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Buildings & Features in Beeston -

This section tells the story of buildings and features to be found in Beeston, now or in the past

The Forge - in continuous use as a smithy for over 165 years with only two family owners, the smithy with its cottage served Beeston well. This is the story of the business and the families that ran it.

Inns & Pubs - during the 19th Century the number of pubs and beerhouses grew tremendously so that at one point there was one for every 200 of the population - man, woman and child. Here we track the history of each establishment, including one or two that are no longer serving. Here too we describe the use of pub checks in the area as well as the story of Beeston Brewery - which is closely connected to the life of Samuel Theodore Bunning.

War Memorials - Beeston is almost unique in having three outdoor war memorials which remember the fallen of four wars. Here too can be found the fascinating personal stories behing the Crimean war memorial, a Roll of Honour of the Fallen from the Great War and the story of the exception contribution by the Boys' Brigade in that terrible war.

The High Road - a journey up and down the High Road, exploring the buildings and those who occupied them over the years. This is an on-going project.

Schools - education in Beeston grew from privately run facilities for the relatively few, progressed to purpose-built National and Weslyan Schools and, following the Education Act of 1874, moved to a series of purpose-built Board Schools for all, The story of these developments and something about the people who made it happen is included here. Also available here is a growing gallery of school photographs.

Cinemas - Many may be surprised to learn that local residents once had a choice of four (and this nearly became five) Beeston cinemas which they could attend - and,until television took much of their audiences away, in the 1950s, they were very popular, being regularly attended by a large proportion of Beeston residents. And, before any of these arrived, there were several attempts to show films in the town - with varying success, but all done with entrepreneurial zest. Here we tell the story of the pioneers, the cinemas and the interesting and enterprising individuals involved.

Housing - as Beeston evolved from an agriculture-based economy to an industrial town its population grew dramatically. This created a demand for more (and better) housing which was sometimes difficult to keep up with. This tells the story of how (for the most part) it was achieved.

Fire Station - a formal fire service was first provided by the local council and operated from a station at the top of Stoney Street for around 65 years from about 1900.

© David Hallam 2005-2023