I’m now nearly two weeks in avoiding alcohol, after deciding I was far too busy in the run up to Oxjam to spend my evenings convincing myself that the £2.99 red I was drinking was uncomplex yet quaffable, and blotting out the rational part of my brain that was screaming that it was probably vinegar with a slug of ethanol for ABV. That means I spend a full 50 (!!) days not boozing. My apologies to licensed premises in Beeston who may see a steep slide in takings, but worry not. Once Oxjam is over it’ll be less than two weeks until I turn 40, so I’ll possibly squeeze a mid-life crisis in for a few weeks and start drinking snakebite and black while wearing  leather trousers.

Yet things are sent to test me. I’ve never been invited to a brewery before. I did once try and organise a heavy drinking session at one once, but it fell through, boom-tish. Yet as I climb upon the wagon, I get asked by Magpie Brewery if I’d like to visit them and help out with the production of their utterly exclusive Oxjam Beeston Ale. So off I toddled, to their brewhouse snuggled up against Meadow Lane, where some football team plays, apparently.

Beer! Soon!

Beer! Soon!

I’m a fan of beer, and corvids, so it was quite an exciting experience. The staff are wonderful and obviously love their work, keenly showing me the process from mash to glass, with samples of their malt and hops. The first batch of the ale will be ready at the end of the month for the Oxjam Ceilidh, so buy a ticket NOW to make sure you get to try what should be a citrussy, yet robust near-golden ale. I will probably serve you, so not only do you get some quality stomping around the dance floor, but get to mock my abstinence while you pour this gorgeous brew down your gullets.


Another side-effect of eschewing the booze has been increased energy, and thus, productivity. As such, I’m dead happy to announce Issue 21 of The Beestonian is now out in various outlets, and on-line here. I’m rather proud of it, that is to say I’m very proud of the gang of writers who provided some truly fantastic articles this month. There was so much to cram in I forgot to actually write an article myself, apart from the front page blurb.

Oh, I also have some Beestonian t-shirts left over: only £7.50. Let me know if you fancy one. They really are quite, erm, snazzy.


I also resurrected The Beestonian Film Club at Cafe Roya last Monday, and it turned out to be a corker. We gave the World Premiere to the harrowing, yet superb ‘Go With God‘ , with a brief talk from the writer and producer before showing. There were tears, then Roya served up an corking paella to go with our Spanish main feature, Biutiful, which again bought forth tears in the audience. Anyone who spotted moisture in my eyes, well, contact lenses, innit?

We’ll probably have another one soon, so find us on Facebook to get updates and find out how to attend.


I also have my monthly Nottingham Post column in on Saturday. It’s a celebration of the tram works. No, really. You’re not allowed to hit me until you read it, ok?


Flop of the week was the Capital Radio /Nottingham City Council initiative on Saturday evening, the Pop-Up Cinema on Chilwell Road. This was billed as providing a fillip to that beleaguered side of town, but was so badly thought out the marketing graduates who dreamt it up need stripping of their degrees and getting sent back to infants. The idea was to get around 120 people down Chilwell Road on an evening to watch a film. Not a great help to businesses that would be closed by the time it started, yet potentially useful to the evening businesses. indeed, Karen, landlady of the Hop Pole, took on two extra barstaff in anticipation of a deluge.

Not a single cinema goer popped in for a pint. This perhaps isn’t surprising, as only around 25 turned up. But it gets worse. The car park it was set up in was sequestered for the whole day, meaning any shoppers arriving by car had to do a u-turn and find a new place to park, or more likely, just go to Long Eaton.  Attendees were also given vouchers to use in businesses….but none on Chilwell Road. Despite being opposite Forno Pizza, the vouchers were for that well known family ran local firm, Domino Pizza.

The idiocy of this idea is pretty high, but it gets worse. It seems that the City Council actually paid for this. A letter has been sent asking how much this figure was, and if no answer is forthcoming, a Freedom of Information request will be filed.  And it gets better. They’ve announced another event on the 28th September. No, really.


Speaking of the Hop Pole, their annual songwriters competition has it’s first heat this Sunday, from 8.30pm. It’s a good way to have an early glance at up and coming talent: last year Emma Bladon Jones took the crown, and has had a crazily successful year since. Oh, I seem to be one of the judges as well. I will ensure I wear my trousers too tight and have a quick relationship with Sinitta before then.


And getting back to the tramworks, it seems the next stage of Chilwell Road has been rethought out. Traffic – two-way traffic at that- will be allowed down the road, with the service excavations pushed onto the pavement. Where this leaves the pedestrian, I’m not sure, but if the answer is ‘being mown down’ there might be an issue, especially as Oxjam’s evening events are all down there. I was given this info before it’s officially announced, so can only investigate more later: will get back to you when I know more.


I wrote about Syria after the failed coalition vote to rush into conflict. I accused the Lib Dems of abandoning the sound judgment they made in 2003 over Iraq, just to keep the unholy alliance with the Tories intact.

A few Lib Dems were now happy with this, and all sounded remarkably like the hawkish Blairites that led us into the stupid war a decade ago. Councillor Steve Carr was particularly unhappy with what I wrote, mistaking caution and waiting for evidence before rushing into rash action. As the last few days have proved, the Commons vote was a good one. Without support, Obama lost confidence and decided to take it to the vote, while throwing himself back into diplomatic talks with other, more cautious nations.

It’s far from sorted, and there is lots of work to do to stop Assad with the minimum amount of bloodshed and human displacement. Instead of leaping into war, a diplomatic route is opening up.

After we’d gone down the aggressive route in 2003, it transpired evidence of WMDs was balls, most of the ‘evidence’ taken from a PhD thesis, and the utterly delusional words of a taxi-driver from Iraq codenamed ‘Curveball’ who turned out to be a con-man.

Last week, Steve Carr put a warning on Facebook that advised people that they shouldn’t flash their headlights at cars as ‘gang-members’ play a game where they shoot people who do this. For, y’know, a laugh. Now, I know Steve is a decent chap and would never directly mislead: he probably thought he was being useful, but the ‘evidence’ he supplied was a letter from Chubb securities. It was swiftly pointed out that the address on the letter was Chubb in South Africa, but more importantly, it was utter bollocks and has been since it first appeared on the internet – in various guises – nearly two decades ago.

Maybe if Steve had checked the evidence beforehand before rushing in, he would have spared unwittingly scaring his Facebook friends and being made to look a bit daft on-line. Just a thought, and one I would like to extend to Steve’s Lib Dem colleagues in Parliament.

carr oops



Saluting Magpie / STUFF! OUT! NOW! / Popped up, Flopped out / Beestonia Cowell / Lib Dems: Cool Your Boots.



