Beeston Beats: Purple Rain

Ooooo we have been lucky sausages!! Getting a lush, sneaky peek into what spring holds, and in early Feb too, last year we were ten foot deep in snow (artistic license) and this year the whispers of BBQ bounced around faster than my falling back off the wagon post dryanuary. While in the midst of this cruel mini spurt of glorious sunshine and this issue of the very fine Beestonian being centred around the topic of Outdoors I had a brainwave (yes it does happen occasionally) about beautiful sunshine and beer gardens with fruity cider and hazy afternoon drinking, followed by only just making it home for a slap up Sunday dinner to soak it up, (ya can feel the beautiful summer glow on ya face right now I bet!) I arranged a meet up with a band from the local area, picturing butterflies and nature and a laid back photo shoot by the weir….

In reality though the best laid plans relying on the weather in late Feb early March is incredibly stupid, and my ideas turned as fast as a picnic by Skeggeh beach on a bank holiday. The early spring photo op turned into a lets go to the pub idea and what better pub to head to than the Jolly Anglers, with  Andrew Sully, Ryan Richardson, Aaron Weedon, Chris Atkinson better known as Lilac Grove, the only band to play at the pub since, well maybe ever. The weather was shockingly horrendous as the rain made for a miserable Sunday morning coupled with the fact the night before I had attended a fellow Beestonian’s hen party, (Congratulations are in order by the way as by the time this hits the lucky couple will be sunning themselves on their hunnymooon). So here is a shameless Congrats to Claire and Mike J.

Anyhoo back to the job in hand as it were, one half of the band turn up bang on time and we exchange hi and heys in the dreary car park as we wait for the pub to open (I mean rest of the band). Despite being horrendous (I did mention that didn’t I?) the lads are in high spirits as we have a very chilled out interview style over a few pints of Pepsi and not so Pepsi.

The bands namesake Lilac grove, being the road that connects Meadow to Humber Road and is home to various foods, floor and maintenance companies so why pick that name? The band says they had a few different names in the hat and that one stuck (although they didn’t elaborate which ones fell to the wayside). They all naturally passed the How Beeston are you test, with talk of favourite hang outs of The Berliner and Hop Pole, coincidentally two of the venues also to host the band via the Micks music Festival and the annual must for music lovers Oxjam. Their previous gig at The Jolly Angler (also  have you ever seen a jolly angler? Like ever?), Became a thing as Lilacite? Aaron and his dad are regulars int’ pub while he’s not playing for the casuals. In fact the band are so Beeston Andrew mentions that he went to school with  Nactus Kunan (the last band I interviewed way back in issue 59). We randomly talk about music and mainly being influenced by Arctic Monkeys  and how much they enjoyed their gig in Feb and looking forward to their return on March 29th. I would love to tell you more of their set but as Pete Doherty very rudely delayed me getting back to this neck of the woods as he was exceptionally late on stage on the same night I only managed to catch their last track.  No need to panic though as they return at the Berliner on 5th May, Hop Pole 24th May and 7th Sep at the crown. I can tell you that the pub was very busy and full of new faces I hadn’t seen before it was obviously a successful night as they have been invited back so quickly. News in the pipeline includes recording over at eleven in Long Eaton (the former silver prize band) a brand spanking debut E.P for release in May. So get down and support some local lads and the pub music scene, go on ya know ya wannna!!!

LD

I Am Beeston - Muriel Bartlam

I Am Beeston: Muriel (Penney) Bartlam – Centenarian

Meet Beeston’s own centenarian!

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It’s not everyday that you get to meet someone that is (at the time of interviewing) just about to turn 100 years old. By Christopher Frost.

The golden number that everyone strives for, but sadly, not many attain.  I cycled up to the house, situated in a quiet part of Beeston, and was met at the door by Kay, a close friend who suggested her, and behind was Muriel, who prefers to be called by her maiden name. Not having met anyone of that age before, I didn’t quite know what to expect. But I was gratified to see that Penney is a spritely, warm and friendly person that could easily pass for someone in their late 70s. Being slightly deaf and needing the use of a wheeled walker were the only drawbacks that she appeared to have on reaching her century.

