Letter from Beeston
Here is my recording of my first Letter from Beeston which was submitted to BBC Local Radio Upload community project and broadcast on 4th May BBC Radio Nottingham on Arun Verma’s evening show. For those who wish to read my script it's published below the audio Download File.
I’ve been living and working in Beeston for the past eight years. Being born and educated in West Bridgford, I moved, in my early 20s, to London, then Buckinghamshire and Berkshire, including a few European stints, and returned, after 23 years, to the bosom of my family with my two young sons in 1997.
Beeston is a special place for me and where I’ll stay. It has a strong identity and sense of place with a community like no other place I’ve lived. From the start, I gravitated towards meeting local artists, writers, poets, musicians and photographers and couldn’t believe such wealth of creativity existed. The town, and Rylands area by the river and canal, are full of heritage buildings denoting its vibrant industrial past and entrepreneurial spirit. In my first few weeks of settlement in 2012, I ventured with Tag my dog, to Beeston canalside and riverside and imagined its heyday in Edwardian times with passing leisure boats and people relaxing on the grassy banks, like a scene from an Impressionist painting by George Seurat or Claude Monet.
We then found ourselves in front of the Boathouse Cafe by the marina. I tied up Tag outside and entered, looking, to my amazement, at the facing wall full of old photographs from Plessey and Boots’ days mounted like a mini-museum. I peered closely at the characters and sitting groups and they proudly looked back at me. Then I stood back in disbelief and called out to the manager,
“Is that really Mahatma Gandhi in this photograph?! It shows him visiting a Beeston house in October 1931.”
“Yes”, he said, “He visited his nephew Joshi who was doing student experience at Ericssons.”
“Do the people of Beeston know this?” I questioned him.
“Well, just a few I should imagine,” he replied back.
So that propelled me into my mission to find out more about the history of Beeston. You can imagine my delight when a few months later I found out that Beeston & Chilwell together had 24 Blue Plaques erected on buildings and planned to erect. And in 1918 a Blue Plaque was rightfully erected on the house in Linden Grove, Beeston Rylands, where Gandhi stepped into to visit Joshi for welcome tea and catch up chat.
My passion for art, heritage and heritage tourism has been flourishing ever since, so you can imagine the true stories I have discovered...and there’s still so much more to uncover.
For the update on this story please read my blog of 17 October 2018. Here is the link
Talking about letters and stories...have a read about this Nottstopping Festival happening this weekend... and its "Write Up My Street" project which is for your own community to get involved in.
Nottstopping Festival multi-arts online event 23-24 May :
A Bank Holiday Extravaganza Celebrating and Connecting Nottinghamshire whilst fundraising to provide gifts, treats and experiences for Frontline Workers. https://nottstoppingfestival.com/
This sounds really exciting with some wonderful local Notts projects all for a good cause to treat our Frontline Workers. I am promoting their Community Connect Project - ‘Write Up My Street’ stories, in partnership with the University of Nottingham.
Connect with people on your street and unleash your imagination to create a child friendly story. Write a paragraph (about anything) and then pass it onto your neighbour…and so on until…THE END. Find out what to do on this link below.
Here's the latest line-up news!
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