Yes, with no concession to subtlety and modesty, Soubz announces in her latest newsletter that she is the new Beeston Boudicca and is galloping towards a meeting with Jon Collins astride a steed with bladed fetlock.  Here, she will battle for a better deal with the City Council for victims of the tramworks.

Admirable, of course. Yet her positioning as the saviour of the tram demands closer examination.

Her position on the tram has had more cheap flip flops than Jonathan James.  But I don’t want to talk about the tram here. It’s tough enough talking about anything in Beeston right now: football, theology, the Norwegian leather industry, without the conversation turning into one about the bloody tram.

Anna announced this victory while absolutely failing to mention that she had refused another meeting. On confirmation that he would be her opponent in 2015, erstwhile MP  invited  incumbent MP to a public debate about the NHS.

She refused, in a rather bizarre response. I’ve printed it in full below. But the upshot is, she refused. Cos she’s too busy. Which rather makes the statement ‘I’ll be the voice of Broxtowe in Westminster rather than the voice of Westminster in Broxtowe’ a tad disingenuous.

Dwell on that for a second, then let’s move on to the next corker.

Given your commitment to positive politics (which I share), I am sure you would agree that we should encourage our supporters not to edit our respective Wikipedia entries to paint us in the worst possible light. In my case, even my photograph!

That’s a rather strong accusation. I haven’t seen any controversial changes on Anna’s Wiki page over the years, but if someone has changed stuff I’d vouch it wasn’t Palmer’s ‘supporters’ that muck around with it: she’s a public figure, people twat around with Wiki pages cos it’s OPEN TO DO JUST THAT AND IT GETS TAKEN DOWN WHEN IT IS NOTICED. If you want to look at the shitness of internet manipulation, Anna may consider the modus operandi of one of her donors, David Wilson, of PR wankers Bell Pottinger.

He boasts of setting up false promotional blogs and negative social media fake attack dogs to devalue arguments against her government’s policies.  The Tories love Bell Pottinger, and they very well might be to the party what tax-dodging Lord Ashcroft was to their 2010 campaign. Why? Well, the Tories are getting a bit old.

Not just old, but few. All political parties are haemorraghing members as politics seems intent on serving a decree absolute on the public. The Tories have been the worst hit here: there average members age is around 67, and are falling rapidly through what HR managers would describe as ‘natural wastage’. As such, they simply won’t have the legwork come the run up to 2015 to go knocking on doors, canvassing, and drumming up support. This was evident in the County elections. I only spotted one tory doing the rounds : the hyperactive Eric Kerry, who nevertheless lost his seats.

So the dark arts come into play. I’ve had my own share of this: somebody who regularly comments on anything I writ about Soubz telling me not to, someone who uses a different name and email address each time but doesn’t bother covering their IP address. Or their style of writing. Then there is Broxtowe Blue  ,the self-proclaimed ‘Home of sensible comment in Broxtowe’ , that posts once every few months and is still so slackly moderated that comments I’ve made in response to attacks on Beestonia have still yet to be put up. Slack moderation or an application of Soubzlogic?

The Tories will throw money into Broxtowe, despite Anna’s centre-right position being out of favour with the Crosbyesque UKIP triangulating dog-whistle far-right posturing presently dominating the blue corner. She’s a scalp, more so if she gets shifted up in the expected September reshuffle (Secretary of State at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport? I’m not the only one who thinks this might be the case: worth a tenner at a bookies. Not Ladbrokes).

So watch now as Soubz tries to soften her image, not talk too much about the particular evils her party are inviting upon the poor of this country and pretend to be a community saviour. This community, as opposed to the one she lives in.

Don’t expect engagement on subjects she doesn’t agree with. Don’t expect debate on stuff she has firmly made up her mind on. ‘Unusually free speech’ only works in one direction when it comes to Anna.


Even when I was on my hols in Sussex a while ago, I find anti-Soubry feeling. Lady B and I meet a local couple for a drink, and as well as finding the female half of the couple is the lead singer on one of my favourite albums of all time, he reveals he worked with Soubz back in the 80’s at Lenton Lane studios. I won’t repeat the stuff he told me,  but it sounded remarkably similar to other reports on her: intransigence, a foul temper and a wrath visited upon those who hold opposing opinions. Soubzlogic predates her political and legal career, it seems.


Some interesting rumblings from Bartons. It’s hosting  the Oxjam Celidh, and is a venue for the Takeover (cheap advance tickets available here, they’re selling fast so get yours now). That’s not all though: looks like there will be a small programme of interesting events with an amusing theme running alongside the charity events. I’m under embargo right now, but i’ll be able to tell you soon…


The Beestonian Film Club at Cafe Roya is taking a break until September, where we’ll be relaunching with an enhanced idea: each night will involve a specially cooked meal to complement the film, all for one price. We’ll be kicking off with a Persian film, with gorgeous Persian food. Tickets will be available soon: if you’re interested I can get your name down early. Drop an email to and I’ll email you the moment we have all the details ready.


The Soubz reply in full:

Congratulations on your selection as the Labour Party candidate for the 2015 General Election. It must have been difficult to wait over three years before being reselected so no doubt you are much relieved.

As you can imagine my diary is extremely busy and pressing constituency matters must take priority. Accordingly all my spare time is currently devoted to the forthcoming Public Inquiry into Broxtowe Borough Council’s Core Strategy, the forthcoming inquest into the death of John McGrath, the public consultation on HS2 and continuing problems for traders and residents affected by the tram works.

I too look forward to a fair and pleasant campaign; you will recall how you apologised to me at the 2010 count for some of your tactics during that campaign and I very much hope you will not find the same need at the 2015 count.

To that end it might be helpful if you check out my biography which has been on my web site since 2006 though it has obviously been updated and is available at . So for example you refer to my “personal interest in health matters” which of course is a longstanding interest given my family’s history of service within the NHS, but I wasn’t sure if you also know that I am the Minister for Public Health so have a Government role as well as a keen personal interest.

Given your commitment to positive politics (which I share), I am sure you would agree that we should encourage our supporters not to edit our respective Wikipedia entries to paint us in the worst possible light. In my case, even my photograph!

As the MP I have been able to reflect on the run up to the May 2015 election and the various hustings and “public debates”. I well recall that, however well attended, generally, very few people at any event were undecided how to vote; the overwhelming majority were activists or supporters of a particular candidate.