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We sat in her living room and started chatting. She had actually written down a lot of information for me that she had remembered. “I was born at ‘The Lodge’, which was part of the City Isolation Hospital on Hucknall Road on 12 October 1918. My father George, worked as the Lodgekeeper there, plus undertaking any other duties that were given to him. While my mum, Eliza, looked after us all. I went to Southwark Street Primary School in Old Basford. I then went to Guilford Central Girls School, where at the age of 14, I passed the E.M.E.U examination in six subjects, and was awarded the Jardine Honours Prize.”

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“On leaving school, I got a job with J.B. Lewis and Sons, who were one of the largest hosiery and underwear manufacturers in the Midlands. The company then became Meridian, before being taken over by Courtaulds. Whilst working as an errand girl there, I decided that I wanted to better myself by learning shorthand and typing. So I enrolled on evening classes at Binns Business College. Attaining the qualifications, I landed a job as secretary to the Advertising and Promotions manager at Griffin & Spalding, which is now Debenhams. This was in 1936. Besides the typing, I got to book London theatre tickets, arranged after dinner speakers and entertainers for children’s parties. All for the store’s customers.”

“But this all came to an end in 1939, with the start of World War II. In 1941, I used my secretarial skills for a wartime charity, which was based at the Council House. Then in 1943, I was appointed secretary to the Lord Mayor’s secretary. This was a very enjoyable post, and I got to meet some really exciting people, like the Queen in 1947, who used my very own fountain pen to sign the visitor’s book. I also got Eisenhower to sign a menu from the Black Boy Hotel, when he visited in 1945.”

When I was younger, my friend and I used to go into Beeston about three times a week with our shopping trollies.

“In 1953, I married Leonard, who was director of a family business that made prams. I then had a baby called Philip, and so left my Job at the Council House. Philip did very well at school, and went to Cambridge University to read History and the History of Art and Architecture. I typed out his dissertation about the Nottingham architect T.C. Hine. After graduating, Philip got a job with IPC Magazines in London. He eventually became the editor of ‘The Antique Dealer and Collectors Guide’. He was made redundant in 1990, but continued to publish the magazine under his own name. I helped to type up some of the articles, but computerisation came in, and so I had to learn how to use a computer. This was when I was in my 70s. I didn’t like the idea, but had some encouragement from friends and got used to it. I did it until I was 91. Sadly Philip died in 2009. Leonard had died in 1978, and so I decided to move to Beeston in 1979. My best friend lived in the area, so I thought I would join her. I’ve never regretted moving here. It’s such a friendly place.”

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“Beeston has some good shops. When I was younger, my friend and I used to go into Beeston about three times a week with our shopping trollies. We used to like going to Fine Fare and the Co-Op. I miss Woolworths and a ladies’ clothes shop nearby, that I forget the name of.  These days I go by taxi. All the assistants in Sainsbury’s know me and look after me when I visit. I also like to go to Hallams. It seems a bigger, better shop now, than when they had assistants picking the produce for you.”

“I’ve always been a fan of Beeston Players, and often go to see their shows. I have some lovely friends and neighbours; 50 of them are coming to my birthday party. Talking of parties, we had a lovely street party around here, for the Queen’s diamond jubilee. Yes, I made the right decision moving here. I never wanted to live in the country. Beeston suits me fine.”

CDF

Celebrating 5 years of ACT!

 

For those of you that didn’t know, Beeston has it’s very own tourism ambassador in Marysia Zipser and this year marks five years since her interest in local heritage blossomed into a fully-fledged organisation promoting both local and international artists – Art, Culture, Tourism (ACT).  By Debra Urbacz.

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Marysia originally moved to Beeston in 2012, to retire and continue with her writing but after exploring the local area her head was quickly turned by the rich tapestry of its heritage, as well as an appreciation of its wealth of green spaces to enjoy. Determined to spread the word she has since made connections with creatives all over the globe which has earned ACT international status.

