It has been a fairly interesting recent few years, I think we can all agree, with the pandemic and various other occurrences – but we are here to speak about what has happened this year, in 2022.

Earlier in the year, NG9 News had the splendid opportunity to interview the amazing Isabel Caswell, a Beeston born and future ‘big-time’ acting prospect who has starred in a hit show called “The Bay”, alongside showing-off her skills in various productions locally and afar. When I phoned her up, I could hear/visualise the passion that Isabel not only has for acting, but for the community she was born and bred in – and hopes that her home town can get behind her, and support her ‘bright future’. (see our feature on Isabel in this very issue!)

January also brought some controversy in the community, as new plans drawn up by a developer showed the proposed conversion of the former ‘Brodgate House’ office building. Hoping to house around 84 students, this is something many Beestonians have been vocal about, some concerned, some optimistic.

Of course, the stand out feature to finish the month was the amazing Beeston Light Night, which showcased neon light installations, dancers, drummers, torch parades and much, much more. For many Beestonians, the high street was viewed as a place to shop, socialise and explore, but for just one night of the year (29th January 2022), the whole town was lit up in bright rainbow colours in an event many hope returns under the helm of Beeston Street Art. Thousands flocked to see the installations and various other events, and thousands left with a great smile on their face – the beauty of Beeston.

Ah, yes, February – now that was a busy month! To ‘kick’ off the year, the local social hotspot, The Garage Chilwell, announced it would welcome ex-England rugby stars to its venue, in a hopefully regular event when sports are on. George Chuter, Tim Stimpson and Tom Croft would soon join Beestons rugby lovers at the venue, sharing a pint, watching the Six Nations and having a laugh – the true spirit of both Beeston, and sports!

At the heart of Beeston sits the classic and popular, Bird’s cafe, famed locally for its beautiful bakes, great staff and a shop that many have grown up seeing and visiting. Given its age, the shop decided to have a refurb, with less seating space and more emphasis on ‘takeaway’ service. The shop is showing clearly more movement into the modern high street, and give consumers what they really want – a quick, easy and affordable bakery service locally.

Following on from the outstanding and both locally/nationally recognised success of the art installations around Beeston, such as the murals on the Bird’s building, Beeston Street Art revealed their 47th installation in Beeston – this time, at the Royal British Legion building, and creating a beautiful image of a poppy growth in tribute to those who have served in the British armed forces over the years.

Nottingham’s Gamble Street artist Anna Woodhouse designed the colourful artwork that features poppies intermingled with bees.

So far, we can all agree the weather has most certainly improved, the canal finally glimmering with sunlight, and the population of short-wearers in Beeston quintupling! To add to this great news, the announcement of new businesses opening in the units under the local cinema, Arc Cinema Beeston, were welcomed by many locals. With Ottimo and The Beeston Social joining the roster of other new openings in Beeston, the future of this bustling and busy town looks very, very bright!

News Beestonians really wanted to see, and have done for a while, is movement regarding the direct train to Matlock. This was removed in a controversial decision that prompted passionate passengers of the line, locals, to set up a petition and get the line reinstated. The line returns every Sunday, with 11 direct services available throughout the day – but although the compromise made by EMR seems enough for some, others are still campaigning for a full reinstatement of the line.

March still has some news to come…so keep an eye on this space for the next NG9 News column in this great magazine. Never hesitate to contact us, we volunteer and do so to inform you, our great community!

2022 has potential to be a great year, and we hope that in the next issue we can share lots more good, local news with you!