September 2013


So today Tim Elliott and I attended ‘The Big Debate’ at The Galleries of Justice in Nottingham city centre. What a venue that is! I must go back with Lynne one day as a tourist and see it all. Tim and I were there to network with the financial companies who had come to discuss whether or not the new RDR was working. The subject was put ‘on trial’ in the courtroom and several key speakers had their say on the matter. We couldn’t stay for the outcome (and to be fair most of it was far, far above our heads) but we met some really nice people.


Later on, in full networking swing, we went to the RSViP networking evening which was held this month at Nicholson’s Bar & Restaurant (who supplied some great food on the night). It was a really, really good event. There are lots of networking events in this fair city of ours but the RSViP ones do rather stand out. You can contact them and sign up for it here. If you are serious about making new business connections in Nottingham, I could not recommend them more highly. The event was sponsored by Nicholson’s, Total Risk Solutions and Hawes & Curtis (who’s salesgirls had no problem getting Tim to buy himself a new blouse!) .

You NEED this card in your wallet!
You NEED this card in your wallet!


Had a great Ambassadors meeting at the Nottingham Institute followed by the NIgathering which was at Fothergill’s. In the Ambassadors meeting we had lots to discuss regarding the profile of the City of Nottingham and our role in promoting it through business. There were some great and dynamic people around that table and some of the energy, ideas and passion flying around was inspiring. Good times ahead!

NI logo


Sometimes you just have to graft so it was a busy day again with Tim Elliott working on some of our sponsorship projects #PhoneMonkeys!


Good day with Tim Elliott of TJ Elliott Ltd, training the bods at Everards brewery how to make the best use of social media platforms to enlighten the populace about their lovely pubs and tasty beverages!

Tim in full flow!
Tim in full flow!

We did the training in The Brunswick Inn in Derby and afterwards had a cheeky pint of Everards Tiger Best Bitter which was awesome! The guys we trained are all Twitter newbies so please help boost their confidence and say hi by following @EmGrigorTaylor @WebsterSharon @Gerrysimpson1


Went to a Christening today for Becki’s sweet little daughter, Amaraya at St.Giles’ church in Sandiacre. It was a really nice service and the vicar, Olaf, injected plenty of humour and humanity into proceedings too. It was nice to be a part of it. Someone took a nice picture of me and the beautiful Dr.Sansom too!



Went to a special VIP screening for the Nottingham Institute of the new movie Rush at Broadway Cinema in Nottingham.


Great film, great people, great way to spend an afternoon instead of working! I thoroughly recommend the film, it’s a really good character study and although it has its adrenaline-fuelled moments it’s not really an action movie or a car movie – it’s way better than that. The two main actors were great too. Perfect casting for the parts in my opinion. Also, is it just me – or is Rush the first movie ever to be filmed entirely in Instagram? The jaded 70’s authentic look of the film is superb throughout and makes the whole thing so, so cool.



The 'Hayemaker' meets 'Bam Bam' and wonders how many protein shakes he would need to be in my weight division!
The ‘Hayemaker’ meets ‘Bam Bam’ and wonders how many protein shakes he would need to be in my weight division!


Lance Haggith, far right, with the players
Lance Haggith, far right, about to present the trophy to the winners

Sunday was all about the Hoops Aid. Did you think I had Sundays off? Well so did I before I spoke to Head of The Nottingham Institute, Dominic Corder: “Every day is an opportunity Toby, why would you ever waste one?” So Dominic, Trevor Coker (Technology), Sam Bowery (Branding) and myself set off to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London where the event was being held in The Copper Box.

Hoops Aid came about when Ellis Haggith, a promising young basketball player whose career was cut short when diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, decided to use his situation as motivation to achieve more. His father, Lance Haggith, founded Hoops Aid as a result. Hoops Aid is a highly entertaining and greatly interactive fundraising event featuring basketball as the key sport.

Me 'Shamelessly' grabbing a photo-op with 'Lip' (aka Jody Lynch)
Me ‘Shamelessly’ grabbing a photo-op with ‘Lip’ (aka Jody Latham)

Hoops Aid will take place every 2 years, on the alternate year to Soccer Aid and Sport Relief.  Hoops Aid differs to Soccer Aid in that it features disability sport by means of an exhibition wheelchair game involving Battle Back soldiers, truly inspirational people, facing the Hoops Aid challenge.


The event will see celebrities; sporting personalities and professional basketball players past and present from Team GB, the GB Paralympics team, Battle Back soldiers, BBL  and the NBA  coming together to play basketball to raise money for the charity Sports Traider.