The next General Election is still some way off and, of course, not all the candidates have been selected, but my thoughts, at this stage, are to spend my time talking to constituents on the doorstep rather than spend it at hustings or debates speaking mainly to the already committed.

If you chose to forward this email or quote from it, I think it would be in keeping with your spirit of fairness if you include my email in full so all my comments are seen in context.


Soubicca / Barton Returns?/ Film Clubber News

Aww, politics. That system that best resembles a kitten stuffed with snakes.

Soubry met Pickles today, as previously noted.

She met him to try and persuade him to reject the Borough Council plan to develop on Field Farm.

He met her, she said her piece. He replied. The rest is in not recorded.

Anna then released a statement. It laid clear why she understood the Tories would take a hit. Mid-term disillusionment, etc. Osbornes austerity plan, that now even have the IMF shouting down as a fast-track to collapse are dismissed thus:

the economic recovery is not where we had hoped it to be

At least they are not trying to deny they have made major economic mistakes.

Yet her central local campaign, Greenbelt protection, is in pieces should Pickles refuse to veto Broxtowe’s proposal. It will show that despite the best of efforts, and I commend Anna on her vociferous and dedicated campaigning, despite all this it was mere pissing in the wind.

So she meets Pickles, and what occurs? Alas, we will not find out until AFTER the election as Pickles has waddled off to apparently consider the proposal.

How convenient. I spoke to Richard MacRae earlier today (Wednesday). I outlined the fudge and he expressed a massively pragamatic response: ‘Ah. She’s a politician’

And she is. Nothing less, nothing more.

She knows what Pickles will say. He will tell her to apply a veto his office will see an avalanche of anger. Chief among these will be Westermans, the builders who are eagerly awaiting th green light to send the developers. I stress this is a personal view, but Westermans Homes are up there with Persimmion Homes for providing the kind of box only a gimlet-eyed sociopath would wish to build.

Anna is aware of this, let this be clear. So she has purposely refused to let the residents of Trowell, Stapleford and Bramcote know -and she knows, not let that be in doubt- where Field Farm lies.

I do not endorse any party or candidate. I only hope I shed a light on the local scene. In this case I think anyone looking for answers on Green Belt development realises that Anna Soubry, MP, is not the saviour they think she might be. The Field Farm issue is wildly complex, and I swear I will soon post up a analysis of the situation, but for now it seems that if you do wish to oppose development there; or at least trigger a debate that is not hi-jacked by political opportunism, vote accordingly. Readers in Stapleford and Bramcote, you have two votes. Use one to vote for your stripe of choice, but if you want  to really get your voice heard, use your second choice and vote MacRae.

I will repeat: Beestonian does not endorse any Field Farm stance. I grew up near there, and I;d hate to see it go. On the other hand, I understand the pressures that councils are under to provide sites for development. I understand that the inequities in property ownership are so great we are creating another bubble. I do understand that we need to have a review on council tax valuations; on property tax viability, on land tax.  There lies the argument.

What I don’t stand for is highly cynical attempts by politicans who hijack a strong campaign for their own ends; knowing it was doomed to failure cos -oops- their own party is chomping at the bit to chew into greenbelt- to take a real grass-roots campaign ran by politically-neutral activist, and pervert it.

Pervert it for their own means. Soubry lies supine before Pickles, let there be no doubt. She came away with one compromise today: they would not announce until you’d all safely slipped your slips into a ballot box. Vote accordingly.

Soubz, I need not tell regular readers, is the epitome of cynic politics.Vote tomorrow. Vote accordingly.

Field Farm. A Finger of Fudge For Everyone.

Toton, 2032 (Artist's Impression)

Toton, 2032 (Artist’s Impression)

(WordPress is being odd and not letting me title this post. It is meant to be ‘HS2 New Choo-Choo? /Bookish Beeston: Brilliance Brevity/ (Peter) Snow in Beestonia.’ . I think I’ve over-used my alliteration allowance allocation ration)

So it’s official! Beeston’s outskirts are to receive HS2. London now has a fast route to get to our glorious town. Joy has been unabated and unanimous, with Toton dwellers seeing their house prices rise by a staggering 42,499% and rushing off to buy cigars with the dimensions of rhino thighs while ignoring the fact multiple commentators were dissing their conurbation with mispronounciations of Toton.

Yes, a massive station might be built on the outskirts and there is universal happiness. Toton and environs get so rich they BUY Dubai after taking a fancy to it on holiday. Most of them are already decked in ermine and diamond studded cravats and swapping their Ford Focus for Learjets.

Politically, it’s a group hug. The Tories have to like it as they announced it, and our incumbent MP is delighted, not least as it might free her from the deeply entrenched position of opposing housing in the Constituency by blaming it on circumstancial change: latest estimates suggest we’ll be flooded with 70,000 Beefeaters; 20,000 Pearly Kings and 92 Dot Cottons, all desperate for residence.

The Lib Dems are also fans. I asked them their opinion via Twitter, first up, County/Borough Councillor Steve Carr


and David Watts, Borough Councillor:


But would there be future splits in opinion between parties, and some NIMBYism?


…to which I replied:


…not because I was having a breakdown, but forgot to lock my phone when I stuck it in my pocket and popped out for a pint of semi-skimmed.

Labour are, unsurprisingly, jubilant. After all, it was their idea. Rylands councillor Steve Barber is never shy to admit he’s a fan of rail-based transport, and the decision is also a smack round the chops for tram naysayers: it’s all integrated now, innit? They might also be a bit chuffed that it means they have more time to knock out a core strategy for our town centre in light we are to be the new hub of the East Midlands.

I love a bit of cheesy cuddling, I love seeing everyone, regardless of political party, laying down arms and having and having a metaphorical Christmas Day kick-about in No-Man’sLand. Yet i’d be a liar and a fraud if I thought that all was rosy in the garden of HS2. I’m not the former, (and I’m only the latter when it comes to setting out my GCSE maths result on my CV/ telling the fiance exactly how many pints of Bounder I  drank ‘researching’ in The Crown Inn), so I best do what I get unpaid to do and note a few points.

Yesterday, I also asked non-politicos there opinion on the coming of HS2, and got a fairly indifferent response. A few good points were raised, and they set me thinking. I now am doubtful if the we’ll ever actually see the mega-buck choo-choo glide into town. Why?

