An extra big helping of The Beestonian this Christmas…

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It’s rolled around again, Foxie at Hallams dons her Santa Suit, the pied wagtails flutter across the Square, and poor old Beeman suffers a season of silly-string toupees and drunken snogs by post-office party drunkards. Ah, Christmas!

It’s been a year of ups and downs. We’ve seen new businesses pop up all over town, and our creative scene once again punch well above its weight. The Canalside Heritage Centre, a labour of love for the last decade, finally opened its doors. Our I Am Beeston project blossomed into a bit of an institution (look out for an exciting twist we’ll be bringing to that in the New Year). Lets Go To Beeston was relaunched.  We gave Beeston its first bespoke poem, and felt a bit sad that Bartons was going –but very happy that housing will soon be springing up on its expansive brownfield site. We took on Network Rail when they threatened to close the foot-crossings into the Nature Reserve, and won (for now). Oxjam, as you will read inside, smashed all previous records.

Yet there has been sadness. We lost many great Beestonians, not least with the tragic death of Owen Jenkins in the Summer. Also much-missed are Sally Pollard, wife (and Maid Marion) of our columnist (and Robin Hood) Tim Pollard. Nobel Laureate, MRI inventor and charming Beestonian Sir Peter Mansfield; local musician and Blue Monkey ale aficionado Mikk Skinner: RIP. We’re still awaiting any concrete news on the mess that is the central Beeston Phase 2 development, despite a flurry of vague statements to the contrary.

But we’re blathering before we’ve even been properly introduced. So let’s sort that.

Dear Reader,

If you’ve picked this up at the Lights Switch On, and wonder what the dickens you’ve got possession of, welcome. We’re The Beestonian, and we’re pleased to meet you. Open me up: you’ll find stuff all about this wonderful town from Indian poets to Thai cafes; somersaulting geniuses to supermarket horrors.

If you’re a regular reader, you’ll note we’ve put on a bit of weight. Don’t worry, it’s not over-indulgence of mince pies, but the fact that we had so much stuff to cram into this issue we’ve gone up to 20 pages. We just keep on growing, and we’re still free. We’ll always be free.

How do we do that? How do we act like local Santas and give you this all for free? Well, we’re ran by volunteers and our print costs are paid by our lovely local sponsors. Find them inside, and pay them a visit, and tell ‘em we sent you. And if you run a business and fancy your ad sharing space with the excellence within, we’d be delighted to have you: see inside for details.

And if you see one of our writers in the pub, and fancy buying them a drink: well, that will be the best Christmas pressie ever. Have a good ‘un!

LB