Guest Post From Simon Cross: Sweary Soubz.

My last piece has provoked a fair bit of comment, especially the final, sweary paragraph. I stand by it, but acknowledge it may have been a tad strong for some. Apologies if offended.

Beestonian Simon Cross got in touch with the offer of a guest piece on Soubz swearing, and an explanation of why she’s so fond of the choice vernacular.

Over to Simon:

It is now commonplace to claim women are taking men on at their own games though not necessarily in socially progressive ways. For instance, alcohol abuse amongst young women has been rising for some years showing that women can beat the men given the opportunities. But what about other areas of modern life where men traditionally have taken the lead requiring women to put up or shut up?

One might think of the relatively small number of women who enter politics showing that they can make their voice heard in a male-dominated world. Mrs Thatcher famously told a reporter that she wanted to be Prime Minister because men up to this point had made such a bad job of it. What though of that particular game that many men tend to play: partaking of profanities in public places?

The question is important because of late our Member for Broxtowe has gained national prominence as the swearing politician. Will Anna’s public profanities be of concern amongst the good voters of Broxtowe? I think that it will concern more than a few citizens; in particular Broxtowe Woman whose non-partisan vote in the 2015 General Election will determine who takes this marginal seat.

Could Anna’s profane antics come to influence how Broxtowe Woman votes in the next General Election? It may seem a stretch to say that it might but we can reasonably wonder as to what women of our constituency (and nationally for that matter) make of her effing-and-blinding on the national media stage. I suppose it is possible that women will reckon that our expletive-minded Anna has learnt that to be seen as ‘independent-minded’ one ought to swear in a ‘manly’ sort of way sending a strong signal that one is in touch not only with Broxtowe Man but every effing-Man-in-the-Street.

But this involves a political danger because sweary Anna is sending out a message about how women must behave in politics to one part of her constituency only: Broxtowe Man. The message is that we should effing well be proud of sweary Anna because our effing Member is a mover and shaker in the effing Westminster Village, which is an effing man’s world. Before that she was an effing Barrister-at-effing-Law helping bang up the effing Bad Boys and before even that was an effing TV journalist on Central-effing-Weekend keeping effing plebs (which no Tory should ever effing-well make reference to anymore) in line, which as Anna is the effing first to admit was effing s*** telly.

My sense is that our effing Member is uttering profanities because she thinks it ‘manly’ and by casually swearing in the public domain (which in some contexts can be a criminal offence, which I’m sure she understands is because it is offensive ) imagines that we voters think she is the kind of woman to ‘get things done’. By taking on the men at their own swearing game she proves she can do it better. Whether Anna’s aping of male profanity appeals to Broxtowe Woman time will tell.

To define oneself as having a record of ‘free speech’ as Anna puts it on her website has more than one meaning. Ironically her bout of swearing shows she is constrained to speak in a ‘manly’ way. In this sense Anna is not only a parody of free speech but the diametric opposite of a parliamentarian like Dr Sarah Wollaston, MP for Totness and regarded as truly independent Tory voice. As it happens Anna’s lax lexicon confirms her conformity underpinned by her record of voting as she is told (no MP in recent times has gained ministerial office by being truly independent of party High Command).

My guess is that when it comes to the next General Election Broxtowe Woman will note the boorish side of Anna Soubry’s personal and political character aping Saturday night louts.

Simon Cross 2013.


And before you go, please make your way to your local newsagent and pick up a copy of The Nottingham Post today: my monthly Saturday column starts today. The by-line picture is amusing: it’s just my eye. I’m not sure if this an editorial decision to ensure I don’t put readers off their food, or an error. Either way, it suits me.

Soubz Stropz!

“she has a record of unusually free speech”

So said the Independent’s Simon Carr in reference to Soubz, a quote she likes so much she has stuck it on the front of the email she sends out to her constituents.

