Social club to host beer festival in memory of beloved former chairman

Toftwood Social Club is set to host a beer festival in memory of former chairman Calvin Beckett

Toftwood Social Club is set to host a beer festival in memory of former chairman Calvin Beckett - Credit: Archant/Sandra Eglington

A popular social club is set to host a beer festival for the first time in memory of its beloved former chairman who was killed in a crash on the A47. 

Hundreds of pints will be poured at Toftwood Social Club, in Dereham, from Thursday, June 2 to Sunday, June 5. 

Toftwood Social Club in Dereham

Toftwood Social Club in Dereham - Credit: Toftwood Social Club

The four-day extravaganza coincides with the long bank holiday weekend which has been organised to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee. 

Holding a beer festival was initially the brainchild of Calvin Beckett, who died back in March 2020 when his lorry was involved in a collision at Little Fransham, between Dereham and Swaffham. 

Last year, a fellow lorry driver was sentenced to 15 months in prison after pleading guilty to causing death by careless driving. 

Calvin Beckett and Sandra Eglington on holiday in the lake District in 2019. A celebration of life i

Calvin Beckett and Sandra Eglington on holiday in the Lake District in 2019 - Credit: Supplied by Sandra Eglington

At the time of his death, Mr Beckett was chairman of the social club, in Shipdham Road, and was looking forward to running the inaugural event. 

His successor, Neil Hardy, said it was only right to carry on the mantle in his honour. 

"This will be the first one ever and, basically, it is in Calvin's memory to carry on his legacy," added Mr Hardy. 

Neil Hardy took over as chairman at Toftwood Social Club after the death of Calvin Beckett

Neil Hardy took over as chairman at Toftwood Social Club after the death of Calvin Beckett - Credit: Courtesy of Neil Hardy

"He would have been over the moon to see this happening, to see it finally coming to fruition. 

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"I have been a trustee for 30 years so I knew Calvin, and I know he would have been devastated that people had nothing to do during lockdown."

On offer at the festival will be a selection of 19 ales, as well as a number of food vendors and plenty of live music.

Mr Hardy admitted there were a few nerves, but was confident the celebration would ultimately prove to be a success. 

"I'm really looking forward to it, although I am a little bit nervous with it being our first one," he said.

"Before we even sell a pint, we will have spent nearly £5,000 on the beer, band and professional security, but as chairman I thought we had to bite the bullet."

Toftwood Social Club in Dereham, which is set to host its first-ever beer festival

Toftwood Social Club in Dereham, which is set to host its first-ever beer festival - Credit: Archant

The food and music line-up for the beer festival is as follows: 

  • Thursday, June 2: Food - Khushee Street Food; Music - JJ's Mobile Disco
  • Friday, June 3: Food - Street Food Box; Music - Flashdance 80s Band
  • Saturday, June 4: Food (Harry's Soul Train); Music - ABC Blues Brothers (afternoon) and Step Back (evening)
  • Sunday, June 5: Food - Hoggies; Music - Soul Traders