group... have a huge reputation for putting on events and fundraising.
ast issue I wrote about the splendidly geeky joys of being a science-fiction fan and how much fun it is to have people or towns in fictional universes named after you (as I’ve had done with a character in ‘Star Wars’). But aside from watching TV and DVDs or reading comics, books and the internet for news about your favourite series or films there’s another aspect of fandom that’s really gaining in popularity – ‘cosplay’, short for ‘costume play’, or (as I call it, especially when I’m appearing as Robin Hood) ‘dressing up’.
But it’s not just wearing an old scarf and floppy hat and telling everyone you’re Tom Baker’s Doctor Who or wrapping yourself in tinfoil and claiming to be a Cyberman. These days people spend a huge amount of time and effort painstakingly creating incredible costumes, sometimes better than the ‘onscreen’ or illustrated versions, to wear at conventions all over the world.
Not only that, but cosplay can also be a force for good in itself. It’s a social, very friendly activity and some fans have seen the potential in their hobby to help others. The ‘Beeston Browncoats’ for instance started off as a group who enjoyed watching (and recreating costumes from) the sadly shortlived American TV sci-fi series Firefly and its movie sequel Serenity, created by the man behind the hugely popular Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and more recently director of Avengers Assemble, Joss Whedon. And here’s the thing: sci-fi fans tend to be optimistic. Most sci-fi suggests that people, working together, can improve things no matter how tough the struggle, so when Firefly was cancelled a huge number of fans (or ‘Browncoats’ as they called themselves, named for the clothes worn in the show by the heroic losers in a galactic civil war) decided en masse not to just give up and move onto another show but to pull together and use their fandom to do some good – and they chose Whedon’s favoured charity ‘Equality Now’ which helps vulnerable women worldwide who may be subject to violence, FGM or discrimination. So for over a decade there have been special screenings of Serenity across the globe to raise money for Equality Now and other local charities. Costumes are worn, items raffled or auctioned, cakes baked and sold and money raised all to benefit those who really need help. Beeston’s group is especially laudable; enjoying not just Firefly but all sci-fi they now have a huge reputation for putting on events and fundraising. Run by the brilliant powerhouse team of Matt and Deb Goodwin and a host of helpers, supporters and friends, they work tirelessly and have raised thousands of pounds – not only by putting on the upcoming Serenity showing at the White Lion on 18th July (see their ad on this page for details) but also working around the year on events to support local charities like the excellent Forever Stars, Children’s Paediatric Unit at the QMC, Equality Now, Anthony Nolan, Childline, Nottingham Rape Crisis, Treetops & Rainbows Hospices and more. A couple of weeks ago they ran a stall at a local sci-fi convention to support iCosplay, an anti-bullying initiative and will soon be running a ‘sensory’ stall at the ‘Feel the Force Day’ in Peterborough, the only sci-fi convention designed for visually impaired and disabled people from infants to the elderly. Please check them out at http://beestonbrowncoats.wix.com/home or on Twitter @BeestBrowncoats and if you can, support or even join them. I’m certainly proud to be a part of a group of sci-fi fans who use fandom for a hugely positive effect: the Beeston Browncoats. Tim Pollard Nottingham’s Official Robin Hood
Please be T
amar Feast, the brains and green fingers behind We Dig NG9’, on how a little bit of love goes a long way.
One of the many great things about community gardening is that anything really is better than nothing. I’ve also found it has made me a lot more laid-back in my own garden. I have a tenacious bastard of a dandelion in my path? I lost my best aubergine plant to a slug party that ended with them all drowning, stuffed on purple, in a slug-bath of Taylor’s Landlord (I’m a generous gardener)? So what. The world hasn’t ended, and the thrushes are back. (Though, I admit it, I’m still not quite over that aubergine). The three car tyre ‘planters’ along Wilmot Lane that I plant up twice a year, although tiny in relation to the surrounding havoc, have been a real pleasure to do. They’re burgeoning with blue hyacinths and the smallest narcissi I’ve ever seen. I don’t mind saying, however, that whoever’s chucking Stella cans, fag packets and half-eaten bacon cobs in there deserves a slug-bath in their own doings. The grass verge adjacent, so far, has been a bit of a damp squib. Despite my efforts to chop it about a bit, the grass is just too strong and prolific for wild plants to compete against. So, short of ploughing furrows out, or chucking a skip load of Yellow Rattle at it (which Broxtowe Borough Council, and my wallet (respectively) don’t allow) leaves me learning to appreciate the small victories, like HUGE buttercup patches, and the primulas spreading etc. I’ve also developed my hate/love relationship with the doom-cloud that is that ‘tree of ivy’. It really is the most wildlife-heavy thing about the patch. I was mad to consider cutting it back. (Thank you, Chris Riley)
Some of you may have noticed the wild, fence-scramblings of nasturtiums and trefoils last year. Hopefully, those of you who asked me “what on earth is that?” did take a few seeds home to try growing them yourself. They really are troopers – and, if there’s any left after the caterpillars have had their feast, you can even eat them; peppery flowers, leaves, stalks and all. This year, as the tram works are winding down and new pathways, walls and greens are appearing I think Beeston will be able to really ramp-up the planting. Keep your eyes peeled for pop-up plants! Of course, you should also feel free to plug any gaps with any bedding plants you can bequeath, or seeds you can spare. We’ll have lots of open, public spaces prime for rambling greenery softening their edges. Chilwell High Road, with its trees and car park, will be brand-spanking new, of course, and I don’t yet know the Council’s horticultural plans for the area, aside from the trees that have been planted. But I seriously hope it will be better than we were used to seeing at the old car park and bus station; with small, dreary plants; all appearing to want to put an end their puny lives by leaping to the ground beneath to be run over by the next Indigo bus. I personally think a number of huge stone troughs could be installed, and maintained by local willing volunteers nearby (projects involving such groups as Greening in Beeston, Beeston Civic Society, We Dig NG9 amongst others) to be at all times full-to-the-brim of seasonal flowers, herbs and veg. What about you – what would you like to see? Would you be willing to sign-up to a community initiative specifically for these places? Who wouldn’t prefer to stand and wait for a tram while surrounded by the scent of herbs and the buzz of bumblebees? I dunno… maybe it is just me. TF
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immy Wiggins is on a sabbatical with his pet monkey Moz, so Lord Beestonia decides to show why all musical paths lead to Beeston.