Well, some of her constituents. I recently noticed that while Lady Beestonia was still receiving the newsletter, I wasn’t. I checked with some Lib Dems and Labour local councillors and they reported the same thing. We’d been kicked off her mailing list. Free speech, eh, Anna?

And that’s not all. The Beeston Express recently ran a questionnaire asking the readership what they’d like in terms in content. One thing that was clear was a demand for more politics: and as we have an incredible, pluralistic mix here (try getting your head round the County elections as I’ve had to do for our sister blog, The Battle of Broxtowe.    It’s a tough call: I commend the Beeston Express for it’s efforts to provide clarity on the vagaries/absurdities).

So the Editor, Sheila, decided to open up the political comment slot to other parties, rather than just Anna’s monthly column. When Anna got wind of this, she threw a massive strop and huffed off, refusing to ever write for them again and sticking a snarky message on her newsletter (kindly forwarded to me from someone still not on her shit-list)

….Unfortunately, the Editor has exercised her right and has decided to cancel my monthly column.
For some time people have been complaining to me that the Beeston Express is no longer the great impartial community newspaper it once was. I am disappointed that the Editor chose to ignore two statements from me about Field Farm and has now refused me the same opportunity as my predecessor. I will continue to express my views and provide updates on my work via this newsletter.

Who are these people who have been complaining? Maybe it’s Anna’s own OTHER mouthpiece, the cringingly-awful  Broxtowe Blue blog. Not heard of it? Well, they don’t do much really, throwing up some Anna-approved content every now and then. They recently wrote about The Beeston Express:

…that Labour rag, The Beeston Express, reported any of this? You bet your life it hasn’t! (Although they always seem happy to publish letters slagging off Anna Soubry.)

Cripes. Were they delivered The Morning Star by a confused paperboy?? I always assumed Sheila was a community-focussed person, rather than a communist. Weird.

That quote was taken from an article that also referred to me:

The person who refuses to publish a proper apology is the Beestonia blog man. The main purpose in his life appears to be to denigrate our MP to the point of obsession. He was quick to publish Clarke’s piece in full and took it down ‘rapido’ when he was tipped off it was defamatory. He really is bonkers if he thinks Anna should engage with him given all the tripe he writes about her.

This was in response to a piece I reblogged from a third party source, and then removed a couple of hours later when I realised elements of the content were not rigorously checked. I apologised for that at the time, but refused to bow to a threatening email sent to me from the idiotic Mr Soubry, Neil Davidson (see Beestonia passim for his willingness to threaten action against all and sundry), instead asking the following questions, since I knew she’d be reading:

  1. Why did you base your 2010 Electoral Campaign on a strong ‘Local Candidate’ basis, attacking the incumbent for being disengaged with the Broxtowe scene as he lived in Mapperley, and promising stridently that you would move to Broxtowe if elected, then not doing so? I do realise that your partner, Neil, did send me a threatening email telling me to retract this line of questioning as this was due to ‘personal reasons’; but as Nick Palmer moved to, err, opposite your place in Mapperley, as he got married (a fairly personal action, no?) then it was disingenuous and hypocritical to tout for votes on this? Are you here now? If not, when are you likely to be here?
  2. I willingly retract the third-party allegations about your expenses/ income. Will you, in kind, retract the allegation that I am ‘sexist’ as you previously -and rather baffingly-accused me of (see Beestonia passim).
  3. I have, on numerous occasions, solicited your comment on Beeeston issues. While I am far from the ‘voice of Beeston’, I do have an increasing amount of readers from all ages, political stripes and other demographic angles. You have NEVER responded to them, aside from the odd warning that I should take stuff down. As the most read blog in your constituency, why not interact? I know you’re busy, but obviously not enough to send out threateners.
  4. Will you be staying in Broxtowe come 2015?
  5. Will you reply openly to the article Nick Palmer wrote in the previous post?
  6. Will you promise to be representative to your constituents if they oppose 1) Royal Mail Privatisation 2) NHS ‘reform’? I understand the concept of electoral mandate, but you did, if I remember, promise to be ‘Broxtowe’s voice in Westminster, not Westminster’s voice in Broxtowe” ?

