Author: jadekmoore

ABC Art Trail: A festival of creativity

One of the highlights of the year is back!

That’s right, on the first weekend of June, the ABC Art Trail will be winding its way again around the roads, streets and avenues of Attenborough, Beeston and Chilwell and this year it is even bigger than before.

If you have ever attended the two day festival of creativity then you will no doubt remember what a buzz it creates. If you haven’t, then grab a pen and write ‘ABC Art Trail’ on the 1st and 2nd of June on your calendar, or type it in your phone if you don’t have one of December’s featured photographer Lamar’s beautiful calendars hung up in the office like we do.

The Beestonian team both trailed and wrote about the whole weekend producing a raving review in July’s bumper issue last year. There was so much to see, and this year will be no exception. Expanded to include even more venues and more creatives it is ‘a wonderful opportunity to see some private studios that are rarely open to the public.’ With a mixed media collection of paint, print, textiles, jewellery, ceramics  and glass there is something to appeal to everyone’s tastes and budget.

When I met with Karen Atwood last year, who is one of the artists and organisers of the event, I was instantly struck by her passion in promoting the work of others in the trail. This pervades throughout the weekend as you visit each venue, some in home studios and other housed in local businesses. Artist supporting other artists and sharing their talents with those in the community is a wonderful thing to be part of. It is also brilliant to see how many local businesses have offered their support via sponsorship.

If it’s a weekend of creative inspiration you want then you have got it! If you are looking for a one-off gift that you might never see anywhere else, then that’s on offer too, and more than that you get a behind the scenes peek into a range of creative processes which can really make you appreciate the wealth of talented people we have residing in our local area.

You can read about last year’s ABC Art Trail by clicking on the link below:

https://beestonian.com/2018/07/27/creative-beeston-abc-arts-trail/

You can download a handy pocket-sized map of all 13 venues and 30 featured artists via the official website here:

www.abcarttrail.uk/map–flyer.html

Look out for promotional material popping up all over Beeston and follow the posts on their Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/abcarttrail/

DU

Motherhood: Spring

‘Spring is sprung, the grass is ris, I wonder where the birdies is’.

My Dad used to recite that line to me when I was a child, and if I replace ‘birdies’ with ‘pinot grigio’ you have exactly my sentiments about the approaching warmer weather. I’m a big fan of a pub garden, of early evenings sat outside while the children play in the paddling pool and run through the wheat fields before leading the country into the abyss. Wait, that’s just Teresa May, my bad.

I adore the good weather, I’ve lived and worked in central Europe and being outdoors suits me entirely. My issue with the approaching summer is that my kid is an only child, which means that I am her playmate, which means no wine, no sitting down, and absolutely no relaxing thank you very much. Despite a social life which would make the Kardashians recoil in exhaustion, my kid wants to play with ME. Which is great, because she still thinks I’m cool enough to play with (time is ticking on that front) but it flies in the face of wine-drenched relaxation in the garden. The first green shoots of Spring signal the end of my peaceful hibernations indoors, and the start of my Olympic training regime in such sports as Kick the Ball Loudly into Next Door’s Fence, Help Me Up on to this Swing, and Mum Can I Have an Ice-Lolly. I need to get fit, quick, these are blood sports and I’ve neglected my training.

Having an only child is an absolutely magical thing. They (maybe a tad patronisingly) allow you to become an honorary child again while they set the rules and run you ragged. I adore it. We can’t have any more kiddos, so this girl will be forever thrust into other people’s gardens, picking up neighbourhood waifs and strays to play with while we are out and about. I don’t think this is a negative thing, and I’m grateful that I’m active enough to keep up with her while she shouts rules at me and berates my obvious athletic inadequacies in public. From what I hear from people with more than one kid it seems to be more of a lion-taming situation anyway, more Chris Pratt with the raptors in Jurassic World and less The Waltons. I’ll never know, but sometimes I feel a pang of gratitude in Autumn when the nights draw in and we can legitimately stick a DVD on under a blanket and ignore the outside world completely. Summer is great, but dear sweet baby Jesus I’m shattered already.

DL

I Am Beeston: Marie-Louise Denham – Sales Negotiator

“I was born in Beeston and went to Beeston Manor and Alderman White Schools. When I left school I went to work in an estate agency; then in 2006 I moved to a local optician. I’m now back working in an estate agency. This time its Robert Ellis.”

