To be printed off and carried with you at all times
If you’re a Facebook user, then you’re probably well aware of the excellent local group ‘Beeston Updated’. There are well over 8,000 members on it now, although many actually live away from NG9 in far-flung exotic places like Canada, Dubai, New Zealand, and Long Eaton.
The topics of conversation within the group vary, from people asking if anyone else has memories of working for Bartons in the 1950s, to those drawing attention to events which are going on. Whilst the vast majority of stuff is positive, odd comments crop up now and then, which can be sad, gloomy, or downright paranoid.
As a tribute to those members who bring a bit of dark to the generally bright group, we have created the ‘Beeston Survival Kit’ for those who dare to venture into the seemingly perilous streets of our town.
Austerity, economic uncertainty, and political instability. For some folks these things pale into insignificance compared to the burning issue of the day – the lack of shoe shops in Beeston.
Despite there being several shops which sell shoes in the town, and the fact that we are only half an hour away at most by bus, train or tram from a city with dozens of them, apparently Beeston is not complete without a dedicated and comprehensive shoe shop. Therefore the first item in the kit is a pair of shoes, just in case people simply can’t get hold of a pair for some reason.
Reversible ‘No Thanks’ badge
At times the pedestrianised bit of the High Road is awash with shiny-shoed sales rats and pushy ‘chuggers’ (charity muggers), desperately trying to get people to sign up to their money-saving broadband deal or a monthly direct debit to a worthy cause.
Whilst the majority of Beestonians just stride past ignoring them, make out they are deep in conversation on their mobiles, or pretend not speak English, some confess to not being able to resist the silver-tongued cavaliers, ending up having to remortgage after being bullied into a 12 month contract. For these people this handy badge can merely be pointed at to register disinterest. Should the commission-hungry pushy buggers not accept this and carry on their spiel, it can be merely lifted up to reveal a straightforward ‘PISS OFF!’ to really get the message across.
Sadly, the stealing of bikes appears to be a growth industry in Beeston. There doesn’t seem to be a day goes by without someone having their 2-wheeled pride and joy lifted in broad daylight by some little get with a pair of bolt croppers. To avoid becoming the next victim, simply lock your bike within this clamp which is made from a composite material that isn’t allowed on Robot Wars as it is too difficult to damage.
According to a few local people, since the multi-storey was demolished to make way for a patch of urban wasteland, there is nowhere to park in Beeston, unless you are planning to pawn the family silver to fund it.
They have obviously missed those out-of-sight tucked-away supermarkets which offer 3 hours of free parking. Not to mention the council-run car parks and on-street bays which are free for the first hour and cheap as chips the rest of the time. A handful of coins is all you need in order to leave your car whilst shopping till you drop.
Sou’wester and waterproof hat
The way some Beeston Updated members go on, you’d think Beeston was the coffee shop capital of the UK. In fact there are only nine of them, out of hundreds of different retail premises. They all seem to do good business, which indicates that there is plenty of demand for them (unlike shoe shops).
For those who fear an excess of espresso or a lake of latte from this imagined situation, a waterproof outfit should shield them from any splashes.
Global satellite tracker device
Since time immemorial, domestic cats have vanished. Nowadays, social media is a handy way of spreading the word about a missing moggy, and there are many happy tales of fickle felines being reunited with their owners.
In order to stop this from happening, simply fit your cat with a tracker, so you can easily retrieve it from your next door neighbour’s shed/the odd bloke who lives over the road/a bird hide at Attenborough.
The tracker may offer advanced functionality in the future too – if anyone wants to know the whereabouts of Leicestershire-dwelling MP Anna Soubry, it is hoped that this device can be adapted to alert folks to visits to her Broxtowe constituency between general election campaigns.
As with many towns, villages and cities up and down the country, Beeston has lost public conveniences. Despite there being several pubs, supermarkets, restaurants, coffee shops etc which have toilets, if you need to go then you need to go. This handy pot can be used in times of emergency, and if enough people ‘chip in’ and co-ordinate the emptying, Stumpy the statue in the Square could well flow again.