I await your response.

Unsurprisingly, none came. Free speech, eh Anna?

As this part of the story was ignored by Broxtowe Blue, I wrote a comment in reply. Did they publish it? Take a wild guess. Free speech, eh Anna?

I publish all comments apart from ones that are overtly racist (only had a couple, both from BNP twats). I do believe in free speech, which is why I always post up comments from the pro-Soubz readers. Though despite going by several names, always come from the same two IP addresses. Anonymous they ain’t.

Anna does believe in free speech, I’m sure. The freedom of speech enjoyed by her former assistant Craig Cox, for instance, who went through a police investigation for holding up a sign with the words ‘BRING BACK SLAVERY’ at a Student Union training event, leaving other delegates in tears. He then, as you may remember, took to the web accusing those of being offended as being Stalinist zealots, before my story found its way to The Nottingham Post and The Guardian and he claimed he held the sign up ‘not knowing what was written on it’ and claimed his homosexuality meant he couldn’t therefore be racist, cos, yeah, that’s how it works.

Yes, Anna believes in free speech. But only if it’s coming from her. Like when Mitt Romney was caught saying that the section of the electorate that were poor were not his concern, Soubz believes you have no right of expression if you disagree with her. Freedom of speech, as long as she agrees with it.

I’ll close by addressing Anna directly: Please, please piss off to Rushcliffe asap, Anna. You are a fucking disgrace. An utterly shit politician and Broxtowe cannot wait to see the twatting back of you.

Please excuse the foul language. It’s just an example of unusually free speech. Or at least  your chosen definition of it.

Two- Nation Soubz / In The Post / Girlfriend in a (Hunger-Induced) Coma.

Some interesting Soubz-nooz. Total Politics ran an interview with her this week where she shows off her candid side, perhaps too candidly. Theres a smattering of ‘fuckings’, a pair of ‘bollocks’ and a more moderate ‘bloody’. Best of all though, she refers to the backbench shenanigans that cause Cameron such a headache right now as an example of ‘twattery’. Soubz gets a rare salute for that.

She’s famously sweary, of course. Mad Mel Philips at The Daily Mail ran an attack piece on Soubz where that very trait was used as a stick to beat her. People who have chatted to her have also reported back at her Malcolm Tucker-tongue, on more than one occasion provoked by a mention of me. Charmingly, she described me as that sweary paradox, a ‘fucking wanker’. Well, as Wilde nearly said ‘There is one thing worse than being sworn about, and that is to be not sworn about’.

However, there’s a very telling snippet of the interview that perhaps illustrates Soubz modus operandi as our MP:

“I came into politics to fight lefties…”

This sets her stall out well. Not for her the concept of One-Nation Conservatism: if you are against her, you are not to be listened to and your views taken into account, you are the enemy. It’s a straight black and white thing. Which is quite an odd thing when you consider her tenuous majority means she should be trying to convert people to her cause: invite them into her tent and not build a fortress round it.

It does explain her attitude to those who try to debate a point with her; as mentioned on here approximately 17,425 times since May 2010. When I discuss politics with locals, one thing they always point out is that while Nick Palmer may have held views that they didn’t agree with, he would always thoroughly explain his position and be decent enough to listen to their arguments.

Soubz is, in this way, a real Thatcherite: brittle, peripherally visioned and someone who divides you, her constituents into either goodies or baddies. She really will enjoy Rushcliffe.


After my one-off guest column in The Nottingham Post recently, I’ve been asked back to do a monthly column. Which is nice. My first one will be in Saturday’s edition. Awful by-line picture included.


Lady Beestonia also appeared in The Post today, telling everyone about why she’ll be living on a quid a day next week. She’s still short of her target, so dig deep and click here .




