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Campaigns and Activism

The Old General

The Old General is a pub in Nottingham that has sadly closed down. It is a vital part of Nottingham's history and should be open, the landlords want £800 a week which is too much.

The statue of The Old General is traditionally dressed as Santa at Christmas, and I have twice had to fight to get this tradition of over one hundred years honoured.

A good history of the pub can be seen here.
The article from August 2009 when I kicked the campaign off is here.
The pub was (temporarily) reopened with my help, the story is here.

I still want this pub to reopen, if it doesn't then it might get redeveloped. This means that another local pub bites the dust, and a tradition dies. I set up a page on facebook, which you can still join.

Article in The Nottingham Post published 6th December 2011 is here.

Christmas 2011, and Christmas is restored in Hyson Green. Article.

Plan to turn the pub into shops and flats, The Nottingham Post, Saturday 4th August 2012 here

BBC Radio Nottingham invited me in to talk about the above. Here


Mushy Pea-Gate

The Nottingham institution that is Goose Fair was hit by a massive scandal in 2010 and 2012, when the mushy pea stall known to locals as 'the' mushy pea stall replaced the traditional bowl and ladle on the counter with a shop bought squirty bottle. I have done all that I can to make sure that this doesn't happen again, as it brought shame on the city of Nottingham.

The original blog written in 2010 is here
The follow up blog from 2011 is here

In 2012 it all stepped up a gear, once again the squirty bottles came back to much outcry.

The blog from 2012 is here

Small article in The Nottingham Post here

Facebook protest group here


Emmett Clock

The Emmett Clock is the focal point of the Victoria Shopping Centre in Nottingham. In September 2013 it was reported that as part of a refurbishment of the centre, the clock might be moved to another location within the city. This caused what in Nottingham passes for an outcry; everyone rolled his or her eyes and tutted.

It was suggested to me that I try and gather the troops as it were, and make stand against this proposed move from happening. I have a track record when it comes to this sort of thing, so I organised a peaceful protest to take place on Sunday 22nd September.

On Friday 20th September, I was interviewed by Andy Whitaker on BBC Radio Nottingham about this, and plugged not only the protest but also the Facebook event page.

On the morning of Sunday 22nd September, there were still only eleven people apparently going to turn up. I had invited everyone on my Facebook friend list in Nottingham, and only a handful could be bothered. That same morning I was talking to another host of the event who had been informed that the clock was not going to be moved. The combination of that news, and the fact that it seemed that nobody could be bothered, made us come to the decision that the protest would turn out to be a waste of time. With about two hours to spare, I put an announcement on the Facebook page to say that the protest was not taking place.

Later that afternoon I received a phone call from The Nottingham Post asking what was going on. I explained what I’d put on the Facebook page, and then mentioned how Nottingham people are to blame for the decline of Nottingham. This was the first time this protest had been acknowledged by the paper, as they didn't reply to my original email.

I love Nottingham; it is after all the city of my birth. However, since I moved back here in 2007 I have watched it slide downhill. Apathy is the problem that affects everything that goes wrong with this city, it’s easy to roll your eyes and tut, but it doesn’t count if you’re not prepared to do anything about it.

The Emett clock needs to stand where it is and act as a symbol that enough is enough. There’s a joke about Nottingham that “it’ll be nice when it’s finished”. The time has come for that finishing happening. Nottingham has a long history of destroying the past, and its leaders have never had any respect for public opinion. Since the 1960s wrecking ball era, this city has witnessed act after act of architectural and cultural vandalism, for which the council has yet to issue a public apology for. Only this year Nottingham lost the Odeon cinema; a building that would have made a good theatre, live music venue, or even a cinema. Now it will become student accommodation, Nottingham’s obsession that doesn’t show any sign of slowing down despite the fact that Nottingham doesn’t actually need any more student accommodation. The old music venue Junktion 7 is to be knocked down too, and this is a city with the UK’s most thriving music scene, (in fact it is only Nottingham’s music scene that we have got to be proud of at the moment).

This is also the city that only recently held a vote on whether or not we should have a mayor, which of course we should have done. Unfortunately, Nottingham people couldn’t be bothered to go and put their tick in the ‘yes’ box, and now we won’t have a mayor.

With Goose Fair approaching we are reminded of the scandal that rocked the annual event last year, but not a lot of people seem to have joined the Facebook group to help make sure it doesn’t happen again. Also, don’t even get me started on The Old General, I was the only person prepared to get that sorted out wasn’t I?

I apologise again to the people who did show up for the peaceful protest, had I known you were going I’d have joined you. If you are invited to a wedding you send back the RSVP don’t you? You don’t just turn up without telling anyone either way. Had you bothered to join the Facebook event and maybe even posted an opinion or two, then I might not have taken the decision to cancel the event.

Remember, next time something happens that you don’t agree with, do something about it.

Original report in The Nottingham Post here
Monday 23rd September report on the cancelled event here