Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Small Pinboard #3

As I prepare to leave Lenton I am aware that since starting this blog in February 2007 I have taken a lot of photographs of 'Lenton Faces' and a good few before. The next one will be of Lenton Recreation Ground pics, but these are a few which always come to mind when I think of the photographs I have taken. I like them all for different reasons.

No.1 is of Matthew Butcher, taken on the day of the 2010 General Election outside The Lenton Centre, where Matthew, the Green Party candidate, spent most of the day from 7am until 10pm with either Susan or me, who were there taking polling numbers for the Labour Party. I liked Matthew a lot. Always good company and a model student in every sense, active in the local community — which is how I got to know him. As I mentioned in a recent posting about the Green Party, poor Matthew lost heavily. Susan and I both voted for Lilian Greenwood, the Labour Party candidate and I have taken numbers at polling stations in election days for the Labour Party since I was a teenager and will volunteer to do so in Beeston, even though I let my Party membership lapse last year. Susan still has her card, so I am sure we will get to know local activists. In the photograph Matthew is minding a voter's dog.

No.2 is from 1994 and our first campaign to save Lenton's swimming pool. We were successful, but there were two more attempts to close the pool before Nottingham City Council finally sold Lenton Community Association the building for £10 in 2005. The pool re-opened in 2008 and I am very proud to have played an active part in all the campaigns to save the building, along with many others in Lenton, including our ward Labour Party councillors.

No.3 is a cropped version of a larger photograph I entitled 'Three ladies with large brassicas'. What you cannot see are the large cauliflowers they are holding. I took the photographs at The Lenton Centre back in the days when the Dunkirk and Lenton Partnership Forum ran a veggie box scheme. The lady in the middle is Lesley Fyffe, a community stalwart of the first order and very active at the Dunkirk & Old Lenton Community Centre by Dunkirk Flyover and a founder member of the Dunkirk and Lenton Partnership Forum. A good friend who will be one of our first guests to lunch when we have moved to Beeston.

No.4 is of Mr and Mrs Ferdi, who were close neighbours until last winter, when they went to live with their daughter. They were both originally from the Ukraine and made their way to England after the Second World War. They were a gentle couple, always ready for a chat. I will always remember them.

No.5 dates from 2007 and was taken at one on my 'Tea in the park' Sundays, something I did for a good few years once a month during the summer. These three teenagers were from Wollaton and they so reminded me of my own late-teenage days. I had similar moments myself in the company of lovely young ladies and it remains a photograph full of happy memories of my 'Tea in the park' afternoons. 'The park' by the way was Lenton Recreation Ground and held in the park pavilion, which the City Council allowed me to use free-of-charge.

No.6 is a photograph I took of local resident Shirley at the front door to her council flat above the Church Square shops in Lenton. Another community activist who was always good company.

No.7 shows Mairi Yuill at her desk in The Lenton Centre, where she still sits every week, now in her nineties, doing the Centre's day-to-day accounts. Before that she was a founder member of Lenton Community Association and always an officer until in 2006 it became The Lenton Centre, when she became a board member. When Susan and I arrived in Lenton and started going to Labour Party meetings she quickly recruited us as volunteers to help in the then Lenton Community Centre and from 1981–85 we were Labour Party county councillors together, both of us having previously been city councillors (Mairi in Nottingham, me in Birmingham). She helped found the Dunkirk and Lenton Partnership Forum and, over the years, we worked on many projects together. By any measure, Mairi is a community hero and I am so lucky to know her.

Leaving Lenton is a bagful of mixed emotions, but I am now looking forward to Beeston. I have never been a person to look back. I believe you have to be active where you are.

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