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A mysterious Beestonian has made an epic, deeply strange podcast about our town. Here, she tells us why…

Not all places inspire. Not all places excite. Not all places have stories growing out of the cracks in the pavement.

But then again, not all places are Beeston.

Not all places can be. Which is the whole point about naming somewhere, really. To distinguish it from somewhere else. If there were another Beeston it would have to be called something like New Beeston, or Beeston-upon-Avon.

Except… well there are a few other Beestons, actually. There’s a Beeston in Bedfordshire, one in Cheshire, another in Norfolk, and one in Leeds. How I feel sorry for those other Beestons, living in the shadow of our own epic town. People must ask those Beestons:

  ‘Wow, are you the Beeston?’

And the other Beeston probably looks embarrassed and says:

  ‘Oh no… you must be thinking of the one near Nottingham.’

The person would then apologise:

  ‘Oh right, sorry, you must get that all the time.’

The other Beeston would then look off into the distance, a tear glistening in his eye, glistening with the glory of what might have been, what could have been possible with a name as majestic as Beeston.

  ‘Yes,’ the other Beeston would reply, ‘yes it happens quite a bit, actually.’

Anyway, where was I? Oh yes, Beeston is particularly inspiring. Which is quite lucky really because the other month I wanted to make a fictional investigative journalism podcast for a birthday present. At first I was at a loss… what would it be about? I wandered the streets… along where Fletcher Road changes into Middle Street. It’s funny how streets do that, I thought, changing name with no notice and we just have to carry on, as if everything’s fine.

I kept walking, trying to forget about Fletcher Road and all the great times we’d had a few seconds ago… the Humber Road chip shop, the newly installed tram lines, the front gardens – some elaborately planted and others elaborately abandoned… Of course! I realised. I could make the podcast about Beeston. Where else is more inspiring? London? Paris? New York? Don’t be ridiculous.

And it was there, out of the cracks in the pavement around the Middle Street tram stop, that the story began to grow.

An enthusiastic podcast maker would get a mysterious email from a fan of her previous podcasts, offering her ‘something meaty’ for her next project. When they met, he would give her a small box wrapped in a plastic bag.

‘I found it on the tram tracks at the Middle Street stop one morning,’ he would say.

Then he would have to leave because he had an abs-core-and-bums class to get to.

What the box would contain would horrify the enthusiastic podcast maker. She couldn’t face this alone, she would need help from friends – willing or otherwise. The gruesome object would send her on a quest, an arduous quest condensed into 4 episodes of 20 minutes each, to unveil hidden depths of Beeston that none us could ever have thought possible.

The podcast can be found here:
www.soundcloud.com/whenallthiswasfields

(thanks to Isha Pearce, Benjamin Taylor, Adele Nasti, Peter Iwanciw, Martien Williams, Giulia Grisot, Lia de Simon, Mariele Valci, Connor Murphy, Paul Holmes for producing something wonderful)