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Taken for


Just across the river, trouble is stirring as developers (open) cast a hungry eye over the fields... Tamar took a look at our NG11 friends.


arton-in-Fabis sounds a bit idyllic - like some sort of elfin, magical realm RUSH and Yes honked on about. And, though recently it has been linked with a lot of dodgy rock, I assure you it isn’t the Prog sort. Barton-in-Fabis actually is idyllic. It’s the pretty, flat plain across the river we all look towards while making our way to/from Attenborough Nature Reserve or Trent Lock; the bit of land that stretches between us and Clifton like a most beautiful field-based fortification. Cast your eye in its general direction and you’ll see anglers and horse-riders; and a herd of red and black poll cattle grazing or, if you’re really lucky, scrambling down the bank to swim in the shallows of the Trent like they’re some sort of Buffalo. Frankly, this is as close as I’ll probably ever get to an African safari. It’s also the place Nottingham County Council recently decided might be a Top Pick for sticking a quarry there for 13 years. Yes, quite. If this is the first you’ve heard of this, fear not. You are not alone. In fact, some on the parish council only discovered incidentally that Barton-inFabis had been tagged on to the Sand & Gravel plan in May this year. Technically, it’s not really our patch (Barton is Rushcliffe Council, not

Photo: NCC Minerals Local Plan Consultation

Chilwell Creative Corner / Stoned love / Who da (Bee) Man..? / Horace’s 1/2 Hour / CODEWORD / One way or an Otter / In all Serinusness / Under exposed / Right to vert / Bow selecta / NOT the Bus Depot / The Beest / Au Contraire / Beeston beats / Oxjam in the CD / Famous last words...

Broxtowe). But what are Council boundaries at a times like this? Think of it like your neighbour opposite deciding he might quite like to go into the scrap metal business, and work from home. It’s not your back yard, but you don’t have to stand idly by and watch it wreck your view. As is increasingly the case theses days, a group has been quickly established to fight the proposal. But this time, not only is there good cause, it’s a just cause. Well organised, inclusive and keen to get to work, Barton-in-Fabis Anti Quarry Campaign (Save The Ancient Valley Environment (SAVE)) have a tough battle on their hands. Because it’s also a race. Barton’s Parish Council only had eight weeks to submit responses to the plans once they were known. Councils for the other sites mentioned in the plan had two years. Add to this the allegations that, in a bid to reach area gravel targets currently well below being met, there have been failures to carry out full and proper protocols – data omissions, poor or absent risk assessments for flooding and habitat impacts, and the fact that the consultation for residents and interested parties thus far has been, how shall I put this? - ‘thrifty’. Fortunately, the proposal was discovered, though. And now they’re running with it. Put simply, if this plan goes ahead, nearly 80 hectares of greenfield land will be ripped up, quarried within and inch of its life for around three million tonnes of sand and gravel in 13 years and then sort-of put back together again. (cont. Page 3)

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This isn’t the end of it though, as everyone is working together and new ideas are flowing out of Creative Corner every day. Each person as Lord Beestonia and I talk to them explains the site has “plans to develop further,” opening up more small units, hosting creative workshops and just generally “encouraging Beeston’s creative side.”

There’s a lot going on down at the end of Chilwell Road. Christian Fox tells us more.


So first of all we popped into Fusion, where Lord Beestonia had a coffee, in his words “ruddy lovely”, and I had a jasmine tea which I enjoyed as much for its presentation as its taste – I was given a gorgeous small dark blue teapot and a thermal tea glass. AJ is about as friendly and buzzing as it comes and he waxed lyrical about the hundreds of big ideas he has for Fusion. I was particularly taken by the set of instruments that hung from the wall. Beside them was a sign which said: “These instruments are for anyone to play as long as: 1. They can play a bit already 2. They don’t annoy anyone 3. They stop if we ask them”. It’s a unique touch.

about his shop when we visited it. “This shop is all about promoting quality crafts, local crafts. When customers come in and they ask about a particular item, I can tell them about the crafter as well as the piece itself. ” And does David have his own speciality? “I do fuse glasswork.” He points to the array of bottle clocks made from kind of melted down, but still recognisable by their brands, beer bottles. They’re really something. “There are about 50 or 60 brands I’ve worked through so far so there’s lots to choose from. I also have a ‘bring your own bottle’ policy where someone can bring their own, say a champagne bottle or something, and I’ll do that for them.” “In fact,” David says, “the majority of what I do here is commissions, and it’s that personal touch that people love.” Upstairs, Tranquillity specialise in massages, soap making and well-being classes. There’s ATTIK too, of course, where Charlie already

often think that shopping centres are the exact opposite of creative hubs. They’re a dozen or more big businesses cramming themselves into confined spaces. They have nothing to do with each other, sharing nothing except their disdain for the customers they serve and the crap they peddle. A welcome antidote to that, and something Beeston is becoming more and more known for, is the independent business, and what is the cultural small independent enthusiastic response to the shopping centre? It’s Chilwell’s Creative Corner on the high road. Mish Mash Gallery was the first to open up. “We always envisaged that, once the gallery was established, we’d open up smaller units to work around and with each other. But we didn’t know if we’d pull it off,” says gallery owner Gary. “We knew in the back of our minds that it would be something great to create.” I definitely agree that this is a unique place, highlighting the diversity of Beeston and Chilwell. So far, as well as the Mish Mash Gallery, units have opened containing Fusion Café which sells, in owner AJ’s words “the best coffee I can buy that isn’t eaten by a small animal first, next to that Created By Hand which sells a wonderful variety of craft goods, and at the end ATTIK, the “not vintage retro” shop selling 20th Century designer objects.

