- Beeston, Nottinghamshire
Infobox UK place
region= East Midlands
population= 21,000 (2001 census)
static_image_caption=Beeston Town Hall
Beeston is a town in
Nottinghamshire, England. It is convert|3|mi|km|1 southwest of NottinghamCity Centre.
Although typically regarded as a
suburbof the City of Nottingham, and officially designated as part of the Nottingham Urban Area, for local government purposes it is in the Boroughof Broxtowe. From 1935 until 1974 Beeston was paired with the town of Stapleford (2 km to the West) in Beeston and Stapleford Urban District. Beeston is in the Broxtowe constituency for UK general elections.
Suburban development of the mid-twentieth century means that the built up area of Beeston is now continuous with the former villages of
Chilwellto the west and Wollatonto the northeast, although Beeston is still separated from Bramcoteto the northwest by the Beeston Fields Golf Course. There are two main areas of the town. North of the railway that runs through the town lies the main part, including the main shopping district. Southwards lies the mixed housing and industrial area of Beeston Rylands. Beeston Rylands was historically more at risk of flooding from the River Trentto the south, and this has meant that property here was less desirable, and led to more modestly sized houses being constructed, originally mostly for rental. The last serious flood was in 1947 and reached far beyond the railway line, most of Queens Road was flooded as was Nether Street. The construction of recently strengthened flood protection [ [http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/news/1216209?lang=_e®ion=Midlands%20Region Environment Agency Press Release] ] has effectively removed the flooding threat to Beeston Rylands, although houses remain cheaper than comparable property in Beeston.
The eastern edge of Beeston abuts to the main campus of the
University of Nottingham. Although most of the University is within the City of Nottingham boundaries, the student self catering flats of Broadgate Park, owned by private company UPP, are partly within the borders of Beeston. Beeston also has a large population of postgraduate students, who tend to prefer its quieter atmosphere to that of the Nottingham areas of Dunkirk and Lenton where many undergraduates live.
Origins of the name Beeston
The earliest recorded name given to the area was "Bestune". This is now generally thought to be derived from "bes" = rye grass and "tune" a farmstead settlement. The description of local pasture is still preserved in the name of Beeston Rylands. However there are alternative derivations from "Bedestun" = the farm of Bede or (even less probably) from Saint Bees.
In the late nineteenth gentury, a genteel convention was contrived that the town's name derived from
bee. This would have also been consistent with the notion of Beeston as a "hive of industry". The bee was adopted as the emblemof the town council. Beehives appear carved in the brick of the town hall exterior, and in 1959 three bees were included in the coat of armsadopted by Beeston and Stapleford Urban District Council. [ [http://www.civicheraldry.co.uk/notts_ob.html Civic Heraldry of England - arms of former Beeston and Stapleford UDC] ] However, as this derivation was known to be dubious, the College of Armssubtly included some long grasses entwined with meadow crocuses in the arms as an alternative visual pun on the more likely origins of the name. The tradition of the bee as symbol continues - the litter bins and other street furniture in the High Road are decorated in black and gold, with a symbol of a beeon each.
There is also a sculpture on the High Road of a man sitting next to a bee hive. Again, this is another reference to the "Bee". The sculpture is popularly known as the "Bee-man", "the man of Beeston", "The Beekeeper" or "Bee King".
In Bestune, at the Conquest, Alfag, Alwine, and UIchel, the Saxons had three manors consisting of three
carucates of land assessed, which was taken from them, and given to William Peverel, the lord of Nottingham Castle, who had in his demesne, or chief manor estate, 2 plough teams, there being 17 bond tenants, called villeins, who where unable to leave the estate without the lord's consent, and yet each cultivating, say, 15 acres of arable land, and 1 ordinary tenant, called a sochman, who together had 9 plough teams. There were 24 acres of meadow, and the annual value of the estate was 30/–.