Politics Free Post*: Football Appeal / Eric Pickles is Dan Dare??? / Toy Tesco / Jim Dunn Gives His Opinion on The Coalition. *not entirely true

I’m taking a day off from politics today, after spending the best part of yesterday fact-checking the UKIP and BNP manifestos. Heavens. The far-right really are utter nut-nuts. I only hope nobody was scanning my broadband otherwise I’ll have Special Branch raiding me on suspicion of being a member of Combat 18.

So we kick off with an appeal. A local amateur football team, the fabulously named La Toque (nostalgic gastronomes will sigh happily at that one), who are based down on the Ryland’s Weirfield, are looking for a pub to sponsor them. This basically involves laying a few cobs on for them on a match day, and possibly slipping them a few quid towards a kit. In return they’ll stick an ad on their website, and buy a few pints in your pub/ bar. Win-win. If you’re interested, then send a message to James Hall, at  / phone 0791 274 8081

Ok, one little bit of politics. One of these is an evil overlord hell-bent on world domination, the other is DoomLord, comic book horror from my youth:


Right no more politics, let’s have some champion photography. Stapleford local activist (and County Council candidate, but I’m not doing politics today so I won’t mention that) Richard MacRae, sent me a selection of photos he took from the now demolished car park in Beeston of Tesco being built. Fantastic use of tilt-shift. Cheers, Richard:



tesco 2

Right, I’m still not talking about politics, but I’ll ask local singer/songwriter Jim Dunn what he thinks (I’m new to Soundcloud so apologies to Jim for making it seem like I wrote / sang the song. I didn’t. I’ve got a singing voice that sounds like a fire in a pet shop):

Smokin’ Beestonia.

It’s been a very busy day for myself and my very talented assistant, Mr Fox, interviewing for both the Local Politics blog and The Beestonian. The latter was particularly fascinating, chatting to the couple who ran the long-lamented Pet Mart for thirty-odd years before Tesco arrived and it was swept into the bulldozer’s scoop.

Still, I had a little moment yesterday I have to get off my chest: but fear not: I’m not about to launch into ranty polemic. It’s just a tale I was told that the more I think about it, the better it gets. It’s a fable worthy of Aesop, but with a distinctly Beestonian smear of surrealism.

It starts with me in the aforementioned Tesco buying ciggies. Now, two excuses. One, Tesco was the only place open at the time nearby. Two, I don’t smoke, I was buying for Lady Beestonia, who is still enslaved to the carcinogenic wares of Ken Clarke.

As such, I stumble over the name of her precise brand. ‘I forget the names’ I told the woman serving ‘I gave up about two years ago’

‘Bet you’ve saved a fortune’ she replied. I examined the loose change I’d grubbed together to buy the tabs, and replied ‘Nah. I spend it on other stuff. Should have put it in a jar’. She nodded.

‘A friend of mine did that. He wanted this piece of kit for his car, but it was far too expensive. So he gave up smoking, and saved the cash. Took him ages, but finally he got it together, walked down the shop to buy it, and discovered he’d actually saved too much: it’s dropped in price a few quid.’

I exclaimed that was a bonus, and how much I admired this chap’s willpower. ‘What did he spend the extra cash on?’ I asked.

‘A fresh pack of fags. Makes sense really.’

It really does, in some bizarre way.

The Curse of Beestonia Hits Wilkos / On the Buses to Chilwell Road / Beestonia Sneaks Into The Proper Press.

The Curse of Beestonia once again rears it’s head: I talked about how Wilkos was still resolutely undemolished 12 months on from it’s closure: I walk by today and two chaps were using a lump-hammer on the service yard wall. I might see if this works in other ways, so am working on 500 words on how Tesco still exists.