“There are lots of things that I love about Beeston. The Victoria for its food, ales and whiskies, the farmer’s market, especially Sue’s Cakes stall and walking between the Marina and Attenborough Nature Reserve. Although I am a fairweather walker. I also like taking photographs on my mobile phone, especially of the swans and my pets. I have three cats and have rescued a hedgehog.”

“Beeston is an up and coming area, with a buoyant housing market and great transport links. We are finding that developers are moving in from other areas. It’s a shame that we have lost a lot of the small, independent shops, which have been replaced by the larger chain stores and supermarkets. But I think we will always have Hallams.”

“A lot of people know me and even an old teacher of mine called Mrs Jones still recognised me. Some people have called me ‘The Face of Beeston’.”

CDF

Sand Martins

The latest from Attenborough Nature Reserve

Aristotle once said; ‘one swallow does not a summer make’ and with this is mind, we perhaps shouldn’t get too excited about the news of a single sand martin spotted at Attenborough Nature Reserve on the 12th March – two weeks earlier than we would typically expect.

This small hirundine, a cousin of the swallow and house martin, is often one of the first spring migrants to arrive back on the Reserve’s each year.

Despite many birds being considered to be the herald of spring, it is the sand martin’s appearance that is met with the most excitement at Attenborough as it means that not only is summer drawing closer, but also the artificial nesting bank at the Reserve will come to life again.

Dubbed the ‘Sand Martin Hotel’, the nesting bank and viewing hide, situated at the end of the Attenborough Nature Centre’s wildlife garden, first opened its tunnels to its feathered guests in April 2014. Funded through a Heritage Lottery Funded ‘ACE’ project (Access, Community, and Education) the bank provides nesting opportunities for up to 150 sand martins each summer. While the integrated ‘sunken’ bird hide provides panoramic views across Coneries Pond and enable visitors to watch the sand martins at close quarters as they feed over the water and return to their nests.

Sand martins make an incredible 2000-mile journey to the UK from the Sahel, a region of Africa to the south of the Sahara Desert, where they have been over-wintering.

This species has suffered a number of major population crashes in the last 50 years, mainly due to droughts in their over-wintering sites – which means many birds can’t build up enough energy to help them cross the Sahara. Within the UK they are also under threat from habitat loss, where natural nesting sites have been destroyed through development, dredging and bank stabilization along rivers.

Sand martins nest colonially. Colonies can range from just a few dozen pairs to groups of several hundred. In a natural environment they use tunnels in sandy banks along rivers and surrounding lakes. The birds dig the tunnels themselves using their long sharp claws. The nest holes are usually between 35cm and 1m in length and are excavated by both parents over a period of two weeks. In our artificial bank, clay pipes filled with sand will be embedded in to the walls to simulate the bird’s natural nesting habitat.

By mid-April, it is hoped that the sand martins will begin nesting in the artificial nesting bank again. Throughout the breeding season, volunteers carry out weekly nest record checks to monitor their progress. From the moment the first twig is taken in to the bank, to the first egg being laid and first chicks hatching and fledging, every detail is recorded.

The data gathered has already provided us with a fascinating insight in to the Sand Martin’s nesting ecology – including early indications that some pairs may in fact raise three broods during their short stay in the UK.

At around a week old, each of the chicks is fitted with lightweight, uniquely numbered ring by members of the South Notts Bird Ringing Group. The information gathered by the ringing scheme enables us to learn more about the sand martin’s incredible migration journey, how long they live for, and indeed if any of the chicks return to visit us in subsequent years to start a family of their own.

Just four years since Attenborough’s ‘Sand Martin Hotel’ first opened its doors to visiting birds, staff at the Nature Reserve were delighted to announce the arrival of the nesting bank’s 1,000th chick.

With the early arrival of the birds this spring we are hoping for an extended breeding season and the biggest number of chicks raised to date. Why not pop over to Attenborough and enjoy some of the early signs of spring for yourself? You might even spot one of our sand martins.

TS

Beeston Sea Scouts

Scouting around at Barton Island

 

It’s Friday night between April and September, you’re walking along the banks of the Trent away from Beeston Marina in the direction of Long Eaton and suddenly, the quiet area is interrupted by a splashing sound. Where is it coming from? What’s happening? And most important, who’s making it?