It’s been an exciting five years for ACT! Since the birth of her networking events, Marysia has collaborated with artists, photographers, writers and filmmakers alike with impressive results! She herself is inspired by nature and feels that connections are made naturally and she has allowed ACT to grow organically via the ‘opportunity’ pathways.  She is a professional promoter of People and Places.  When I asked her for the highlights since ACT started she mentioned these as her top five;

  • Exploring Beeston, meeting new friends, discovering the historical archives at Boots and the ‘heritage wall’ at The Boathouse Café, in particular the photograph of Ghandi’s visit in 1931
  • The first creative networking event at Beeston’s landmark site, Anglo Scotian Mills themed around Nottingham lace in December 2013, followed by Cultures Crossing in March 2015
  • Making ACT international via articles she published on LinkedIn bringing Beeston critical acclaim
  • The Italian connection – in particular meeting visual artist, best-selling author, journalist and official biographer to Pope Francis, Roberto Alborghetti ,who first visited in Beeston in 2014 and has fuelled her creative ideas ever since. Roberto is re-visiting Beeston  for his 6th time early March
  • The Ghost Bus project. An idea conceptualised by Roberto Alborghetti on a visit to Barton’s garage and inspired by one of the old decaying buses. His Ghost Bus short films show us how we can see what we would never imagine to see. The project with Robin Hood’s help will be travelling around the world
  • Cultural tours to Tuscany, Venice, Frascati/Rome, originally an extension of the Italian connection, which will now be moving into other countries too

We are delighted that Marysia is still finding the energy to plough into her projects. This year she is relaunching her popular networking evenings and revisiting the theme of Cultures Crossing. Appearing at different locations, on the last Wednesday of each month, around Beeston and Nottingham, Marysia will be pulling together artists, photographers, poets, musicians, storytellers and performers in a showcase of their work around this theme.

The first of these took place at The Berliner on Wednesday 30th January at The Berliner with the second Cultures Crossing evening taking place at Synergy NG9, 60 Attenborough Lane, Chilwell, on Wednesday 27th February, 6:00-8:30pm.

See and read more about ACT and her blog on www.artculturetourism.co.uk and get involved with ACT-ive Opportunies programme http://www.artculturetourism.co.uk/partners–sponsors.html

GO/grow with the flow…naturally…nothing forced” – Marysia Zipser 2016

DU

Beeston Abroad!: A Hivemind Special

Let’s get out of the NG9 postcode, and not merely to find our Beeston namessakes in Leeds, Norfolk Cheshire and so on, but worldwide. Grab  your passport, get your jabs and lets go explore our top five places:

By Matt Turpin

AUSTRALIA: BENDIGO We start right around the world in Australia, where the former gold-mining town of Bendigo, Victoria* owes its city name to Beeston’s world-famous boxer. Bizarrely, its twinned with Penzance rather than us, but does have a famous tram system, built in 1890, at the same time a local newspaper titled ‘The Tram Ranter’ began, which has since descended into a right-wing mess of idiocy.

THAILAND: BEESTON CAFE We wrote about the ‘Beeston Cafe’ a few issues back, where a group of former Thai students had been so impressed with Beeston’s cafe culture, not least The Bean (see within) that they set up their own joint in Bangkok to emulate our little bit of NG9. We hope they continue the mission to Beestonify Bangkok by closing down all local shoe-shops and encouraging locals to moan about it.

USA: BEESTON FIELDS: Our own area of opulence has a twin over in Virginia, and it’s just as fancy. It boasts a country club, runs off a main road simply called ‘Nottinghamshire’ which also, quite wonderfully, boasts streets called ‘St Anne’s’ and ‘Bulwell Forest’. Confusingly, to the North you’ll find streets named after Somerset, Devon, Sussex and Hastings, while to the South you can visit the New England Scotland by travelling to nearby ‘Glasgow’ ‘Aberdeen’ and ‘Dundee’. Enough to make a UK-bought Sat Nav weep.

VIRGIN ISLANDS: BEESTON HILL. The choice of the discerning tax-shirking ex-Beestonian, this little hamlet is currently for sale for around £81,000. It’s rather pretty too. Anyone want to sub us ‘til payday?

GERMANY: Gütersloh: As we hurtle towards some form of Brexit horror in a few weeks, we’d like to remind our twin** city in North-Rhine Westphalia that an obligation of the twinning process is honoury citizenship  towards your twin, which we’ll happily cash in when all we have to eat here is roasted blue-passport and crumbs thrown from Jacob Rees-Moggs table.

* sadly not named after the pub.

** Actually the whole of Broxtowe, not just Beeston, but we’re the biggest town so neh.

Beeston Beats: Das Schuhzimmer

If das Schu fits

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By Lulu Davenport.

