News and Updates

October Meeting – Aly Greenway – The Adventures of an Environmental Health Officer

The Adventures of an Environmental Health Officer was the topic of the most recent guest speaker at Bingham Business Club. Aly Greenway of Aslockton now runs a training company specialising in health and safety, and first aid. She is a former environmental health officer, and spoke about some of the stranger situations she encountered during the early days of her training and career. As a young, female, trainee environmental health officer, she was sometimes thrown in at the deep end by her new colleagues. She recalled arriving for her first day at work, smartly dressed and carrying a briefcase containing her sandwiches. She was sent to the pest control department, opened the door, and found herself in a smoky room with no other women employees. Young, keen and naive, it took her some time to work out when her male colleagues were playing jokes on her. One of these was when a team was sent to a rat-infested fish and chip shop, and she was told her job was to hit the rats with a spade when her colleagues drove them out from under the fryers. Perched on a chair, spade held high, she waited, only to find her colleagues peering through a door to see how she had reacted. She spoke about a visit to an abattoir and emerging covered in blood, fending off the amorous advances of a large dog, and scratching the back of a man who did not need an environmental health officer at all. “He had actually invited me into his room to talk about sexual matters,” she said. “This was in the days... read more

September 2016 – Richard Brackenbury

Solicitor and history enthusiast Richard Brackenbury was the guest speaker at the latest meeting of Bingham Business Club. Nottinghamshire born-and- bred Richard also runs Brackenbury’s Britain, a company specialising in cultural and corporate walking tours in the Peak District National Park. His talk touched on castles, churches, and historic sites and events in the area. He said Bingham was at the centre of a cross, surrounded by the significant historic sites of Newark and Lincoln, Leicester, Nottingham and Belvoir. “The whole area is a microcosm of English history, with many sites second to none in England” he said. He highlighted the historic importance of Nottingham and Newark because of their positions as River Trent crossings, and the roles of larger settlements such as Nottingham, Newark, Southwell and Lincoln in the English Civil War. But he also spoke about smaller places with historic significance, including the village of East Stoke, between Bingham and Newark, where thousands died in the last and bloodiest battle of the Wars of the Roses. Richard Brackenbury chairs the Nottinghamshire Historic Churches Trust, and he spoke his love of churches and church architecture, with Southwell Minster being his personal favourite in this area. He said that 45% of Britain’s Grade 1 listed buildings were churches, which were a tangible link with the past. “You can look at these structures and almost feel the characters who walked these floors before you, which is one of the reasons I find them so fascinating,” Business club chairman Jonathan Hammond invited those who had not already done so to support his sponsored charity sleepout at Notts County Football Club’s Meadow... read more

July Meeting – Networking

Five local charities received cheques for £200 each at Bingham Business Club’s latest meeting. The not-for- profit organisation had asked local groups to apply for a share of £1,000 it had accumulated in its funds. Representatives from five successful groups were at the club’s July meeting to receive the money from club chairman Jonathan Hammond during a networking meeting. The groups chosen to receive £200 each were Notts County Football in the Community Bingham and District Audio Magazine the RAF Newton Memorial Fund Calverton and Bingham Swimming Club Vale First Responders. Football in the Community used the money to help fund a group for older players; Bingham and District Audio Magazine put it towards helping people keep in touch with their community; the RAF Newton Memorial Fund will put it towards the cost of heritage panels; Vale First Responders need funds to provide volunteers with emergency kits; Calverton and Bingham Swimming Club put it towards an underwater camera to show swimmers how to improve technique. Business club members were urged to pledge their support for club chairman Jonathan Hammond to encourage him to take part in a charity sleepout taking place at the Notts County ground in October. The event is for senior business people to raise money to help fight poverty and homelessness in Nottingham. The remainder of the meeting was a chance for members and visitors to do some networking before a buffet breakfast. The club is a support, social network and forum for businesses in and around the Bingham area. It offer members and other attendees the chance to meet and constructively work together to generate revenue and help address the issues that face local businesses. Whether you are a new business starting out or a long-established part of the... read more