More recent history
Beeston grew from its village status with its development as a silk weaving centre in the early nineteenth century. The first silk mill was burned down (along with
Nottingham Castle) in the Reform Bill riots of 1831. With the decline of the silk industry, many of the former mills moved to light industrial uses in the early twentieth century. Equipment produced by the Beeston Boiler Company is still to be found all around the former British Empire. In 1901 the National Telephone Co., Ltd. established a factory there for making telephone material. This was taken over by the British L.M. EricssonManufacturing Co., Ltd., in 1903. Shortly before the transfer, most of the old factory was destroyed by fire, and in the rebuilding it was extended. A new power station was built. In 1906 and 1907 a large new building was erected, chiefly devoted to cabinet work. The old factory building covered an area of convert|63000|sqft|m2|abbr=on., and the cabinet factory convert|70000|sqft|m2|abbr=on., whilst the power station had an area of convert|7000|sqft|m2|abbr=on., making a total covered space of convert|140000|sqft|m2|abbr=on. Although most of the factory buildings were low rise, a Paternosterlift still survives in "E block" at the site.
Plesseyname these large premises continued to be a major source of local employment through the 1980s. Plessey became GPTwith GEC's involvement. With the various restructurings of the GECgroup and its rebranding as Marconi, a large part of the site was sold to Siemensalong with the private telephone networks side of the business. Siemens sublet a substantial part of the site as a "technology park" when they moved most manufacturing overseas. History has now come full circle as the remainder of the site, used for the public telephone networks side of the businesses, is now occupied by the Swedish Ericsson company, following their take-over of Marconi in early 2006.
The whole site was acquired by
HSBCin 2006 for a mixed-use "employment-led" redevelopment, although it is not clear which tenant companies will remain.
The pharmaceutical and retail chemist group Boots has its headquarters on a campus 1 km southeast of Beeston. This site is partly within the boundaries of the City of Nottingham. The grade 1 listed modernist buildings on Boots campus - designed by engineer Owen Williams - are very difficult to see from any public highway.
Between 1880 and the turn of the century, Thomas Humber and his partners were making bicycles and eventually motor-cycles and cars at a large factory at the junction of what is now Queens Road and Humber Road. At its height it employed 2000 although this came to an abrupt end in 1907 when the company moved all operations to Coventry.
Motor manufacture returned to Beeston for a short period in 1987 when The Middlebridge Company set up a small factory on Lilac Grove and produced 77 Scimitar cars. The company went into liquidation in 1990.Beeston Maltings was in operation until the late 20th century. The buildings are on Dovecote Lane opposite the Victoria Hotel, but as of 2007 are scheduled for demolition to make way for housing.
Other wide-reaching local companies include Myford lathes and the internet firm Webfusion (then Hosteurope and now part of
Royal Mail's main sorting office for the Nottingham area ( postal codeNG) is sited on the eastern edge of the town at Padge Road. This main building includes an area (Delivery Office) for handling the local distribution of Beeston mail.
The Nottingham and
DerbyRoad was turnpiked in 1758-9, and dis-turnpiked in 1870. A branch of the Nottingham and Ashby Turnpike Road, usually called the Sawley branch, went through Beeston. In 1831 an advertisement of the four-horse coach from Nottinghamto Birminghamstates that the coach calls at Beeston daily at 8.30 a.m., and in the opposite direction at 3.30 p.m.
Today Beeston is close to the
A52 roadand Junction 25 of the M1 motorway.
The Canal from the
River Trent, via Nottinghamand Lenton, to Langley Mill, was completed in 1802. A branch canal from Lenton chain to Beeston Cut was made by the Trent Navigation Companyunder an Act passed in 1794, and it involved the necessity for the weir at the Rylands to hold up the water to supply the canal through to Trent Bridge.
Beeston railway station
Midland Counties Railwayfrom Nottingham to Derbythrough Beeston was opened on 30 May 1839. This later became part of the London, Midland and Scottish Railwaycompany and then London Midland Region (British Railways).
Today Beeston has good rail transport links with Beeston station served by
East Midlands Trainsand Arriva Cross Country.
Frequent bus services operate to Nottingham,
East Midlands Airport, Derby, Loughboroughand other local towns, operated by Trent Bartonand Nottingham City Transport; ample free car parking is available.
