Beestonian London Marathon update

Regular readers will remember that Beestonian Stuart Baird was preparing to run the London Marathon in aid of JDRF, a charity who are carrying out vital diabetes research. I got back in touch with Stuart to find out how he did and this was his response…

My total raised was £3200. I was in a team of 145 runners for JDRF and just before we set off running, we met for a photograph at Greenwich park and they told us we had raised over £400,000 collectively. This is a great contribution to the clinical trials which are working towards a cure for type 1, and interventions to make kids lives healthier until that cure is found.

As for the run. Wow. If you are contemplating it and think you can do it – go for it. The support is just off the dial in London. Everyone shouting my name from the first hundred yards and for the next 4hrs 42 minutes of running!

I got in ‘synch’ at one point with a few runners and chatted with them. You meet such amazing people along the way. Because of this, I was in synch with a guy surrounded by high rise offices, I had lost track of mileage and as we turned right we both said together, ‘Oh, wow!’ – We had stumbled onto Tower Bridge (the halfway point) by accident. I may have got something in my eye at this point.

This is where the official cheer points are for all the charities – JDRF (including Helen, James and Will), Macmillan, Tommys, Dementia, Cystic Fibrosis etc – thousands of people looking for their team but supporting anyone and everyone. The noise went up several levels.

A couple of miles further down the road, the runners go down an underpass where no supporters can go, all you can hear is silence and runners feet for a quarter mile, but then you turn left and up the ramp out and you’re in the city again. The high rises have tiered walkways so the noise hits you as if you’re a footballer coming out onto a stadium – unbelievable. Again, lump in the throat time.

“Those in the room all stood and clapped.”

I did a good pace until 20 miles and left myself 1hr & 10 mins to do the last 10k (6 miles.) I have been known to do this in 52 mins so I thought all is good. I had forgotten all the advice about fuelling – you are meant to take gels from 6 miles onwards every 20 mins because if you deplete your body and leave it late, you just feel sick all the time.

I ran/walked the last four miles. More than that, I wasn’t aware that as part of the whole JDRF team (which was much bigger than my small part) the charity put on a reception in China Town and as we came into the room, there were official cheerers and those in the room all stood and clapped. There was loads of food and a sports massage. I was made to feel very special but more than that I was very aware I was just one bit of a huge team, organisers, supporters, families and friends to raise that amount of money.”

Congratulations to Stuart from everyone at the Beestonian for his superb efforts.

Beeston Sailing Club

When it comes to sport in Beeston, many people are aware of its football club, the hockey team and even the croquet club, but one of the town’s oldest and lesser-known sporting clubs is a sailing club.

Situated just opposite Attenborough Nature Reserve, Beeston Sailing Club has a long history on the waters of the Trent since being established over 70 years ago.

“It was founded in 1948, by a group of gentlemen who met in the Angel Inn,” explained club secretary Clare Bailey.

“The part of the land here was actually owned by the Second Beeston Sea Scouts from around the 1920s and then in 1945/46 the lease was given to the sailing club and that’s how it was formed.”

The club has a proud history.

Whilst the club remains a relevant part of Beeston’s history, it has seen a sharp decline in members since the ’90s and currently has only 18 memberships.

“We used to have 200 plus when river sailing was quite popular,” said social secretary Terry Parker, who has been a member of the club for 18 years. “I remember on a Thursday night the river used to be full of Merlin Rockets, the name of the popular boat at the time.”

So why has the sailing club lost so many members over the past few decades?

“I think it was just lack of interest in sailing and the members were trying to keep it as a sailing club and not diversify into other things when you need to now,” says Terry.

“We’re sort of advertising ourselves to paddleboarders. It would be great if we had a fleet of them and canoeists.”

Past Trophy winners.

When visiting the club, there’s a real peacefulness about the place. The club sits far away from the busy roads in the area and the clubhouse is a great place for members to congregate.

It’s easy to see why it would be the perfect place for sailing, but Clare and Terry make it clear that the club offers more than just sailing to its members.

“We always get people who say, ‘I would love to live down here’ and I’ve said if you just want to come down for the weekend, join the sailing club. If you want to just chill out, bring your family and have a barbecue. This is a great area for birdwatching as well, with Attenborough Nature reserve just across the river” said Terry.

Like any business though, if Beeston Sailing Club is to survive, it needs to continue to gain more members, with operating costs making the sailing club increasingly expensive.

“We are looking for new members, but it’s about how we attract them and what it is that would be interesting for them,” Clare says. “We’re sort of advertising ourselves to paddleboarders. It would be great if we had a fleet of them and canoeists. It would be really good to get local children involved as well and to be able to offer them something which is so near to them.”