1)      Enthusiasm. Yes, the keenness on Monday for everyone to bask in the reflected glory of a Grand Project seemed like it would be propelled without objection, but scrape the surface. The Tories are nervous of it: the fact it scythes through several key marginals –and what are we, if not that?- puts them on edge. Cameron has shown his unease at the core, right-wing element of the party with his concession to the 1922/Europhobic elements by promising a referendum should they get re-elected. If they organise and consolidate as a strong anti-HS2 voice, they will be forced into route, if not whole project, rethinking. Locally, Soubry presently stands little chance of election (well, unless she finds a cure for cancer, global warming and Piers Morgan before 2015) so to have a load of people in Toton and Stapleford who feel threatened by the scheme defect to UKIP or a proper political party is terrifying. So why have the Tories bigged it up? Quite simply, they need a big- Plan B in all but name- announcement  to make every week to show that they’re not in a mad spiral of panic about the failure of Plan A. The indifference towards HS2 in the first two years of coalition, where it was assumed to have been all but dropped, is clear evidence of this. Remember the key point: it has yet to clear a Parliamentary vote.

2)      Money. The commitment to pay for the actual project involves the involvement of a  minimum four Parliaments. Every one of them could theoretically pull the plug. The figures as so far quoted have been rather conjured up. There is not a scientist in the world who would give such bizarrely confident predictions of cost and benefit, in terms of the long –term variables . So that’s why such jobs are giving to theoretical economists, who work with the tools of dart boards, blindfolds and keeping a straight face.

3)      London Existing:


Major pessimism here, but it’s not without foundation. Last week, Nicholas Stern, who in 2006 presented the then government with his quite bleak report on climate change, has just gone on record saying that his original –pretty much apocalyptic predictions were far too optimistic. By the time we’re linked speedily to London, it might as well be just as useful as running a line to Atlantis Central.

Anyhow: one hates to be a Cassandra. And maybe I should rejoice: our local economy is booming. We already have seen an incredible amount of local economic benefit as sales of caviar, swan-steaks and massive diamonds rocket at Tesco Toton. All aboard!!


A quick mention to a Beestonian, Nick , who I have never met but follow on Twitter, where he’s known as @plodinnotts . He is presently embarking on a great project to write succinct, thoughtful and occasionally hilarious reviews of his massive book collection. I’m a fan, if not a practitioner, of brevity; and a fellow bibliophile, so find it fascinating. Go and check him out: I’m hoping he’ll stick them all in one place, and create the only ultra-concise bluffer’s guide you’ll ever need. Plus, he has the most distressingly / funny description of himself on his biog….


Grant Shapps, the perma-grinning Tory Chairman and internet imposter was in Bramcote a couple of days ago launching the General Election campaign for their Candidate for Nottingham South. Yep, this spring is when parties start gearing up for the next big vote (despite having the County and Euros before that) so, donning my psephological hat I thought I’d ask you, my lovely Beestonians, who you’d vote for if you had access to a time-machine  and took it to 2015.  And in my best Peter Snow voice, I best advise that this is Just For Fun….

HS2 New Choo-Choo? /Bookish Beeston: Brilliance Brevity/ (Peter) Snow in Beestonia.

I’m not going to blow my own trumpet and claim my last post was 100% accurate, but it was close enough to allow me a little parp on my predictive cornet. Parp.

So  what happened? Cuddly Ken was shifted/neutered into one of those quasi-legislative positions that give no true power but let the government tap into the gravitas and national-treasureness. It’s a win-win for CallMeDave: lurch to the right but keep the non-toxic side of Toryism in the spotlight. Ken issued a statement that had the weary resignation of failed actor Uncle Monty in Withnail and I :

It is the most shattering experience when you  awake and quite reasonable says to yourself:  I will never play The Dane.

So off he shambles, into a holding-pen for the Lords, his one-nation, liberal Conservatism sliding the same way as serve-and-volley tennis; insightful Channel 4 documentaries and the appeal of Premiership football. The Tories are now little more than a less-caffeinated Tea Party, UKIP lite, Ayn Rand with a smiley face. Cameron has realised the only way to have a hope in 2015 is to jack in all attempts at coalition and to serve up red-meat Conservatism, trying to re-engage the core with an agenda of anti-green opinions, private-sector worship and a return to flog ’em, hang ’em Justice policies.

This leaves Anna Soubry in a quandary, one might think. Yes, the left of the party is now deeply unfashionable. Those who helped detoxify he party post 2005 are now effectively redundant until the months running up to the next election. Soubz, however, was elevated; not with any degree of acceleration, but in the right direction. She’s become a PUSS, a junior role that still has significant influence.

And she’s not been slow to get out there: announcing in The Times her support for assisted suicide. It created a big splash; I read an online headline on Saturday morning espousing ‘ANNA SOUBRY: YOU HAVE THE RIGHT TO KILL YOURSELF’ and suffered an unnerving jolt of paranoia.

To have got the exposure on this, Anna would have required a nod from Number 10. It’s an emotive issue with legislative potential that has been thrown out to the media and public to debate openly. It’s exactly why Junior ministers exist: to suggest policy without making it seem like a government line. If Anna’s new boss,( incredibly it’s Jeremy Hunt;  I give him six months) was to espouse such an opinion it’d be seen as a virtual policy announcement , Cabinet intent. Get a junior to do it: stick your toes in the water rather than leap in fully.

Soubz has a position now that is dual-purpose; her loyalty to Cameron and a 2015 majority are retained through elevation and more profile-boosting media spots, while the Health Secretary (Jeremy Hunt!! Yes! Really!) can call on her to moot stuff that’d he’s not ready to commit to.

I’m with her on the assisted suicide issue: it’s an ethical, rather than political issue and friends seem rougly divided 50/50 on it. Let the debate begin, though I’m sure it’s actually been a pertinent topic since the Tony Nicklinson case reached it’s tragic conclusions.

Three years as an Aunt Sally to gain a safe seat? It’s a good deal for Anna. And if Hunt really messes up Health- and as a self-professed fan of Homeopathy one can’t feel his lack of judgement will be his undoing – who is in the wings waiting for the understudy call-up?

Anna in charge of Health. Makes registering with BUPA seem like a very good idea….

Reshuffle Thoughts.

Regular readers will know if there is a bandwagon trundling by, Beestonia will do its damn hardest to sling up a grappling hook and climb aboard. There is a greater purpose to this: my burgeoning theory that Beeston is the centre of the universe and all events can be traced to this little corner of NG9 is still, incredibly, treated with scepticism  from some quarters, mainly in West Bridgford. ‘More evidence!’ they cry ‘We demand proof of your unlikely hypothesis’.  This barrage of faithless doubt thus forces one to present before you more irrefutable proof, normally tacked onto an item of current affairs or a recent book, film or telly programme. As I’m not in the mood to try and show how smut-pulp ’50 Shades of Grey’ relates to Beeston (it doesn’t whatsoever, and I only bought it as I was under the mistaken belief that it was John Major’s memoirs), we’ll jump on the Olympic bandwagon: I present to you the 10 Reasons Beeston is linked to the Olympics.