Why hello January, where on earth did you come from? The festivities have gone and left most of us skint, over indulged and with failed New Year’s resolutions falling as fast as they were made.  Currently i am on day 20 of the highly controversial Dry January, Shhhh it’s a secret!  to make matters worse i have been offered a free shot by a barman (has anyone ever heard of this before?) been baked a boozy cointreau cake and won, yes actually won for the first time in my life A HAMPER FULL OF CIDER!! As these goodies taunt me and very quietly call my name i am safe in the knowledge that December i blitzed it properly.

I feel like i have failed in bringing the latest in Entertainment news to these pages, My head hangs in shame as i heard a new shiny bar had opened way back on November 16th and it took a whole month for the news to filter down to my ears (maybe they were filled with tinsel), even worse a friend had visited before me, shock! Horror!  I feel i have let everyone reading this down… but not for long, i herded up some friends (it’s easy to lure people out when it’s December) and sprinted ok, maybe waddled, to the newest bar on the circuit.

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Located next door to the Berliner, Das Schuhzimmer (meaning the shoe room) is the newest addition to the high road run that has seen the Gin bar, Berliner and totally tapped, pop up to offer Beestonites, Calpol shots, Espresso martinis, experimental stouts and ales by Totally brewed and many varieties of gin, it’s amazing anyone ever makes it into Beeston town centre. For those who have been to boilermaker in Nottingham and Washhouse in Manchester, Das Shu is a bar masquerading as something else.

I managed to catch up with manager James Thomas a thoroughly lovely chap who also runs the Berliner.

Hi and welcome to beeston beats, what is Das Schuhzimmer exactly?

Das Schuhzimmer is a speakeasy cocktail bar, using high quality ingredients and unique flavours. Most cocktails on our menu are our own creations.

What was your inspiration?

People in Beeston have wanted a shoe shop for a very long time, my Granddad used to run a Shoe Shop ‘Rose Shoes’ in Beeston years ago, so i took the opportunity to build Beestons first secret bar, to play on people’s hopes up for a shoe shop, but also to create a great addition to Beestons nightlife.

How is Das different to The Berliner?

Being in Berlin inspired me to open The Berliner, so i wanted to continue a bit of a German theme with the name, but it has a very different atmosphere and feel. It’s all table service, and it’s quite chilled, compared with Berliner, where we might have a live band on or more of a ‘party’ atmosphere on weekends.

What does Das Schu bring to Beeston?

Beestons nightlife is already fantastic, but I’d recommend DS as a nice cocktail bar to go to on date nights, without the need to go into town. It’s something different to bring your friends to and the cocktails we’ve created really are special.

If you were a shoe which style would you be?

Good question, probably a pair of Loake Brogues – good quality and stylish.

What is the future for Schuhzimmer?

People of Beeston have also wanted a cinema for a while, so we’re running a cinema night (Tipsy Cinema Club) every Wednesday from February in DS, ticket only and all films can be found on our Facebook Page.

Thanks James i shall be in to sample more cocktails when the dreaded Dryanuary is over, make mine a triple!  In other news, i have found a sign bearing my namesake hanging high up in the Victoria hotel, it’s the only one i have ever seen from Davenports beers, apparently there was a jingle ‘Beer at home means Davenports!”  In a completely unrelated ad -Wanted tall person with own tool kit must have an alibi ready. Anyhoo am off theres plenty more adventures to be had, see you next time me hearty’s!

LD

Trees of Beeston

“A culture is no better than its woods.” – W.H. Auden

It seems only fitting in this Trees of Beeston column to consider how the natural world, its biological systems and lifeforms, can give pointers to humans about valuing the interconnectedness of the local, the national, and international. Of the way nature abhors borders and boundaries, and demands fuller realisation by making connections with other places.  Plants and seeds serve as symbolic of hope: the seeds of an idea, the green shoots of new growth. The culture of sharing plants and trees across scale and between countries in terms of landscaping urban planning further exemplifies how human cultures and lives, and the animals that live alongside, can be enriched and life possibilities expanded by such exchanges of flora.