Nottingham City Transport
* 13: Nottingham - Castle Boulevard - University Boulevard - Beeston - Brook Rd
* 14: Nottingham - Castle Boulevard - University Boulevard - Beeston - Chilwell
* 36: Nottingham - QMC - Beeston - Chilwell
* N36: Nottingham - QMC - Beeston - Chilwell
* 51: Arnold - Top Valley - Bulwell - Basford - Strelley - Bilborough - Wollaton - Beeston
* 193: Nottingham - Ilkeston Rd - Wollaton - Bramcote - Beeston
* Rainbow 5: Nottingham - QMC - University Boulevard - Beeston - Long Eaton - Derby - Sawley - Loughborough
* 18: Nottingham - QMC - University Boulevard - Boots - Beeston - Stapleford
* 20: Nottingham - QMC - University Boulevard - Boots - Beeston - Ilkeston - Heanor
* Premiere Travel
* 17: Nottingham - QMC - Dennis Rd - Beeston - Attenborough - Toton - Stapleford
* Veolia (Dunn-Line)
* 172: Hucknall - QMC - Beeston - Boots
* 535: Selston - Eastwood - Kimberley - QMC - Beeston
* 555: Heanor - Eastwood - QMC - Beeston
* 2000: Stapleford - Bramcote - Beeston - Beeston Rylands
Proposals have been approved by the Government to build a light rail (
tram) line through the town as part of an extension to the Nottingham Express Transitsystem. A motivation is the traffic jams on local roads during rush hour periods. There has been some local opposition to the scheme, as local traders fear that during the construction work, business would be adversely affected. However, surveys by Nottingham Express Transit showed strong local support for the scheme [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/nottinghamshire/3571298.stm|publisher= BBC News Online|title=Living with your house on the line|quote=The people behind Nottingham's tram system, known as NET, do not share this view. The development manager for phase two of NET, Chris Deas, says the planned routes were carefully selected with help from the public. He says: "We involve the public at every stage and as such have conducted an unprecedented amount of public consultation." Many factors were used to choose the tram routes, including integration with other transport, environmental impact, operational capability and cost benefit.|last=Haran|first=Brady|accessdate=2008-08-07|date=2004-08-17] .
Beeston has a number of historic buildings, including its manor house and parish church of St. John the Baptist. The church dates from the 11th century but was largely rebuilt in 1843 by Sir
George Gilbert Scott. Both are included in a conservation area which extends to include some characterful older houses in West End.
[http://southwellchurches.nottingham.ac.uk/b06/index.html Information on Beeston Parish Church on the Southwell Diocesan History Project website]
An act was passed for enclosing lands in the parish of Beeston, and in 1809 the Commissioners stated that the lands amounted to convert|822|acre|km2, to be made tithe free, and the ancient enclosed lands and homesteads liable to tithe was £687 2s 29d. They then proceeded to fix the width of the roads. The Nottingham and Derby turnpike road was fixed at fifty feet. Wollaton road, then called Cowgate, was thirty feet. The
Inclosurenot only altered the appearance of part of the parish from a moor growing poor grass, to cultivated fields with hedges, and thereby increasing the food supply, but it relieved farmers from the annoyance of having to hand over the tenth of their product in kind.
Some lands on or near
Bramcote Moor, but in Beeston parish, were enclosed in 1847, by provisional order of the Inclosure Commissioners.
Before the introduction of gas generally in the parish there was a limited supply from the Mill to separate houses. The Church was first lit with gas in 1857. The Public Lighting Act was adopted at a Vestry Meeting on
13 November 1862. The opposition to lamps in the streets was strong, and the effigy of an active promoter of it was carried on an ass round the village and hung on a lamp-post, and but for police interference would have been burned. In 1861 gas was supplied from Nottingham, and for street lamps in 1872. Beeston was connected to the mains water supply in 1876.
listed buildingof the Anglo-Scotian Mills remains on Wollaton Road to the north of the town centre. It is a solitary reminder of the former dominance of silk and lace mills on the local skyline. The buildings have been converted into a [http://www.angloscotianmills.co.uk/ series of apartments] that are currently for sale by their developer.
