Tag Archives: St Neots

The Future of St Neots – A Collaborative Story

Thank you to everyone who participated in the creation of a collaborative story at the Future Takeover event at the Art and Soul cafe, St Neots, yesterday. The story took exciting turns from parking to pubs, and finally into the future:

The Future of St Neots

It was an exciting day for the people of St Neots.

I found a car parking space. £3 for 24 hours . . . I could be here for a while.

I looked around me, taking in the hustle and bustle of the busy people in the car park. Where is he going? What is he doing?

I made my way to Art and Soul. Would I get some cake and coffee . . . or maybe something more.

Whilst at the cafe, I checked my mobile phone. I had received a mysterious text message inviting me to meet someone at the Pig and Falcon.

Should I go? Was it a wrong number? I decided to take a risk and check it out.

I was within a few yards of the pub when my nerves got the better of me. What am I doing? What would my mum say?

Unfortunately for me my mum is quite a wild child so asking myself this question often leads me towards adventure not away from it! So, I looked around me and stepped towards the door to the pub. I pushed it tentatively and peered inside.

I was completely shocked by what I saw.

Standing at the bar, holding a glass of white wine was a lady dressed as a Jedi or maybe she was, in fact, a Jedi. She spotted me and said, “Fancy going on a bit of a journey? I’m going to show you what St Neots looks like in the future.”

Before I knew it I was off to Priory Park, which was now a Wookie settlement. I was greeted by a creature who claimed to be Chewbacca’s brother.

He said, “St Neots is far more interesting than the Millennium Falcon. This is really what the future will look like.”

And then he took me on a tour of St Neots, through the parks and along the river and into some pubs. We ended up at the Market Square where hundreds of people gathered and held aloft their light sabres to mark the anniversary of the day the Jedi lady came to town.

Contributors:

Louise Sboui

Emma Charter

Jan Sandrell

John Taylor

Daniel Billing

Marion Bull

Laura Melling

Claire Knox

Emma Clark

Christian Payne

Michelle (from Collusion)

Tevin Muendo

Oliver Morley

Anonymous

Thanks to all the contributors as well as Collusion and Neotists for providing a great event to consider and shape the  future  of the town.

Seven Reasons to Attend the St Neots Film Festival

The St Neots Film Festival is almost here! If you haven’t got your ticket yet then what are you waiting for?

Festival details

Dates: Monday 7th and Thursday 10th November at Cineworld and
Friday 11th November at Loves Farm House

Times: 6pm to 9pm

Tickets: £8 for a festival pass (both nights at Cineworld), £5 for one evening at Cineworld, £2.50 for the final evening at Loves Farm House (available on the door)

Buy tickets here.

Here are seven great reasons why you should go:

To be entertained

Clearly the main highlight of a film festival is the films. Filmmakers have been submitting their short movies throughout the year and the organisers have selected the best to be showcased at the festival. Films are a maximum of 20 minutes long. This is great for people with a short attention span (like me) and means you get to see a diverse selection of films each evening.

To discover local talent

Films have been submitted from local children, teens and adults. Movies by Cambridge based film making groups Little Victories Films and Ruptured Screen will be on show as will short films made by St Neots based Channel 7 Productions.

To support the local community

The event has been organised by local people who are keen to unveil film making talent. The festival has gained support from sponsors including Lovett Sales and Lettings, Neotists, St Neots Film Club and Cineworld.

To meet great people

Grab your popcorn and settle down for a top evening of entertainment. But take a look around. You could be sitting alongside the stars, directors and producers of the films you are watching.

To see your home town on the big screen

I love seeing places I have been on films.  With many films made by local people on show, there is a high chance that the settings will be the places you know and love too.

It’s great value for money

Festival passes (for both evenings at Cineworld) are £8. The final evening at Loves Farm House is just £2.50. Where else can you get three evenings’ (nine hours’) worth of entertainment for £10.50?

To be inspired

The films will definitely entertain, probably make you think, and maybe even inspire you to go out and create something awesome yourself.

See you there!

Buy tickets here.

Help to spread the work by sharing this blog post and following St Neots Film Festival on social media:

Twitter: @StNeotsFilmFest
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stneotsfilmfestival/

Dog Friendly Pub Crawl in St Neots

Gone are the days when we attempted the legendary Crown to town pub crawl through Eaton Socon to St Neots town centre. Not only have we attempted and failed this many times but we also have responsibilities now. These responsibilities come in the shape of a fluffy white dog named Fozzy. This Saturday, in honour of Lemming’s birthday, we decided to try a dog friendly pub crawl instead. Here is the route we took:

Map of Dog Friendly Pub Crawl in St Neots
The route

The Rivermill

The Rivermill pub, St Neots
First stop, The Rivermill

We often walk Fozzy from St Neots, through the campsite and along the river to this pub. Dogs are welcome downstairs in the bar area, and a jar of treats can be found on the bar. If it’s a nice day it’s great to sit outside and look out at the boats on the river. Doggie water bowls are available and most of the benches are smoke free (which to me is an unusual bonus for an outside area) but there are a couple of benches at the end for smokers.