It seems a lot of people are still aware of how to get up and down Chilwell Road. The road is NOT CLOSED, but closed to through traffic. You can get as far up by car as Cameron House, and once you do, there is parking opposite The Guitar Spot that will cost you nowt. The fantastic independents there need you to stroll down and have a look in: I can’t endorse this enough. There’s also a  FREE Shoplink bus that runs round Beeston If you’re still confused, here’s a map and a bus timetable to help you out:





I mentioned yesterday that I had a column in The Nottingham Post some time this week, and it turns out I do, and it’s today, and you really should go out and buy a copy forthwith. At least three places sell them on Chilwell Road.

If you REALLY can’t leave home, here’s a link to it. Please leave some comments, along the lines of  ‘This is the best thing ever. Offer this man a full-time contract’ , or likewise. Any unkind mentions that the by-line photo makes me look like a baddie out of a Die Hard film will not be found amusing.

Wilkos, a Year On / Field Farm Fisticuffs (metaphorically)

Yesterday saw the anniversary of a notable event in Beeston: it was one year since Wilkinson’s closed its doors, got rid of half it’s staff and sprinkled the rest around the area on reduced wages and lesser roles. The reason for this, of course, was to demolish the large site for the tramworks.

A year on, the building is still there, empty, useless, undemolished. Why? Trying to find an answer to that is harder than you’d think: when I’ve requested reasons from relevant parties I’ve been rebuffed, or misdirected. Wilkinson’s seem happy by the arrangement: they got out at the top of the game, managing to secure a huge payout, and able to blame it all on anyone but themselves.

I recently asked them how much they received, and they denied they’d received anything, yet this is merely a sleight of hand and how they choose to interpret the payoff. At the public  meeting I held a few months ago relating to the Square, Cllr. Pat Lally admitted it was a significant figure, but would not venture any precision when pressed.

A year on, and we have an eyesore where we could have had a thriving retail unit. The staff – the ones that kept with the company –   are still disgruntled. One recently told me that Wilkos Head Office admitted, through the visit of an HR lackey, that they had ‘handled the staff situation badly’. They were also told what I suspect they knew all along: they won’t be returning.

There explanation for this is that they couldn’t identify a site in Beeston that was adequate to it’s needs. This is despite Henry Boot Developers bending over backwards to accommodate Wilkos into a future site as part of the new Square developments. The correct reason, I believe, lies in the small print of the contract that shut them down: to return would forfeit a chunk of the compensation package. The repeated promises that they gave over last year, each one expounding how committed they were to Beeston, was, frankly, a load of balls.

I recently wrote about Boots for The Beestonian, focussing on their tax arrangements that saw them moving their registered office from Beeston to Zug, Switzerland. I stressed this was not in anyway illegal, and Boots is a business, not a charity. My gripe was the ethical nature of this, and how it contrasted with the philanthropy of it’s founder Jesse Boot. Wilkinson’s is similar here: it was always seen as a local, friendly company. Wilkos in Beeston was exactly that. The staff were diamonds, and it proved a life-line to people who eschew Tesco but still need household stuff.

Wilkos, like Boots, have squandered this goodwill. They took the money, and they ran. A squalid situation.


I’m very busy running the Nottingham County Council election blog right now so Beestonia is suffering a bit of neglect. I’ve got loads of stories backing up, including the story of Field Farm. This is proving to be a highly contentious issue and, good heavens, it’s tough to draw up a coherent narrative. This is far from a simple Evil Developers versus Good Green-belt Protectors, rather a crash-course in local planning legislation for a lot of people. What I’ve already heard and seen regarding the issues could fill a chunky volume that would make War and Peace appear skinny: I’ll hopefully trim it into something approaching readable soon.

I’m also looking for more politicians/potential politicians to interview: I’m still waiting on replies from a Tory, a Labour one and a UKIPper. Email me at if you’d like me to come over and have a chat about why YOU should be a councillor come early May.


The Nottingham Post has given me a few column inches on Wednesday to spout off about a Beestonian subject, taking over the space Erik Peterson usually so wonderfully fills, weekly. Please go out, buy it, ignore the godawful by-line pic, and then form an orderly line for autographs.

The Battle of Broxtowe Blog: Now Live!