A cottage on the north side of Anglo-Scotian Mills was reputed to have the tallest domestic chimney in EnglandFact|date=February 2007. Its length was necessary to reach over the roof of the Mill. Although the cottage has been demolished for several years, the chimney can still be seen attached to the wall of the Mill.
A rare survival is the G H Hurt & Son Shawl Factory, which is occasionally open to the public. Shawls are produced on knitting machines and hand finished in much the same way as they have been for centuries. The factory contains examples of knitting frames from the 17th century.
Lost industrial buildings include the rebuilt silk mill and the looming bulk of the Neville Works mill on the boundary with Chilwell (later occupied by the Myford lathe factory).
The Land Societies
t. John's Grove Estate
Following the enclosure of the land surrounding Beeston in 1809 the area of St. John's Grove was allotted to the vicar of the parish church. In 1878 the land was acquired from the
Ecclesiastical Commissionersby the Beeston Land Society, a group of citizens, who divided the land out into 28 plots of between three-quarters and one acre and set out the wide straight streets. The majority of the houses are of Edwardian and late Victorian origin. The Land Society set conditions for the developers including no public houses, and strict building lines which ensured that properties were set back a consistent distance from the road. The St. John's Grove Estate is now a conservation area. [ [http://www.broxtowe.gov.uk/index-relative_nov/planning/planning_conservation/conservation_beeston/conservation_stjohns.htm St John's Conservation Area description - Broxtowe Borough Council] ]
Imperial Park Estate
Shortly after 1878, the Imperial Park Land Society and it sister organisation Beeston Building Society were founded. Together, they aimed to assist the development and financing of relatively superior housing, centred on what is now Imperial Road, north of Newton Street, adjacent to the St John's Grove development and bounded on the north by North Street. The early model was saving by a group of subscribers and the allocation of funds as they accumulated by the drawing of lots, in turn for each of them to build a house.
Bellevue Park Estate
This initial success was repeated when, in 1881, a syndicate acquired land from George Fellows, of the banking family that had its home at Belle Vue, now Beeston Fields Golf Club. The Belle Vue Land Society was formed to develop this land using similar methods to Imperial Park. The development lay to the north and formed a continuation to Imperial Park. Denison Street formed its northern extreme and Montague Street defined its eastern limit.
Cottage Grove is a Victorian and Edwardian development of houses centred on Park Road and Grove Avenue which includes Cedar Drive and North Drive.
The Estates today
Some areas originally developed by the Land Societies have been spoiled where original plots have been subdivided and more modern properties built in styles not in keeping with some of the original buildings. Many of the properties in the Imperial Park and Bellvue Estates have lost their original elegance with the lowering of chimney stacks, inappropriate replacement of windows and doors with modern PVCu, the loss of hedged fronts to brick walls or fencing, and paving over front gardens for parking.
A particularly fine Methodist Church was constructed by the architect W.J. Morley of Bradford on Chilwell Road in 1902. Its landmark spire is now visible for miles around since the demolition of several large mill buildings in the 1990s. The front of the building is floodlit at night.
Rylands was originally a small settlement around Beeston Lock, comprising some tens of houses and two pubs, although the name now refers to all of the area south of the railway line. The Jolly Angler was originally on the river side of the canal, but has since moved. Beeston began to spread south of the railway line in the late 19th century when a few Victorian villas were built near the level crossing by the station. Over the first few decades of the 20th century, several estates were built to house the workers at Ericssons and Boots, both of which had large factory sites also south of the railway line, and these estates joined Beeston and Rylands. Further post-WWII development filled in the gaps, initially with an estate of council houses and flats, and latterly with private houses and bungalows. The last significant development was in 1970 of Meadow Farm, now the four roads of timber-framed semi-detached houses between Beech Avenue and the canal. Since then Beeston Rylands has had only a small amount of infill development.