Hint: it’s something to do with Scouting. Give up?

The noise is coming from Barton Island (not to be confused with Barton Buses). What’s happening is some kayaking/canoeing/rowing activity. And the people making it are the 2nd Beeston Sea Scouts.

Barton Island is really an Island within an Island in the Trent which is a bit confusing for some of us. Half of it is owned by the 2nd Beeston Sea Scouts and the other half is nobodies (technically it is in Rushcliffe). It is used by Scouts for a wide range of activities such as Kayaking, Canoeing, Rowing and sometimes land activities like camping, fire-lighting, pioneering or even all of them in one! It is only accessible by boat, unless you fancy a dip in the river.

 

The island also hosts a handful of buildings and designated areas. These include a boat shed for storing boats and paddles, a divisions area where the flagpole and bell are, camping huts for storing bags and sheltering in bad weather, an explorer scout only area and a galley used for cooking.

At least one day a year in the summer the scouts hold an open day on the island for everyone to come and see the fantastic facilities available. Barton Island is also available to be used by community groups and businesses.

For more information about 2nd Beeston Sea Scouts and Barton Island, visit www.2ndbeeston.org.uk

EC

The Seats of Democracy

Beeston’s Town Hall

Being a journalist on the Beestonian brings you into contact with all sorts of people with different stories to tell.  And someone with quite a few stories to tell is Dawn Reeves, facilitator, trainer and author of a coffee table book all about various town halls across England; their history, uses and future. That universal symbol of local democracy seems to be under threat from the very councils that they belong to. Beeston’s is a prime example. But more on that later.

We arranged to meet at Greenhoods, and so over a hot drink I chatted to Dawn about herself, her interest in town halls and the purpose of the book. “I was born in London, but moved to Nottingham with my family. I got a job with Nottingham County Council, and then as a manager with Ashfield District Council. Working in those buildings, made me realise how important they are to communities, and not just for paying bills. I’m now back in Beeston and love it. I love the creativity of the town.”

Turning to her generously illustrated volume ‘Town Hall: Buildings, People and Power’. “Working in local government, I realised that there are three main architectural styles of buildings that are used as town halls; the grand Victorian palaces like Bradford, Birmingham and Todmorden; the art deco styles of Torquay, Hornsey and Nottinghamshire and the postmodernist structures at Newcastle, Mansfield and Worcestershire. Although this book is broken down into themes, rather than styles.  I touch on four general themes: ‘Purpose’, ‘People’, ‘Power’ and ‘Future’.”

Nearly 30 councils and their town halls are described and evaluated in the book, that includes some eye-catching photography, I asked Dawn how she got the book completed. “I have some friends in Yorkshire, and around the country and I just basically roped them in to either write about their town hall or take photos of it.  I am planning another volume. One, which should feature Beeston’s original building. The book is self published through Shared Press and with financial assistance from CCLA.”

The story of Beeston’s town hall would make a worthy inclusion in volume two. How Broxtowe Council sold the building off for £425,000 to the Cornerstone Church, whilst ignoring other interested parties, including Beeston’s Civic Society; who wanted to turn it into a community resource for weddings, arts and theatre events and similar community celebrations. Very much like Brent’s does with theirs. But it was sold, even though the residents of Broxtowe will be out of pocket by some £155,000, as the council will be spending £533k on moving computer servers to it’s newer building, legal fees and doing up the building before the church moves in. But the council claim that it will be saving £85,000 a year on maintenance and repair costs. It is understood that the building will only be available to its church members, therefore excluding the citizens of NG9, whose past relations would have paid for the town hall to be built through their rates bill.

Last year the Civic Society collected over £5000 from residents through crowd funding to raise a legal challenge. But the findings from a barrister suggested that this challenge would not be successful. The group are currently working on some Freedom of Information requests about how the council had reached its unpopular decision on whom it selected to have the building.

With local elections coming up in May, it remains to be seen as to whether the sale will actually go through by then, or maybe a change of administration may have other ideas.

Besides writing about town halls and training businesses, Dawn has also written a couple of novels, ‘Hard Change’ and ‘We Know What We Are’. Also printed by Shared Press. These are urban thrillers that also include the shady dealings of fictional local councils.

