Guest 'Poet's Post: For the love of Wellington!

One of the greatest pleasures of being a poet is when a commission comes along! Particularly so when an enterprise embraces poetry as part of its brand.  

Since Beatons opened I’ve been asked to write a poem in honour of the location of each of its tearooms. It involves going to the town or village ‘incognito’ and spending the day teasing out what the place is like at heart, from residents and traders.

Wellington in Shropshire was a bit of a hike from my writer’s retreat in Berkshire, but what a find when I got there…

I’d already been briefed that the town had got behind a regeneration and revival process. I’d heard of the ‘Love Wellington’   initiative created by local businesses. But I discovered a lot more thanks to the extremely friendly strangers who were only too willing to chat, and a large dose of serendipity as to who I found myself talking to. 

First up, I discovered it hasn’t got a bookshop, so the carefully curated selection of new books to purchase will surely go down a treat when Beatons Wellington opens. But of course, I had to hold my tongue, so I didn’t let the cat out of the bag as to who my client was!

 I parked on the outskirts of town and popped into The Glebe, home to many of Wellington’s Voluntary organisations. Miriam gave me a few leads and I headed down Tan Bank to discover Shropshire’s Fish and Chip Shop of the Year lives here – The Silver Fish 

At the apex of the two main streets I found Love Mobility perfectly situated opposite Age Concern Wellington. Both Scott, Manager of the former, and Helen who was volunteering at Age Concern confirmed what I suspected, that once people move to Wellington they tend to stay.

Next stop The Public Library. But on the way serendipity interrupted me. At a tiny garden remembrance bed, a veteran and his carer were planting up crosses in honour of those from the Commonwealth Nations who had served this country. Clifton, the veteran, said ‘before Telford came along, everything was ‘Wellington’…’  He then shared stories about the town’s history explaining that there was a lovely story about a Giant getting lost which explains how The Wrekin, Wellington’s famous hill, came into being. It’s told in an illustrated children’s book by Dave Weston, illustrated by local artist Sian William  

Since Beatons Wellington was still enjoying the last stages of its shop-fit, I headed to the cafĂ© in The Orbit, Wellington’s new 64 seat cinema. There I met many enthusiastic culture lovers and was charmed by volunteer Rob who’s a poetry fan like me. Despite it being not being a market day and dreary weather-wise, everyone seemed remarkably upbeat and as one lady said, ‘Wellington’s got soul.’

With a blossoming station, newly painted shop fronts and a Community Clock that begged to have a mention in the poem, Wellington seems just the town in Shropshire to boast a Beatons Tearooms.

As for the poem which emerged? You’ll have to wait until Beatons Tearooms and Bookshop Wellington opens to pick up your free postcard!

Liz Darcy Jones

Tea of the Month: Young Pu-erh

Our tea of the month is always a little easier on your purse and usually has great health benefits.

Can we can tempt you to try something a bit different today?
What is it?
Young Pu’erh

This tea is classed as a young Pu-erh as it’s only one year old, however it has the wonderful earthy, musty flavour associated with many older Pu-erh black teas. Like wines, young Pu-erh's are considered less valuable than older teas (some five years or older), as indeed the taste of Pu-erh becomes more mellow with age.
Broken up from tea cakes which contain tea leaves that have been picked, rolled, withered in the hot sun and then steamed and pressed. It is the steaming process that generates the moisture that is responsible for the musty and earthy characteristics of the Pu-erh tea.

Generositea at Beatons

As you may know, when a Beatons Tearooms first opens we partner with a chosen charity, local to the area, to work with and support for the year. Each charity chosen is one that resonates greatly with the Beatons FBO (franchise business owner) and who’s ethos aligns perfectly with our own.

How we help

You may have noticed on our menu that we have ‘community’ drinks, well, these are in fact our charity drinks. When you purchase our ‘Community Chai Latte’, the extra 25p it costs gets donated to the tearooms’ chosen charity. We at Beatons then match this amount and at the end of the year donate all of the money. This also applies when you purchase our ‘Community Charlton Soda’; for the extra 25p it costs, we match it and the 50p gets donated to the charity. As well as this, we also host a number of events with or in aid of each charity throughout the year. These vary from donating cakes to events hosted and/or organised by the charity, to book launches and events where a percentage of the money generated by ticket sales gets donated.

We are very pleased to be working with the charities that we do and look forward to continuing our work with them! As a reminder, here are the charities that each tearoom is working with at the moment...

Beatons Tisbury— Julia’s House

Based in Dorset and Wiltshire, Julia’s House is an award winning charity dedicated to bringing comfort and care to families where there are children who have very serious medical conditions, across the two counties.

Beatons Blandford

We’re in the midst of choosing a new charity for Blandford, so keep an eye out on our blog and social media platforms to discover who it is when we announce it!

Beatons Crowthorne— First Days

They provide everyday essentials to families who are living in poverty across Berkshire (and further afield) by distributing clothes, toiletries, school uniforms, equipment, furniture, toys and books.

Beatons Petersfield  - Petersfield Counselling Service

A friendly and professional organisation based in Petersfield, Hampshire. Offering short and long term counselling to people 18 years and over, their aim is to offer affordable and helpful counselling to clients facing a range of difficulties.

Beatons Moreton-In-Marsh -  Cotswolds Friends

Well and truly rooted locally, founded by and serving the local community, it aims to support its older local residents − especially those feeling isolated and vulnerable.

We would like to thank all of our customers who have contributed by choosing to buy our community drinks and also by putting dentations into the charity tins. We look forward to continuing raising funds for all our chosen charities!