Hydro electric plant
During 1999, Hyder Industrial Ltd. built the UK’s largest "run-of river" hydro-electric plant at Beeston Rylands Weir. The plant was commissioned on
4 January 2000and later sold on to United Utilities[cite web|url=http://uucsr.lfdev.net/energy-climate-change.asp|title=Corporate Responsibility Report 04: Energy and climate change|quote=We have 11 hydro schemes across the UK including Nottinghamshire where we operate the UK’s largest ‘run-of river’ hydro-electric plant on the River Trent at Beeston.|publisher= British Land, United Utilities|date=2004|accessdate=2008-08-07] in 2001. The plant has a design life of twenty years. At the maximum consented flow rate, 60 m3/s of water passes through the pair of turbines. Upstream of the weir and during the salmon migratory period, the plant utilises a bio-acoustic fish-fence—a bubble curtain in which the bubbles contain a sound that the fish do not likecite web
title = Low Head Hydro Power in the South-East of England – A Review of the Resource and Associated Technical, Environmental and Socio-Economic Issues
url = http://www.tvenergy.org/pdfs/Final%20Hydro%20Report%2022April04.pdf
quote = An 80m long Bio-Acoustic Fish Fence (BAFF) is installed under the boom to guide juvenile fish towards the fish ladder. The BAFF produces a continuous stream of bubbles into which low frequency sound is inserted creating a localised sound curtain operating between 50 and 500Hz. This was the first time a BAFF had been approved by the EA and installed in the UK. The BAFF is only required to be switched on in spring and early summer. Downstream there is an electrical screen installed inside the exit of each draft tube, designed to repel upstream migrating fish from approaching the turbines and guide them towards the fishpass.
date = 2004-04
accessdate = 2008-08-07
page = pp. 101–103
format = pdf
first = Ian
last = Bacon
coauthors = Davison, Ian|] . This fish fence steers migrating fish away from the fast-flowing turbine intakes and into the fish ladder, by which the fish can safely negotiate the weir. The power generated supplies enough electricity (1.5 MW [cite web
url = http://www.emra.gov.uk/publications/documents/viewpointsonsusenergy_appendices.pdf
title = Viewports on Sustainable Energy in the East Midlands: Appendices
page = pp. 49, 79
quote = O10 Notts. SK 535 353, Beeston Lock, [River] Trent 1200 [kW] 5.26 [GWh/y] NFFO3; may increase to 1500 kW
format = pdf
date = 2003-09-30
accessdate = 2008-08-07
East Midlands Regional Assembly|] –1.66 MW [cite web
The Carbon Trust& Department of Trade and Industry
title=Renewables Network, Impact Study, Annex 1: Capacity Mapping & Market Scenarios for 2010 and 2020
quote=Rung One Hydro Projects, Operational [..] Beeston Weir Hydro Scheme, 1.66 [MW] , Nottinghamshire, England
accessdate=2008-08-07|url=http://www.berr.gov.uk/files/file23772.pdf] ) for two thousand homes, a total of 5.26 GWh annually.
Shopping, restaurants, pubs and cafés
Beeston's main shopping area is situated along the High Road, much of which has been pedestrianised. There are some chain stores in Beeston, but the town is best-known for its selection of high-quality independent stores including specialist
east Asianand Mediterraneanfood shops. There are also large numbers of takeaways and several restaurants, offering a wide selection of food including Chinese, Thai, and Indian cuisine. Many cafés are to be found around the main shopping centre, "The Square"- the centre of Beeston- is a 1960s shopping development, most of which is pedestrianised. A £1.4m environmental improvement scheme to pavements and lighting for the non-pedestrianised eastern end of the High Street and Broadgate further east, together with a new space at the entrance to Broadgate Recreation Ground was completed in late 2006.
The shopping centre is cut in two by Wollaton Road which has a very high volume of traffic. The lighting installed at the time of a 1980s refurbishment of the square contributes to local
light pollution. A large area south east of the shopping centre is under demolition in 2006 in preparation for a Tescosuperstore and the fire station is also due for re-location to a new site on Hassocks Lane.
