Monday, 26 January 2015

Beeston Filmfest and life in the election trenches

Given the success of last weekend's Beeston Film Festival, I suspect next year's could be a red carpet affair with monitors announcing the next film and glam at every turn, somewhere to be seen. OK, I jest, but these things do happen. The truth is Film Festival organisers John Currie and Jamie Hall pitched the weekend to perfection. The White Lion was the perfect venue in every sense. The upstairs room where the films were shown may have seen better days, but it had the feel of an old 6d (sixpenny) cinema from the fifties (I am that old).

Next year I will be inviting my friend Alex from Edinburgh to come and stay for a long weekend so we can cruise the Film 
Festival together. Alex grew up in Beeston and returned as an adult for a few years before taking herself off to where she was born in 2013. She is into films and I know she would have so loved it.

They say a picture can speak a thousand words, so here goes…

I took this photograph of Mags, a Trent Uni student living in Beeston, as we both grabbed a bite to eat. Both of us chose Sergio's Fish Stew. It was truly wonderful and I will be going back for more very soon. The painting behind Mags is one of a number for sale at the White Lion. It is entitled 'Paris Café' by Dawn Booth, a local artist, and can be yours for £400. I wonder if the person who eventually buys it will take away some of the wonderful food aromas which fill the White Lion, captured by the painting?

My own fish stew was a picture, as I hope the photograph below proves, and I spent some time looking at it, before finally eating it as slowly as I could. All this for £5!

Throughout the day there were moments like this; people talking. On this occasion about horror films and I was pleased to learn that I was not the only person who did not watch them. I went to the first documentary session, then the family films and the comedy films session. The films generated a real mix of emotions and I will certainly be going again next year.

The person standing up is Sergio, the White Lion landlord. I have blogged about him on my parkviews blog (which has been replaced by this blog). In October 2013, I did a blog post entitled 'Cake too good to leave' and here is a pic from that post showing Sergio with cake in hand.

Somehow I have got this far without mentioning 'Beestonia', the movie made by Matt Goold and his colleagues. It opened the Festival and was fun, well produced and a great advert for Beeston. Matt tells me it will be posted to YouTube in the near future, so everyone can see it.

During one of the breaks I got chatting with Jacky Walker and Geoff Francis, who were at the film festival supporting a 5 minute film called 'Thank You Stan' about the great Stanley Matthews. Both have been involved for the last fifteen years raising support and finance for a animated film about his life. You can find out much more at their website:

It was, at times, spine tingling. The chance to talk with them and share their enthusiasm and determination for a few brief minutes made going to the Filmfest worth while. Below is an image of 'Stan' from their website.

I ended my week playing the part of a foot soldier in the election campaign, delivering letters and seeing front doors close up. How I hate low level letter boxes. Posties have to contend with them every day. If I had my time all over again I would form my own political party and call it the Marginal Party and, guess what, letter boxes would be high up its list of priorities, together with 101 other tiny annoying issues. I'll stop now, I see a separate blog post coming on about the little things in Beeston which need attention and would improve the quality of our daily lives no end.

Above is an example of a letter box I do not like and below is the perfect letter box — both found today as I was out delivering for the Labour Party.

This week I hope to receive some answers from Broxtowe Borough Council to questions I had asked about houses in multiple occupation (HMOs) and comparative voter numbers in the four Beeston wards in 2011 and 2015. If I do then this will be the focus of my next blog post.

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