  1. We have a competitor! Yes, the GB Men’s Hockey Squad have a Beestonian in their ranks, Alistair Wilson who grapples with his stick for Beeston Hockey Club on Uni Blvd. Such is my devotion to all things Beestonian, I’m off to see him as we take on Pakistan this Friday. Yes, that’s my level of devotion, and nothing to do with getting free tickets, transport and accommodation from Lady Beestonia’s dad.
  2. Rebecca Adlington has spent the last few years training at the University Pool. Yes, technically not Beeston, but it counts as my printer on The Beestonian is related to her.
  3. Many years ago, I launched a Facebook group called ‘Move the 2012 Olympics to Beeston’, which demanded we don’t let Seb Coe have it’s way, and instead move the Olympics here with my ex-P.E. teacher, Mr Turton in control, and all ahletes would have to wear ‘Stanleys’: oversize Nazy blue shorts you could camp out in.  It became bizarrely successful, to the extent I became email friends with the USA Netball Federation, who seemed to be under the impression that a move to Beeston was a possibility, rather than the addled plans of an ego-maniac. We both, sadly, were disappointed with our mutual snubs.
  4. Many years ago, a couple of years before the Sydney Games, I worked for a local culture and entertainment magazine in Tunbridge Wells, my home at the time. I would get a monthly commission to write articles on local sport matters, which mainly involved going to rugby/golf/cricket clubhouses and getting steaming drunk with the chairman while interviewing them about the history and aspirations of the club. One issue, my commissioning editor rang and offered me a choice of stories: would I like to interview a pair of long-distance running twins who were looking like medal hopefuls in Sydney; or a washed up female middle distance runner whose injury history looked like she was a whole 57 varieties of has-been, but hey, she was local. I plumped for the former, and duly got a piece on the Graffin brothers in print, and was happy when one duly popped over to Sydney, but didn’t get a medal. Which was great until 2004, as I watched ‘washed-up’ Kelly Holmes get a brace of exhilarating won golds.
  5. The opening ceremony featured JK Rowling read from Peter Pan, by JM Barrie, who came up with the idea for his seminal work while on a visit to Clifton Hall. Obviously while staring over the Trent at Beeston.
  6. Dr Tim Brabants MBE, gold-medal winning canonist at Beijing, is a Beestonian. I saw him a few years ago chatting about his win to a journalist in Cafe Nero, but I thought he might be Steve Redgrave so decided not to approach him.
  7. The Guardian  writer Marina Hyde is writing a humourous daily column on the Games. Beeston also has a Marina.
  8. And Attenborough Nature Reserve has hydes. Well, hides.
  9. Beeston Councillors, Pat and Lynda Lally both carried the torch. But not in Beeston.
  10. I really wish I’d just limited this to five. Ok, my real surname is one letter away from being ‘Gold’. Will that do?

Got any more? If so, send them in, while I get up on the podium and accept gold for tenuous linking. And if you think that was bad, I’ll be doing Batman later this week.


Issue 10 is out now, and a corker of a read. Find it by going into our sponsors: The Treasury, The Crown and  Belle and Jerome, as well as other establishments we like to visit. Can’t be arsed to walk into Beeston? Then read it online here: clickylinky . Want to help out with the next issue/ advertise with us? Then drop me a line


So life is now complete in Chez Beestonia, which is NOT IN ATTENBOROUGH, despite Eric Kerry being my Councillor, borough and county. I have two tiny, 8 week old kittens, who as I write are engaging in a war with, variably, each other, my Blackberry charger cable, and my ankles. Anyone who has read this blog from the start, get a better hobby.
You’ll also recall that I was working on an article for ages that definitively proved the inherent evil of felines. Now I own two, and frequently gasp at their unbearable cuteness. It’s like Invasion of the Bodysnatchers, but furrier. One thing though, one thing I promise with every fibre of my body and soul: I will NOT, EVER give them their own Facebook account, OK? Never, and I look with a judgemental eye upon you if you’ve ever even considered such a thing. Besides, Facebook is soooo passe. Follow them instead on Twitter @fluffyfurbabyheaven .

Beestonia: Goold Meddles; Issue 10; A Rethink On Cats.

A message from Neil Davidson drops into my inbox, which, as always with Beestonia I’ll publish in full:

Dear Mr Goold,

Anna Soubry’s house has been on the market with Bairstow Eves since last September.

For personal family reasons, she could not put it on the market before then.

Once it is sold she will be buying a property in the constituency.

I would be grateful if you would correct your website.

Neil Davidson.
Campaign Manager

Which is surely good news, and I’m sure any earlier aspersions cast upon the Soubry team (while not wanting to bring this to any personal level, a bit of context is provided by explaining Mr Davidson is Anna’s long term partner) are laid to rest. We’re only eighteen months into the present government, and things aren’t going too well with the economy. It’s only understandable that it takes some time to sell a property as there are only a few people, such as MPs, in a position to purchase. I accept that Anna is chomping at the bit to move here asap, even if it is only until Spring 2015 when she decamps to Rushcliffe to claim the long held Crown of Ken Clarke.

Since I seem to be bending our MP’s ear right now – well, her partners, so I’m sure he can pass a message on- I’d just like to expand on my previous essay regarding Anna.

Anna has recently found a stance to try and maintain some following in Broxtowe, in a typically political fashion. I say ‘political’ as it’s a rather cynical method all parties fall back on, a fault of the general system rather than any individual. However. It is still not acceptable and those who perpetuate it are damaging democracy, which leads to the shameful turn-out at last weeks by-elections, where nearly 75% of the electorate stayed at home rather than determine their representative,

Welcome to the world of popularism. Here, politicians wrap themselves in whatever flag seems to blaze brightest, whichever cause pre-Levenson Murdoch fancied, whatever was tested on focus groups and found ‘warm’.

New Labour were guilty of pushing this polticizing into the mainstream, but the new rulers have seized it with the vengence. Pre-PM Cameron advocated, depending on where public mood was, hugging hoodies, huskies and homosexuals. All admirable, if they had been at all sincere.

Souby spent the first year of her tenure as our representative struggling to find a popularist cause to latch onto. Her ability to commit gaffes at the most primary level (see the posties debacle; the hiring of Craig Cox and her resistance to moving to the constituency as true political face-palms) made any attempts to anchor herself too dangerous to undertake.