June Meeting – Bingham Community-Led Plan

The importance of maintaining momentum after the launch of the Bingham Community-Led Plan was emphasised to members of Bingham Business Club at their latest meeting. The chairman of the plan’s steering group, Peter Allen, explained that the finalised plan, which took two years to complete, had been compiled to present the views of the community about the future of the town. The plan report will have to be considered by those making decisions about future development in Bingham. The plan was created from the responses of almost 3,000 people who took part in a detailed survey, which identified a dozen key priorities they wanted to see implemented. These covered a range of topics – health and social care, education, sports and recreation, crime and anti-social behaviour, public toilets, environment, business, the Market Place, transport, planning and development. “The Bingham that people live in now is not quite the Bingham that people want to live in,” Peter Allen said. He said the town had been developed with a house-centred mindset rather than a work-centred mindset, leading to an imbalance. Infrastructure had not grown in proportion to the population increase, and a business development plan for the town was needed. Peter Allen said the community’s desire for improvement was currently strong, but if the momentum was lost it would die. “I think the opportunity is there to move Bingham forward,” he said. “The onus is on all of us to provide the planners with the information they need. They can only make decisions based on the information they have.” Business club chairman Jonathan Hammond urged club members to support the plan. “Rushcliffe Borough Council has got its ears open at the moment. Six or nine months down the line that may have stopped,” he said. Club... read more

April Meeting – Neil Clarke, Rushcliffe Borough Council

Business growth and development were on the agenda at the latest meeting of Bingham Business Club. The guest speaker at the monthly breakfast meeting was Neil Clarke, the leader of Rushcliffe Borough Council, and chairman of the council’s strategic growth board. He explained that this included the Bingham and Radcliffe growth group, whose role was to bring together people and groups with an interest in the development of the two towns, and support key components required to successfully accommodate the proposed growth, including car parking, shops, supermarket development, rail improvement, leisure and education. He said the borough also encouraged businesses to move into the area, and established businesses to expand within the area. The local growth group had found Bingham to be vibrant in terms of shopping and business, and a local plan had been adopted to include housing and business growth in tandem. “It is all very well building houses, but you need employment for the people who are going to live in those houses,” he said. Other priorities were to strengthen flood protection and widen the access road to the Newton industrial estate. “We have also been looking at the town centres of Radcliffe and Bingham, including car parking, and I am not pretending there is any easy solution.” He said the borough was working closely with Bingham Town Council to create long-term parking on the northern side of the town to free up town centre spaces for short-term shoppers’ parking. Mr Clarke said the franchise to run the Nottingham to Grantham railway line was up for bidding shortly, and he hoped this would allow for negotiation for improved transport links. He said the council was always willing to try to help local businesses grow, and business club... read more

March Meetings – Notts County Football in the Community

Record Notts County goalscorer Les Bradd encouraged members of Bingham Business Club to get involved in community sport when he visited their latest meeting. Born in a Derbyshire village, Bradd enjoyed many sports at school, but particularly football. “Football was a huge part of my young life It was every boy’s dream to be a professional player.” But at 15 his began an apprenticeship as a welder at a local quarry. He still played for his local club at weekends, on a field behind the village pub, which was also used to graze cows. It was during half-time in one of these local games that he was approached by a scout and offered a trial with Rotherham United, and made his professional debut for the club in 1966. He signed for Notts County the following year and went on to make over 400 appearances for the club, scoring 136 goals and in doing so becoming the club’s all-time highest goalscorer – a record that he is very proud to still hold today. He remained in football after his retirement from playing in 1983, and since 2012 has been as ambassador for the club and more recently supporting the team at Football in the Community. This project runs a varied programme for all ages in the community, working to improve physical and mental health in children and adults, through a range of sports-based activities, as well as improving many disadvantaged communities. It works with 10,000 people every year. Part of Les’s role is to help to raise money for the projects, and he urged business club members to support them.... read more

January Meeting – Terry Rodgers & guide dog Emmet

Members of Bingham Business Club were given an insight at their last meeting into the training and working life of a guide dog for the blind. Terry Rodgers of Radcliffe-on-Trent was at the meeting with his guide dog Emett, a five-year-old black Labrador. He said the purpose of a guide dog’s training was to prepare it for the sights and sounds it would encounter throughout its working life. Puppies receive their initial training from a puppy walker, and one of the first things it learns is to go the toilet on command, in a designated area. Specialised training at a guide dog centre begins when a dog is about 15 months old. This includes learning up to 50 different commands. A pet dog typically knows fewer than 10. When Terry was first matched with Emett, they spent an intensive two weeks together, living in a hotel in Nottingham and training in the city for long hours every day. At the end they were licensed to work together. Emett’s specially-fitted rigid-handled harness enables Terry to sense his every movement, and feel exactly where he is. Guide dogs are able to remember many regular routes, learning by repetition. “Where I live, in Radcliffe, he knows the route that I am going to take, say, to a certain shop, and he will take me there.” He said the biggest problem he and Emett faced when out and about was obstacles on pavements, such as parked cars and wheelie bins. “He is trained to take me round when he can, and if it is safe, but it’s not always possible.” Sometimes this means having to retrace their steps, cross a road, and cross back later. The pair go everywhere together, including... read more