The first thing we saw when we finally arrived (no thanks to Dom’s driving) was the Battle Back soldiers playing a really fast and competitive game of basketball – this was no exhibition match!


There was some great music at the event provided by Sam ‘Switch’ Jenkins, Brooklyn rapper D-Jukes with singer/songwriter Sophia MayLondon rap artist and all-round wordsmith EcKSell, hot new girl band Alfee and Manchester’s freshest new sound – Kassoma.


Sam Bowery of The Nottingham Institute, reminiscing with Martin Offiah about THAT NIGHT in Manchester with Mick Hucknall
Sam Bowery of The Nottingham Institute, reminiscing with Martin Offiah about THAT NIGHT in Manchester with Mick Hucknall

Meeting Lance and Ellis was inspirational on a personal level and I understood why so many stars had come out to support them. The mix of celebs and real basketball players was interesting although you were never in any doubt as to which was which! The basketball was fun and frantic. Shane Lynch from Boyzone caught the eye as one of the celebs who was really trying. Actor Jody Latham from Shameless also caught the eye – his big grin could be seen from the other side of the arena. I honestly don’t think that anybody else enjoyed themselves quite as much as Jody did. His laughter was infectious.  John Regis MBE showed why he was such a decorated athlete and that he has lost none of his competitive spirit. There was quite a battle between him and Martin ‘Chariots’ Offiah (also an MBE) at one stage but it was all in good humour. Still, it’s a lesson to the youngsters out there – if you want to be great, you must commit 100%.

The winners!
The winners!

Other big names to support the event included Ipswich Town’s straight-talking manager Mick McCarthy, singer Dane Bowers, Hollywood Actor Tamer Hassan, a plethora of Big Brother contestants and many more besides.

Corey McGhee being congratulated by Mick McCarthy as Hoops Aid Director Simon Moorehead photobombs with the trophy!
Corey McGhee being congratulated by Mick McCarthy as Hoops Aid Director Simon Moorehead photobombs with the trophy!

The emerging talent on show with the likes of EcKSell, Kassoma, The Hardy Bucks (who had their first feature film release this year with Universal Studios) and some of the younger athletes was exciting too.

Trev, Dom & Sam showing the 'NI Magic' to EcKSell, Alfee, NumCrunch, The Daily Star and blowing their minds!
Trev, Dom & Sam showing the ‘NI Magic’ to EcKSell, Alfee, NumCrunch, The Daily Star and blowing their minds!

The Nottingham Institute got to present a few of our services to al of the acts there on the day and some of the other big names present, including former WBA Heavyweight Champion, David ‘The Hayemaker’ Haye.

Heavyweight Champion David Haye meets Kassoma - Manchester's newest sound
Heavyweight Champion David Haye meets Kassoma – Manchester’s newest sound


Saturday was a lovely day. I had a fantastic meal at Woodborough Hall with the most beautiful girl in the world, then we had a party at my folks house because family and friends were down from Liverpool and Hull. Family times = Good times.


Busy, busy, busy day today. Into town, breakfast at the awesome Brown Betty’s on St.James’ Street – amazing as always – you can always tell when real high quality, fresh ingredients are used in food instead of the norm. Anyways, after that it was on to The Nottingham Institute new suite of offices on Castle Gate. Very Nice! Here I met Liam from PDW Group Ltd. PDW are a business training consultancy and customer feedback analysis specialist and Liam is going to put this technology to work for us at KompariFest. After meeting with Liam it was lawyer Walaiti Rathore we met next, to get some advice on legal issues for KompariFest. Tim has worked with Walaiti before but it was the first time I had met him. He seems a great guy and he certainly knows his stuff and was very supportive of our proposed business plan and how he can assist. After lunch I met with Danny Blagden from D&M Construction to do a project focus interview him for Construction Voice about his recent redevelopment of a new dance studio for AEDA Arts Academy. That went really well and Danny was a really friendly, chatty kind of guy. Just the sort of guy you want doing work for you really. All details noted, and just the write-up to follow.


I had breakfast at The Belfry in Nottingham with Tim Elliott (it was nice but you have to walk past the fruit salad area when you’ve got your bacon and sausages #TheGuilt!) where I bumped into Paul Simpson from Birchwood Price Tools – who I worked for what seems an age ago! Afterwards we went to a Meet The Buyers networking event for the construction industry held by New College Nottingham (Basford). We were more than a little gutted to find they’d laid food on after we’d just paid for it too, but you live and learn! It was more interesting than it sounds – honestly – especially as I bumped into a few more of the old names from my hire industry days. Hirebase were there, Marcrist (as always) and a few new faces too. Later on we met Intellectual Property & Media Lawyer John Buckby in Fothergill’s to discuss T’s & C’s for our websites. John is not a normal solicitor. No. He is Awesome. How many solicitors do you know with their own record label? That’s right – I only work with people who are rock’n’roll these days! You can follow John here.


