We are run by a Committee of volunteers. The Executive Committee is elected at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the Society, and constitutes a Chair, Treasurer, and Secretary. We also have a cohort of Officers elected who assist in running the Society and/or advise, as well as members invited to join our Working Groups.

Any member of the Society may volunteer for election. Non-members can be invited to join and or co-convene Working Groups.

2021/22 Committee

While lucky enough to receive nine nominations for Committee members this year, none was received for Executive roles (Chair, Treasurer, Secretary).

After a successful first meeting to get to know each other, our Committee have devised to collaborate together to share the essential tasks and responsibilities for the functioning of the Society between them, with longer standing members taking up Executive roles in an Acting capacity.

We’re fortunate to be able to continue the Society’s tradition of a broad spectrum of experience and skill in the Committee this year, as in previous years. But we’re not The Experts – and always appreciate help, advice and constructive criticism or helpful suggestion. Please do bear in mind that all Committee members are volunteers. They have families, jobs and other commitments or responsibilities outside the Society to work around. Your patience is always much appreciated.

Please feel free to contact the Committee collectively via our inbox beestoncivicsociety@gmail.com.
If you wish to contact individuals please just include “FAO[Committee member’s name]” in your email subject.

Executive Roles

Chair (acting)

Tamar Feast

Vice Chair (Acting)

Jeanie O’Shea

Honorary Secretary (Acting)

Mervyn Brown

Honorary Treasurer

Gary Smerdon-White

Mervyn Brown
(acting) Hon. Secretary

He has worked across Higher and Further Education from the North East to Nottinghamshire. Returning to Derbyshire in a move to Secondary Education with responsibility for integration of Arts and Technology, leading teams in the transition from Primary to Secondary, and countywide Science and Technology.

Mervyn has run local businesses ranging from wine to workwear, through to construction and, latterly, a small investment property portfolio. He has also held various senior positions in professional associations including Nottingham Trent University (NTU), the Federation of Master Builders, and Construction Forum.

He is now principally involved in providing business development advice, working with NTU and with fundraising for John van Geest Cancer Research.

Julianne England

Julianne lives in Beeston. She’s a new member to the Society. 

A Leader in Arts Secondary Education for approximately eighteen years, she’s passionate about working with wider communities, while connecting different groups to enrich lives and environments. Julianne has worked on various creative projects with institutions such as The University of Nottingham (UoN), Nottingham Contemporary (NC)NonsuchNottingham Portrait Gallery (Creative Connections Project with NC), also supporting local groups such as Bee Creative Community. For the past three years she’s been a parent governor at Round Hill School.

Tamar Feast
(Acting) Chair

Tamar spent twenty+ years as printer and graphic designer in NTU’s School of Art + Design. She’s now a professional planting designer, florist and wildlife gardener. She founded We Dig NG9 in 2014 to rewild a verge in Beeston, and has created other areas for wildlife such as the #BeesBackinBeeston project.

Tamar has lived in Beeston since ‘99, and joined the committee as a Trustee three years ago.

Jeanie O’Shea / Barton
(Acting) Vice Chair

Initially summing herself up as merely “Jean’s a singer (dadadadee), she plans public-art-attractions while she plays pianoooooo…” Jeanie’s actuallybeen a Committee member since 2017, when she was invited to join the society for her keen interest in high street regeneration and the evolution of retail. She is a Society Trustee.

A professional singer songwriter and bandleader, Jeanie also brings with her a background in event management – and founded our #BeestonStreetArt #alightinBeestonand #TheBeestonShowcase projects to successfully promote our area as a worthy destination, and attracted investment.

Gary Smerdon-White
Hon. Treasurer

Gary’s career in the electricity industry spans thirty years, in a number of senior change and operational management roles. Since 2000 he’s worked as a consultant in development, IT and transport projects and in the not for profit sector, including: Greater Nottingham PartnershipProfile NottinghamExperience NottinghamshireNottingham Contemporary, Greater Nottingham Transport Partnership, and Greater Nottingham NHS LIFT.

More recently Gary been promoting sustainable and active travel asExecutive Chair and then CEO of the Big WheelRideWise and Sustainable Travel Collective charity before retiring in 2018. He lives in Attenborough, and has been a member since 2018.

Karen Stainer
Planning + Heritage lead

Karen has lived in Beeston for about twenty five years. After a career in medical research (QMC and Cityhospitals) and NHS patient engagement, she’s now retired. Karen is new member of the Society but has attended many of our talks, walks and coffee + chat sessions in the past. Enjoying socialising, shopping, rambling locally, she’s keen to help Beeston and nearby be the best it can be. Karen is involved in Beeston Film Festival, and helped organise the recent Broxtowe Green Festival. She also volunteers with a local food bank.

Chryse Tinsley

Chryse has lived locally for almost thirty years. Professionally, she’s a landscape architect for Leicester City– studied Architecture first, and more recently Environmental Management. Chryse was the first ever National Suds Champion (“It’s about drainage not bubbles. And it matters re: Beeston”); has been a tree warden in the past. Chryse is also an illustrator, and is currently doing industrial buildings of Beeston. She has given great talks for the Society in the past; was a member of the judging panel for our 2021 Design Awards, and has also kindly shared some of her work for our main image on this Digest.

Marysia Zipser

Founding community group Art Culture Tourism (ACT) in 2013, Marysia’s mission was to recognise, bring together and fuse ethnically diverse creatives in a network; to promote Beeston, Nottinghamshire and ACT artists, photographers, film makers, authors, and performers on an international stage.

With forty years’ experience in communications, PR, marketing, promotions, event management, tourism, and hospitality under her belt – Marysia is probably the most well-connected woman in Beeston to help the Society with its projects, campaigns and efforts to protect, preserve, and improve Beeston.

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