Then along came the Greenbelt. An ideal cause for Anna, as it was wonderfully non-committal. While her own government threatened to strip local authorities of power should they not find adequate land for planning; it was easy to grab a following in areas threatened by develpment, even if they really were only consultation suggestions rather than agreed plans. This has had a distorting effect on Borough planning, and could lead to planning regulations being removed from the Borough altogether, giving unscrupulous developers free rein. See Beestonia passim for more on this.

Still, she got a nicely designed banner for her newsletter out of it, proclaiming she was Champion of the Greenbelt. As a recent adventurer into the world of print publishing, I do love a good font.

I’d support the protection of the greenbelt, if it was that simple. But one has to look at the engineering behind this stance, and examine it’s veracity: thats what I do cos I’m sure you lot are far too busy not being political obsessives to care for.

Today, Wednesday 21st March, a heap of new regulations will be passed with the Budget that could have the most detrimental effect on the environment ever known since the 1825 Burning of Orphans and Anything Not Made of Steel law within a single swathe of legislation. It’s been rather overshadowed by issues involving tax, the NHS and road privatisation,yet is possibly the issue we’ll look back on in a few years time and wonder how the hell it got under our radars.

I could explain each facet myself, and if you trust me, read on, if you need more evidence I’ll be sticking links below as I find them:

So is Anna likely to vote against these proposals, which on the whole support profit-driven developers against the environment? Proclamations from the last few months suggest this is a given, considering her evident concerns against development on anything containing chlorophyll. Yet it would be the first time she’d voted against the government, so it’s a real test of her sincerity.

Annas obviously a busy woman, so she may have overlooked this legislation as she papers up her porcelain in preperation of an inniment  move to Broxtowe.  So perhaps it’s best to appeal to her partner, an evident reader of this blog, to ensure this message is passed on. Though thats ensuring he too isn’t too busy, having to simulataneously run Anna’s campaign while being a non-executive board member of, errrr, Persimmon Homes, who have a reputation for sub-standard new builds* , and would be very happy to have the government lift restrictions on what they can get away with.

I will be the first to welcome you to Broxtowe, Anna. God help you if your boyfriend had anything to do with building your new gaffe.


Persimmon has regularly come in for criticism due to poor build quality on a number of their homes. Examples include wiring up sockets dangerously giving the potential to shock, installing wobbly bannisters, laying turf on builder’s rubble rather than on newly laid soil and radiators not properly fixed to the wall




…and numerous articles via Google.

Soubry (sort of) Replies via her Politically Perilous Persimmon Partner.

Politics, anyone? First off, a quick mention of the election results on Thursday: the Conservatives held both County and Borough seats, pretty much as expected. Turnout was a pitiful 25% and 27% respectively. I’m getting closer and closer to believeing compulsary voting is the answer.

Anyhows, with all the excitement of the Wilkos petition I didn’t get round to mentioning the Borough Budget that took place that evening, and the bizarre nature of proceedings.

I’d been expecting a mammoth session as the proposals were argued in great detail; I’d even packed a flask, but to my surprise the tories instantly agreed to endorse the Lib/Lab proposals. A weird outbreak of cordiality in the chamber; which with the near-unianimity backing the Wilkos petition earlier made for a starnge love-in. My notes on the night have a scrawled ‘GET A ROOM’, possibly written while Councillors fawned over each other in this strange debate. Unless the Council are slipping MDMA in the Councillors mineral water, something strange is afoot.

To shed some light, I requested a few words from three councillors why they voted the way they did.  Why was a Lib/Lab budget accepted by the Conservatives, opposed by three Labour Councillors, and recieved an abstention from the only Independant?

I asked Richard Jackson (Conservative); Steve Carr (erstwhile Lib Dem, now a Social Democrat) and Greg Marshall (Labour) why they voted the way they did in this topsy-turvy manner. I’m still waiting for Cllr. Jackson’s piece so we’ll start with Steve then hand over to Greg:

It was interesting to see the Conservatives support the budget at Broxtowe for the first time I can remember. Times are very difficult and even Labour’s national leadership are begining to appreciate that if they were in power, they would be doing little different to the Coalition. Those that did not support the budget were myself and the hard-left in the Labour group, who are becoming an increasing thorn in the side of their moderate Group leadership. Their spin on this is that the economic crisis is entirely the fault of the banks. That is partly the case but of course the reality was that Labour when in office took a light-touch approach to bank regulation and welcomed top bankers to Downing Street with open arms. Labour must take considerable blame for the economic mess we are in and stop treating this fact as if they were on the quiz show Room 101! I did not vote for the budget for entirely parochial reasons. I represent many council tenants and simply put, I could not and would not vote for an increase in rents of 8.6%. Many that I represent simply can not afford this. I was subjected to a tirade of reasons why I should support the rise from Labour councillors – something I found a little surreal. I abstained because I did like the fact that the Liberal Democrats had forced Labour to accept a freeze in council tax – something that the hard-left are very angry about.

Over to Cllr. Marshall:

Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.” (Paulo Freire)

On 29th February, Broxtowe Borough Council passed a budget in the face of a £845,000 (12.5%) of formula grant from Central Government. It is part of the overall cut of 27% to the “formula grant” from Whitehall over the next four years – and part of the government’s overall national spending cuts totaling more than £80 billion over four years.

These government-imposed cuts have inevitably impacted on jobs and services and the living standards of ordinary working people, whether council employees or council tenants, will be hit.

  • Although no compulsory redundancies are proposed, the employee savings target of £180,000 comes on top of the loss of 44 full-time posts and 32 part-time posts deleted since April 2008 (and a reduction in hours for a further 27 posts). So-called “back office” jobs support front line services;
  • The changes to the car allowance scheme will mean a worsening in terms and conditions for more than 250 Council staff;
  • Charges will now be made for a gardening service for council tenants who, because of disability or age-related reasons, are unable to look after their gardens. This previously free service was available to elderly or disabled tenants who do not have a relative living within three miles of their home;
  • By following government guidelines on rent increases, council house rents will rise by 8.6% – those tenants not on housing benefit will need to find another £5 a week or more than £20 per month; and
  • Accepting the council tax freeze grant instead of increasing Council Tax and foregoing the one-off grant will create a budget hole (and mean further cuts) next year (in 2013/14).

But all this comes at a time when the government is weakened, economically, socially and politically. Indeed, Osborne’s economic perspectives lie in ruins. Unemployment is at a 16-year high with female unemployment at 1.1 million, the worst in 23 years. Youth unemployment is approaching the highest ever on record. The TUC estimates that the real unemployment figure is 6.3 million if part-time workers and those who have dropped out of looking for work completely are included. Osborne predicted growth of 2.3% last year which turned out to be only 0.3%!