As promised, I have set up a new temporary blog to cover the Beeston side of the 2013 County Elections. I’ll not just be covering Beeston, but the whole of ther Broxtowe area, and, in order to see how things work on a macro level, the whole of Nottinghamshire.

As always, my resources are pretty meagre and run to a broadband connection, lots of coffee and a local trained journo who’ll be helping me out for the next month.

If you know any good gossip, any interesting stories or fancy writing a piece for us, send it in to the usual place.

You’ll find it at


Obligatory Piece About Thatcher.

I wasn’t going to write a post today: the sun is out and the air spring-soft, so I was devoting the time I normally spend typing to grasping a spade and a fork and turning my garden into something that looks less like Amazonia. But hey, I popped in for some tea, flipped on BBC News and watched as the newsreader, half-way into a piece about a poet murdered under the Pinochet regime, suddenly stuttered, lost his composure and listened wide-eyed to the message his producer was evidently barking in his ear.

Something’s up, I realised. Some big news is a bout to break. For a terrifying moment, I thought North Korean nukes might soon be arriving in Britain and I resurrected the survival plans I drew up in the Eighties ( painting myself white to deflect the blast, running up Bramcote woods where I’d buried loads of cans, reading the SAS Handbook cover to cover and purchase some firearms to fend off the inevitable mutants).

But no. Thatcher had died. It’s like losing your virginity. When younger, you assume it will happen one day, but as time ticks on you start to think, well, it just might not happen, somehow. And then it does, out of the blue,  and you first tell all your mates and get pleasantly, jubilantly drunk.

Is it right to revel in another’s death? It’s not in the best taste, I vouch, but if one has no respect for the living, then one cannot expect respect in death.

Her legacy still haunts this country: the division between rich and poor and North and South still torn asunder. The monetarist policies she put down sold our utilities to plutocrats who now claim huge salaries and bonuses while profiteering off the back of huge bills , while inviting former Tory MPs to sit on their boards; disintegrated worker’s rights with union laws that would have made the prosecutors of the Tolpuddle Martyrs blush; triggered a pointless war which claimed the lives of my father’s friends- my dad being a former Royal Navy submariner who hit civvy street just months before his mates were sacrificed for a crap chunk of rock full of sheep-farmers in the South Atlantic.

Ah yeah, Matt, she was a great feminist icon. Are you sure? She refused to promote women in her cabinets, which had less female representation than any other dating back to Macmillan. She was female. She was no feminist. The same logic would have it that Gandhi was a great skinhead icon.

Ah yeah, Matt, but she gave the poor the right to buy their council houses. Yes, she did, yet the great majority of these are now in the hands of the private letting sector. This was not a policy to somehow empower the working class, this was a cynical way to lever social housing out of the hands of providers and into the market. The Bedroom Tax currently causing a stir is a continuation of this terrible policy.

Recently released Cabinet papers show that she would have gone a lot further if allowed: the complete dismantling of the NHS, the Welfare State reformed into dust and the Social Contract torn up by the Unseen Hand of Adam Smith. She may have died. These insidious ideas live on with our current regime. Divide the lower classes into blaming each other, keep the City happy, be as economical with the actualitie as you need to be to ensure that seat on the board is kept warm for when you tire of politics.

Thatcherism is far from dead, and it’s exponents are presently thriving. Kay Cutts, who works beneath a framed portrait of The Wicked Witch of Westminster, is it’s most obvious local face. Our own MP, possibly unconciously, moderated her own East Midlands accent since her telly days. It’s now deeper, slower, and more clipped. But was she a fan?

Her offical released statement skims over the usual cliches without adding a personal slant, but rather curiously, get’s the most basic bit of history wrong:

…her legacy leaving Britain far better off in 1997 than we had been when she was first elected in 1979.

Just the six years out, Anna. Mind you, back in the early nineties, Soubz had much more important things to dwell on, such as the complex plotlines of Australian soaps:

So it’s unclear if Soubz is/was a massive Thatcherite or not. But be vigilant. Maggie might have not actually died, merely moving into her next host body….


