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Roberto Alborghetti's visit - 4th-8th June - Ghost Bus 2019

Updated: Jul 8, 2021

by Marysia Zipser

Roberto with Marysia, William Ranieri, Marco di Blasi, Jeanie Barton & Inna Schutts at Trattoria L'Oliva, Beeston.

Tuesday 4th June After months of ACTive planning, our special ACT guest Roberto Alborghetti arrived from Italy for his annual visit, on cue Tuesday evening via Skylink. He is Honorary Beestonian and Nottinghamian. Roberto has such a busy scholastic program in Italy every year from September to end of May. Over this time he had spoken to 15,000 students and attended 250 conferences and events! So it’s no surprise he was pretty exhausted when he arrived at the Linden Leaf Hotel in Beeston. The Ryanair plane at Bergamo/Milan airport even waited for him before taking off, because his train connection was late!

We met up with ACT event producer Caron Lyon and, and a short time afterwards, we warmly welcomed and introduced William Ranieri, who had travelled up from Brighton by train, to be our event host presenter and interviewer. William runs his own video production company and is Director-Producer for TV in Brighton. We went over Roberto’s schedule and visit program and in particular the Q&A content and script/running order of the next evening’s event - Ghost Bus 2019 - In Conversation with…Roberto Alborghetti - at The Garage / Gallery at Chilwell.

Wednesday 5th June After well earned sleep and Roberto and William being able to get to know each other more by speaking in their native language together, we all met up at 11.00am at Trattoria L’Oliva in Beeston High Road with Roberto’s firm friend Marco di Blasi. It was lovely to see all three jabbering away in Italiano! Joining us there were Caron, Inna Schutts ACT intern photographer, and Jeanie Barton, Beeston’s Jazz Angel and Beeston Street Art project manager. Jeanie has been collaborating with Roberto since 2016 on visual and musical compositions so it was fitting time to talk about her new CD album launch ‘Moments of Clarity’ this month, and its opening song ‘Soon’ composed 2017 after Roberto’s Spring blossom time visit to Beeston. We then welcomed Alice Scarff, journalist /videographer from NottsTV, who came to interview and film Roberto in authentic Italian surroundings. Alice you did a great job and we were thrilled to see your edited version screened that night on Ey Up Show presented by Danielle Hall. We managed to view it the next morning. It was also fortuitous that Tim Pollard, Nottingham’s Official Robin Hood, was a guest on the show! Please see the clip at time code 17.18 - 20.08. ** INSERT** Notts TV have been keen followers of The Ghost Bus Saga since its original show and short film premiere back in March 2015 then covered by journalist/videographer Sharon Walia who interviewed Roberto by that rusty old bus at Bartons garage.

We then all visited the Weston Gallery’s fascinating exhibition “ Facts & Fantasies - Culture & Heritage of the Romantic Age c.1780-1840” on until 25th August. Tim Rushby, Audience Development & Marketing Manager, came out to welcome Roberto and us, and to introduce him to Mark Dorrington, Keeper of Manuscripts & Special Collections (over from King’s Meadow Campus). It was great for them to converse about the exhibition and Mark’s role. Roberto also talked about Bergamo’s similar happenings during the Romantic Age. Roberto also talked about his Lacer/Actions project he started nearly 20 years ago and gave Mark his brochure. Thank you Mark and Tim!

At 3.15pm, we all gathered at Lakeside Cafe to meet up with my friend and tourism colleague, Assoc Professor Scott McCabe, Tourism Research & Marketing Postgraduate Business Studies (based at Jubilee Campus). Scott has been keenly interested in Roberto’s Ghost Bus ‘Roads’ Project for some time and it was a great opportunity for them both to meet and talk with each other. Thank you Scott for joining us! ​Off at 4pm to catch a taxi back to Beeston and a little relax before the evening event. By 5.45pm I’d collected Roberto and William from the hotel and brought them to The Garage/Gallery on Chilwell High Road. The Garage Events space is now operated by the Barton Bros - Tom, James and Richard. It was a great reunion for Roberto with the Barton family since last March 2018. I must add that Caron, Paul Bradshaw of Bradshaw Media and Chris Turner of Sheffield Audio had been skillfully setting up and preparing the day before and today the space at The Gallery with Tom and James Barton, before we arrived. Great teamwork and their hard work so much appreciated.