In other words, Britain’s economy is unstable and in the grip of stagnation and there is no possibility of Osborne’s private sector – the famous phoenix arising from the ashes of the public sector – rescuing the situation. The ‘phoenix’ of a revived private manufacturing base is now reduced to ninth position in the world manufacturing league and has already flown to China and elsewhere, sadly never to return.

The Con-Dems’ policies have severely contracted the economy and unemployment has begun to climb. They claim that this is a ringing endorsement of their destructive deflationary programme! Moreover, the injection of a huge £325 billion of quantitative easing by the Bank of England, while preventing an outright slump, has done nothing to fundamentally change the situation. Larry Elliott of the Guardian writes: “At the current rate of progress it will take until the hundredth anniversary of the outbreak of the first world war before regaining the lost ground. Those seven lost years will have cost the UK economy around £200 billion in output”. Truly capitalism is a ‘progressive’ system!

In recent months, this has been on full display. The vilification and scapegoating of the poor, those compelled to exist on benefits, including the disabled, has reached new depths. Cameron has shamelessly presented a picture of ‘benefit scroungers’ receiving as much as £26,000 a year, while hiding the fact that, in the very few cases where sums like this are paid out, 70-80% of the benefits are taken by rack-renting landlords.

Some disabled people, the long-term sick, are now being forced to work unpaid for a limited amount of time or their benefits will be cut. Disabled people have been singled out in shopping malls and elsewhere for vilification, with some tipped out of wheelchairs by those whipped up by the demagogic campaign of Cameron and Osborne.


Who is being hit by these cuts?

Many ordinary working people are being hit by these cuts – and the poorest and most vulnerable in society are being hit the hardest. The government’s public spending cuts will hit the UK’s poorest 10% of people 13 times harder than they will affect the richest 10%. The government says that these spending cuts are necessary to deal with the deficit and that we are all in this together. Yet the bankers who caused the crisis and had to be bailed out by the tax payer are continuing to pay themselves multimillion pound bonuses.

While hardworking families struggle with pay and job cuts – public sector workers have just been told their pay is being frozen for a third year and communities lose vital local services, bankers at the 82% taxpayer-owned bank RBS just received bonuses worth £785 million even though the bank is still making a loss. A reward for failure.


The witch-hunt of the poor and defenceless is destined to go on but will be resisted. And 94% of government cuts and 88% of benefit cuts have yet to be implemented. Thousands of families from inner-city areas have been effectively expelled to the outskirts, Cameron appears determined to carry through the government’s pro-business NHS.

There is an alternative:

Instead of cutting public sector jobs and services the government should:

  • Create jobs to boost the economy and cut the deficit – in areas that badly need investment, such as housing, renewable energy and public transport;
  • Take action to close the £120 billion tax gap of evaded, avoided and uncollected tax;
  • Introduce a Robin Hood Tax: A modest 0.05% tax on global financial transactions applied to UK financial institutions it would raise an estimated £20–30bn per year. This alone would reduce the annual deficit by between 12.5% and 20%; and
  • Scrap Trident.  The Methodist Church, the Baptist Union of Great Britain and the United Reformed Church have launched a campaign calling upon the Government to ditch its Trident nuclear weapons. They argue that the Government could save £55bn by axing the programme and invest the money instead in public services, employment and national security.

Greg Marshall

Beeston West


The Broxtowe Budget: Politics Down The Rabbit Hole..

It’s a bit of a political week in Beeston, with two elections on Thursday which have just got a bit interesting, so I best do my job and try to find a narrative to run through them before banging some satirical device on the end to make you all think I’m some sort of local Swiftian genius cos you may not read Private Eye enough to realise I nick all my schtick wholesale from them, then cram some NG9 stewings into their genius pastry crust before presenting it to you as a golden hued satirical pie.

I digress. Despite a weird outbreak of peace in the council chamber at the last full session, more on which later this week, hostilities were happily resumed again as the parties once again prostrated their furry bellies before you, all hopeful for a tummy-stroking vote in two up-coming by-elections.

We’ll examine the County first, arguably the more important of the two races. This by-election was triggered by the sad death of Tom Pettengell, late County Councillor for Toton and Chilwell, who passed away on New Years Eve. Ostensibly it appears to be a fairly safe seat for the Tories, who took it with a comfortable majority at the last County elections. However, a few factors may make it more exciting.

The last election was in mid 2009, when the Tories were in their pomp in the polls. Tom was a popular politician, and although I never met him myself, tributes from all ends of the political spectrum overwhelmingly suggest that his record, coupled with his charisma, accounted for a good chunk of votes. Will the fact that the Conservatives are suffering a dip in the polls due to the NHS debacle , coupled with a lack-lustre challenger, 2011 Borough election loser John Doddy, have a significant effect?

Then throw in another significant factor. Labour aren’t running a candidate, due to a rather embarrassing catastrophe in selecting someone suitable. It’s a complex tale, available for the price of a  pint in the back bar of The Crown most nights, but in short their anointed had to swiftly stand down after being judged ‘unfit’ by the parties NEC. Wounds were licked, resources being to the Borough election; tacit support thrown behind he Lib Dem challenger, Borough Councillor David Watts. Watts already commands a degree of local profile that can only add to his campaign, and is a pugilistic bruiser when it comes to campaigning on the stump. Expect the unexpected with this one.

However, as the last few days of campaigning draw to a close, any hope of a Lab-Lib love seems to have taken a hit after Watts wrote a piece in his newsletter claiming that as well as the County election being a two-horse race, as such was the Borough election.

This is a rather bold claim, and swiftly rebuked by erstwhile MP Nick Palmer. Tory Craig Cox’s departure from the seat does create an interesting, if not necessarily knife-edge battle, and this one is at best a three-way scrap, but statistically more likely a straight Lab/Con tussle.

Expect a turn-out that is paradoxically low, yet motivated. Floating voters will avoid the ballot boxes as a third year of decisions may have led to electoral fatigue (a concept so bizarre to a politics obsessive like myself, it’sbeing akin to Samuel Johnson’s take on those jaded by London’s attractions). Thus, a lot goes a long way.

The Lib Dems know this so have put forward a very strong, proven candidate in Barbara Carr, former Borough councillor who stood down before the 2011 election. With effective campaigning, coupled with the gem of familiarity, there does remain a grain of a chance, yet little more. Post-party conference, the Lib Dems seem to be in disarray, attempting to stay in power at one end while staying electable at the other. Local Lib Dems have all told me they oppose the non-publication of th NHS Risk Register, and, while I have not heard anything official, assume by this it’s fair to imagine they oppose the NHS bill that Clegg is roping himself to like Captain Ahab to the mast.

