Happy Easter / Vishu .
A couple of stories we at Beestonia have been involved during the last few months come to a head this week. One is great news, one not so.
We’ll start with the positive and give a hearty welcome to the Sri Thurkkai Amman Temple that officially opens it’s doors from 10am tomorrow. You’re invited to attend the temple in West Crescent, and I strongly recommend it. The sneak preview I got a few weeks ago left me awestruck: the transformation of a derelict building into a visual feast of colour and craftsmanship was astounding, despite it being far from finished. On display will be the cards you lot sent in after my appeal here: it had a great efect on morale there, after the deflation caused by the acts of a few bonehead racists who took it upon themselves to see the transformation of a derelict building into a brilliant community-centred (they are offering the extensive hall space to Beestonians to use for meetings and other secular activities) hub as akin to forcing us all to worship Ganesh and forsake beef for ever, on pain of death. Never underestimate the nastiness, or the idiocy, of the far-right.
We won this one. The general open-minded, good natured compassion of Beestonians swept away the small minded prejudices of a miserably grim few. Pop down tomorrow. They’ll be happy to see you.
EDIT: Cllr Barber just got in touch to add the following:
I am advising people to walk or get the bus to the Temple tomorrow. If they drive please do not attempt to park on West Crescent, there should be space on Leyton Cres at the Community Centre, there are no sporting fixtures tomorrow. This is less than 3 minutes from the Temple
The bad news? I also highly recommend you pop down Wilkos this week. Well, as it is the store with highest foot-fall per square metre in the whole of Beeston, you probably were off down there anyhow. But of not, this week is your last chance. On Saturday the store is closing, and may not be back. Why? Well, it seems I have a clear picture on that now, and you might be surprised by who the main culprits are.
Let me first issue a partial apology to Henry Boot Developers. I’ve long-blamed that their vision of Beeston Square was dramatically out of step with your everday Beestonian, and as such were trying to force Wilkos out, hence the utter shambles of getting them a new site.
Seems the story is more complex than that, and I’ve had to put myself through a crash-course in urban retail development over the last few months to get my head round it. However, the notional bad-guys, Henry Boot PLC, seem to have been trying to get some sort of solution to the interminable problem of the Square for some time. I still think their methods of communicating this leave a lot to be desired, but I now firmly believe that they have been obstructed unneccesarilary by other parties. All will be revealed in the next post, as I’ve sent them emails asking for a response and want to ensure right of reply.
Henry Boot are far from whiter than white, but their recent transparancy of their plans for the precinct/square are admirable. The truly greedy, the truly damaging? Watch this space.
And as a totally unrelated aside, I’d like to mention that senior bosses from Wilkos, including members of the Wilkinson family themselves, will be at the store this Thursday (12th). I don’t know what time, and due to the fact I’m working that day will not be able to attend, but if you’re free, do pop down and be at liberty to ask them how much they will profit from purposely running the branch into the ground for a bit of cash while one half of the workers have been pushed into other stores and the other half now unemployed.
Or, pop along any day and leave a message here:
It’s a wall in Wilkos thats been given over to people wishing to say goodbye to this institution. Right now it seems peoples rage is directed mainly towards the tram, though, as all will become clear, this is a bit misguided. When I spent hours in the cold taking signatures for the petition, this was also flagged up as the reason….if only local retail planning was so simple.
We, as in the Beestonian Elite Journalistic Squad, the NG9 A-Team (motto; we love it when a pun comes together) are working on Issue 8 right now and it has a spercial theme: PUBS. Own a pub in Beeston? Have pub stories? Want to join our intrepid mission to forge a new pub crawl on Modern Beeston? Then let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org .