If you would like to hear Dawn talk about her love of town halls, then she is appearing at the amazing Five Leaves Bookshop in Nottingham on the 10th of April at 7pm. Admission will be £3, including refreshments.

CDF

Creative Beeston: Beautiful Things are Possible

As we rapidly approach spring, buds are bursting, branches are blossoming and the spikes of green that have been shooting up through the earth are now sporting their familiar yellow bonnets. If like me, you are always delighted by these markers of new life, then you may also be one of those Beestonians who enjoys the abundance of green spaces we have surrounding our town. Warmer days, with longer periods of daylight, encourage us to leave our cosy homes and embrace the opportunity to get a bit of fresh air and sunshine between the showers.

With the threat of climate change almost at its most critical point, it is clear that fast action is needed to preserve nature’s treasures. There are a number of national campaign groups that work tirelessly towards this but there are also positive things happening right on our doorstep. Making the least impact is key to our planet’s survival, so it makes sense that putting a stop to harmful activities would have the biggest impact – you will be more than aware of the plastic problem. The Climate Coalition is the UK’s largest group of people dedicated to action on climate change – they have 15 million members from all over the UK.

Launched in 2015 and promoted by stunts such as turning the BT Tower green. The #showthelove campaign has led to some positive and dramatic changes. On Valentine’s Day in 2015 a cross party pledge was made to tackle climate change and this was pivotal in the UK taking a global leadership role in reaching the first international climate commitment – the Paris Agreement.

#showthelove has been championed by institutions such as Lords Cricket Ground, which announced a switch to 100% renewable energy in 2018. By which time the movement had reached 126 million people. 100,000 of them made, wore and shared green hearts and 80 MPs got personally involved. An incredible 600 community events happened over the UK in 2018 and the first Green Heart Hero Awards were held in Speaker’s House.

Beeston’s own ‘buzzing branch of the women’s institute’ have extended their creativity to promote Show the Love 2019. The (aptly named) Hive WI is just entering its second year and from the beginning saw a lot of interest in environmental issues among the members. Litter walks and wildflower planting have been just some of the suggestions already put forward, so a national project like this immediately attracted their attention.

Where you end and the environment begins is a really blurry line. Whether you are able to see plants and green spaces in your day-to-day life is proven to have an effect on your mental health.

Jenny-Marie Gale, president of the The Hive WI spoke of her passion to combine creativity and projects with purpose. She believed #showthelove was an important way to ‘raise awareness about damage done ignorantly, not really consciously or maliciously, to our planet.’ She felt that now is the time to focus on reversing that damage, ‘not just for the sake our wildlife, but also for future generations.’ She also pointed out that The Wi is all about education, so a campaign like this fits well with that. Education starts with conversation.

One of the members Rosa Davies was attracted to The Hive WI by their ‘strong environmental focus and involvement in campaigns like #showthelove. She feels that ‘the WI is no longer seen as outdated and has a strong modern message’ which resonates with many people in society currently. If you follow the news you will no doubt be aware of the climate marches that are happening all over the globe and that Greta Thunberg a 16 year old Swedish political activist has just been nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize. It’s big news people!

Rosa mentioned the Trees of Beeston section in the Beestonian and how a simple idea like that encourages people to be aware of and appreciate their natural surroundings. And this is what the #showthelove campaign is all about. ‘Where you end and the environment begins is a really blurry line. Whether you are able to see plants and green spaces in your day-to-day life is proven to have an effect on your mental health.’ The handmade hearts that symbolise this love for our environment are shared with the community to prompt a response – to encourage people to start a discussion.

The collection of hearts took about two months to make and members found the process itself both mindful and ‘addictive!’ They were put together by the sub groups who meet at the Wednesday Café Society or for a Saturday Crafternoon. The intention is, now that they have made a set of hearts to display, that they keep adding to them to increase their impact each year. When I went along to watch the ceremonious hanging of the hearts, at Rudyard’s Tea House, I was inspired by the individual messages conveyed in each one.

Many are cut out of verdant green felt in various shades but there are also hand-knitted hearts, all have been lovingly embellished. I spied a miniature tree, a stag, a rainbow and flowers embroidered in vibrant colours. Of course there is one dedicated to Beeston. The effort that has been expended on every single heart makes it that bit more meaningful, each representing an element of nature that we hold close to our own hearts. You will be able to enjoy them in situ until the end of April.

