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The Adventures of Roberto Alborghetti in the Land of Robin Hood

Since Roberto’s first visit to Beeston six years ago, he has immersed himself, as a visual artist, into the storytelling worlds of our famous outlaw and into our historical town of Beeston and Nottingham ‘Red City’ environments. "The Ghost Bus ‘Roads’ Project exhibits the power of combining visual and musical arts; the wonder of family history (the Barton family firm was for a time the largest independent bus operator in the world) and the beauty of what human beings can do through creativity and mutual cooperation. It encourages us to take the time to look more closely at our surroundings and discover the stories our environment can tell us." Roberto adds his Thoughts for Today… “Re-birth, Re-new and a sane Re-bellion is what we need today to make this world a better place! In every field and activity. And mainly in the world of Art!”

When I told Roberto that my second recording of ‘Letter from Beeston’, telling the story of his first visit to Barton’s with Robin Hood Tim, was broadcast on BBC Radio Nottingham on 20th May, he immediately sprang into action and said, “I know what I’m going to do Marysia! I will put the photo images of that memorable evening of The Ghost Bus Show 27 March 2015 at Barton’s garage and turn your story into a RadioVision production!” After forty-five minutes he presented it on his blog site for all to experience - a speedy visual art transformation creating such impact!

So I wish to record here on my blog, for posterity sake, his 4 minute photo montage film synchronised to my voice recording of Letter from Beeston (2). Experience all on Roberto’s link below. Are you sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin… In October 2014, Roberto Alborghetti came to Beeston for the first time. We had ‘met’ on LinkedIn earlier that year - the world’s business networking platform. I loved his posts and, in particular, his visual art project called Laser/Actions. He transforms and turns pictures of ripped and decomposed publicity posters, natural cracks, scratches, and deteriorations, into “art subjects”. His whole concept is “making art” from industrial de-construction-ism, caught by camera, macro scale. He captures the randomness, letting the picture tell the story, and documents the reality. He doesn’t change what he sees. Nothing is manipulated. I asked Roberto that I would like to feature him and his work at my second Art-Culture-Tourism networking evening in March called “Cultures Crossing”, by showing his artworks on screen. He was delighted, and my event at The Lace Mill certainly was Vay-Nee Vee-Dee Vee-Chee “Veni, Vidi, Vici”. It brought European press coverage all thanks to Roberto’s journalist efforts. A few months later, Roberto contacted me to say he was visiting London friends and could he come to Beeston to see me for several hours before he went back to Italy. I said yes, of course. Prior to his proposed visit, I had researched further into his background, and found out that, besides being an Italian ‘Pulitzer’ award-winning journalist and best selling author, he was also the official biographer to Pope Francis. And, he had just published his second volume on him, called “My Life is an Arrow”. So, I thought, I wonder if Nottingham’s official Robin Hood, Tim Pollard, who happens to live in Beeston, would be free for a photo shoot with Roberto. Tim gladly accepted. So the day came when I met Roberto from Beeston railway station and brought him to Chilwell High Road. He and Tim got on famously and I photographed them together at Chilwell Creative Corner and then walked them up to Barton’s head office. Simon Barton greeted us and steered us into the old garage walking through his office, as though left in a time warp. I have always loved the Barton’s historic building and the events Simon and his sons have staged there. I knew Roberto would be hooked. I was not mistaken. In fact, he disappeared totally among the old Barton buses, vintage cars, vans and bicycles arrayed over the large expanse of the docking sheds. It is a transport enthusiast’s Valhalla. While Simon, Tim and I chatted, Roberto was taking his macro photos of the old vehicles cocooning him. He was transported back in time. The Robin Hood marque on the side chasses of the red buses proved excellent photo backdrops for them all together. Then, he chanced upon the Ghost Bus, a 1956 URR Reliance, which had been rescued from a Suffolk field...after 20 years of slumber. When it was time to go, I called out to Roberto. He excitedly walked back to us with a smile. We said our grateful goodbyes and entered into the street’s bright daylight. Roberto followed and called out, “Marisha, I know what I am going to dooo!” “I’m going to make a film about The Ghost Bus!” And so in March 2015, Roberto returned to Bartons to premiere his short film at The Ghost Bus Show. The journey and Ghost Bus Saga had begun. And the rest, as they say, is history. ​*****

So, nearly a week later, on 26th May, Roberto was my interview guest at ACT ‘What’sOnDigital’ podcast and Facebook LIVE streaming show. He was speaking LIVE from his home at Bergamo, Italy. The city, you will remember, was one of the first Italian high casualty areas of COVID19. I first questioned him about The Ghost Bus and what had been happening recently, namely my Letter from Beeston and his RadioVision production. So much history about Barton’s...and also about Jeanie Barton, Beeston’s singer-songwriter and Roberto’s musical arts collaborator. Roberto had first met Jeanie on that historic night. Now she was playing out our storytelling spot with her aptly composed Lockdown Lift lyrics to Glen Miller’s melody “In the Mood”. It was like sequence after sequence, stepping back in time but also keeping a sense of reality in our Covid19 times. Watch the Facebook LIVE streamed show here incorporated into Roberto's blog - Art-Books-Music...

Or you can just listen to the podcast on Home Page To give you further background about the Ghost Bus Saga, please read my and Roberto’s blogs covering 2019 and backwards to 2015. See and click below. Roberto’s 4-8 June 2019 visit including Barton’s Garage “In Conversation with…” as YouTube film.

the_ghost_bus_‘roads’_project_-_introduction__1_.docxDownload File

​We look forward to Lifting Lockdown. Our next What’sOnDigital show, before our summer break, will be on Tuesday 30th June, 16.30-17.00 hrs GMT. I hope you will be joining us and maybe participate live by commenting in the Chat Box. Here is the link below, so please do register your interest now. We hope you will follow ACT and Roberto Alborghetti in our Adventures in the Land of Robin Hood both in the real and digital worlds. Thank you for reading, listening and watching. Andiamo! Let’s Go! Marysia Zipser Art-Culture-Tourism Find me on Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn


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