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Beeston References

What's Written About Beeston ? - a Local Bibliography

Here, we aim to give the definitive list of all that has been written about Beeston and the immediate area over the years. We are sure to miss much out at first but, over time, we will add more as we get to hear of something that's missing. The entries are arranged in no particular order although the latest additions are shown in the following boxed area.

New Listings

From Baku to Beeston - The War Letters of Arthur Cossons by Hilda Stoddard & Neil Cossons. Born in 1893, in Taunton, Somerset, Arthur was one of the generation that had to put their life and career on hold to go and fight in the Great War. So it was that, in May 1915, he left his job as an assistant in a men's outfitters to serve with the Royal Army Medical Corps, It was the start of almost five years of service, for the most part assisting in hospitals in Salonika, Constantinople, Batoum on the Black Sea and - finally - Baku. During all of this time, he wrote home regularly, to his mother, his brother and his sister, in all some 164 letters which have survived. They show vividly, within the limits of the censor, aspects of his everyday service life there and show clearly his interest in every day life around him and the enquiring mind that was to serve him, and those around him, well for the remainder of his life. After the war he started a new career in teaching and, in 1922, was appointed to teach at Church Street Boys School and became its Head in 1932. There he remained for the remainder of his career and remains widely remembered in Beeston for the diligence which he applied to his job and everything he did, in particular his love of local history. (ISBN 978 1 3999 2636 2) Published privately, 2022. 204 pages. Hardback

In Search of a Mother by Julie Leek. The tragic story of the author's search for Audrey, the mother she last spoke to 30 years previously, only to find that she had taken her own life 17 years previously. Needing answers she begins to investigate the circumstances behind Audrey's and her three siblings' life including their early life in the orphanage in Beeston. Trying to discover the real story was a labourious and testing experience but Julie finally uncovers the truth against all the odds. Includes lots of local detail. (ISBN 1-4120-2678-4) Trafford Publishing - 2004. 263 pages in a card cover

Guide to Beeston; published by Vicery, Kyrle & Co, Ltd. Undated but believed to be from 1922.Includes sections on the general description of Beeston, its administration, brief history, industry, Parish Church, other places of worship and places of recreation and amusement. Includes several illustrations of Beeston scenes, etc. Several pages of trade advertisements are of particular interest. 44 pages in a paper cover.

Beeston Handbook and Illustrated Almanack - 1931; The sixth edition of a handbook compiled by John Roger Anderson, the first of which appeared in 1890. This well known Beestonian represented Beeston as a Liberal on the Notts County Council for over 40 years from its first formation in 1889. Includes a brief history of Beeston, complete with pointed comments from the compiler - a tendancy that continues throughout. Also includes detail of local and County Council representation and officers, place of worship, charities, etc. Several pages of trade advertisments. Syndicated filler material of general but not local interest. Approx 98 pages in a paper cover.

A History of the Parish Church of Beeston by G.W. Deverill. Published October, 1927 for the Beeston church's 6th Centenary. Includes a fairly comprehensive account of the history of Beeston Parish Church, some of which appears to have been taken from an earlier account, Gleanings by Rev Oldrini. Well illustrated. Click here for a transcription of this booklet. 48 pages in a paper cover.

Beeston Parish Church edited by G D Keeble. Detailing the activities and organisations associated with the church in 1956 and its history, largely reproduced from the earlier Deverill version but with added sections covering St Marys, Rylands and the Valley Mission.Published by Butler Publications, 1956. 36 pages in a card cover.

Beeston Parish Church Valley Mission, 1887 - 1971 by Eric W Cox. A short account of the history of this mission church, formed in 1887 to serve the new centres of housing around the then Humber Company works and finally closing in January 1971. Largely a reprint of a article in the Beeston Gazette & Echo dated January 29th 1971. 8 pages in a light card cover.

Yesterday and Today A brief outline of the history of Beeston Parish Church by Sheila Allton. Describes something of the history and features of the Parish Church and its contents. 16 pages in a paper cover. Published in 1973. A revised and enlarged edition, which includes a useful outline of the lives of many of the Beeston Vicars of the past was published in 1981. 27 pages in a paper cover

Beeston Parish Church Edited by Sheila M Eden. Published in 1994 to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the rebuilding of Beeston Parish Church. Acknowledged by the editor to include much that was contained in earlier histories of this church, nevertheless includes much that is new, written in a refreshingly up-to-date style. 76 pages in a card cover.