Music owes Beeston a great debt. It’s a little known fact that every major band, genre or event somehow leads back to Beeston. “What?” you scoff. “This is sheer guff you talk! Bring Wiggins back off his sabbatical immediately!” Calm yourself, dear reader. I’ll prove it with a top ten of Beeston music. Cue the chart rundown music, play the flashy graphics, here it is.
10. Swing Out Sister:
Perhaps the most eighties band ever, with their smooth sophisti-pop jazz lighting up the charts in that odd decade. The lead singer Corinne Drewery grew up around here, and their first hit single, 1987’s Breakout, was actually a prescient ode to Chilwell Road reopening (source: The Guinness Book of Hit Singles, 1985-1988 / bloke down the pub).
09. The Stone Roses:
The simian Mancunian jingle-janglers are still the object of adoration for many men of a certain age, who remember those halcyon days when the eighties slipped into the nineties and sticking a dance beat over a Byrds B-side sounded revolutionary. Their return to music a few years back (which was so huge and looked forward to that that other middle-aged hairy bloke put his own resurrection back a few years so not to clash) was chronicled by Beeston film auteur Shane Meadows. But that’s not all…
08. More Stone Roses, and Primal Scream:
did a bit of a dancing in the video for the song ‘Waltz Away Dreaming’. Yeah, you remember it. It eclipsed everything around it, and Robbie Williams soon slinked off in disgrace with George Michael going on to greater accolade and fame; with him presently on a world tour nearly crashing into high-street camera film processing shops.
05. Michael Caine:
Caine loves Beeston. It’s a little known fact (that I have just made up) that Zulu was actually filmed on the Ryland’s weir field. When reprising his role as Alfred the Butler in the Batman movies, he did so on the proviso they filmed at Wollaton Hall, so he could nip down the Hop Pole after a day’s shooting. His music tastes are also firmly Beeston based too: when he appeared on Desert Island Discs a few years ago, he picked the track Swollen by Beeston band Bent as his castaway disc. Not only that: in 2007, after being encouraged by his pal Elton John, Caine released a compilation album of his favourite chill-out music title Cained which is actually rather good, and featured Bent as one of the tracks. No, really. Google it, then apologise for ever doubting me.
04. Philip George:
Let’s get right to the modern day and talk about someone who is troubling the charts right now: Chilwell’s DJ Hero Philip George. He’s spent – at the time of writing – a staggering thirteen weeks on the chart, going gold in the process. It’s also a cracking tune too, and he is seemingly a lovely lad with it. The track did get to Number 2, only held off by some blatant Michael Jackson rip-off by Bruno Mars.
So, there is another link too. Mani, the bassist out of the Stone Roses is also a member of Scots rockers Primal Scream. The wannabe north of the border Rolling Stones recruited to their band a certain Mr Barry Cadogan, a Beeston guitarist who has played with Edwyn Collins, Morrissey and many more. He also has his own band, Little Barrie, which have contributed music to…
03. Joe Cocker:
07. Better Call Saul:
Devonshire Avenue saw the Stones party until the early hours back in March 1964, after they crashed a post-gig house party. While there, drummer Charlie Watts took a call informing the band that they had cracked America with their first Number One single. They later went on to be the most successful live band in the world. Which is, obviously, all down to Beeston.