Making a commitment to collectively save our planet is something we can all get involved with by making conscious changes that show how much we really do love this incredible spinning sphere of rock, gases, minerals, water and delicately coexisting ecosystems.

You can find out more online at www.theclimatecoalition.org

DU

Creative Beeston: The Hive WI

Jenny-Marie started thinking about The Hive WI in March 2017 following the death of her mum. Her world had suddenly become very small and she wasn’t meeting new people or trying anything new. The Beeston WI was also launched around the same time but it was somewhat oversubscribed so she decided to start one of her own. She gathered together a collection of people from the Beeston WI’s waiting list and via social media, with their support, and the idea went from ‘shall we?’ to an actual launch night with ninety ladies in attendance! She is proud of what has been achieved so far and feels privileged to preside over such a great team.

It’s the empowering nature of the group that feels the most rewarding to her. People have come along and ‘developed a love for craft’ which proves that she has succeeded in creating a space for creativity, community and chat – that all important ‘me time’ that is so important when our lives are so busy and fraught with stress.

The WI was originally founded by women to provide empowering activities for women and The Hive WI branch is a proud member of the Nottinghamshire Federation of WIs. They meet every second Wednesday in the month to share and learn new skills, to take part in a wide variety of activities and to campaign on issues that matter to them and their communities. With a honeycomb as their emblem, it is clear to see they have their roots firmly in the natural world.

Jenny-Marie tells us

“The response to the hearts has been brilliant, from simply being asked why they are there to starting people talking about our planet and how to make small personal changes to conversations about people craving community and wanting to be involved in organisations like The Hive WI. We have had people talk to us about not knowing how to find real community, consequently we have had a few visitors and enquiries about joining. So a community event about global problem is in turn creating more opportunities for community. Love it!”

And so do we Jenny-Marie.

If you would like to find out more about The Hive WI then please get in touch, they would love to hear from you

Email: thehivewi@gmail.com

Website: www.thehivewi.com

Facebook: Facebook/thehive/

DU

Beestonian to run London Marathon in aid of diabetes research

On the 28th April, Beeston resident Stuart Baird will attempt to run the London Marathon to raise money for vital research on diabetes after his son James was diagnosed with type 1, the most severe form of the disease.

“He lost a dramatic amount of weight in a very short period of time and he was rushed to the children’s hospital. it was a big shock. Nobody in the family has any history of diabetes,” said Stuart.

Stuart is originally from Leeds but has been living in Beeston for almost 20 years. His love for the town is such that he has expanded his house twice since moving to the area in the late ’90s.

At the start of his sons’ treatment, Stuart was asked by one of the doctor’s if his son would be willing to take part in something called ‘the honeymoon trial.’ “It’s to test the functionality of the pancreas,” explained Stuart. “You’re having to inject yourself before every meal with insulin and you end up with a continuous closed loop monitor, which monitors his blood sugars and that talks to a pump which feeds him the insulin he needs,” he said.

The trial was funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) a charity which works towards funding type 1 diabetes research. According to JDRF, over 29,000 children in the UK suffer from type 1 diabetes, with Stuart hoping that the money raised will benefit them.

“My target is £2000,” reveals Stuart. “The funds will directly help children on this research trial in Nottingham and elsewhere in the country. The reason why it’s so important to fund these projects is so that young people and children who’ve got type 1 diabetes, can be helped to control there blood sugar’s from a very early age, which means that they will live happier lives and will have just as long a life span as everyone else would,” says Stuart.

I know not everyone can or wants to run but if you encourage others, it is so appreciated. You never know what that person is running for, or how hard it has been for them

Running the London marathon will be far from straight forward. At 26.2 miles, only the Paris marathon is bigger in Europe. In preparation, Stuart had been clocking up plenty of miles when we spoke at the end of February.

“It’s the first time I’ve done a marathon, even though I think I’ve done at least ten half marathons. I’ve already clocked up 180 miles in training over January and February. I’ll have to run next Sunday (3rd March) 16 miles, the next Sunday is 18, I do 3 lots of 20 miles and then one 22 and that’s just before the marathon,” he said.

