Monday, 22 June 2015

Unnoticed magnificence, The Food Bar and Beeston's woodhenge

I try to walk the main shopping street from Park Road to Marlborough Road every couple of weeks and continue to be amazed at what I miss. I call it 'walking eyes wide shut'. We all do it. Not looking for the unexpected that is, and last Monday was another such day. 

It's like walking past The Flower Shop on Chilwell Road and never photographing it before. It really does bring a touch of brightness to the street. Every street should have one. I am tempted to do a blog post devoted to Beeston flower shops, so watch this space.

A tram figured in my last post and here are another two. You wait four years and then they all start coming together. One trundled past me as I walked down Chilwell Road...

...and when I walked back a few minutes later there was another tram coming towards me. It really can't be long now until we have a date for when the trams go operational and start carrying passengers.

At the beginning of this post I mentioned things I miss. I have to confess that it was only last Monday that I took in the full magnificence of this building. I have walked past in countless times. It is Beeston telephone exchange. Around the countries there must be hundreds like in style if not size, but the point is it is the only one in Beeston and for this reason should be treasured.

It hides behind the south side of Beeston High Road off Acacia Walk and to its west is the Tesco car park, from where I took this photograph.

Another change I missed was the cafe I had marked as 'Brunch' becoming The Food Bar, where I stopped for coffee and a chat with its owner Tom. There was a steady stream of regulars whilst I was there calling in for take-away 'fresh salad boxes' and 'wholegrain wraps', all made on the spot by Tom. On the menu is something called, if I remember correctly, 'dry coleslaw'. I will be going back soon with Susan. His crayfish tails looked delicious and so did the other fillings The Food Bar has to offer.

Tom recently won the 'New (Beeston) Business of the year' award in a competition organised by Beeston BID. His bananas were also ripe and ready to eat, as you may just see in the above pic of Tom standing behind the counter in The Food Bar. Well worth a visit and his prices are good. Just £2 bought me a good black coffee (very hot with a clean fresh taste that lingered).

The Food Bar is also open EVERY DAY (8.30am–5.30pm). Most Beeston cafés don't open on a Sunday and a few do not open on a Monday. Another big plus point for Tom.

As I continued my walk along Beeston High Road I looked down into Broadgate Park and overheard someone asked 'Who's that?'  Back came the reply 'Queen Victoria'. I didn't think it was, but I couldn't remember who it was. I have looked at it a good free times over the years and it is yet another example off what we can miss or easily forget.

It is a memorial to the Boer War and on the reverse side are the names of Beeston soldiers who died. Another reminder of our imperial past and of lives lost long ago in a pointless conflict.

Another shop I have never photographed until now is Charlie Fogg's. The very first shop at the eastern end of Beeston High Road. We have been going there for years, having shoes and bags repaired, for keys and a couple of shopping trollies. Always helpful and a shop where I seem to meet people I know.

I turned back and walked up Marlborough Road towards home and took one final photograph for the day of what I think of as Beeston's very own 'Woodhenge'. The first time I saw it, it seemed quite out of place. Now I would miss it. I rather like the idea of a quiet public space in Beeston defined by huge upright timbers surrounded by stones and gravel.

Whoever is responsible deserves our thanks for sharing his or her vision with all who care to walk past and stop awhile. Five minutes later I was home. I walk past it every week and Woodhenge is one thing I always notice!

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