Dog pulling person across grass
Fozzy taking Abi for a walk

The White Horse

The White Horse pub, St Neots
The White Horse

A short trot across the green took us to The White Horse. The outside bar was open but the music was way too loud and the decked area around it was empty. Small people played on the bouncy castle and ran around with toy guns. The beer garden is huge so we found a relatively peaceful bench on the grassed area. Dogs are welcome in the bar area which is quiet and traditional.

The Old Sun

The Old Sun pub, St Neots
The Old Sun

Not far down the road is The Old Sun. Dogs are welcome in the bar and football is often shown on the many TV screens. The decked area at the back of the pub tends to be in the shade but the pub has created a roped off, astro-turfed area with benches and doggie water bowls next to the car park. Although it’s not particularly scenic it did allow us to sit in the sun a little longer.

The Waggon and Horses

The Waggon and Horses pub, St Neots
Food stop at The Waggon and Horses

Across the road is another regular haunt, the Waggon and Horses. This is a Cask Marque pub which apparently is good news for ale drinkers. There are a couple of benches outside in the sun but they are next to the main road. The sun was starting to drop now anyway so we headed inside where dogs are welcome in the bar area. By this time we needed food and this was a good place to get it.

The Barley Mow

The Barley Mow pub, St Neots
The Barley Mow

We walked along the Great North Road towards town and dropped in at the George and Dragon, where dogs are usually allowed. However, a live band was due to play so dogs had to take a night off. We carried on down to The Barley Mow where treats were immediately offered to Fozzy. This is also a Cask Marque pub and was showing the Champions League Final.

The Barley Mow pub, St Neots
The Barley Mow

The Bridge House

The Bridge House pub, St Neots
The Bridge House

We made it over the bridge and into town where we finished our pub crawl with a couple of games of pool in The Bridge House. Dogs are welcome in the bar and the landlady brought a treat over to Fozzy. It was dark and chilly by now but this is another good place to sit outside and look out across the river on a nice day.

We thought about continuing on to Ye Olde Sun, where dogs are allowed in the bar, but made a rare but wise decision to call it a day and head home.

Please feel free to comment with any other dog friendly pubs near St Neots.

My First PechaKucha

Back in 2015 I was asked over Twitter if I’d be interested in presenting at a local PechaKucha evening in January. I’d never even heard of PechaKucha but took a look at the website and thought, why not give it a go!

For those that don’t know, PechaKucha (Japanese for chit chat) is a form of presenting using 20 images. Each image moves on automatically after 20 seconds. This encourages the presenter to be concise. PechaKucha nights originated from Tokyo as a way for people to meet, network and display their work.

PechaKucha nights are now held all over the world, including, as I found out, in my home town of St Neots, Cambridgeshire. The St Neots events are run by Neotists a group of local creative professionals.

When I agreed to present at the next event, January 2016 seemed like a long way away and I thought had plenty of time to prepare, after all 20 slides of 20 seconds only totals 6 minutes and 40 seconds. How hard could it be?

Being indecisive, I took forever to decide on my topic. I eventually decided to base my presentation on a blog I had written  many years ago about the strange things people say in football. The piece takes you through a children’s mini-soccer match where the adults are using football clichés throughout and shows how confusing it could be for the young players.

I planned what I wanted to say and separated it out into twenty sections. Then I decided what pictures would best illustrate each section and set out with my camera phone to capture the images. Where I couldn’t take a photo I used royalty free stock images.

I practiced my presentation several times before the event and tweaked it to try and get the timing right. I’m not a confident public speaker so the last thing I wanted was to be standing in front of an audience with huge pauses as I waited for the image to move on.

At the event, in the town’s rowing club bar, I was greeted by the guys from Neotists who reassured me that the audience was nice and friendly and not to worry. I was pleased to hear them actively encouraging people to spend plenty on drinks over the bar to thank the club for the use of the room.

The first three speakers were great, with really interesting presentations. I was a little concerned I would disappoint the audience with mine.

Luckily for me though I was up after the break so a few more drinks were consumed and when I stepped up to the front I was pleased to see friendly faces looking back at me. I was nervous and there were a few awkward pauses but I think I pulled it off okay in the end. I was relieved when it finished and the audience applauded. I sat down, relaxed  and enjoyed the final presentation.

Overall it was a great night. I’m proud of myself for stepping out of my comfort zone. Public speaking is one of those things for me that I have to make myself do in order to get better.

I’ll definitely attend another PechaKucha event as it was great to hear and see what other local people are involved in. You never know, I might even speak again at one too.

You can see my presentation on football clichés here:

http://www.pechakucha.org/cities/st-neots/presentations/football-cliches-can-be-nuts