FORUM PROJECTS 2005 to 2020

Bus Shelters Digital Inclusion Toton Sidings Remembered Shoe Aid



Bus Shelters

2005 to 2007


Our bus shelter campaign working with Erewash Borough Council and Trent Barton to tackle litter, graffiti and other vandalism of local shelters.

This was our first major project after setting up the forum in 2005. It began with our survey of members' views about local bus services. This was followed by a visit to our Open Forum in December 2005 by Trent Barton staff who talked to us about their company and took on board the complaints and suggestions resulting from the survey. They lobbied our MP and members of local councils and added to our collection of worrying images.

A working group including Trent Barton, the Forum, Erewash Borough Council and a private shelter maintenance company met several times to discuss ways forward. The results were excellent.

A vandalised bus shelter on the Petersham Estate Graffiti on a Tamworth Road Shelter
A missing shelter on Draycott Road A cleaned up shelter on Tamworth Road A new bus shelter on Beresford Road

Digital Inclusion

2006 - 2020


In December 2006 our forum became dis-satisfied with the IT education provision for older people.

Roy Smith, our Elecronic Contact Person & Vice-Chair, discovered that 5 computer stations in our local library had free slots while pupils were in school. The library staff were very helpful and friendly and this made a big difference. Also the facilities were made available to us free of charge which was great.

We were very fortunate in the first few years to have the help of Ann Bennett, a committee member who had worked in IT for Boots before her retirement. She ran short basic courses for around 5 people lasting 6 sessions. Members signed up for these at our Open Forums and they were free. Her calm patience was legendary!

Here we see Ann Bennet during one of her popular IT courses in Long Eaton Library in 2010. Dorothy West has been a faithful supporter of our IT work over the years

The demand for computer help grew to the point where Roy Smith, who started the whole idea, arranged for the forum to offer a second weekly session. These still run on Monday mornings from 9.00 am again in Long Eaton Library.

The emphasis was on informality and one-to-one help with no formal courses on offer. Folk just came in when they felt like it to get help with a device or other IT problem.

We ran LapITUp sessions at Parklands for several years on a monthly basis and Roy arranged for extra sessions free of charge at the Adult Education Centre, Community House. Pete the Forum Chair wrote some help sheets for tablet users to go with these sessions.

In school holidays the library sessions move to Lacemakers Court, an older peoples residential centre.

Refreshment break at Roy's Drop In Sessions at the library. A laptop session in progress in the Long Eaton Library December 2015
We ran some sessions funded by our local council at The Parklands Centre for several years combining a formal presentation with more opportunities for individual problem solving. We called them LapItUp sessions! Our model of informal help caught the attention of a team doing a national survey on IT with older people SUS-IT. Here some of the team consult with our tutors. Roy also organised free sessions at the Adult Education Centre at Community House on Monday afternoons.


Toton Sidings Remembered

2016 - 2018


This project collected memories from local people about a major railway heritage site near Long Eaton called Toton Sidings. At one time, it was the largest marshalling yard in Europe and everyone in Long Eaton knew about it yet now it is largely forgotten.

We had a good response to our appeal for memories and were able to set up an engaging exhibition starting in The Erewash Museum in Ilkeston. In this we had invaluable help from the late Brian Amos and Phil Burton whose talk in 2015 inspired the project.

It would not have been possible to proceed with our project without the generous award of £9,600 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The staff at The Erewash Museum were very encouraging about our project and were enthusiastic about hosting our first exhibition in the summer of 2017.

We took the exhibition to several local libraries and also arranged Open Days where we could meet interested parties and collect more memories.

We found an earlier project about the sidings in which the late Bill Roys had made a wonderful collection of recordings by ex-Toton railwaymen. We were able to adapt some of these for use on our website.

We took some workshops into a local school close to the site of the yards working with Y5.

At one of our Open Days, we met David Hickton,a retired engine driver from Toton seen here with our hump shunting model in the courtyard of the Erewash Museum.David has helped us with all our Open Days and railway talks since then.. The project has been lucky in recruiting the help of member David Farley seen here with his excellent model railway layout with its full collection of ex Toton steam locomotives. David has worked tirelessly to bring this topic to thye general public.

The funded term of the project ended in 2018 but the team have continued to take their railway models out and about. We have visited the Nottinfgamshire Local History Fair and given heriatge talks at various local venues.

With the help of museum director Helen Martinez we were delighted to win a Derbyshire Heritage Award in May 2019..

Project helpers and some of the many who brought us memories were invited to an enjoyable Celebration Event in Long Eaton Town Hall to mark the successful completion of our project in June 2018.


The winning team after the Award Ceremony holding up their plaques in The Barrow Hill Roundhouse in May 2019.




Shoe Aid

2019 to 2020



Following a talk about Shoe Aid to the forum in June 2019, we decided to make a shoe collection in Long Eaton & District. Our appeal was very successful and we soon passed our initial target of 2,000 pairs and then a second of 3,000.

Major contributions were made from some local churches and schools but individual responses to our appeal were also much appreciated. Two local rotary clubs made major contributions to the cause.

The project will terminate at the end of March 2020.

We collected a wide variety of footwear. Some of these will be recycled but most will be given to groups such as UK homeless and some willl go abroad to people living in shoe poverty in Africa. Local primary schools made a great contribution as families collected shoes over the summer and brought them to school in September for collection.

In the Nottingham Warehouse, the shoes are sorted in sizes and placed on racks so that visiting homeless and other charities can come and select what they need.

In one case a telephone request from a Rehabilitation Centre in Scotland detailed a list of outdoor footwear for men in various sizes. The order was boxed up and in this case taken to East Midlands Airport for transfer by DHL Air Freight to Glasgow.

We hope to get pupils from Long Eaton School to form an occasional work party for shoe sorting and other tasks at the warehouse

Shoe Aid is a national charity founded by Lee Todd who until recently was not only the charity CEO but also a caretaker for Cloudside Primary School in Sandiacre. Shoe Aid has recently acquired a large empty warehouse in Nottingham and shoes could be delivered there at lunch times in between Lee's school shifts!