As a geographer, studying the world and its human and non-human interconnectedness is at the heart of the subject: how people and the environment are part of wider interdependent systems of life and life forms. And so it is that I bring you two tree-based sculptures, one living and growing, one formed of a once-living tree, fashioned as a reminder of the need for humans to remember their connectedness to the natural world and to each other. Both tree forms are located in Dovecote Park, and they are the European Union (E.U.) tree circle and the Yew Green man of Dovecote Park.

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Encircling the bandstand of Dovecote Park, the E U tree circle acts like a fairy ring of twelve trees.  Each tree is a Norway Maple (Acer platanoides) a deciduous tree native to mainland Europe. Each one represents one of the twelve Western European Union member countries who had joined by the E U by the mid 1980s prior to the additional member states joining in the intervening years since the tree ring was planted in January 1993 by members of Broxtowe Borough Council’s Technical and Leisure Services Committee. Ornamentally, the Norway Maple is planted as a shade-giving tree, and certainly they have provided that to many picnic-going Beestonians attending events at the bandstand in recent summers.  As current debates rage around Britain’s political, economic and social membership of the E U, this tree circle serves as a reminder to the power of collective connection and endeavour, to look back to the past, to the cooperation and benefits of being connected to other parts of Europe and the world; and how trees have often provided a way to illustrate vital human kinships across national borders.  Think of the Norwegian spruce, gifted to Trafalgar Square every December, or else twin-town gifts of memorial trees planted in villages and towns up and down the British Isles by way of recognising civic friendship across the world. It is a reminder that our towns and cities are often enriched and benefit from landscaping ideas, such as tree-lined streets, stretching back to the Victorian era from landscaped parks and gardens across the globe, but in particular influenced by urban planning initiatives from France, Germany and Italy (Johnston 2017).  Such tree planting symbolises the desire of the people and place in which they are located to forge social, economic and political connections from the local to the global, marking an expansive vision of a more welcoming and humane world.

Dovecote Recreation Park was gifted to the residents of Broxtowe in 1908 and ever since continues to be a much loved and well used green space.

Plants and trees symbolize growth and fruitfulness. Gifting plants is a common enough practise. If one has the privilege of having an allotment or garden, consider how many plants or seeds are exchanged to enact knowledge exchange and friendship, to share the bounty and joy, the hope and growth promised in a single plant.  These small acts make landscapes more inclusive, more friendly, and serve to symbolize a humanity and humility. Hopeful acts from the past, living in the landscape of the present, signposting possibilities of hope for the future.

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Green spaces such as parks also offer up much needed connectivity to the non-human world, for the mental and physical wellbeing to people who are able to avail themselves of it.  Dovecote Recreation Park was gifted to the residents of Broxtowe in 1908 and ever since continues to be a much loved and well used green space to residents for a variety of purposes: from those who once or twice daily walk their dogs, take their daily exercise, meet with friends to play, or simply as a space through which to wander and ponder life. To mark its centenary in 2008, the local Beestonian sculptor Stan Bullard (who used to have a striking totem pole in front of his house/studio on Dagmar Grove), carved the statue of the Green Man out of an old Yew trunk.  Replacing a previous statue on the site which commemorated the Earth Summit in 1992, the plaque tells how Bullard’s green man symbolises “man’s (sic) interaction with the natural green world”.  Carved from a found Yew tree trunk, Bullard’s Green Man is in thoughtful pose with a variety of insects, birds and animals surrounding him.  The sculpture gives afterlife to a tree (The Yew itself having many spiritual connotations to do with protection and the afterlife) and serves as reminder to those who see it of the need to be thoughtful of humans and their responsibility as custodians of the natural world, to live sustainably. It serves as reminder that our actions have consequences, and that what we do to the natural world, we ultimately do to ourselves.

In studying these two tree sculptures, new ways of seeing the other trees in the park become apparent.  Dovecote Park is blessed with a variety of trees: there is a stunning Oak, its branches reach out and provide glorious shade if one attends formal activities or has a picnic in the summer months.  There have, however, lately been a number of notable losses in the park: three trees that once stood near the Dovecote Road entrance have been felled as have the height of a number of poplars that once stood near them.  This removal also serves as reminder that our trees and our green spaces need to be cherished and valued for the priceless gifts they afford residents and visitors to the park, and that we have an ongoing responsibility to maintain and ensure their preservation.