Image: Chilwell Creative Corner on Facebook

We asked what the key was to working in the Creative Corner, AJ told us, “We try not to tread on each other’s toes. So Mish Mash and ATTIK won’t sell coffee and tea and cakes, and I won’t sell art or craft work or what have you. We all work together and make sure we’re not just selling the same things.” This is what gives the Creative Corner its unique selling point. We can envisage visitors coming, perhaps for a coffee, but then stepping into ATTIK and purchasing something, then popping into Created By Hand and Mish Mash, maybe even popping upstairs to Tranquillity to find out about their well-being classes, or book a massage. It’s a retail and creative location in its own right. Not to mention a key fact, which is the Creative Corner has parking, a bus stop close by and (soonish) a tram stop as well. Created By Hand’s David explained a little

has regular customers who come back to see the constant turnaround of new objet d’art. Personally, I am delighted to see a series of wall plates he’s found depicting scenes from The Clangers. I’m going to keep my eye on those, and as soon as I get paid, well… It’s not all great going however. Charlie laments that it is still “early days” for the Creative Corner. True, business needs to grow and wordof-mouth can take time, but Lord Beestonia and I, as well as Charlie, AJ, David and Gary are optimistic that these early days are just the prelude to a real turn in Beeston’s fortunes. The Creative Corner is just the beginning, so get out there, Beestonians. Have a cup of coffee in the sun, buy a John Lennon coaster, a curio or two and then grab the ukulele off the wall for an impromptu version of My Lovely Horse. CF You know you want to!

(Continued from front page) This will mean road disruption, noise pollution, the severance of bridle and public rights of way, more road delays along the A453, increased traffic from plant and lorry vehicles twelve hours a day, an unknown impact on the habitat and population of every living thing currently and prospectively in the immediate and adjacent vicinity; an unknown impact on the risk of flooding in the area, and - last but by no means least (and this is where Beeston comes in) – a thoroughly rotten view. “But,” I hear some of you say, “the Nature Reserve itself was – and still is – a quarry! Isn’t it a bit hypocritical to make a fuss about this?” And I might have thought you’d have a point, if I hadn’t already asked a local Barton chap the

“It currently houses at least 75 known endangered species and the disruption to their habitat would be catastrophic.” same question earlier on. Steffan La Touche – apart from having an amazing name – knows what he’s talking about when it comes to the quarry being a very bad idea. He found out about the proposal when he received a letter from the council pointing out that the area 250 yards from his front door was potentially to become a quarry. When I drew the similarity between Barton and Attenborough, his response made a lot of sense, “There is no way of knowing whether post Gravel Pit the current biodiversity of the site will re-establish itself; is it worth the risk? It currently houses at least 75 known endangered species and the disruption to their habitat would be catastrophic. The beauty of the wetlands is that it complements Attenborough, as oppose to competes with it. Barton Flood Plains is a lovely backdrop to the beautiful majesty of the ponds in the reserve. I’m not so sure we need two Nature reserves opposite one another. One imagines the noise and pollution generated by the mining over the next 15 years may in turn have detrimental effect on the wildlife within Attenborough thus robbing the nature reserve of its own wildlife. Unfortunately, no one can know for sure.” Steffan is a fully paid-up member of the SAFE campaign, as is most of Barton - their last meet had 100 attendees, which is practically one person from every Barton household. But they need much more support. They’ve even managed to get their Rushcliffe MP, Ken Clarke, to sign up. But don’t let that put you off. They need at least 500 responses to give impact to the opposition, and currently have 100.

We know there’s a lot of you out there who really appreciate the diversity of our local natural habitats (and we are luckier than most to have so many on our doorstep) and we all know how dust and lorries and noise and traffic can wear a place down. So we’re appealing to as many of you to lend your support as possible. Now, of course you’re all very busy; and at least two of us, frankly, are completely lazy - so you’ll be pleased to hear that it’s pretty easy. Simply go to and follow the guide for completing your form. Add your details, sign it, and follow one of the options listed to send it back to the Council. If you’re not online, you can pick up one of the limited number of printed forms we’ve left with some of our stockists along with some suggestions for the objections (though you can always use your own) and then either post it or drop it off at Barton Village Hall. But you must, must, must do this before 11 July. Yes, 11 July - that’s how little time they have. See, I told you it was a race. If you do nothing else charmingly lovely this week, please have a punt at this. Apart from anything else, we can’t let Clifton think we’re slacking.


For more information see:

Every Sunday is SALSA DAY! Every 2nd Tuesday: Quiz Night (hosted by The Beestonian)

FirstMic Ad Night Every 3rd Tuesday: Open

24 Middle Street, Beeston NG9 1FX


improvement scheme for the pedestrianisation of Beeston High Road was announced, just like the trams today it caused a lot of protest from local residents. Pat Ashworth, writing for local paper the ‘Nottingham Topic’ (May 1998) in her article ‘Booming Beeston’, looked back at locals reactions to the pedestrianisation: “The announcement drew howls of protest from the town’s shopkeepers. ‘You’re going to close us down. You’re going to make Beeston a ghost

“A stack of mail from Beeston residents confirms that the ‘Beeston Beekeeper’ has been absorbed into the life of the community. “ town’, they predicted. But they were wrong and even the most ardent critics of the scheme admitted they were wrong”

Stoned love Photo: Joe Earp

He’s our beloved petrified baldy, but who is he? Joe Earp has the answers.


itting contemplatively on his bench, ‘The Beekeeper’ – or ‘George’ as he is familiarly known by Beestonians – certainly looks content, and has become part of Beeston’s identity.