Beeston has one of the highest concentrations of pubs-per-person in the United Kingdom [cite web|publisher=
BBC News OnlineMagazine/ BBC Radio 4" More or Less (radio programme)"|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/magazine/7370986.stm|title=Which town has the most pubs for its size?|date=2008-04-28|last=Tetlow|first=Daniel|quote=Also keen to claim the title are Otley, in West Yorkshire, with 21 pubs for 15,000 people, equalling 714 people per pub; Beeston in Nottinghamshire with 18 pubs for its population of 21,000; and Brighton and Hove, with 278 pubs for 250,000 residents.] , and is known for the variety of its traditional public houses.
Of particular note is the Victoria Hotel adjacent to the railway station, which bans mobile phones and has no piped music. One of the smallest bars in Beeston is the Barrel Wine Bar, which is notable for its friendly atmosphere and strong community feel. It is typical for locals to sit outside this establishment watching the world go by. There is a
Wetherspoon'schain pub called "The Last Post", situated in the building of the old Royal Mail sorting office.
Other pubs in Beeston are;
*Beekeeper, Meadow Lane
*Commercial Inn, Wollaton Road
*"The Cow, Middle Street" [demolished, was formerly "The Beech Tree"]
*The Cricketers, Wollaton Road
*Crown Inn, Church Street
*The Double Top, Bramcote Lane
*The Durham Ox, High Road
*The Greyhound, High Road
*The Hop Pole, High Road
*The Last Post (Wetherspoon), Chilwell Road
*The Malt Shovel, Union Street
*Nurseryman, Derby Road
*The Prince of Wales, High Road
*The Queens Hotel, Queens Rd
*The Royal Oak, Villa Street
*The Star Inn, Middle Street
*The Victoria Hotel, Dovecote Lane
*The White Lion, Middle Street
Beeston is home to England Hockey Premier League team
Beeston Hockey Clubwho play at Highfields Sports Club on University Boulevard.
Until 2006, Beeston was home to Nottingham Rugby Club, which has now sold the land next to the railway line and moved to share the
Meadow Lanepitch at the Notts County ground. The town has a thriving sporting community, with local football club Beeston.Biz FC who are current Nottingham 6-a-side Premiership champions and compete in the Notts Sunday Football League and also a growing youth football club, Beeston Centurions. [ [http://www.clubwebsite.co.uk/beestoncenturionsyfc Beeston Centurions club website] ]
Notable people from Beeston
* William "Bendigo" Thompson, a 19th century bare-knuckle boxer.
Sir Paul Smith, the fashion designer who attended Beeston Fields Secondary Modern School for Boys whilst growing up.
* Sir Neil Cossons (Chairman of the
English Heritage) grew up in Beeston, attending Church Street School, where his father was the headmaster. One of his first jobs was working as a railway porter at Beeston railway station.
Edwin Starr, the Soul singer lived in Beeston and died there in 2003 [cite web|publisher= BBC News Online|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/2911555.stm|title=Soul legend Edwin Starr dies|date=2003-04-03|accessdate=2008-08-07|quote=Starr, who was one of the first artists to be signed to the Motown record label, died at his home near Nottingham, his manager Lilian Kyle said. He had lived for many years in the UK.] .
Richard Beckinsale, the actor was brought up in the town.
* Dr Robert Felkin, medical missionary and explorer, ceremonial magician and member of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn.
Little Barrie, a music group that have since relocated to London.
* [http://www.broxtowe.gov.uk/text/index/about/about_broxtowe/broxtowe_popstats.htm Population statistics from Broxtowe Borough Council website]
* [http://www.beeston-notts.co.uk Exploring the History of Beeston]
* [http://beestoncivicsociety.org.uk/ Beeston Civic Society]
* [http://www.yourcomputerdepartment.co.uk/chilwell/clubs/blhs/blhs.htm Beeston Local History Society]
* [http://www.broxtowe.gov.uk/ Broxtowe Borough Council]
* [http://web.ukonline.co.uk/freshwater/ericsson/erichist.htm History of British Ericsson Company]
* [http://www.beeston.biz Beeston Community Website]
* [http://www.beestonexpress.co.uk The Beeston Express Local Newspaper]
* [http://www.beeston-free.org Beeston Free Church]
* [http://www.myford.com Myford Ltd] Online Community Forum
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