Pollards of Beeston - a Century of Lace Making by Ernest Pollard. The story of four generations of the Pollards - a family which played a leading role in the lace making industry in Beeston. Swiss Mills, built by John Pollard in 1886, will be well remembered by those who knew Beeston before its loss in a fire in 1984. Well illustrated. 40 pages in a card cover Published in 2006 by Lagoga, Kent (ISBN 0-9552554-0-6) Read More.

Beeston Fields Golf Club - From the Early Days to 1998 edited by Dick Hutchinson. Published to mark the Club's 75th anniversary in 1998. Includes sections on previous owners of the site, including the Fellows' family and Frank Bowden. Well illustrated. 32 pages in a glossy cover.

Chilwell Manor Golf Club History, 1906 - 2006 A tour of the course, its history and development, with old and modern-day photographs, officials, trophy winners, club professionals, etc. 130 pages, paperback.

The Beeston Story by Margaret Cooper. An account of the development of Beeston through the centuries from pre-historic to modern times. Very well illustrated. Published by Nottinghamshire County Council Leisure Services, 1996 (ISBN 0 900943 89 0). 90 pages in a stiff glossy cover.

Views of Beeston A presentation of images of Beeston in the mid-1980s by the Beeston Civic Society. Illustrates and describes interesting architectural features, many of them of historical significance, that featured in the town at that time. 1986 (ISBN 0 9510848 1 X). 38 pages in a card cover.

Nottingham & Beeston Canal A brief account of building of the canal followed by a detailed description of the canal trail from Nottingham to Beeston. Maps of the route and illustrations throughout. Published by Nottingham City Planning Department, 1981. 20 pages in a convenient format for carrying, in a card cover.

Old Village Trail Describing a walking trail around the original village core of Beeston. Maps and line drawings throughout. Published originally, jointly by Beeston &District Civic Society and Beeston & District Local History Society and later republished by the Civic Society alone, 1983. 12 pages in a card cover.

South Beeston Industrial Trail Describing a walking trail around the lower part of Beeston with particular emphasis on the history and remaining traces of industry to be found on that route. Map and line drawings throughout. Published jointly by Beeston & District Civic Society and Nottinghamshire Industrial Archaeology Society. 1985. 23 pages and fold-out map in a convenient format for carrying, in a card cover.

100 Years of Telecommunications a concise history of telecommunicatiobs at what was Ericsson's site at Beeston and later Plessey and then Siemens. Published by Siemens Communications Limited, 2001, to mark the centenary of the site. 16 pages in a card cover.

Barton - Part 1 - 1908-1949 by Alan Oxley. A definitive account of this well-known local bus operator, up to 1949, which, while based originally in Beeston, established its main base in adjacent Chilwell. Many Beeston references. Copiously illustrated. Published by The Transport Publishing Company, 1983 (ISBN 903839 64 4). 136 pages, hardback.

Full House by Leslie J Allsop, An account of the history of the four Beeston cinemas - Palace, Palladium, Astoria and Majestic, as well as the fifth that was never finished (The Embassy) and something about early attempts to show films in Beeston. Undated but cir 1996, 24 pages in a card cover.

In Search of Historic Beeston by Margaret Cooper. An earlier account by the author of aspects of Beeston's history using survivals from the different eras from the Bronze Age to the the Victorian. Undated but produced following a series of WEA talks and walkabouts in 1984 and 1985. 24 pages in a card cover.

A Victorian Lady's Diary, 1838-1842 edited by Margaret Cooper. A transcript of the diary of Elizabeth Nutt Harwood which she kept between 1838-1842 while living at the Boat & Horses Inn in Beeston Rylands. 67 pages bound in a glossy cover. Read More.

Over the Hills ... by W. Keble Martin. The autobiography of the author of 'The Concise British Flora in Colour' who was a curate at Beeston between 1902 and 1906. A chapter in the book gives a glimpse of life in the community at that time and describes his making early sketches of local wildflowers which were eventually to be used in his best selling publication. Published in hardback by Michael Joseph Ltd 1968. Keble Martin also designed a set of postage stamps featuring wildflowers which was issued in April 1967.

The Manor House, Beeston, Nottinghamshire by M W Barley and S C Wallwork. An interpretation of the house using a Probate Inventory of 1696/7 and modern surveys. In Transactions of the Thoroton Society of Nottinghamshire, 1982

The Midland Counties Railway compiled by The Derby Railway History Research Group. Includes a detailed account of the building, opeing and operation of the line from Nottingham to Derby. Two illustrations of the early station at Beeston are included. Published by the Railway & Canal Historical Societ, 1989 (ISBN 0-901461-11-3) 128 pages, bound in a glossy cover.