The Event - GhostBus2019 - In Conversation with...Roberto Alborghetti

And so by 6.15 - 7.00pm, the guests were arriving… We were honoured by the presence of newly elected Mayor of Broxtowe, Cllr Michael Brown. What a superb magical evening it was! To experience the whole LIVE streamed recording CLICK HERE

William Ranieri was the perfect host who understood how to question Roberto gradually unfolding the story - the journey - behind Roberto the person and Roberto the visual artist who sees colours and emotions in every crack and crevice…

The chapters covered:-

The Ghost Bus Saga - since Oct 2014 and

onwards - it’s all about Transport - & buses

Nottingham - Red City - red bricks - symbols -‘Colours of Nottingham Streets’ & ‘Soon’ - artistic collaborations with Jeanie Barton. See and hear more of Jeanie...

See the YouTube videos left "Can I think of Love?" and "Soon" by Jeanie Barton/videos by

Roberto Alborghetti.

Top - "Can you believe that this Art is from an old bus?" - short film trailer for The Ghost Bus UK premiere March 2015.

Tribute to Celia Clayton 23.1.65 - 20.4.19 - Ghost Bus follower since March 2015 & was President of the Beeston Camera Club. Also one of the Tuscan Raiders (8 of us) during ACT Tuscany Tour October 2015 incl Italian premiere of The Ghost Bus short film & unveiling of the Volcano Dress by Yarden Mitrani. Designed from one Ghost Bus macro photo by Roberto. This took place at Piancastagnaio community theatre, Siena country. New film premiere of The Volcano Dress is included in Paul Bradshaw's edited video. Robin Hood today and what he means to Roberto. Pope Francis - 6 volumes - what is he like? Latest best seller - Dining with Pope Francis - translated into 15 languages. How important it is to dine altogether at the table like the Italians do. Food and food waste ​RA books - ‘Pronto? Sono il Librofonino’ - A cell phone tells stories of smombies, smart phones & cyber bullying - children losing so much time of their lives. 'Social or Dis-Social - measure your way of being (well) in the network - guide for Under 14's. And more children's books. The Mayor of Broxtowe Cllr Michael Brown said a few words at the end to thank Roberto and in turn Roberto presented him with a signed print of his visual art. ​​

William Ranieri, Roberto Alborghetti & Mayor of Broxtowe Cllr Michael Brown. Photo: Tracey Whitefoot

Christopher Frost, of The Beestonian magazine, and Ghost Bus reporter since March 2015, wrote a wonderful feature that night that we could read the next morning. He captured the whole essence and underlying messages. Thank you so much Christopher! (see my other blog post).

Besides our annual gathering of Ghost Bus followers and friends, we had a new audience of those who didn’t know Roberto and his connection with Beeston, and they were captivated by the conversation and wanted to hear and see even more from him and his works.


A big Thank you to All : Event & Screen Sponsors: Milano Express Pizza, Fred Hallam Ltd, Artworks, Onyx Goldsmiths, GH Hurt & Son, Macaron Marlo, AGC Print, Costa Coffee, Trattoria L’Oliva Venue Host: The Garage Events/Barton Bros Partners & Supporters: University of Nottingham Lakeside Arts, The Beestonian - Christopher Frost, NottsTV, Creative Quarter, NTU Employability, Beeston Camera Club. The Barton Family, Jeanie Barton, Broxtowe Borough Council Civic Office, Pixels & Graphics, VAB Broxtowe, Nottingham Diocese, UNESCO Nottingham City of Literature, Justin Donne Associates, Linden Leaf Hotel Event Team: Roberto Alborghetti, Marysia Zipser, William Ranieri, Caron-Jane Lyon PCM Creative, The Garage Events/Barton Bros, Inna Schutts, Chris Turner Sheffield Audio, Bradshaw Media, Tracey Whitefoot Photography, Dawn Lindson.