References:

Mark Johnston (2017) Street Trees in Britain: A History.  Oxbow Books.

JN

 

Beeston Football Club

All to play for at Beeston FC

Beeston FC
Beeston FC under 9’s.

Beeston FC has grown considerably since we last covered them a year ago. The club has further developed there work with girl’s football, to the extent in which they now have four separate groups playing, whilst the club itself continues with its plans for a clubhouse which will benefit not just the football club but the local community as a whole.

“I’ve got a daughter who’s now 12 and she and her friends wanted to try football, so I ran a few sessions at Roundhill Primary School,” said Beeston FC’s Charlie Walker.

“As a club and the way football is evolving, the girl’s game is such an important part of it that we wanted to offer that. We’ve got groups at under 7, under 9, under 11 and under 13 with just over 50 signed up and we’ve put six coaches, a mixture of men and women, through there level 1 FA football coaching course.”

The club have come far with the development of their girl’s teams, with January seeing the under 13’s take part in their first competitive match in a friendly against Nottingham Forest Ladies under 13’s.

Football participation among females is at an all-time high in this country. In March last year, the FA revealed that 1.7 million females aged five and over, took part every month.The increased attention given to the England Women’s football team, nicknamed The Lionesses, has certainly helped to remove the stigma that football is a sport primarily for males.

Beeston FC took part in the FA’s Wildcat Scheme to try and get more girls interested in playing football, however, the Wildcat Scheme only lasted until the summer, something which makes running a girl’s football team throughout the year more difficult.

“Because the wildcat scheme was supported by existing coaches who all had their own teams, the challenge was to find coaches who would be willing to take it on should we support them and also, could we keep hold of those who came to the wildcat sessions and find more girls to join,” says Charlie. “But we have managed to do that, which has been our big achievement of 2018.”

Whilst Beeston FC is one of the most popular football clubs in the area, like many at grassroots level, it’s difficult to fund for new facilities.

In November 2017, the club where unsuccessful in there bid to receive £10,000 from the Aviva Community Fund, in order to improve the facilities even though they received over 5000 votes, one of the highest numbers in the competition.

“It’s important for us as a club, that as we develop the teams and attract more young people to play, that we can improve the facilities,” Charlie tells me.

“If we can have a clubhouse to bring people together and create a community feel within the club as well as bringing some benefit to the Rylands, then that would help in terms of the growth and development of the club.

We run a little fundraising event, we’ve just done a raffle. We advertise them on Beeston Updated so we’ll be publicising stuff” Charlie concludes.

If your daughter is interested in playing for Beeston FC please contact Charlie on 07803 592032.

IS

We’re the Scouts in America

Beeston Scouts at the World Scout Jamboree

Six local Scouts from Beeston and the surrounding areas have been chosen to represent South West Nottinghamshire District at the 24th World Scout Jamboree in America during the summer of 2019.

The World Scout Jamboree is an international gathering of Scouts held every 4 years. Nearly 100 years ago the first jamboree was held in London in 1920 and was attended by 8,000 Scouts. The number expected to attend in 2019 has increased to over 40 000 Scouts who will be joined by many day visitors from the US.

These activities are intended to give participants an opportunity to learn new things and to build new friendships.

In West Virginia, Scouts from over 168 other countries will take part in a wide range of activities over the 12 days, including aerial and water sports, climbing and shooting. They will be given the opportunity to participate in unique programs to learn about different cultures, sustainability, peace and community service. These activities are intended to give participants an opportunity to learn new things and to build new friendships.

They meet once a month with their unit (a group of 40 leaders and scouts) to discuss their plan for the trip and get prepared for all the opportunities and experiences it will offer. This includes becoming accustomed to the cultures of many other countries, thinking about travel and being aware of the heat and therefore their health. But probably most importantly getting to know each other within the group as before the selection process they had never even met before!

The Scouts have been raising money in order to fund their going to the jamboree and to support the funding of Scouts from less affluent countries- a grand total of £3595 each!  Amongst other things collectively they have done bag packing, organised beetle drives, a ceilidh and a Caribbean evening. Individually the participants have also been raising money by holding cake sales, afternoon teas and sponsored events like a sponsored paddle-board.

 (If you can support in anyway please contact Susan on 07887895976).