A History of the 6th Beeston Scout Group by Alan Wilson. An account of the first 50 years (1936 - 1986) of the Groups's history, published in May 1986. 36 pages in a card cover with illustrations.

Black and Gold by David H Hallam. An account of the first 30 years (1928 - 1958) of the 2nd Beeston Sea Scouts, written to commemorate the Group's 60th Anniversary in October 1988. 28 pages in a card cover. It has now been republished on this site with the addition of many photographs.

The History of Church Street Schools by Margaret Cooper. Something about the history of this Beeston school, drawing heavily on extracts from the school log books. Undated, but cir2005. 27 pages in a card cover.

Never Let Anyone Draw the Blinds the autobiography of Lottie Martin. Edited by Julie O'Neill. The author describes in interesting detail, the first 20 years of her life in Beeston from her birth there in 1899. Includes vivid descriptions of everyday life as a child and as a worker at Bayley's Tannery in Lenton and the Chilwell Shell Filling factory - including an account of the 1918 explosion. Published by Paula Hill, 1985 (ISBN 0 9510405 0 2). 48 pages in a card cover.

The Crimean War Memorial at Beeston Parish Church prepared from papers left by the late Wally Dunn with further research by Disney Keeble and Pamela McGrath, edited by Sheila Eden. A brief account of the Crimean War and a little about the four Beeston men remembered on the memorial. Published by Beeston & District Local History Society, 1996. 20 pages in a paper cover.

The Spicer Life - a Trip Down Memory Lane by Leslie F Spicer. Born in Beeston in 1904, the author describes his early life, local characters, Boys Brigade, work at Chilwell Shell Filling Factory, football and athletics, the home-front in the 2nd World War and much more. Published by Beeston & District Local History Society, 1997. 52 pages in a card cover.

Beeston Characters in the Twenties & Thirties by Peter d'Auvergne. Interesting pen portraits of the range of interesting characters who contributed greatly to the everyday life in Beeston before the Second World War. Published by Beeston & District Local History Society, 1996. 52 pages in a card cover.

Hands to the Plough by Wyn Davis. Published by the Trustees of Inham Nook Methodist Church, Chilwell as a souvenir of the opening of this church in May 1963. A history of Methodism in Chilwell, Notts. Includes references to connections with the Methodist New Connexion at Beeston and the Hudston family. 12 pages in a paper cover.

Canary Girls of Chilwell by Maureen Rushton. The story of the women who worked at The National Shell Filling Factory at Chilwell during the First World War. Includes eye-witness accounts of the 1918 explosion - heard and felt over a wide area, killing 134, Published by Beeston & District Local History Society, 2008 (ISBN 978 0 9541485 1 5) 96 pages in a glossy cover.

The Chilwell Story by Captain M. J. Haslam, RAOC. A well illustrated account of the The National Shell Filling Factory and Ordnance Factory at Chilwell, from its beginnings in 1915, through to 1982. Published by The RAOC Corps Gazette, 1982 (ISBN 0 9508092 0 9). Hardback

A Policeman's Progress by Sam Davy. An autobigraphy which includes interesting descriptions of his early life - including a period of between 1920 and 1924 when he lived at Beeston while his father was stationed there as a policeman - and his own career with Nottinghamshire Constabulary during which he was twice stationed at Beeston - from 1937 to 1938 as a Detective Officer and, as Chief Inspector in charge of the Sub-Division, from 1955 to 1961. Published by Ashbracken, 1990 (ISBN 1 872356 04 4) 104 pages in a glossy cover.

The War Diary of a Despatch Rider's Wife by Will Heard. The diary of Vera Heard during the war years, 1939 to 1945, which contrasts her extraordinary social life, in and around Beeston, with her husband Harold's army service as a despatch rider. Published by The Choir Press, 2017.(ISBN 978-1911589235) 130 pages, paperback (Kindle version available).

Beeston Now & Then by Judith Church for Beeston & District Local History Society. A large collection of pictures of Beeston and area in the past, many with the accompanying matching modern-day view. Copiously illustrated. Published by Beeston & District Local History Society, 2006 (ISBN 0 9541485 0 9) 88 pages bound in a glossy cover.

Beating The Invader: Beeston & Chilwell in World War 2 and the Floods compiled by Judith Church. Many personal accounts describing life in the Beeston area during the Second World War and during the floods in the immediate post-war years. Copiously illustrated. Published by Chilwell Publishers, 2001 (ISBN 0 9553849 0 7)158 pages bound in a glossy cover.