Boot’s and the old town hall were demolished to make way for the new shopping precinct. Beeston was becoming a brave new world

The sculpture, designed by artist Sioban Coppinger in 1987, was erected after the local council decided to redesign Beeston in the 1960s and 1970s. Before the town was redeveloped, a lot of older buildings such as the Tudor-style

“The Beekeeper... was designed as a quiet meditative resting place at the centre of a busy shopping street. “

‘The Beekeeper’ not long after he was istalled in Beeston, circa the late 1980s. Photo: © Picture the Past.

of concrete and glass, like many other towns throughout England. It is quite ironic, as now Beeston is going through another redevelopment, changing the face of the town forever. When the £300,000

Whatever the controversy at the time, if it wasn’t for the pedestrianisation of High Road we certainly would not have George the Beekeeper. The sculpture consists of two L-shaped concrete hedges. In the angle of one hedge the concrete figure of an elderly man sits on a bench, complete with beekeeper’s hat and gloves lying beside him. He wears an overcoat and Wellington boots and in his right hand is a smoking a pipe. In his left hand he holds a block of honeycomb. At the angle of the other hedge is a concrete carved tree-stump on top of which is set a conical beehive. The hive, and many other parts of the sculpture, are covered by small bronze bees securely stuck to the surfaces. A few of the bronze bees have been knocked off as souvenirs, and George’s nose is a little broken-looking, but all-in-all the Beekeeper is in good condition. The idea of the sculpture was to bring a bit of the countryside into the town. Sioban Coppinger explains about the sculpture further “The Beeston Seat was designed as a quiet meditative resting place at the centre of a busy shopping street. The sculpture itself was modelled on Steven Hodges, a friend who has that timeless ability to exude calm when all else are succumbing to stress. Maybe his years spent on the sea have instilled a sense of proportion in him, or maybe he just looks the part? A stack of mail from Beeston residents confirms that the ‘Beeston Beekeeper’ has been absorbed into the life of the community.” He certainly has been absorbed into the life of the town and long may he continue to do so. JE Joe Earp is Chief Dude at Nottingham Hidden History. The team formed originally in 1965 and have been unearthing and sharing all things Nottingham Historic pretty much ever since. Joe’s book ‘Nottingham from Old Photographs’ is out now (see page 7 for a review).

Who da

(Bee) man...? A slanted and enchanted look at Beeston’s stone apiarist, by Chris Fox.


uch like the town of Beeston itself the Bee Man is not about bees, well not entirely. We can trace the Bee Man’s history, or perhaps myth, back to the end of the Anglo-Saxon era.

In the mid 1060s, just as our fair land was falling into war with William the Conqueror, there was a man called Jorge. He was, amongst other things, an apiarist and as the story goes, one early morning as he was taking his morning constitutional in one of his fields of rye and beehives. Midstream, if you will, as the story goes, Jorge quite suddenly, quite unexpectedly turned to stone. A Beestonian child’s rhyme from the following century goes; “Bee man stood weeing in a field of rye, Weed on a witch and he did die But never fear, you can pee here Bee man washed her away with his good third eye Turned him to stone, he sits alone, for all to see Turned her to rye, turned her to next year’s sweet honey”

Speculate if you will, but another interesting coincidence, though perhaps not a coincidence, is that it was late 1065 that Britons first heard to utter the saying, now oft’ misquoted, “the penis is mightier than the sword.” C



1: Who painted ‘The Water Pool’? 2: Which breed of cat, rabbit, and goat have the same name? 3: Which Cheshire town was traditionally the base of Britain’s Silk industry?

The witch was a close member of Harold’s inner circle. She persuaded Harold that she was the only one who could kill William and prevent war, and that she had seen herself turn him to stone in a vision. Harold, terrified of failure, consented. The witch, known simply as ‘O’, was dispatched on the 28th of January 1065 and was said to have been spotted just north of the river Trent before never being heard from again. Do these two threads connect? All we know for sure that it wasn’t long

5: What is the name usually given to a female horse under 24 months of age or in thoroughbred racing, under the age of five? 6: In which city was Dick Turpin hanged?

8: Professional Wrestler Terry Funk is the cousin of which American actor/musician? 9: The title of whose book translates as ‘my struggle’? 10: Which Andrew Lloyd Webber composition started life under the title of ‘Married Man’? 11: Who said the following: “It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet earth. I didn’t feel like a giant. I felt very, very small”?


Here is an interesting fact. It is of course well known that William the Conqueror, with his army of 3000 strong, defeated Harold II and won his kingship in the Battle of Hastings in 1066. What isn’t known is that Harold II, hearing of William’s intent on the land, sent a secret assassin to stop the would-be king from starting war.

4: In the Roman Catholic church, what does the abbreviation Mgr stand for?

7: Which American state produces the most oil?


[oo er – Ed.]


after that the statue we see today came, somehow, into existence. Of course over years the image, and the story, have changed. So make of it what you will. Did Jorge accidentally aid the Norman invasion by killing Harold’s assassin while she slept in the sanctuary of his fields of rye?

WIN!!! Contact us (see back page for how) with the winning codeword to enter a draw to win a pair of tickets for a night out at Just The Tonic, Nottingham’s Original Comedy Club. (Closing date: 28 July)


tters. Everyone loves otters, don’t they? Or maybe they don’t... Like some sort of whiskery water-puppy, they aren’t just cute, they look like they are immensely overjoyed at being born an Otter. Unlike, say, Rats for example. Type “otters” into a YouTube search box and kiss good-bye to your plans for the next few hours; say adieu to your dignity as you involuntarily ‘squeeeee’ along to footage of them frolicking by a bank. It isn’t surprising, then, that when I heard there had been a small flurry of sightings around the Attenborough Nature Reserve, I strapped my boots on, combed my hair into a Chris Packham flat-top and hit the river path. Alas, our local Tarka was too shy that day, so I had to reconsider my approach... I’m sitting with Tim and Graham, who have the best two jobs in the County. They run the Nature Centre on the Reserve, and get to spend their days immersed in all things Wild. And in a building that serves rather excellent coffee and cake. They have Sand Martens nesting just feet from their desks. Even closer, a scribbling journalist asks, ‘How best can I spot an Otter?’

