Bingham, the business working hub for a two month challenge.
Bingham is a market town just outside Nottingham on the A52 and was to become a work hub for me as a 'digital nomad' and part of a challenge I had taken on.
In preparation, I made contact with a network colleague, the lovely Juliet, who lives locally, and recommended the Picture Café at the top of the list.
So, Monday morning, looking out on to the market square, customers enjoy good coffee, cake and big breakfasts. A couple of Dads, in charge of very young children, tuck in with gusto whilst gossiping on the passing townspeople, in true Jane Austin style. On the walls, as the name suggests, are eye catching pictures.
On the Tuesday, Radio 4 and the Reith lectures follow the 9 o’clock news, as I park up and explore this market town.
Dame Hilary Mantel is speaking about aspects of historical facts and how they can be reconciled with fiction. Her experience of gaps in dates and detail of events has given her a great insight. In all her research the one thing that is missing is what people were thinking at the time. That’s where her story writing skills imagine the dialogue of the ‘day to day’, or the drama, as she does to great acclaim in Wolfe Hall.
What an insight! How could I apply this to what I do as a copywriter, copy editor and proofreader?
Bingham was about to provide a solution. It certainly has history. The Bingham Heritage Trail guide states that it ‘has been continuously occupied since Neolithic times, up to 8,000 years ago’. Lots of thought, theory and facts there, then.
The Bingham Library is well stocked with more facts and figures. It is very competently looked after and full of source material for any topic I might need to research.
Recommendation number two: Folks and Fables Coffee Shop – food and drink with a story.
A former deputy headmistress has set up her own business. There is a vegan / vegetarian / gluten free café and a creative space with its own programme of events upstairs. The proprietor, herself, delivers a series of creative writing sessions and art projects.
Ashley and Jodie, who prepare the food in the café, very patiently explain the menu and the ingredients.
The Ginger and Green tea with almond milk is very moreish as is the Buddha Hero bowl for lunch. I glance at the choices of the other customers as they go past and all are attractively made to order. Photos are on Instagram as Ros Horsley, in with the reiki raw recipes.
The events Programme is varied and accessed through the Facebook page Folks and Fables. I sign up to The Good, Bad and Ugly series with food chemist, Roger Smith, who is putting PROTEIN under the microscope.
There is a regular yoga class too.
After lunch, the market square has several benches to watch the world go by and to put Dame Hilary Mantel’s insights into practice.
There is a local lady who has worked at the Coop for a very long time and knows everyone who walks past. This includes a gentleman who says he will bring me a brochure on the
Bingham Heritage trail if I am still sat in the sunshine in 20 minutes. I am, and he does. So, another opportunity to find out more about this former Saxon settlement, and what the dwellers throughout the ages may or may not have thought.
Another long time resident comes up and joins us and discusses the merits of good nutrition. When she asks me what I do, it reminds her that she has written several books and is half way through the next one. We discuss the opportunity to collaborate.
Recommendation three is Costa. Always great coffee and an opportunity to display an advert focusing on personal statements, CVs and cover letters to help young people coming in after school. As ever in this friendly town, the staff get on so well together. In addition, they successfully complete a sponsored cycle ride for the Costa Foundation covering a 20 kilometre circuit of the local villages. Respect!
The lovely Juliet and I meet up for coffee and to check on my progress and we discuss business and pleasure. This includes an invitation to attend the next Bingham Business Club meeting, where I can get to know more local enterprises and where they may need a second pair of eyes.
Word of mouth is still very important in business.
So challenge met and the bottom line on Bingham? What an amazing opportunity for the Professional Proofreader to work outside the box and do business with so many like minded people.