Some Things For The Weekend.

A few things to tell you about before we slip into a fine spring weekend that could be the first since November without a bloody blizzard.

1) Bartons Big Weekend. Much respect to Bartons, for their response to the closing of Chilwell Road. Rather than retreat for a year while the work goes on, they’ve done the opposite and decided to have a full-on year of events and happenings. This weekend is a great example of that: comedy, a huge market AND  a literary festival. More info here:

2) New Blog! In exactly 4 weeks Notts County Council will be well on it’s way to knowing how it’s going to be structured. Presently ran by a Tory majority under the stewardship of Kay ‘great graffiti’ Cutts, it looks very likely to see a big shake up. I’m running it as a Broxtowe perspective of the election, and I’m looking for submissions from politicians and the public, rather than write it myself. I will however be having a crack at some amateur psephology, running an on-going poll and collating breaking news. Watch this space.

3) HELP! Fancy yourself as a bit of a writer? I’m looking for someone to help me on a couple of things. First, we’ve kicked off Oxjam and I’m reprising my role as Marketing Co-ordinator. I need to find someone who will take the role as online-media co-ordinator: keeping the website up to date, writing on-line copy, running the Twitter and Facebook pages and so on. Second, I am expanding both The Beestonian and Beestonia over the next few weeks and months, and as such am need on an assistant to help out a few hours a week. I’m afraid I can’t (yet) offer a wage, but it’s dead rewarding , looks good on your CV and you get to attend some of the most spurious excuses for pub-based meetings you’ll ever experience.  A penchant for Tweed is NOT compulsory. Fancy either, or both, roles? Email me at .

4) More Oxjam/ Oxfam stuff. My lovely fiancée is going to be living on £1 a day for a week in April. No, I’ve not squandered our finances in The Crown or bought a ton of corduroy. It’s for a very good cause, and all monies go to Oxfam. It makes the challenge put to Iain Duncan Smith to live on £53 a week seem opulent. I’m dead proud of her doing this, especially as she’s made it clear I can still continue my normal diet of oysters, venison steaks and fine wine throughout the week. Throw her a few quid, please. You can do so here:

5) Suits you, Sir Paul: I met Sir Paul Smith recently, and have been asked to write a piece about it for a rather well-known on-line magazine, so won’t bore you with the details. Needless to say, he’s a charming, fascinating man who still loves Beeston a lot. And he’s quite a fan of The Beestonian too:


6) Beeston High Road:Was sent this video recently from local singer-songwriter Jim Dunn. He’s got a whole load of stuff about local issues, which I’ll put links to once he sends them over:


7) We’re History: A fantastic article on the changing face of Beeston, some stupendously good research and loads of stuff I was unaware of. A corking read:


Have a great weekend: feel the joy of venturing out without skis and a Taun-Taun.



NOT the End Of The Road: A Review. Now I’ve Recovered and Can Remember What Happened.


Photo courtesy of Lewis Stainer.

A few more notes and thank you for the Street Party. I’ll start with a little correction, however.

It’s been mentioned in a few places that I organised the whole thing, when in fact I was part of a greater team and the true honours must go to Stephanie and Parissa and Greg from Beeston BID; Carly, Heather and Mike from Oxjam and, not least, Chilwell Road businesses who came out in force to show they were alive and kicking.

Thank you all who showed up. Lot’s of people suggested article ideas for The Beestonian, if you were one of them and I haven’t contacted you let please send them to for editorial consideration. We’re just upped our print run by 50% and I’m looking at also expanding to 12 pages, so am looking for good content.

Future Oscar Winning Auteur (with Shane Meadows) -photo courtesy of Christopher Frost.

Future Oscar Winning Auteur (with Shane Meadows) -photo courtesy of Christopher Frost.