One way or an


“Well, don’t expect to see them!” Tim quips, ‘They have territories of up to eighty miles, and are pretty shy. If you see one, it might actually be a Mink. We call them ‘tourist-otters’. But the first thing you’ll need is patience. Otters are generally crepuscular (active at dawn and dusk), so get up early. Camouflage is good too – keep hidden and still. The most likely people to see them are anglers, therefore - and these sightings are pretty reliable.” Weirdly, while most anglers are delighted by the presence of Otters, a small minority are Anti-Otter. Honestly. Anti-Otter? Tim explains, ‘They see it as some sort of conspiracy. We’ve brought in loads of Otters and dumped them in reserve, rather than Otters returning to their natural habitat. We have built holts for them, to encourage them when they do return (these are scattered round the nature reserve in undisclosed locations), but Otters find their own way.” Graham adds, “It’s not like the odd Otter is going to have any impact on fish stocks. One Otter every few miles would have to have a phenomenal appetite to be noticed. The very presences of them shows the river and reserve is clean, with a healthy population of fish.” Hence the delight of all rational-minded anglers. So Otters are a sign of good river health? “It can be misguided to make that assumption completely” says Graham, “If an Otter isn’t seen for a few weeks, it doesn’t mean the water has suddenly got dirtier. But the Trent is probably cleaner than it’s been in decades.

The Trent valley has always had Otters, and even if the whole area was pristine they wouldn’t appear en-masse overnight. These things take years, generations. But it’s a good indication’. We talk of other mammals in the reserve. Muntjac deer have been spotted nearby, as well as Badgers. They teach me how to coax out a hiding Weasel by making a Weasel distress call, something which I will be wowing my Weasel-fan wife with next time we take a dusk walk through the Bund. My spotting wish-list expands. Yet Otters still remain top. I decide to recap before I leave, and once again go Otter-stalking. So, to see a wild Otter, I must.... Graham jumps in “Move to the Isle of Mull. While I was there last I saw Otters daily. It’s the best place in the UK.” But if my readers are far too lazy to travel to the West Coast of Scotland, and just wish to see one mere metres from home comforts? “Very early start. Patience. Good camouflage. Keep an eye on the river and there is a tiny chance you’ll get a sighting.” Where did you last spot one? I ask Graham. “Just outside my office window. It was an afternoon, and I just happened to notice it while walking by, it was swimming in the Conneries pond. So either follow my previous advice, or be very, very lucky.” LB To check on the latest sightings at Attenborough go to

Illustration by Tim Smedley

with an old school friend David Field, who together have focused their attention on one of the many stories that are all around us here in Nottingham to create another engrossing historical drama with a local twist. Canary Child tells the story of the WWI explosion that took place at the shell-filling factory in Chilwell, and the struggles of Dorothy Younger who, fifty years after the explosion, and following an encounter with an apparition of a girl killed in the blast, goes in search of a child orphaned by the disaster. Set in both 1968 and 1918 simultaneously, the double-threaded nature of the narrative is incredibly well done, both engaging the reader in the mystery surrounding the blast and in the repercussions that are still felt today.

In all

Serinusness In the first of two reviews of local authors’ recent book releases, Darren Kirkbride gives us his best ‘Melvyn Bragg’...


ollowing on from the success of Narrow Marsh, Leen Times and The Westbrook Affair, Alan Dance has now teamed up





his is one classy book. From the moment I tore it from its brown paper wrapping and turn it over in my hands, I knew it.

Not for Joseph Earp is the rehashing of many common-sighted photos peddled out ad infinitum in books for local historians or the Nottingham visitor in the Tourist Information Centre opposite Primark. You will be interested and intrigued by this book because of its freshness. I counted a paltry two pictures that I’d already seen – which, for an image archivist with a photographic memory, is pretty much unheard of. Unique and fascinating, Nottingham from Old Photographs skilfully tells

The inclusion of well-researched, historically accurate representations of life helps to distinguish the two very different time periods in a way that does not baffle the reader nor seek to over-complicate the plot. Instead this book is fast paced and full of surprises that will keep you reading until the early hours of the morning and researching the history of the disaster well into the weeks after.

a well-constructed vessel to bring the tragic events depicted therein into the imagination of a modern audience. The supernatural events does not detract from the story in any way, as I had feared, but instead enhances the almost mystical nature of the story and draws the reader in. I will also concede that I struggled at first with the authentic period Chilwellean (it’s a word – now) dialect that peppers the novel but after rereading the first few pages I soon got into the swing of things. This is just more evidence of the wellresearched nature of this book’s conception, an impression that is not easily achieved but is vital to the integrity of any historical drama. Although this novel focuses on one of the biggest wartime civilian tragedies, do not be under the impression that this is a story of sadness; it is instead a fantastically funny story that will keep a smile on your face. The powerful mix of factual, mystery and human tragedy storytelling gives Canary Child an air of grownup consideration that is greatly appreciated when reading about local stories of the war. It allows the reader to become genuinely engrossed in the settings, characters and the history that make this novel a success in my eyes. DK

I will admit that at first I was skeptical of a novel which seeks to engage me in historical events through a supernatural agent but Canary Child proved that my concerns were utterly unfounded. This intriguing combination serves

us varied history tales of Nottingham based on the accompanying photographs, prints and old documents. It’s not written chronologically, but by subject area – so you can easily dip in and read about the public houses of Nottingham – where you’ll find my favourite ‘I didn’t know that’ moment; I won’t spoil it, but it involves nearly 800 years and The Bell Inn – and then, within a couple of pages, learn of the ‘Body Snatchers of Barker Gate’ in the 18th and 19th century.

us on a regular basis – on these very pages in fact, as well as online on the Nottingham Hidden History website. I often fail to get my head around the altruism involved in people sharing their wisdom and knowledge. Like those people who create typefaces, and then give them away for nothing. What do they get in return? And if it’s nothing, why do they do it? Obviously, Nottingham from Old Photographs is a published book, so brings kudos. But it also clearly shows the pleasure Earp has taken in his endeavours, as though there really is nothing he likes more than to delve into the archives to find a brilliant snippet of local information. His never before seen photos of Nottingham cast a new light on the streets we take for granted today, and reminds us that there is an everyday life that happened on them years ago of which there is no trace today. If it wasn’t for these archives and people like Paul Nix and his successors, like Joe, at the Hidden History Team, we would never know what we’ve missed. And what’s better than hindsight to help prevent mistakes like Broad Marsh Shopping Centre happening again?