November 2015 Meeting – Bingham Heritage Trails

Bingham Business Club members heard from Peter Allen of Bingham Heritage Trails Association about the association’s Roots of Bingham project. The four–year project involved a series of small test pits being dug in more than 60 locations throughout the town to establish how each site might have been settled in the past. Iron Age remains were found in four sites, while others revealed Roman pottery, tiles and bricks, and an 18th Century rubbish pit. Peter Allen spoke about how the centre of the town had changed over the years, shifting from a crossroads of important routes, with the parish church at the centre, to further south, where Long Acre is now. The main streets that make up Bingham now were beginning to emerge from 1100 to 1250, and the hundred years that followed that were the town’s most prosperous period, when the whole parish was under cultivation. The Black Death devastated the population and it took many years for the town to recover. Long Acre was not recorded until after this time, and then it was called Husband Street, denoting the fact that it was a street of farmers. Every home that took part in the Roots of Bingham project will receive a box containing items dug up in their garden, along with a report about them. More than 40 people were involved in the core of the project, with over 100 taking part at times. Business club chairman Jonathan Hammond recommended that club members find out more about the project on the association’s website. He said it was fascinating, cautioning: “Don’t do it at the start of the day or you’ll lose two or three hours of your working day.” Copy provided by Advertiser Media Group Images provide by Buttercross... read more

October 2015 Meeting – John Taylor & Co Bell Foundry

Members of Bingham Business Club were given a glimpse into the ancient process of bell-founding when they were visited for their October meeting by Andrew Mills, a director of Loughborough-based bell foundry John Taylor & Co. The company continues a history of bellfounding that has been unbroken since the middle of the 14th Century. It has been operated by members of the Taylor family from 1784 and in 1839 it moved to its present position in Loughborough. It is the largest bell-foundry in the world. Andrew Mills said he had been ringing church bells from childhood, having been born into a bellringing family. He has rung more than 5,000 of the 6,500-plus rings of bells in the UK, and has recently clocked up a record-breaking 14 hours and 26 minutes’ continuous ringing during a visit to Somerset. Andrew Mills described the bell-casting process, which can involve up to 16 tons of metal for the largest bells of up to 8ft or 9ft in diameter. He said the process used by Taylor’s to produce the best tone was a closely-guarded secret. “Even to this day, bell-tuning is a dark art,” he joked. The company makes new bells and repairs old bells, both in the UK and overseas. There are many Taylor’s bells in local churches, including Southwell Minster, Grantham, and a new set at Thoroton, where a band of ringers is being trained to ring them. Andrew Mills invited business club members to visit the foundry where many processes have remained unchanged for well over a century. “If you want to go back in time to the 18502, Taylor’s is the place to go,” he said.   Copy provided by Advertiser Media Group Images provide by Buttercross... read more

September 2015 meeting – Leader Fund

Members of Bingham Business Club were urged to see if their businesses qualified for money from a European-fund for rural communities. Craig Edson told members about the Leader fund, which is managed through the Rural Payments Agency on behalf of Defra in England, as part of the Rural Development Programme for England. Local action groups bid for cash from the fund have resulted in £1.85m being made available for north Nottinghamshire, and £1.55m for south Nottinghamshire, which includes Bingham. The Leader programme is being launched in the late autumn, with applications being taken from January for projects starting from April. Leader grants are designed to directly support jobs and growth in rural areas, from starting a new business to construction costs for premises, buying equipment, processing and marketing, social service provision, or setting up an IT business. Nottinghamshire County Council will provide technical and compliance advice and guidance for the scheme. Craig Edson said that all rurally-based businesses were potentially eligible for a grant, which could amount to £35,000. Businesses were invited to contact him at Nottinghamshire County Council’s Leader project for more information about the project, which will be launched locally in November. Bingham Business Club chairman Jonathan Hammond urged members to consider applying for the fund. “All this money we have been paying into Europe is now coming back to us in Bingham,” he said. Jonathan Hammond also encouraged members to take part in the annual quiz he organises to raise money for Childline. Last year’s quiz, with a television theme, raised almost £2,000 for the charity. This year’s quiz has a theme of Number One chart... read more