RP

Book review: Lose Your Armour by Chris McLoughlin

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It’s 8pm on a Thursday and four of my friends are stood in front of a closed Waterstones while I jog up and down the side of the building, losing a game of charades with the oblivious bookseller inside.

Twenty minutes later we are finally inside the Sillitoe Room, listening to a spectacular line up of poets here to support the main talent of the night: Chris McLoughlin and the launch of Lose Your Armour. Published through Nottingham’s indie Big White Shed, this 12-strong-poem chapbook reads like an open letter to those drowning in emotional struggle.

‘Dust Days’, which was performed in full at the launch, documents fourteen individual days or nights that begin with hedonistic behaviour and descends into helplessness and the deep pit of depression many of us have clawed our way out of. In particular, ‘Day 34’ is one run-on sentence of a disassociation episode in the Victoria Centre, before McLoughlin turns his attention to the reader, asking ‘Are you entertained now?’ The change of pace and directive almost makes me feel guilty for enjoying how expressive the bleakness is.

As a reader, you want to hug the persona. As someone who suffers from mental health, you nod and continue to read. Back in the Sillitoe Room, I glance down the aisle of seats in the middle of Chris’s set to see friends faces full of sadness, awe, but most importantly, inspiration. Lose Your Armour screams, ‘if I can get through this, let my words help you get through yours’.

Francesca Mesce

The Future’s Write: Amateur authors invited to write the next chapter of Beeston

If you’re reading this, you *probably* live in Beeston (although if you read the rest of this issue, you’ll find that’s not always the case). But, for those of you who live the majority of your life in this town, you’ll no doubt have thoughts and opinions of what you’d like the future of Beeston to hold. After all, this is the place we call home, it’s pretty important.

So if you’re a budding blogger, willing writer and far-sighted futurist as well as a proud Beestonian, you could see your name in print as part of a competition to write the next chapter in the rich history of Beeston.

To celebrate their 120th anniversary, the family owned, family run business CP Walker & Son commissioned local historian and writer David Hallam to help them to tell and celebrate the story of Beeston over the period 1896-2016. The book is organised with chapters covering each decade from the 1890s to the 2010s. Now, having chartered the history of Beeston, Rex and Dan Walker have created this competition to look at how the town might develop in the 2020s.

As Rex explains, “We are keen supporters of community projects and initiatives that benefit the local population. Our book charts the ups and indeed the downs that Beeston has faced during its history. However, we then thought, what happens next? We were chatting about the future of the town with the various developments going on and realised there’s a whole new chapter to write, perhaps even a couple. Who better to write them than local people like us who love their town? That’s where the competition idea came from.”

He continues: “Lots of people make New Year Resolutions to start writing or to rekindle their hobby, but getting published is too often out of reach. This a chance for people to share their ideas and their love for Beeston and to start a debate that will play a part in forming the next chapter of our town’s tale, perhaps even the next century.”

If reading this has got your brain stirring with thoughts of what the future could hold or how you could implement your brilliant vision on the town, and you’re just itching to get writing, then here’s what you need to know before you put pen to paper:

  • The competition is open to anyone with three age categories: Primary School, Secondary school and 16 plus.
  • There’s no word limit per se, but you’re advised to try and stick to around 1000 words maximum if possible.
  • Try and look to the future with a positive outlook, write something to stir the imagination and get people thinking about what comes next and how it can happen (We’re not talking pipe dreams here!)
  • Entries will be judged by an independent panel of local people, chaired by Rex Walker and featuring Editor in Chief of The Beestonian Matt Turpin, Phillipa Dytham-Double from Double Image Photography and David Hallam, author of ‘The Story of Beeston’.
  • The deadline is April 23rd and entries are preferred via email to nextchapter@cpwalker.co.uk
  • If providing a hard copy entry, please post them to CP Walker & Son or drop it in to their office.
  • Entrants must consent to having their work published and to taking part in any publicity around the competition should they win.
  • For more information, visit https://www.cpwalker.co.uk/pages/nextchapter or the dedicated Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/beestonthenextchapter.

This is a fantastic opportunity, so once you’ve extracted all the inspiration possible from reading the rest of this issue, get your future-thinking in gear, because you never know what it might lead to. Good luck, Beestonians!

JM

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