Monday, October 1, 2007

Lads' Club on the Move

Land acquisitions in Beeston town centre and the subsequent clearances for the new Tesco Store, mean that many of old landmarks are vanishing. Soon to go will be the Lads' Club building, home to the Boys' Brigade in Beeston (the 17th Nottingham Company - formed in 1909). The driving force behind the Club and the building - as the datestone shows, first built in 1913 and extended two years later - was Steven Hetley Pearson, the oldest son of Henry John Pearson - in turn, the oldest son of the Chilwell family of nurserymen, a partner in Foster & Pearson the horticultural builders and founder of Beeston Foundry. Of the £3000 cost of the original building, over half was donated by the Pearson family with Hetley contributing over £1000 personally.

Many of the Club's members were to serve in the First World War. By 1916, 126 present and former members had joined, some - including Pearson himself, were not to return.

For almost a century, the youth organisations that are based at that building have been a undoubted force for good in Beeston with generations of young people benefiting from their training. Now that they are soon to move to new premises on Nuart Road - on part of Roundhill School field - it is pleasing to know that the present name "The Pearson Centre for Young People" will continue. Pleasing also to have played a small part in the arrangements for the day by putting the organisers in touch with a member of the current generation of the Pearson family who will be welcomed as part of the official opening on February 2nd 2008.

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