I was born and bred in Nottingham, so I’m somewhat ashamed to say I’ve never seen the Caves of Nottingham. But even if I had, I’m guessing they don’t involve a bizarre carving of Daniel in the Lion’s Den? Seeing the photographs and reading about of the Park Estate Caves is quite a treat too then, because shortly after the photos were taken the caves were lost forever to demolition. Far and away my favourite photo is one of the series of Drury Hill. Two women chat in the narrow lane, and it reminds me of Jane Bown’s informal, spontaneous frames; totally evocative of the time and place in which it was taken. I might ask for a copy for my wall. I think Drury Hill is one of Nottingham’s biggest losses. If it were still here today, even squalid and dilapidated as it was, it could have been our Shambles; it was our Drury Hill. Joe Earp, as you’ll may know, shares his wealth of knowledge and the scope of his library with

Canary Child, David Field and Alan Dance, (Arundel Books), £6.99 On sale locally at WH Smith, Beeston (also available as a Kindle eBook)

If you’re interested in histreh, Nottingham or taking photos – or if you’re just trigger-happy on Instagram, taking retro photos of Nottingham – you’d should take a look at this book. TF

Nottingham from Old Photographs, Joseph Earp (Amberley Press), £12.99 From all good bookshops, and Amazon

Right to


“Our standing in all the opinion polls in gradually increasing.” The reason? “The reason for that is I think people look at the main parties and they don’t see much difference, particularly between Labour and the Conservatives. The Lib Dems clearly stand for very little. They support the Conservatives, and if Labour win the general election they’ll support them. Labour seems to be moving to the middle ground, and don’t hold any truly left wing policies. I think the Green Party has taken up that role and people are looking for a left wing party that isn’t extreme but have those values – reinvesting back into public services, reinvesting into communities, taking power away from centralisation and giving it back to local areas.”



Nottingham’s Offical Robin Hood: Tim Pollard puts down his bow and picks up his quill.


eritage. It’s a word I hear a lot, usually in conjunction with ‘tourism’ when people talk about what I do (although some describe what I do as ‘dressing up for a living’ and even ‘arsing about’ and to be fair, they’re not actually wrong). Heritage is a weird concept at the best of times, encompassing the fundamental worthiness of certain buildings, culture, history and artefacts that have somehow escaped the ravages and constant changes of the modern world. Stuff from the past we value highly and So what is stopping the Green Party? Why isn’t sometimes even show off to other people (a bit it perhaps taken as seriously as ‘flash-in-the-pan’ like my collection of ‘Captain Scarlet’ DVDs and parties such as Ukip? memorabilia, obviously). “I think our biggest issue as a party is Nottingham Castle is a slightly larger case in Other parties are available. getting people to realise that we’re not just a point (in that I certainly can’t fit it into my DVD single policy party. We’re not just about the shelves) and very recently everyone there was midst all the Farage (adjective, meaning environment and animal welfare. If you look extraordinarily pleased to hear that we had been nonsense) of the recent local and at our manifesto, we’ve got the most in-depth successful with the Castle’s second (and probably European Elections it could have been policies of any political party in the country at final) bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for £24m very possible to miss another party who, despite the moment, but people just don’t know it.” funding to improve the site considerably and making few headlines, made significant leaps in Finally, Broxtowe 2015. Why are you standing? create something closer to the international its party presence on the local and world stage. tourism destination that it should be, and that That party was, of course, the Green Party. Nottingham deserves. I sat down in the Bean to have a chat with Not everyone agreed of course but most people David Kirwan, Kimberley resident, Green Party have accepted that ‘something’ needs to be done member and candidate in the 2015 Broxtowe to the Castle – as it is now, part art gallery, part museum, part tourist attraction it still needs elections. We started off by chatting about something to really draw in the numbers it the Newark by-election, in which he stood deserves so one day a few months ago I and my against Broxtowe Borough Council leader good friend Andy Simmonds (dressed as a Civil David Watts (who I’ve met and is very nice), War soldier) helped make a presentation to the the Conservatives’ Robert Jenrick (who might HLF team who were judging the bid. And we be nice), Labour’s Michael Payne (again, might won it. £24m. Some folks would say that there be nice) and Ukip’s Roger Helmer (about whom was great team of very dedicated people who I can think of nothing nice to say, so won’t say worked very hard to ensure it was a successful anything). bid this time; other might say Andy and I deserve “There was quite a bit of animosity between me £12m each, I couldn’t possibly comment. and Roger Helmer. I got on with the rest of them But there’s a great interest in heritage and though, all very amiable and nice.” tourism and a lot of it is by dedicated teams of It wasn’t perhaps the result he was hoping for? volunteers, who give up a great deal of their David came fifth with 1,057 votes. time to work on projects large and small – but all equally important. One in Beeston at the “To give people a real choice. At the moment the “Actually, we were really pleased. We hadn’t moment (see, there was a Beeston connection only two declared candidates are from Labour done anything in Newark for over twenty to all of this) is the work being done by a group and the Conservatives and that doesn’t represent years. And when you consider David Watts in down at the Marina who are planning to restore a real choice. Nick Palmer is a lovely guy but the last one got over 10,000 votes, they have and open the old Lock Keepers’ Cottages, a showed the last time he was in power that he a local party, a bigger organisation and more collection of lovely old buildings that have real just toed the party line. The Labour party don’t money than we have, and we got more votes represent a real left wing choice. We want to be historical significance in the local area. They also than they did. We knew we weren’t going to that and send a message to the people that there plan to open up the site with a café, conference win, but we’re realistic. We know we need to facilities, a museum, a kitchen garden, cycle build up support. We definitely got a foothold in is another way of doing things.” hire and training in traditional skills – all on Newark.” Are the Green Party the new Labour? Do Ed our doorstep. And the great news is they’ve also Miliband and the Labour Party represent true applied to the HLF for funding – and they got But in the local and European elections the Labour values? I know how David Kirwan it too, so as long as they can find the remaining Green Party have done very well. They now might answer those questions. The definite funding the work can start. So give them your have 38 councillors in England, up 18 from the answers will require a little more time, perhaps support if you can and if you happen to be the last elections, and gained a seat in European boss of a big company some funding would be even a general election, before we know the Parliament. I was surprised, when looking up truth. Fortunately, we’ve not too long to wait. great too – because it’s not just heritage, it’s our these results, given that the party was barely TP CF legacy. mentioned at all in paper and TV coverage, but I wouldn’t want to speculate as to why.