Labour have put forward Jane Marshall, spouse of Borough Councillor Greg Marshall. This husband and wife duo proved to be passionate, articulate campaigners at the 2011 elections, with Greg grabbing Beeston West and Jane nearly pulling off a Portillo-esque shocker against local Tory stalwart Richard Jackson. An effusive campaigner, whose less-centrist politics seem to be on-message with the current climate may an interesting result come Friday.

Palmer’s annoyance with Watts is understandable, as it doesn’t take a seasoned psephologist to work out a Lib Dem victory in the Generals was hugely unlikely. However, there’s not a politician alive who enters an election on a ‘I’m gonna lose’ ticket. Even John Major in ’97.

It’s maddening to think that the Lib Dems partner Labour on a  Borough level, and not on a pragmatic level of supporting the party with most seats. There is a cordiality in the chamber, yet it’s tense. While the national media scrutinise the strained lower-leg tendons that threaten to tear between the Con-Lib coalition, I’ll do my best to provide a watchful eye over the shin-splints developing in our own local partnership.

(Cont. on page 94)

Toton and Chilwell Elections: First Signs of Divorce?

Want to be in the movies? No? How about your house? Does your gaffe long for Hollywood? Now it has a chance. A local film-maker is looking for a location for a soon to be filmed short:

The film is set in a modestly furnished semi or detached house. The 2/3 min film will be shot over a weekend at the end of Feb. We need to film in the dining room, sitting room, kitchen and a double bedroom. I will pay some inconvenience money. The film will be for submission to all the major film festivals.
Contact Steve by email:, or call on  07985 199 054 

So there you go: if your domestic interior has star-quality, give Steve a call.


Read the latest edition of  The Beeston Express? If so, you may have been bemused by a strident front page article on the tram/Beeston Square, which declared itself the only credible source on the forthcoming changes by chuntering:

…there can be nothing worse  than sitting in a pub on a Friday evening listening to people-who think they know everything but actually know nothing-repeat rumours and hearsay…

Which is just a little patronising, but it gets worse:

Can I say here, if you are one of the people who enjoy repeating unfounded rumour….there is no need for the idle talkers amongst us to add to the existing anxiety levels of those older citizens who now find themselves living in the path of the tram

Ok, a couple of points: people go to pubs to talk, some of those things will be what they’ve heard about local issues, and they chat to discuss, argue and ascertain fact. But you best stop. The Beeston  Express knows best, and you may only express (!) opinions that have been sanctioned through the latest edition. After all, theres nothing worse than not doing so. Also,older citizens tend to be – as I discovered when running the Wilkos petition-the best informed people in Beeston. It’s not nice to condescend them, so don’t.

This editorial line might be helped a little if they actually printed fact and not, err unfounded rumour, such as

(Wilkinsons) will close on March 31st, 2012

No it won’t. The date given to staff is actually a whole fortnight later, on April 14th. Staff were therefore subjected to an increase in their ‘existing anxiety’ by a serious case of an ‘idle talker’ repeating ‘unfounded hearsay’.

If Lord Leveson is reading this, you might like to extend an invite….


Beestonia Needs Your Home!; The Beeston Express:D’oh!

The irony of trying to run this blog is that the more interesting a story. I want to write about gets, the more difficult it gets to write about. Take, by example, the ever-growing story of housing in Beeston. I attended the last full council meeting where the Lib/Lab partnership effectively triangulated the Tories with their promise to ring-fence Toton from the avaricious desires of hungry developers determined to dump a sea of concrete on the land that buffers it from Chilwell and Stapleford. So far, so simple.

Then the complexities set in. Everybody decided they deserve the credit for this action, and in the scramble to claim the glory no love is lost between any of the parties. Throw in Soubry’s reinvention of herself as MP Anna Eco-Warrior and suddenly you have a twisted knot of complexity only a skilled and experienced local journalist can clinically unpick. Sadly, one isn’t available, so you’ll have to make do with my fat-thumbed attempts. I promise I’ll be on it as soon as I can. But first, a request to all politicians out there:can you just pause a bit while I catch up? Cheers.


Still, looks like I’ll have more time on my hands shortly.  I’ve had my contract on my full time job abruptly ended with just two weeks notice, and with a gloomy job market to have to go trawling round my leisure time will be grow in direct proportion to my debts. Still, as unemployment is apparently the in thing with the youth these days, I suddenly become quite hip again. Big up the dole-office massive, is, I believe, is the correct parlance.

I can’t say much about why my contract was terminated, or any juicy details about the few months I worked at the place I worked, as I have to serve out the last two weeks (neatly making my 38th Birthday the last proper payday before begging for JSA again). There is a story to tell though, and I’m itching to tell it. Stay tuned.


I still do have another job of course. Pays nowt but I’m coming to quite enjoy knocking out The Beestonian every few weeks. We’re up to Issue 3 right now, though technically its Issue 5 as we did a pilot edition and a student special, only available from the Beeston BID stand at University of Nottingham’s Fresher’s week. We now have a few sponsors who help us with the costs, a great local printer called Dave and everywhere we stock it seems appreciative. It’s still daunting to start producing each issue and seeing the formatted columns empty and crying to be filled…I may have more time to work on it now I’m out of gainful employment, but i’d still love you lot to help out: send me your thoughts, your ideas, any events you want publicizing, anything. Otherwise it may morph into a physical representation of the murkier depths of my mind, and believe me, that could be dangerous, if not outright illegal. Send me stuff at , or if you want to see your name in print. We’re also on Twitter, search for @TheBeestonian . Our assistant editor Rish runs the Twitter feed, and as he also runs the top-notch Forest site , please ignore any tweets that bang on about sweet midfield forward passes. He gets confused at times.


Bizarre little (sort of Beestonia) fact: Peter Bowles, the quintessential sitcom well-groomed, oft-cravated posho and RP voiced raconteur actually grew up in a slummy corer of Hyson Green. Rumours that Penelope Keith used to deal crack from a terrace in Basford have yet to be confirmed.

"Aya masht midduck?" "I have utterly no idea what you are saying, Peter"



And this very well may not be real, but it’s worth a look: (cheers to Neil Doherty for pointing me towards this)

Evidently theres a BA in Aerosmith Studies these days...



Beestonia Begs for Brevity (and dole-money); To the Manor Born?; Lift Going Down…