Anyone interested in joining the club can contact them at https://www.facebook.com/beestonsailing/

Nottingham Croquet Club

Nottingham Croquet Club has been a feature of Highfields Park for 80 years and with the club being the home of the reigning croquet world champions, Paddy and Miranda Chapman, Beeston is the home of one of Nottingham’s most successful sports clubs.

The club previously hosted the Women’s World Championships in 2015, which was won by Miranda and will be hosting the Under 21 Croquet World Championships in July this year.

“It’s really nice to have youngsters playing because everyone has an image of croquet as being about old people which it’s not,” said club chairman Beatrice McGlen.

The club are trying to bring croquet to new people and with the clubs slogan being ‘croquet for all’, Beatrice is hoping that more young people will get involved in the sport across Nottingham as they try to mirror the success that the sport has had with younger generations in New Zealand.

“In the Under 21 Championships coming up, there are 24 players who have been selected by the World Croquet Federation and 10 of them are from New Zealand, which is a pretty high number,” says Beatrice.

18-year-old James Galpin will be competing at the Under 21 Croquet World Championships at the club in July.

“The set up with sports and schools in New Zealand is very similar here, so we’ve got 5 local schools within the vicinity of the club who we are going to do a taster session with in June.

“We’re then going to have an afterschool club on a Thursday and the idea is to set up an interschool competition with the final being played during the Under 21 Championships so they can see the world’s best young people playing whilst having their own competition. Hopefully, we will end up with a thriving junior section within the club.”

Croquet is not only stereotyped as being for elderly people, but also for those who are mainly white and middle class, something which Beatrice tells me that the club are making efforts to address.

“We have a Pakistani member, Ferzana Shan, she’s our only Asian member and I was saying to her one day, ‘how can we make croquet more appealing to the Asian population?’ She said one of the difficulties is actually getting people through the gate, so last year we were invited to the Pakistani forum for the Pakistan independence day celebrations and we went along to their dinner and showed them how to play croquet.

“This year we’re talking about having an evening specifically geared for Asian families. It’s a perfect sport for multi-generational families to play because you can really play from 9 to 90 without any trouble at all.”

There are often several different games of croquet being played simultaneously at the club.

There are two types of croquet that are commonly played; association croquet which can be very tactical and requires more mental and technical skill and golf croquet which is seen as being more sociable.

Tim King has played almost 2000 games of croquet, which he tells me is the most in the croquet ranking system. Tim will be competing in the Golf Croquet World Championships this summer and says that although it is a simple sport to play, there is more to it than people might think. “Almost anybody can start playing a competitive game of croquet in about 10 minutes, but the fascination of it comes from the tactics. There’s lots of different choices, some players like to hit the ball harder and other players are really accurate and put the ball exactly where they want it to block the opponent.

“I love my cricket and football, but because I don’t have natural hand-eye coordination I was just never good enough, but in croquet, I very quickly became reasonably competent.

“The mental side is the one that keeps on posing a challenge. You have to learn to stay calm. When the likes of Sir Clive Woodward talk about thinking clearly under pressure, croquet is a sport where anybody of any age, gender or level of physical fitness, can go onto that court and experience what Sir Clive means.

“I would say to anybody who’s not played a competitive sport before because they feel they don’t have what it takes, croquet is a sport that they can really enjoy.”

Anyone interested in having a go at croquet can contact the club at https://www.nottinghamcroquet.org.uk/contact

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

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.

shoes 1

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

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

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

The Bean at Twenty

How The Bean reached 20

Coffee shops and Beeston have become synonymous over the last few years. It’s become a caffeine-lovers hotspot, and although some grumps seem to think this is a negative most Beestonians recognise it as a sign of a strong town: if enough local, largely-independent businesses can survive on the disposable incomes of residents, we’re doing alright.

Hipsters and their caffeinated contemporaries would be shocked to know that just a mere 20 years ago, a cappuccino was as exotic as it’d get and the default coffee was a cup of bitter Nescafe. The café that ushered in this new era back in the late nineties was The Bean. To mark 20 years of excellence, we talked to owner Alex Bitsios-Esposito to find 20 facts about the shop that started it all…