It was cold, it was windy (I had to grab our gazebo many times when it threatened to lift out and fly to Long Eaton) but the whole event was packed out for the full five hours. A huge thanks to the bands who played and wowed the crowds: my appearance on stage to announce the launch of Oxjam 2013 was less wonderful though: a few words in and I realised, to my horror, my flies were probably down. This was not intentional, more the fact that the heavy duty trews I’d slung on have a habit of being none too secure. Not wanting to draw attention to this terrible thing, I couldn’t wrench up the zipper so instead slowly contorted my hips until my waist was 90 degrees off kilter. How I avoided a hernia is beyond me. My fear of public speaking is still fully intact.

Photo courtesy of Lewis Stainer.

Someone on stage. Flies done up. Not me. Photo courtesy of Lewis Stainer.

I had some very interesting chats with lots of fans of The Beestonian and a fair few who read this blog, it’s nice to know you’re out there. Apparently our MP was there too, and for this I commend her. She also is a keen Chilwell Road shopper, again, I commend her. In this spirit of goodwill I will refrain, for now, for pointing out that the benefit reforms she helped to vote through are the most pernicious acts of class-hatred and putting monetarism before humanity ever enacted in modern British politics but hey! She shops local so I’ll keep schtum.

Once we’d packed up our stall I had a few minutes to warm up and grab a quick snack before I was in The Hop Pole, for the evening’s entertainment. And what a night!

Thanks loads to our acts, all who appeared for free and really threw themselves into it. Things kicked off with a spoken word slot, first, some punchy performance poetry from local Mick Rose, who delivered some fine handwritten lines on Beeston, one which even had a mention of this blog: accreditation if there ever was. This was followed by another local talent, Becky Cullen, who had spent the day asking people at the street party there opinions and ideas: these will be shaped into a poem that we will be featuring in The Beestonian next issue.

Emma Bladon-Jones followed, her guitar skillz, loop-pedal genius and incredible voice wowing the crowd, in particular one fan who may have been a tad Tired and Emotional and whooped with delight at every song, before buying a CD and falling off her chair.


Rosh Rai followed, warning me beforehand ‘I’m not been too well ,and seem to have gone deaf in one ear. This could be a disaster’. It wasn’t. I’ve been following Rosh’s development as a musician for around a decade now, and he’s yet to disappoint.


By now, I had allowed myself a beer so was probably letting it speak for me when I advised people that if they didn’t fill up the collection box we’d bought for Oxjam, we’d be ‘having a lock-in. And not the nice kind.’ I best point out that this is not official Oxjam policy, and nobody was held against their will (knowingly).

Joe Barber, who stunned Oxjam with his slide-guitar heroics at last year’s Oxjam followed, joined by the Guitar Spot’s Jimmy Wiggins for a few numbers. Then we had the magical Phil Langran and Steve Orton of the Phil Langran Band, veterans of the Beeston  music scene and utter heroes for the support they always give Oxjam: they played at our fund-raising Celidh AND another pre-Oxjam fundraiser AND on the day itself. And this from artists who have such a following they are in great demand for paid gigs.

Joe Barber, Britain's Most Talented 12 Year Old (only joking Joe. And any barstaff that served him booze), and Wiggins.

Joe Barber, Britain’s Most Talented 12 Year Old (only joking Joe. And any barstaff that served him booze), and Wiggins.

We finished with 50% of The Leggomen, possibly Beeston’s most fun bands. The lead guitarist/vocalist Brian informs me he’s had ten pints beforehand: his musical partner 7. Yet they pulled off a stunningly rambunctious sing-a-long set, the perfect end to a very fun day.

By then, I was exhausted, and more than a little tipsy. A quick clear up and I strolled home, made myself a chicken sandwich, left it on the worktop for my kittens to eviscerate and slept for a solid 13 hours. Still, what a day.


But let’s not make this a one-off. How about another street party in August? Let’s keep Chilwell Road jumping. Whose in?


Photo courtesy of Lewis Stainer.