We all gathered at the Methodist Church hall, where Alan Clayton, the Chairman of Beeston & District Local History Society welcomed three generations of the Cossons family headed by Arthur Cosson's son, Sir Neil Cossons and his daughter, Hilda Stoddard. Peter Robinson, Chairman of the local blue plaque project, spoke of its objective of linking 'person with place' - and today it was the well deserved 'person', Arthur Cossons, and the 'place', therefore, undoubtedly Church Street Junior Boys' School. For Sir Neil it was a time to remember their father in the context of his own early life in Beeston and his time at his father's school and the family home on Union Street, now lost through redevelopment.
We had also gathered to witness the unveiling of an associated plaque to mark the remains of the Village Cross which had, until about 1860, it is said, stood in the area previously known as 'The Cross, where the War Memorial now stands, until it was taken down and used as part of a nearby wall. It was there, in 1929, that it was rediscovered by Arthur Cossons, who had it erected next to the school. During his lifetime, there is no doubt that he made sure that his pupils and the wider population of Beeston were aware of what it was but now, with memories fading, there was a need to add an explanation of what it was. Professor John Beckett set out the evidence to the audience. While there was no evidence that Beeston had held ancient rights to hold a market, the old name for Middle Street - Market Street - may point to its local use to mark a corn market and its proximity to the Church pointed to its use as a focus for processions at Harvest time.