Though he was not born and did not die in Beeston, his parents moved their family here from Sawley when he was very young and it was undoubtedly the influences of his early education, his time as a lad in the local lace factories and his conversion and commitment which arose from his membership of the local Baptist chapel - which was then based in the very building where we had gathered - that shaped his life. It was this chapel community that sponsored his time at theological college from where he went on to a lifetime ministry in west London. It was from that base that he developed as a national and, indeed, an international figure for social issues, in particular as a campaigner for non-denominational education. Rev Kevin Dare, the present Baptist Minister in Beeston, then read an extract from Dr Clifford's sermon which he delivered on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of his ministry, which illustrated clearly the power of his oratory and his commitment to his life's beliefs
The plaque was then unveiled by the Deputy Mayor of Broxtowe, Councillor Margaret Handley (accompanied by her husband on the left of our photograph, which also shows, left to right, Rev Kevin Dare, Hilary and Roy Rudduck and Professor John Beckett)
Now, thanks to this simple memorial, the contribution of Rev Dr John Clifford and the part paid by Beeston, and particularly this building, will surely not be forgotten. Those interested to learn more about this, might wish to read our account of his life and work.