This excellent telly series, picking up the backstory of the eponymous lawyer from Breaking Bad, had the choice of the world’s millions of musicians to play the soundtrack. But lo, they came straight to Beeston, after reading about how dripping with talent we were, and signed up Little Barrie to do the honours. And of course he did. And the fact that Barrie actually relocated to London a few years ago will be studiously ignored in this article. PND Advert 1/8 page_Layout 1 02/12/2014 16:05 Page 1
06. George Michael:
“Ah,” said the Snappy-Snaps failed ram-raider and stubbly purveyor of soulless soul. “Where > Creative Design can I find a star for my next video? It’s 1997, my solo>career is on the wane, Robbie Williams has taken my crown as the Corporate Branding UK’s master of housewife pop, and I must get it back.” So his advisor > Copywriting & Editing told him, “Perhaps look to Beeston, George. I hear it is the burning heart Print &cool.” On-line of all> things A little digging led to them pulling in Kate Beckinsale > Brochures (daughter of that much loved late Beestonian Richard Beckinsale) who > Newsletters > Marketing Materials > Conference Branding
• Creative Design • Corporate Branding • Conference Branding • Copywriting & Editing • Brochures
He may have passed away last year, but he recorded the Auf Wiedersehen, Pet theme tune. When the show’s second series was filmed round here, his bellowed theme tune was one of the highlights…oh, hold on. That was Joe Fagin. Oops. We’ll move on. Nothing to see here…
02. The Rolling Stones:
01. Edwin Starr:
The Man. Born in Nashville, died in Beeston. Starr’s life was bookended by two of the most soulful places on the planet. 45 years ago his mighty tonsils roared out the classic Motown hit War. Rather disappointingly PNDover Advert 1/8 page_Layout 1 02/12/2014 Page 1 clots the world have yet to listen to it and 16:05 say “By Jove, he’s right!” before laying down their weapons. He spent the last half of his life in Beeston (well, Chilwell) before his death in 2003. Why? A few years back > Creative I rang his former managerDesign to find out. “Well, he looked at Wollaton, but > Corporate Branding just preferred Beeston.” Yeah, take that NG8. > Copywriting & Editing LB > Print & On-line > Brochures > Newsletters Marketing>Materials Marketing Materials Newsletters > Conference Branding
• • • Print & Online
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NEWS FROM TRAM
The Beestonian is... Editor/Lead Writer/Founder • Lord Beestonia Co-Founder/Resident Don • Prof J Design • Dan Associate Editor • Christian Editorial Assistance • Mel History Editor • Joe Earp Illustrator • Mouni Feddag Top-notch contributors this issue: Joe Earp, Chris Fox, John ‘Poolie’ Cooper, Christopher Frost, Tim Pollard, Mel Heath, Megan Tayte, Ric Salinger, Jimmy Slideboy Wiggins, Karen Attwood, and Deman. Printed by Pixels & Graphics, Beeston
GREY MATTER 1.
What is the name given to the cuisine that stems from the French colonists who left Canada in 1755 and settled in and around the swamps and bayous of Louisiana?
2. An EMP bomb. What do the letters E M P stand for?
7. The Dickin Medal, bearing the words ‘We also serve’ and ‘For Gallantry’, is awarded to which members of the armed forces in the UK? 8. Which Japanese battle cry translated means ‘ten thousand years’?
Belle & Jerome, The Hop Pole, The Crown, The White Lion, The Star, The Greyhound, Flying Goose, Mish Mash Gallery, Attik, The Guitar Spot, Relish, Broadgate Laundrette, Bubba Tea, The Bean, Beeston Library, Cafe ROYA, Newsagent on Chilwell Road, Metro, Beeston Marina Bar and Cafe, Attenborough Nature Reserve. Huge thanks to all of our contributors, sponsors, stockists, regular readers and anyone who has picked this up for the first time. Scan QR code & subscribe to Lord Beestonia’s blog:
3. Who are the only two women to have won the Academy Award for best actress two years in a row? 4. The fastest serve in mens tennis (155 mph or 249.5 km/h) belongs to which man? 5. Which scientific word translated means ‘disease producer’? 6. Who wrote the science fiction thrillers ‘The Day Of The Triffids’, ‘The Midwich Cuckoos’ and ‘The Kraken Wakes’?
9. Which creature was created by the chief rabbi of Prague in the late 16th century? 10. Which Norwegian name is a synonym for ‘traitor’? 11. What is the Finnish name for Finland? 12. The Gettysburg Address begins with the words “Four score and seven years ago”. In which year did Lincoln deliver this speech? 13. What is a Latin word for crossroads which is insignificant and little known?
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YEARS AGO” REFERS TO AMERICAN INDEPENDENCE IN 1776. 1776 PLUS 87 YEARS)/TRIVIA ANIMALS/BANZAII/GOLEM/QUISLING (VIDKUN QUISLING)/SUOMI/1863 (“FOUR SCORE AND SEVEN GREAT ZIEGFELD’ AND 1937 FOR ‘THE GOOD EARTH’)/ANDY RODDICK/PATHOGEN/JOHN WYNDHAM/ COMING TO DINNER’ AND 1968 FOR ‘THE LION IN WINTER’) AND LUISE RAINER (1936 FOR ‘THE ANSWERS: CAJUN/ ELECTRO MAGNETIC PULSE/KATHARINE HEPBURN (1967 FOR ‘GUESS WHO’S
I Love Beeston Awards / Creative Beestonians / Megan Tayte / Beeston Browncoats / Attenborough Oral History Project / A Wider View / The Ven...
Published on Apr 15, 2015
I Love Beeston Awards / Creative Beestonians / Megan Tayte / Beeston Browncoats / Attenborough Oral History Project / A Wider View / The Ven...