Another day, another club sandwich at Antenna! Seriously guys – are you putting something addictive in those? Tim Elliott and I thrashed a lot of stuff out for Construction Voice and KompariFest as well. Things are happening… Then we stayed on for Second Wednesday at Antenna where the guest speakers were Johanna Drewe and Alun Edwards from Studio Output. Their colleague Sam Quale was on afterwards but I could not stay to see him unfortunately. But Johanna and Alun were excellent. Their presentation about their whole process was fascinating, hugely impressive and above all, inspiring. I really hope to cross paths with these guys in the future with The Big Purple Factory. Those of you interested in amazingly creative design can follow them on Twitter – @JohannaDrewe, @AlGinzberg & @samquayle. Their final slide of the night really showed what they were about:


In other news, thoughts today were with those affected by 9/11 and also with my friends Andy & Jeanette Farrar who’s anniversary it was. Here’s me as best man with Andy all those years ago:

n657901056_159572_3275 (1)


Writing, writing, writing, writing…      Writing, writing, writing, writing…       Writing, writing, writing, writing…


Good day today, meetings with Tim Elliott in our favourite Virtual Office at Antenna in Nottingham city centre – and not just because the food is superb! This was followed by a good meeting with the D3 team about the Construction Leaders Club and Construction Voice magazine launch which is fast approaching – October 10th folks – keep it in your diaries!


Well I’ve not been keeping up to date this last week as all my energy has been going into organising the Barefoot Walk, but it was worth it!


What an amazing day The Nottingham Barefoot Walk was! We had hundreds of people turn up to support us and our charities – The Nottingham Hospitals Charity and The Children’s Air Ambulance. Everybody had a great time and we got some great pictures from photographer Marcus Holdsworth to prove it!


All of Marcus Holdsworth’s photo’s for the event can be viewed in his Facebook album here. If you came along – why not tag yourself in his photo’s?

Sam Sangha, Trade Ambassador for Nottingham, did us the very great honour of opening the walk and received a certificate of thanks and a bottle of Spinato Prosecco for his trouble.

Here he is cutting the ribbon surrounded by Amy from Nottingham Evening PostKat Markowska from Fiskars who provided the ribbon and scissors, Lee Todd who created the Barefoot Walk, myself, Becki Eley from BeeUnique Events & Weddings who donated all her time and expertise to us free of charge, and Kayleigh, Lucy & Michelle from Gem 106 FM. Ever working, Mr Sangha also took time out to walk around and meet with all the traders at the event. His help and advice was much appreciated by all.

Sammy The Hamster came along with Lucy, Michelle and Kayleigh to the delight of the kids (and some of the adults too!) as Gem 106 FM were a major sponsor of the event and had given us lots of free air-time.




I’m Not From London were our stage management company for the day and what a line-up they arranged:

The Establishment

The AfterDark Movement


Big Rhino

The Gorgeous Chans


What The Funk!


and Arisxandra Libantino from Britain’s Got Talent!

The were supported on the day by sound man Sam of JNS who was incredibly good and now all the bands and I’m Not From London want to work with him again in the future! Equipment kindly donated by Loud & Clear Productions Ltd, The Drum Centre and thanks also to Haydn Waplington from DHL who secured the stage for us.


Sam Bowery was there with his delicious local Real Ales from Wollaton Brewery CompanyReviva 100% natural fruit juices and his Spinato Prosecco from Piemonte, which added a touch of class to the day (as long as you didn’t go mad on it!) I couldn’t help myself at one point and put the Spinato Prosecco into a pint glass with a Mango & Orange Reviva fruit juice to make the best cocktail I’ve had in years. I’m thinking of calling it the Barefoot Cocktail and you’re all invited to share one with me next year!


JT Beedhams, award-winning master butchers and suppliers of fine meats to
Michelin Starred chefs such as Nottingham’s own Sat Bains, provided the best hog-roast anyone had ever tasted. Partly because Jason had been there working on the cooking since 11pm the night before! Ah, if only everybody who cooked for me had the same level of talent and dedication!


Thanks for the volunteers who turned up on the day – you were great and thoroughly deserved (and enjoyed) your free refreshments from JT Beedhams!