“We’re not just about the environment and animal welfare. If you look at our manifesto, we’ve got the most in-depth policies of any political party in the country at the moment, but people just don’t know it.”

NOT the

Bus Depot

art exhibition in 2011 which again drew huge crowds. From 2012 onwards the repertoire was extended, giving rise to the ‘Not the...’ series of events such as the Not the Glastonbury Music Festival and Not the Camden Market, as well as the rip-roaringly successful monthly comedy nights and the stonking Oxjam takeover. The disruption caused by the tramworks meant a temporary halt to many offerings for the last twelve months, but July onwards sees the schedule filling up with more great things. Below is a brief list of upcoming events, but you can visit their website ( for the full details. Poolie


n issue 25 of The Beestonian I wrote about what great entertainment Bartons’ monthly stand-up nights are, and what good things you can expect for a paltry 9 quid entry fee. There’s a lot more to Bartons than that though, and they have just released their exciting programme of events for the rest of the year. Unless you are one of those types who chooses to sit on their sofa watching shite on telly every single night, there’s bound to be something for you there. If stand-up comedy or live music isn’t your bag, how about a heritage day, or a beer festival? Maybe a film festival or literary event? Perhaps just the monthly Not the Camden Market days? There is no other organisation like Bartons in the East Midlands, in fact I’d be interested to know if there’s something comparable anywhere else in the UK. Bartons occupies a unique void between funded concerns such as a performance arts centre and purely commercial enterprises like a nightclub, without the same financial pressures that they both face. I don’t think for one minute Bartons avoid paying their rates bills or tap their leccy from the nearest lamppost, but they have much greater freedom when it comes to experimenting and deciding what to stage. This means we can enjoy all manner of entertainment and culture for a low price or completely free on the Beeston/Chilwell border.

So how did a collection of old bus garages morph into the cultural hive of today? If we go back to the deregulation-mad 1980s, Bartons chose the only palatable option open to them: selling their consequentially unprofitable transport operations to the new owners of ex-nationalised Trent, (hence the present Trent Barton brand), and with whom Bartons had enjoyed cordial relations as neighbours since the early days of motorised buses. This then-unfashionable foresight by Managing Director of the time, Elson Barton, left Bartons with a lot of land and buildings, including the Chilwell High Road site. Whilst some of the buildings have been rented out typically to small businesses, the ‘spaces’ familiar to today’s event-goer were gathering dust for some time. Fast-forward to 2008 and the Bartons centenary event, which attracted thousands of people. The good folk at Bartons realised that they were onto something, a hunch confirmed by the Carnival of Monsters contemporary

Monthly Events Comedy Club - stand-up comedy (first Saturday of every month) NOT The Camden Market (first Sunday of every month) Unplugged acoustic music (second Saturday of every month)

Events 25/26 July NOT The Glastonbury Festival 5 September Oxjam Ceilidh 13 September Heritage Open Day 21 September NOT The Edinburgh Fringe Comedy Festival 5 October NOT The Hay Book Festival 11 – 25 October Carnival of Monsters Festival of Contemporary Art 18 October Oxjam Music Festival 24 – 25 October NOT The Montreux Jazz Festival 31 October Halloween Scarefest! 13, 14, 15 November NOT The Cannes Film Festival 20 – 22 November NOT The Nottingham Beer Festival 12/13 December NOT The Moulin Rouge 0115 925 7766 Barton House, 61 High Road, Chilwell, Nottingham, NG9 4AJ

Au contraire…

being contrary

This month, in the last of Au Contraire, Nora tries to have the final word on being contrary. She fails.


Against: Nora

othing makes me happier than ranting. Whenever I express my hatred for something I feel an indescribable mixture of happiness and relief. Its good for the soul and I think that’s a scientific fact. And to think that someone else may share my lack of tolerance for cyclists, which by the way has increased since starting to drive, or hatred for moths, well, that’s an added bonus. But the thing is, there’s only so much ranting you can do before people begin to suspect that you are in fact the Grinch. Or mentally unstable. And I am neither of those things. In fact, I’m a lover of many things, like kittens and expensive dresses to name but a few. I just have to express my dislike and negative feelings more than the average person to avoid actually turning into a Grinch-like creature. Plus I like to think that maybe, just maybe my rants at least try to entertain some of you. I mean, my mum does continuously tell me how funny I am. But then again, she may be a little bit biased. But lately, as I have entered the world of underemployment (not that I ever left it to begin with) I have realised just how precious my spare time really is. Why spend time ranting and being angry at stuff when I have a million other things to do first, like wash my clothes for instance, as it is no longer acceptable to come into work wearing the most loose fitting, aesthetically displeasing thing I own. Or cook because apparently I have to eat and food doesn’t just cook itself. I’ve realised that I would much rather spend the few hours I truly have to myself with friends, family and my personal favourite, alcohol, than be bitter and vocal about it. I reserve my grumpiness and Bitchy Resting Face (BRF) for work because I apparently can multi-task to some extent. The people I work with already know that I’m the human equivalent to Grumpy Cat and I feel like it’s bad enough that they have to endure me on a daily basis, I really shouldn’t be torturing you poor people any further. So for now I shall leave you and perhaps even try a new outlook on life. You know, one where I’m all happy because the sun is shining and the birds are singing and I run around hills singing about how alive they become with the sound of music.....Or I can just continue to fester but do ND so quietly.