  1. The Bean was set up by Silvana, a Canadian Italian who moved here in the nineties. Her son Alex explains “There just wasn’t anywhere in the town to get a decent coffee. Italy and Canada both have developed coffee-cultures, so she took a gamble.”
  2. Beestonians were initially cautious, but curious. “The idea of a coffee shop being a social meeting point wasn’t really there, and took time.”
  3. Alex was just 8 years old when he started helping out. “I’d take orders, do bits and bobs. I could barely reach the till.”
  4. It swiftly gained accolades: in 1999 it won a national survey of coffee shops.
  5. It was unprecedented in carefully selecting its coffee: “Mass produced coffees tasted burnt – we wanted to show off the vast range of flavours and subtleties.”
  6. Back then, it was a Cyber Coffee (readers under 30: ask an older person). People would queue to pay £3.50 per hour to tediously wait for a message board about Star Trek to refresh on Windows 98, and sip on their Latte thinking they were living in the future.
  7. “We still get people a bit confused, and asking what the wiffy is and why its free.”
  8. As it grew in popularity, more coffee shops opened up to cope with the demand. We currently have around 12, mostly independent. Do Beestonians sleep?
  9. Alex is a fan of these other coffee shops. “They’ve created a healthy competition, keeping us on our toes to innovate.”
  10. Handily for our international issue, they’ve always been one of the most global of employers. Alex: “Spanish, Turkish, German, Czech, Chinese, Ghanaian, Australian, Vietnamese, Latvian, New Zealanders…and many more.”
  11. Many people met their partners here, not least Alex, whose wife used The Bean as a place to write a book. Staff have married other staff; customers have married other customers.”
  12. He’d be able to retire if he’d taken a commission on all these couplings…
  13. They became the first café in Beeston to be part of the Suspended Coffee programme: customers can buy a coffee for those less fortunate than them, and those who can’t afford a drink for whatever reasons can receive one, no questions asked. Nice.
  14. It has a city-centre sister shop, Cartwheel: “It’s less of a community place, being located there, a different buzz.”
  15. One fan is the superstar author Jon McGregor, who voted it one of his cultural highlights in an article for the Guardian.
  16. Quite cheeky considering he’d just won the Costa award, if you think about it.
  17. Other famous Cartwheelers are Dylan Moran and Ronan Keating: “he had a juice.”
  18. The Bean, and many other cafes and pubs, seems to be the de facto office of The Beestonian. If you’re reading this in one of those places and see a harassed looking chap bashing away at his keyboard while muttering to himself, you’re probably watching the next issue in progress.
  19. Alex took over as owner in 2018. With two young kids and one on the way, is this a start of a dynasty in Beeston? “When they can reach the till.”
  20. Favourite drink? “Same as my mum: straight espresso.” When I look disappointed, he replies, “It’s a perennial classic”. As The Bean moves into its third decade hepping-up Beeston, it’s a description that serves that corner of Stoney Street well.

MT

Fifth Annual Beeston Film Festival

It’s just getting bigger and better…

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With an initial concept of bringing the latest short films to screen in the East Midlands crafted by a variety of innovative filmmakers, Beeston Film Festival is now in it its fifth year and hosting entries from across the globe.

The festival has earned a title of being the biggest international short film festivals in the Midlands, as its submissions have increased by 68% from over 50 countries across every continent of the globe.

John Currie, the film festival Director, and his team of over 20 local Beestonians and global jury of 18 film industry professionals from the UK, America, France. Belgium, India, South Africa and Taiwan, make up its unique programming team.

As part of the pre-festival warm up, the Berliner will screen a great night of classics on Wednesday 13th of February, showing favourites from previous festivals such as The Stomach and The App.

Returning to Café Roya, where the festival launched five years ago, a second warm up showcases Iranian films on Sunday 24th February. Roya will provide some Persian cuisine and the programme includes B’Oscar winner, 1001 Teardrops.

The festival itself begins on Wednesday 13th of March at its first warm up location, The Berliner, running for a period of five days in its four different venues across Beeston town, making it its biggest and brightest film festival ever.

This year the festival continues to expand and has introduced their newest category, Better Place; inspiring filmmakers to create either Fiction or Non-Fiction Films aiming to drive a change in the world we live in, champion causes, influence prevailing attitudes and moving the world to a better place.

Not only is Beeston Film Festival presenting a new category this year, the iconic B’Oscar will be revamped and is under development from Beeston glass artist Becs Cass.

The renowned international festival has been rated gold as well as being placed in the Top 100 of Best Reviewed Festivals on FilmFreeway that showcases over 6000 festivals world-wide.

The reviews are from filmmakers involved and guests of the festival and reflect the welcome from the Beeston community.

One review by Judson Vaughan says this: “Just great! What else can I say, just a breath of fresh air! The organisers are true film/indie film lovers that are fair, impartial and committed to the filmmakers. Great communication, great fun and if you get the chance to meet John, then what a bonus! This is our second film to be screened at Beeston and we’ll be back! Thank You John, James and everyone involved.”

As final entries are being selected, it would be a shame to miss out on celebrating film and filmmakers from across the globe showcasing their creative arts at the Beeston Film Festival this year.

MT

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