Thank you Arthur from 1st Aid 999 who provided medical support and dry humour throughout the day and went above and beyond the call of duty to help one young lady who will remain nameless. Next time, instead of a fully kitted out ambulance, maybe Arthur should come in shining armour on a white horse!


Special thanks to all the tradestands who supported the event and donated to the cause as well:-

Ali and staff at the Peri Peri Chicken stall, Karen and staff at Chocanana, Ben & Co at Wollaton Bouncy Castles, Mark James and the team from Hooters, Siana and Liam from Mecca Bingo in Beeston, Lisa from Deli-CiousLookers HondaSimply Cakes, Tracey & Amy from Nottingham Evening Post and everyone at Electric Rainbow!

It was a great success and next year it will be even bigger. Special thanks to Paul Sensky for making the Barefoot website and Dominic Corder, Michael Henson, Tim ElliottTim Bellamy and everybody else at The Nottingham Institute who were instrumental in getting Nottingham behind us AND LASTLY to Mr. Lee Todd who’s original vision this was, We Salute You Sir! (here he is wearing Number 1!)


Well Done Lee!

& thank you to everyone who supported us in any way – we couldn’t have done it without you!




After the event me and Lynnie went exhaustedly to my great friend Daniel Smith‘s birthday meal at the awesome Gurkha’s Kitchen restaurant in Nottingham. It was great seeing Danny again and this edit 10 days after the event is in no way related to him asking me last night (18/9/2013) why he wasn’t mentioned on his birthday! Happy Birthday Danny!



Had a great round of golf with Paul Boothroyd at Edwalton Municipal Golf Course this morning. We lost about 20 balls between us!

Best part though was definitely when I tee’d off on the last hole and my shot went into the clubhouse and scared the bejeezuz out of the barman! (Although he was polite enough to bring me my ball back). Apparently it cleared the green, bounced on the path, flew through the open door and banged against the bar!

I think that in future, I may do one of these shots each time I’m finishing a round, as sort of a alarm for the barstaff that I am on the last hole and will shortly require refreshments!


Great meeting with Becki Eley who is setting up her own Events Management business in Nottingham – Bee Unique Events. Becki has been an invaluable part of the Barefoot Walk team – organising a large, free outdoor event at Wollaton Park, Nottingham this coming Sunday (8th) 11am – 4pm.

bee unique logo

Lynnie’s first day back at school today – so I’m being nice! Card, gift and cooking a chilli using the little chilli plants I have grown from seeds (which was a Christmas gift from Lynne). This will be the first harvest of the little fellas!

Edit: WOW! Those chillies are small but they pack one hell of a punch!



Finished the 4th Mortal Instruments book today – City of Fallen Angels, the Angels and Demons in New York series written by Cassandra Clare (@cassieclare). This is the last book of the series that I have borrowed from my friends Richard and Emma, but it is not the final book in the series. Currently there is one more on sale – City of Lost Souls and one more planned for release in May of next year – City of Heavenly Fire. I’ve really enjoyed what I have read so far and would recommend this series to fantasy readers of all ages. The film is out now in the UK and is a good film but VERY different to the books!


But today for me has just been all about the transfer deadline day! (Sorry Lynnie x)

Mesut Ozil to Arsenal is a great signing for them. He’ll be a delight to watch in the premiership against any team except mine!

And speaking of my team (EFC!) Ex-Everton manager David Moyes has done Everton a massive favour by paying £5M more this week (27.5M) than he would have had to pay next week. But before I get too carried away with that though – Ex-Wigan manager Roberto Martinez completes another signing from the Latics to reach close to £20M he has paid to his old club for Aroune Kone and James McCarthy. All in all though, Martinez has proved himself far more adventurous in the transfer market than Moyes has with the following signings since he arrived:

Aroune Kone from Wigan Athletic for £6M

Antolin Alcaraz on a FREE

Joel Robles from Atletico Madrid (Undisclosed)

Gerard Deulefeu from Barcelona On Loan

Romelu Lukaku from Chelsea On Loan

Gareth Barry from Manchester City On Loan (But he becomes a FREE agent at the end of the season)

James McCarthy from Wigan for £13M

barry mccarthy

We lost Fellaini but we got really good money for him and kept hold of Baines who has behaved like an absolute pro throughout. I am going to bed a very happy chappy!


In one final piece of news, my Lynnie thought it would be funny to give me a lovebite on my arm, point it out to people and encourage them to ask me how my “kissing practice” is going. Thanks Princess!


Stayed at Bosworth Hall & Spa. Just relaxing with Lynnie before she has to go back to school. Chilled out. All the staff here have been really nice.


Published by Toby Hewson

Writer .. Innovator .. Creator .. Promoter

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