“ Oh Nora, you will be missed. I will confess when I first approached you to write for The Beestonian I had no idea how good a writer you’d be, I just thought of the headline possibilities: ‘FLAMING NORA!!’ ... ‘NORA: BATTY ABOUT (STUFF)!’ ... ‘NORA MOANS!’ The first article arrives by email, “Here. Might be too many serial killer references...” She’s been an integral, angry part of this magazine ever since. Say ta-ra to her – Editor now, but she’ll be back…”

W did or not.

For: Tamar

ell, well, well. So, Nora likes a rant. I’m so very glad you were able to put us straight on that one, because it was really hanging in the balance for a minute there as to whether you

I am, however, somewhat surprised you give one hoot what others think of you, even if at the same time I recognise the desire to not be forever labelled a sour old bird. After all, in a world where every criticism should be buffered by four times as many positives, even a healthy disrespect for something can be mislabelled as dour, bitter cynicism. There’s also the harsh reality that it’s seen as especially indecent when coming from a woman. Indignant dismissal from a man will be met with a cheer – as a stand alone victory. Similar rebukes coming from a woman, however, will be met with some kind of personality post-mortem; and are rarely seen objectively or received at face value. So it’s a double shame that this will be your last column for The Beestonian. Because not only will I miss pointing out where you’re wrong, but we were the only females on the board at Beestonian Towers – so I will miss using all that ‘unattractive’ indignation I naturally contain, while wallowing in the admiration of the very same from you - as though in some sort of muddy, ‘fuck you!’ pool of unladylike mirth. Wonderful stuff. So to hear you say that you’re hanging up your Grrrrr Robe to... what’s this? “wash clothes”, “cook tea” and be all “happy”while “multi-tasking” is verging on the disturbing. I am, in all honesty, a little concerned. Have you gone back in time? It’s true that eternal negativity is a self-fulfilling prophesy, no one likes a total misanthrope (for long, anyway...). But then Lauren Bacall, Elizabeth Taylor, Germaine Greer, Caitlin Moran, Dorothy Parker, Mae West, Billie Holiday, Judy Garland, Sylvia Plath et al hardly saw fit to channel their agro quotient into ‘festering quietly’, did they? Now more than ever seems it rich to gripe, dear Nora. Because it’s always time to get angry. You can go off into the lighter side of life for a little while and enjoy the kittens and the dresses and the sunshine and whatnot - OK. But I warrant that one day, not too far off, you will stub your toe, or a stranger will be a total git to you for something which wasn’t your fault, and then a whole torrent of RAGE will materialise, it might even feel all familiar and nice. You might be reading about some serious injustice in the newspaper, or watching a party political broadcast, and the red mist will descend upon you, unbidden. You’ll feel like shredding the paper; putting someone else’s foot through the TV – you might even start to rant out loud, even if you’re in a public place. It is then that I want you find a pen and paper, and I want you to write it all down. And then I want you to call me. TF

s t a e B n o t Bees J

ust like Trams and Marmite we are going back to the love it or hate it section of lifeme moaning about the state of modern music. Sort of. Actually it’s about the possible demise of the recorded music industry as we know it and a call to arms to play music, watch live music and drink beer – which reminds me of a quote from Richard Hawley, “You start off as a musician who drinks a bit, but if you’re not careful you’re a drinker that plays a bit of music.” Being as the music industry cannot work out how to stop bleeding money, and the quality of what you get in the mainstream goes down (what do you mean you’re too busy twerking to Robin Thicke to read on), maybe now is the time to investigate more live music and more diverse genres. Some smarter musicians than me have interesting theories about where music is going. Perhaps, as suggested by avant garde guitarist and former Tom Waits collaborator Marc Ribot, music in the future may only be played by part time musicians and then the main recorded music and large scale touring will be done by either very rich – not necessarily any good – musicians or the part time lot being endorsed by corporate entities. Most of this sounds bad. Let’s take this further – your current idea of what a professional musician is and the way you are used to seeing and hearing them in the mainstream – over to Brian Eno: “I think records were just a little bubble through time and those who made a living from them for a while were lucky. There is no reason why anyone should have made so much money from selling records except that everything was right for this period of time...”

One thing that it does bring to mind is, if you want to express yourself as a musician and earn at least some money, live music is again becoming more of a viable medium. It also means that, for working musicians, a lot of the misconceptions about what musical success is, and any possible career that might come from it, will probably change. It’s no longer going to be about mansions and swimming pools, but more about transit vans and sleeping on floors. Luckily for all you inhabitants of Planet Beeston you have a healthy live music scene – it’s mainly free (although you can pay to watch Ian Beestin’s rather excellent Jazz) there is a new open mic at The Hop Pole – the last Friday of every month – run by Crazy Heart (ask Ian Hibberson about the hilarious incident that ended up with me being on top of him on a pub floor). We even have a café where you can jam on guitars provided by the owner (that’s getting a bit close to what I do – Derek, get the petrol can!). So instead of streaming endless crap on Spotify or watching some TV series that takes up half your life only for some wanker to tell you the ending when you halfway through (I’m not bitter, honest), get out in your local community, drink some beer and check out some live music.

First Ad


Jimmy can be found selling all things guitar, and teaching Blues guitar, at The Guitar Spot,Chilwell Road, Beeston (and either The Crown or The Hop Pole of an evening. His is a lime & soda, though please...) theboozeworldofjimmywiggins.



