Chilwell High Road Needs YOU / Bookish Beestonians Unite.

As many of you are aware, and possibly saddened by, Chilwell Road will be closed to traffic later this month as the tram works begin in earnest. The mood on the road is pretty low, and it’s understandable why. The uncertainty and potential loss of business is terrifying for small traders, of which Chilwell High Road is predominantly composed of.

However, there is stuff that can be done to mitigate the impact, so after a chat with Beeston BID my other outlet, The Beestonian, will be co-hosting a street party on March 30th: you’re invited.

I’m still frantically scrabbling the details together and will be visiting all businesses along that strip of shops over the next couple of days, but already we have some very positive input. BID has bent the ear of local radio stations, who will be coming down to cover it, The Hop Pole will be hosting live music through the day, and Carly, the main woman behind the last two Oxjams has stepped in to book acts for an al fresco stage.

We will be holding a raffle as well, offering stalls to businesses to show off their wares and doing everything we can to promote this most independent of streets. They’ll even be a special edition of The Beestonian out, celebrating how lucky we are to have Chilwell Road. As The Beestonian’s assistant editor recently posted on Facebook:

In less than 500 metres we have: a restaurant and grill, a photographer’s studio, a corner shop, a news agents, a bread shop, a vegetarian café, a hi-fi shop, a chip shop, an art shop, a deli, a tattoo parlour, a café, a bike shop, a sandwich bar, a printers, a bed shop, a beauty salon, about 3 hairdressers, a bar, an antique/bric-a-brac shop, a home & gift shop, a guitar shop, a Balti house, a small pizza takeaway, a music shop, two pubs, a cob shop, a fabric shop, a café/event space and a garage… plus any we missed.

That’s what’s so great about Chilwell High Road.

….and that’s why it’s important for us to celebrate them.

What can you do? Let me list thy ways…

  1. ATTEND. Yep, simple. Book it in your diaries now. It’s Easter Saturday, so no legging it off on holiday. The motorways will be HELL. Stay in Beeston.
  2. PLAY: Musician? Performer? Then we NEED you. There will be a main stage that needs filling, preferably with local acts, so let’s see what you’ve got. The music aspect is also going to be the official opening of Oxjam 2013, so if you’re good, we’ll be booking you for Beeston’s best night of the year.
  3. CONTRIBUTE: As mentioned before, we’ll be running a special colour, glossy edition of The Beestonian available in our outlets the week before the party. This is hopefully be going to be funded by donations from businesses, but if you do want to sling us a few bob I’d be grateful. Any excess over the print run will be donated to Oxjam 2013.
  4. HAVE A LOOK DOWN THERE NOW. Well, not now, as I write its Sunday afternoon and the only place to really visit are the offy, The Hop Pole or the Chequers. Actually, that’s reason enough. But DO have a look at what is on offer there. It’s a brilliant street.
  5. SUGGEST A NAME: So far we have a few half-decent ones, but we’d like one that is the full 100%. Pun-smiths, to work!

Beeston BID will be promoting as well so keep your eye out for them. I will give more detailed info as I get it, so stay tuned. If you can help in any way, please let me know asap on I will pass the details of anyone who wants to perform onto Carly.


Another event to grace Chilwell High Road will be taking place the following week on 7th April…over to the organiser, local author John Baird:

Barton’s welcomes Beeston’s first book festival and it promises to be a corker. Having held their
answer to The Cannes Film Festival, The Edinburgh Fringe and Glastonbury, it’s now the turn of
literature to get the Bartons’ treatment.

On Sunday April the 7th, New Writers UK will be hosting the NOT The Hay Book Festival, a free to attend day of talks and activities, taking place within the bus depot’s popular Sunday market. Come along and meet authors such as the crime writer Stephen Booth, who will be discussing the sense of place and his use of locations. Other talks, on character and the creating of ideas, will help to inspire writers of all standards and there’s plenty of local interest too. Author and historian Alan Oxley will be speaking about the ‘History of Barton Transport’, whilst Maureen Rushton will talk about the ‘Canary Girls of Chilwell’.

The talks are all free to attend and no booking is required. John Baird, the Chair of New Writers UK, said, “This is a great opportunity for the book lovers of Beeston and Chilwell to come together to help establish a new book festival that shines a light on local history and the region’s literary talent.”

Fans of the written word will not want to miss this exciting programme of activities all happening on Chilwell’s High Road between 10am and 4pm.

More information on Not the Hay Book Festival can be found at and