“If you are raising money for a loved one, the last mile and finish line can get quite emotional – it’s journey’s end.

“For example, the Great North Run finishes with a mile uphill and just as you hit the top you see the North Sea, a beach and around 80,000 people cheering you on to the finish line. It was one of the best experiences of my life.

“When you have your name on your running number, people call out your name and encourage you. It’s a great feeling. I know not everyone can or wants to run but if you encourage others, it is so appreciated. You never know what that person is running for, or how hard it has been for them – a lot have lost children, parents or friends and are running for their memory, as well as raising money” said Stuart.

So what does Stuart hope to ultimately achieve from attempting this mammoth task?

“I want more people to know about type 1 diabetes and the challenges that those with type 1 have to face. It doesn’t just affect the person, but it affects the person’s family because you need to appreciate that they can’t just eat and drink and not care about what they’re putting into there body. They need to constantly think about there insulin and blood sugar levels

“I did run the London Landmarks half marathon for JDRF last year, but it’s not so much about me and running, it’s more about me running for JDRF because I’m a big believer in what they are trying to achieve and obviously James has directly benefited from the work that the NUH (Nottingham University Hospitals) team and JDRF have done. It’s just phenomenal really.”

To support Stuart’s efforts visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/stuart-baird5?utm_id=26

 

 

Pottle Poetry

We caught up with Jen Pottle, to see how the micropub’s monthly poetry event is going…

Waaaaay back in July 2018, in micropub The Pottle, ‘Pottle Poetry Open Mic’ was born. This gave Beeston its very own regular poetry event, taking place on the first Sunday of every month. Those of you who organise your social lives using our Poetry Round-Up will already be familiar with the event, but for those of you who may not have come across this brilliant little gathering of poets, fear not.

The event was originally set up as a response to the fact that Beeston used to be a prime location for poetry events, often welcoming poets from outside the town to come here and perform. The Pottle Poetry may be ‘micro’ in location, but has been a big hit since it started.

I popped into the micropub to catch up with Jen, and find out how it’s been growing over the eight months that it’s been running.

“There’s a solid regular group of poets that come, some of them every month, which is nice,” says Jen. “But there’s also been some of the pub regulars who have come to listen to bits of poetry. One of our regulars, who isn’t really the poetry type, was even inspired to write their own poem!”

The Fighting Nightingales

When I originally spoke to Jen before the very first event, she anticipated that by having it take place on a Sunday afternoon would make the perfect slot to read and hear poetry. So, was she right?

She says: “They’ve been relaxed, comfy afternoons, with a friendly crowd of people who are very accepting. I’ve been quite surprised by how many people are interested in poetry, and it’s nice to see people just wandering into the pub.”

Jen starts to tell me about one of the regular performers who does autobiographical poetry. “He asked if he could have musical accompaniment, so then for the next event he came with his dad and brother, and they did a musical poem. There was Spanish guitar and interesting percussion instruments involved.”

After this, they asked if they could do a longer performance at the next event. As a group, they’re known as The Fighting Nightingales, and describe themselves as delivering ‘progressive jazz/funk chit chat and tall tales set to strange music’. Jen says: “They came back and did a fantastic afternoon of music and poetry, and a huge crowd came to see them.” She also tells me that the group teamed up with regular poet Will Kummer, who comes to every Pottle Poetry event.

I got in contact with him to ask him what it is about the Open Mic that he loves. He said: “I would recommend Pottle Poetry because it’s a small and welcoming event. It’s actually where I did my first open mic performance and I think it’s great for those who are new to the poetry scene. A wide range of people attend and Jen usually opens with a piece of her own. It’s a fun way to spend a Sunday afternoon and an event that I’d be sad to miss.”

The next event will take place on Sunday May 5 as part of Nottingham Poetry Festival and has the theme ‘My Younger Years’ attached to it. “Someone challenged me to do this,” says Jen. “I was looking at my childhood poetry from when I was a teenager and thought it was awful. We are asking people to bring in childhood poetry to read it, or to write poetry about their younger years, if they want to!”

Even without the theme, Jen tells me there’s all sorts of types of poetry being performed, including: funny poems, light-hearted poems, limericks, serious and silly poems.

So, whether you consider yourself a poet or not, it’s worth wandering in.

JM

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