Beeston Rylands Remembered compiled by Carole White. A copiously illustrated account of aspects of The Rylands - essentially the oldest settled part of Beeston, near to the river. With personal accounts of everyday life in the area. Published by the author, 2012. 126 pages bound in a glossy cover.

An Illustrated Guide to the Blue Plaques of Beeston, Chilwell, Attenborough, Toton, Stapleford & Bramcote a pocket sized guide to the 34 blue plaques, throughout the district, which mark the links between extraordinary people and the places where they lived and worked. 43 pages in a paper cover, with fold-out map. An online version can be found here

I Remember When ... collected and compiled by Julia Powell for Beeston & District Local History Society. A collection of recollections of everyday life in Beeston, Chilwell and surrounding areas, in the 1940s and 1950s. 113 pages in a glossy cover (ISBN 978-0-9541485-2-2)

Remembering Long Eaton, Beeston & Chilwell - a collection, by Julia Powell. of memories of aspects of life in these communities in times past. 89 pages in a glossy cover, 2018 (ISBN 978-0-9541485-3-9)

The Story of Beeston - by David Hallam - an illustrated history of Beeston between 1896 and 2016 to celebrate the 120th Anniversary of the Beeston Estate Agents, C P Walker & Son. 75 pages in a stiff glossy cover. Published 2018 by C P Walker & Son.

When Phones Were Immobile and Lived in Red Boxes by Gladys Hobson. A pick and mix assortment of childhood memories of life on and about Grove Avenue, Beeston and working in Nottingham in 1939-1953, by the author who was then Gladys Brock. First published by Magpies Nest Publishing, 2004, 138 pages bound in a glossy cover.

The Story of Peter Tomlinson - Peter tells the fascinating story of the family electrical contracting business, started in Beeston by his father Jack, in 1950, from their council house home on Hetley Road, Beeston. From small beginnings, the business was to grew to employing 70 electricians and 12 staff and was to undertake work for many national names. The were many ups and downs before the company was able to move from its Abbey Road base to premises on Lilac Grove, Beeston that reflected the position in the industry that had been earned. But the recession of 1992 took its toll and, reluctantly, the family decided to sell-up. Several later ventures had varying success before Peter's eventual retirement in 2003 - 224 pages in a glossy cover. Published privately by the author, 2021.

Oliver Hind and the 2nd Nottingham Company of the Boys' Brigade by Terence Woolley. While not directly related to Beeston, this is a comprehensive and interesting account of how Oliver Hind combined the ethos of the Boys' Brigade with the excellent recreational and training facilies at Dakeyne Street Lads' Club in Nottingham. As mentioned in the book, this became the model for the Beeston Lads' Club. 77 pages in a stiff glossy cover. Published in 2013 by Terence Woolley Publications (ISBN 978-0-9576599-0-2). Very reasonably priced at 5.00, with copies available at Waterstones or at www.nottinghambooks.co.uk.

Beeston on Old Picture Postcards by Graham Hopcroft - No 5 in the "Yesterday's Nottinghamshire" Series. Reproductions of 60 old postcards of Beeston, almost all from the first half of the 20th Century, Each has an informative caption. 36 pages in a glossy cover. Published by Bygone Age, Keyworth, Nottingham, 1990 (Reprinted 1992, 1993 and 1996, Revised 2001) (ISBN 0 946245 35 5)

A Nostalgic Look at Beeston by Alan Oxley & Vernon Richmond - interesting photographs of Beeston in the past, 44 in all, several of them not seen elsewhere. Published by Robin Hood Publishing, 1989. 48 pages in a card cover (ISBN 0948854073)

Beeston & Bramcote in Times Past by H Lawton & H O'Connor. A book of old pictures of these two communities produced to raise funds to purchase equipment and resurces for the benefit of pupils of Alderman White School, Chilwell. Each photograph is accompanied by text describing its historical context. 48 pages in a card cover. Published by Countryside Publications Ltd, 1982 (ISBN 0 86157 082 0)

Beeston & District Street Directory and Shopping Guide containing listings of householders arranged in street order, were probably published at various dates prior to and within a few years after World War 2. Known editions are one from 1952, published by W Tuttey & A Salmon - 96 pages in a paper cover - and a pre-WW2 edition probably dated about 1935 - with about 110 pages (cover and some pageas are missing from the copy seen). Both have contemporary advertisements for local firms and the 1935 edition has several pages with local information.

© David Hallam - 2003 -