“It was a bit like if you had a source of whale blubber in the 1840s and it could be used as fuel. Before gas came along, if you traded in whale blubber, you were the richest man on Earth. Then gas came along and you’d be stuck with your whale blubber.” “Sorry mate – history’s moving along. Recorded music equals whale blubber. Eventually, something else will replace it.”

Now I’m not entirely with him on that (c’mon it’s Brian Eno – he does waffle on like some musical egghead dragged out and expected to say profound things).


xjam has been rocking the socks off Beeston since 2011, bringing a maddeningly eclectic selection of musicians to a day and night of sonic wonder. Preparations for the 2014 Festival are well underway, so get Saturday 18th October branded on your foreheads and marked in your diaries, and we’ll see you there. ‘But we can’t wait that long!’ you cry ‘We must get our fix of all things Oxjam NOW, or we shall wither and surely die’. Worry not, pining Oxjammers, we have something wonderful to sate your cravings. We’ve asked some of our favourite bands who have graced our many

stages at the festival, and asked them to send us a track. We then picked our favourites and stuck them on a (ox)jam-packed CD. Yes, very soon you can enjoy Oxjam at home, every single day of the year. We do not advise drinking industrial levels of ale every day of the year, however: save that for the day. So who is on it? Beestonian favourites The Jar Family (the lead singer was baby-sat by our very own Poolie many years ago – fact!), the thrashy prog of I Am Jupiter, I AM LONO’s spiky electric pop, Emma Bladon Jones astonishing song-writing and voice; Calm Man Club’s emotional swooping acoustics, as well as The Phil Langram Band, Josh Kemp, Harriet, Great British Weather, Molly and Jack, John Hardy and loads more. Weirdly, the track submitted by Jimmy Wiggins and myself, recorded after a night in The Hop Pole, didn’t make the cut. I personally think it was the finest version of Meatloaf’s ‘Paradise By The Dashboard Light’ ever attempted, but hey, the bar is high on this one. Where can you get it? We’ll have it out in late July, available from The Guitar Spot, Oxfam, and various venues that have Oxjam on each year. Every penny goes back into the Oxjam coffers, to ensure we have another fantastic year raising a huge pile of moneyAd for Oxfam and the Second great work it does in the UK and worldwide. Keep your eye on our Facebook page (details on the back page) for the release date, and drop us a line to reserve a copy now. LB

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Editor / Lead Writer / Founder – Lord Beestonia


expect. It raises several interesting questions about compensation (there are some pretty hefty overrun charges written into the construction contract: where will this money go? The traders who will miss the boost of having the tram run by their doors in the last ten days before Christmas: will they be compensated for the inevitable loss of trade?). It’s a complex, fluid story, keep up to speed on our Facebook page or on the Beestonia Blog.

BEER CASK MARQUEE A couple of months back, we thanked an anonymous artist who sent a cracking picture of the former sign that adorned the old fire station: a very touching gift indeed. Then, a few weeks ago, we received a larger framed version: beautifully presented: our two models (above) hopefully don’t detract that much from its excellence. We are debating where to hang it, and reckon it needs to be somewhere public. We’ve been discussing with the Crown for a while about turning their snug into a Beeston appreciation room, complete with pictures of Great Beestonians, possibly changing them from time to time. Feel free to send your suggestions. If the person/people behind the picture would like to get in touch, we’d like to present them with an exclusive Beestonian Tee as a thank you. Our email address is on the right.

BEESTON CARNIVAL At time of print, it’s only a few days until Beeston Carnival (Saturday 12 July). We should have some sort of presence there, possibly piggybacking with the Oxjam stall (where the CD, mentioned in Beeston Beats, will be on sale). Come and say hello: I won’t actually be there, I’ll be watching cricket that day, but we’ll ensure one of our crew is there to tell you how ace we are.

COMING LATE... Nottingham City Council have stated that they don’t believe the tram will arrive on the scheduled date (14 December). This has been an open-secret for some time now, and it was just a question on who would admit it first. Broxtowe Borough Council first spilled the beans, now we await the developers to let us know what they

Good pub news: The Crown Inn received notice to remove their outside marquee by a rather over-zealous council official: we thought this was unfair: the structure is not permanent, unsightly or damaging, and is essential in the pub being able to trade well in a British Summer. We urged people to write to their councillors demanding the notice be withdrawn: and you did, in droves. Just a few hours later The Crown earned a reprieve, and as long as it applies for permission next year, we can all enjoy an alfresco ale as two months worth of rain fall in an evening.

Co-founder / Resident Don – Prof J Design / subbing – Tamar Associate Editor – Chris Fox Top-notch contributors this issue: Nora, Jimmy, Joe Earp, Poolie, Chris Fox, Tamar, Tim Pollard, Deman, Ric Salinger. Printed by Pixels & Graphics, Beeston.

Stockists: 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, ATOS, Metro, Beeston Marina Bar and cafe.

CINEMA SCOPE Good news over at The White Lion as well: landlord Sergio recently bought a HUGE projector, and we’re helping him in setting up another branch of The Beestonian Film Club… films, booze, and gorgeous tapas? Weep, Showcase Cinema, weep tears into your oversized popcorn buckets.

– Lord Beestonia

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:

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Contact us: (all our editions online) The Beestonian, c/o 106 Chilwell Road, Beeston, Nottingham NG9 1ES

The Beestonian issue 28 2014  

Chilwell Creative Corner / Stoned love / Who da (Bee) Man..? / Horace’s 1/2 Hour / CODEWORD / One way or an Otter / In all Serinusness / Und...

The Beestonian issue 28 2014  

Chilwell Creative Corner / Stoned love / Who da (Bee) Man..? / Horace’s 1/2 Hour / CODEWORD / One way or an Otter / In all Serinusness / Und...