TRUSTEES REPORT 2016-2017

Another year flown by and in some ways not a lot has happened but in others it has. Our membership stays stable as people leave but then new ones join so it is mainly constant. We lost one member of the committee through resignation, which currently stands at 9, this is not enough if we wish to keep the flourishing committee we would like. We hope to welcome a new member this coming year who has already proved herself to be a very useful member taking on the Twitter account which has lain dormant since Owen left us a couple of years ago. These days life is led in the Social media, namely facebook, Twitter and the World Wide Web. We try to keep up to date but it would be great to have more help and different people having input, so few can only do so much.

We are lucky in our Treasurer, Rob Murphy, who keeps us up to date and has finally got us signed up for Gift Aid, hence you all receiving new forms to complete, I would urge you to please do this for us even though you may have completed one in the past, we are starting afresh as Rob has no idea with the forms we currently have who is still eligible and who, without a lot of work searching, is still a CS member. It is annoying that we cannot make our Santander account online as until the bank decides to send us a statement we have no idea how much money is in there, it is a most unsatisfactory place to be, we now ask people to sign up with our account at HSBC where we can see online banking at the flick of a button and can pay into an actual bank with cash, which we cannot do with Santander as it is a postal account, makes our lives a lot easier. After members subs have gone into the Santander account, we write a cheque to move it into HSBC, we keep hoping that because there is no movement on the account, only now once a year, that they will write to us to advise they are closing it. If this does happen, we will have to ask you to move your standing orders anyway, so it would be helpful if you could do this now your current Sub has gone into the account, if you do it now it will be from October next year, October 1st 2018, please consider helping us by doing this for us. Thank you.

Our meetings have been well received, some better than others. The November talk on Recycling was replaced last minute by a talk by Mike Spencer, Director of Attenborough Nature Reserve, very, very popular talk and he will be coming back again in the New Year to talk to us about another aspect of Attenborough Nature Reserve. I missed the January talk by Elain Harwood of English Heritage on Brutalist Architecture but it was very well attended and enjoyed. In March Jason Mordan also gave a very interesting talk on Heritage at Risk, Building Conservation in Broxtowe, some problems and opportunities.
Peter Robinson organised a meeting in April entitled Beeston: 30 years into the future. We had quite a large panel of speakers and there will be an update on that talk at the AGM on Friday 13th October. An extra talk was put on in June so we could invite Wolfgang Buttress to talk to us about The Hive situated in Kew Gardens. So we knew what he was talking about, I organised a coach trip to see the Hive which was just incredible, it made his talk far more interesting to those of us who had actually seen it and could ask intelligent questions about it. We learned that it is and will remain, the only one, that it will be at Kew for at least the next 12 years, that The Duke of Devonshire wanted it for Chatsworth after it left Milan but didn’t get it –shame as it would be good for ‘we who live in the North’ as far as London is concerned – it may yet go there, no commitments for it yet I don’t think!
People enjoyed the Kew trip so we have just had another trip to Hampden Court Palace, enjoyed by all who went. I am happy to organise more trips if people want them.
We continue to monitor all local planning applications commenting on those we consider to be of concern. We also attend Broxtowe’s Planning Committee meetings in a watching role. We continue to research local buildings to nominate as non designated Heritage Assets, help is always needed and welcomed to do this. We also attend Council workshops on various issues, Chetwynd being one of them. We have responded to the Government Consultation on the future of East Midlands Rail Franchise. We will be responding to the Local Plan Part 2 which Stefan Saunders will be coming to talk to us about at an extra coffee morning on this Saturday 14th at The White Lion. We will be offering to help the Council with the Consultation on the future of the Town Hall. There is interest in the fate of the building from outside Beeston including C20 Society. We have also encouraged the Council to have a policy on HMO’s in view of policies in place in Nottingham City. This is mainly for the protection of occupiers as well as amenities of local residents. No reported progress so far.
Caroline Penn has become a member of the Friends of Beeston Station, reporting on the state of the station building to Network Rail and the Councils Enforcement Officer. This group has been successful in getting gutters cleared and plants removed from the canopy EMT are upgrading the waiting room/ticket office.
This report is about looking back not looking forward but there are some excellent talks booked for the coming season, 2017/18 thanks to Caroline Penn who has done sterling work booking then chasing people up for confirmation that they are actually coming.
We attended the opening of the Heritage Canalside Museum, what an event that was! Over 2000 attended, they were quite overwhelmed by the crowds, we had our stall there and spoke to a lot of people.
Once again we took part in the Beeston Carnival, always a good event for Beeston folk to enjoy, a very successful affair, enjoyed by many people.
We have had a new Editor for our Newsletter and it has had a facelift, some good articles, not many societies still do a paper newsletter so I feel this is one of the bonuses for our members, much as it would be easier for us to just to email it out to people.
The Blue Plaque Booklet has had another print run, this time 5000 and all paid for by donations thanks to the hard work by Peter Robinson. Half of these are kept by the Nottingham Tourist Board. Jonathan Tate, our designer of the BP Booklet and also the HOD booklet, took it on himself to design a BP walks leaflet, again this has proved very popular and although the Nottingham Tourist office had an initial supply they now have the pdf so they can print out maps for visitors when they ask for a booklet. Thank you to Jonathan is due.
Thanks must go once again to Professor John Beckett for his series of walks which take place through the summer when we do not hold public meetings in the evening. These are very well attended with 40 or so people joining him to hear about Beestons History.
And so to HOD, now run by a separate committee to whom thanks are due for all their hard work in making it even bigger this year, still one of the largest in the country I believe so well done everyone. 10.000 booklets were printed and distributed around the area from Wollaton and Strelley to Stapleford and Attenborough, truly an inclusive district affair. People are still needed to help with this committee which comprises few people and would benefit by more joining it. Please contact them through our Gmail account, addressed to Eileen Atherton, at beestoncivicsociety@gmail.com if you would like to help. It is not a 12 month commitment like being on the CS committee is. If anyone has any comments to make about this year’s events please email us with your views, be great to have some comments to put in the next newsletter.
We have now moved back to the Library, newly refurbished with a larger room for us, the room being the main reason for us leaving there for the Pearson Centre. Because of the layout having a kitchen in the room, we are once again offering refreshments. We are now open from 7pm for refreshments and chat, this is to enable us to start promptly at 7.30 and more importantly finish at 9pm. One of the best things about the Pearson Centre was the ability to stay later if we were enjoying the speaker, two evenings we went on until nearly 10 pm, not so at the Library hence the earlier start.
Coffee mornings continue to be sometimes well, and sometimes not well attended but those of us who are there enjoy them and sometimes stay on for lunch, it can be quite a social event. This coming Saturday 14th October, Stefan Saunders is coming to talk to us about the Local Plan Part 2, this is a really important document for Beeston, please come and hear what he has to tell us and how we can help to get the public involved in the consultation, this is the only Public meeting in Beeston there will be as far as we know so we will be pleased to welcome Stefan.
Finally, there will be an update of ‘Beeston, 30 years hence’ on Friday at the AGM. Please do join us, please think about standing for committee or at least volunteering to help, people to look at planning applications are particularly welcomed.
Thank you. Judy Sleath Chair of Beeston Civic Society.