Around 9.30pm William, Roberto and I walked down to The Frustrated Chef restaurant for wind down and tapas with Caron joining us. As you can imagine, it is very tiring for Roberto to speak for 2 hours in English and getting the right words prepared in his translating head to answer the questions as best he can. Roberto, you did a fantastic job believe me! We are all in awe of you and what you do. Grazie mille Roberto, William and Caron!

Thursday 6th June William says fond farewell to Roberto at Beeston Station at 10.00am to catch his train back to Brighton. Friendships bonded native Italian style. Thank you so much William for your skilled journalistic presenting and interviewing! This time, it was a rare appearance for you to be in front of the film cameras instead of behind them! For Roberto, this visit was a time to meet up, relax and talk with personal friends he has made since his first visit to Beeston in October 2014. So he was very glad to have that personal time with Simon Barton and his family earlier this day. So much has developed on both sides since they met last year, and it was lovely to catch up with all their respective good news.

Fiona, James, Marysia, Simon & Roberto at Barton House.

Roberto and I then went on a walkabout along Chilwell High Road and Beeston High Road meeting and talking with local businesses as our kind sponsors, taking photos, and visiting Chilwell Methodist Church and Beeston Parish Church, with a coffee shop break. Big thank you’s all round. ​

Roberto photographed with our local Beeston sponsors - Ali Siklaoui of Milano Express, Annalise at Onyx Goldsmiths Ltd, Miles Hallam at Fred Hallam Ltd, Frank Noonan at Artworks, GH Hurt & Son Ltd & (below) Macaron Marlo. Photos by: Marysia Zipser

3.15pm Roberto and I meet up with Neil Walker, Head of Visual Arts Programming, at Djanogly Gallery, Lakeside Arts. A fascinating discussion was exchanged while Neil took us on a tour of the gallery and talked about its development since 1992. Roberto talked about his Lacer/Actions project, and the similarities between the textile industry development in Milan and Lombardy and the British influences there, and Nottingham. He explained about Caravaggio’s family origins from the town and commune in the province of Bergamo. Thank you Neil!

Neil then introduced us to Clare Pickersgill, Keeper of University of Nottingham Museum, who showed us both round the present exhibition of ‘Current Archaeology in the East Midlands’ on until 30 June. Recent excavations by Trent & Peak Archaeology. Absolutely fascinating! Thank you Clare! My grateful thanks to Shona Powell, Director of Lakeside Arts who had arranged Roberto’s tour program and meetings with Mark and Neil months prior. It was a wonderful showcase and sharing opportunity between Nottingham/Midlands and Italy.

4.10 pm Back to Beeston for another rest. At 7pm, Roberto joined his Beeston creative friends for a last supper together at Amores Restaurant in Beeston. Lamar Francois, Sharon Walia, Marcus Gilmore, Pam Miller, Rosemary Wels, Oksana Holbrook and I. A great evening was had by all. Warm hugs and kisses exchanged...until the next time! Friday 7th June A personal day for Roberto to meet up with his English relations and spend valuable time with them - they all met up in Leicester (and visited King Richard III's tomb). For me it was a day for reflection and evaluation as well as some rest and relaxation.

Photo: Christopher Frost March 2015 at Bartons

Saturday 8th June

10.00 am Met up with Roberto at Linden Leaf Hotel and took some final photos together, and more reflection on last few days.

​Roberto said his final goodbye to Martine at the hotel and we walked to the Trent Barton Skylink bus stop for him to catch his regular transport whenever he visits us in Beeston.

Final goodbyes and warm embraces before waving Roberto back to the airport and home

Photo: Inna Schutts

to Bergamo/Milan...and warmer weather!

​Thank you SO much Roberto for coming to participate as our ACT special guest to celebrate #Ghost Bus 2019 and making Wednesday evening such a special memorable occasion for us all

.There was certainly much ‘bridge building’ achieved UK and Italy. The Italian Connection continues to thrive here and we look forward to welcoming you next year for more Visual Adventures in the Land of Robin Hood!

2019 and making Wednesday evening such a special memorable occasion for us all

​Andiamo! And God bless.


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