May What's On Highlights

Art Under The Bed 2019
Now in its third year, Art Under the Bed is organised by Anne-Marie Stijelja and features work for sale by at least 30 artists from around the county. This year will be the biggest art sale by far and is a great opportunity to purchase affordable original art from local creatives. All the work has previously been stored under beds or elsewhere in artists’ homes or studios and is now re-emerging to be sold for at least half of their original prices.

The sale open until Saturday 11 May from 11am – 4pm (Closed Sundays and Mondays)

Basement at Bunyan, (John Bunyan Museum Entrance), Bunyan Meeting Church, Mill Street. Bedford. MK40 3EU

Free comic book day at Close Encounters
Save the date everyone! Free Comic Book Day is back for 2019 and better than ever. Close Encounters on Allhallows will be giving away hundreds of books for free, as well as a range of special offers and discounts. Details of the deals will be posted to their Facebook events page closer to the date, so keep your eyes peeled. To see the full list of FCBD titles, go to

Close Encounters, 20 Allhallows, Bedford MK40 1LJ


John Bunyan Boat Team reveals their 2019 Cruise Programme 
Following their most successful season in 2018, the John Bunyan Boat Team have now published on their website their cruise programme for the 2019 season.  The Public and Special Cruise favourites are included along with some new ones. 

All aboard to cruise on the (River Great) Ouse
The John Bunyan Boat’s 2019 season is now in full swing and the first of their monthly Motown-Soul Cruises takes place on 9 May. DJ Keith Stewart will keep the quality Detroit tunes spinning for the duration.

The Walkers Special cruises run on Thursdays at 1.30pm offering a one way ride from Priory Marina to Sovereigns Quay in the town centre.  The passengers are then free to enjoy Bedford town centre with a walk back alongside the river to Priory Marina (visiting the cafes, shops, pubs etc… on the way!).

Full details of the cruises, times, prices etc. can be found on the website


St Cuthbert’s Arcade Pop-Up
The shopping arcade on St Cuthbert’s Street is having a pop-up party on Saturday 11 May and everyone’s invited! From 10am – 4pm there will be arts and crafts demonstrators, children’s entertainers, costumer characters and more.

“The pop-up party is to encourage people to take a stroll and see us here Monday to Saturday all year round,” said Natasha Trudgill, owner of the Secret Garden whose shop is at the heart of St Cuthbert’s Arcade.  “There’s lots to discover including a coffee shop, home decor, special gifts and jewellery plus a barbers and a photography studio.

“Here in the Arcade we are looking to welcome families during the day. It’s all combining to make St Cuthbert’s a cool place to visit.”

Two businesses that started their retail journey at St Cuthbert’s Arcade have already taken the leap to town centre premises. Arlo Arts is now in the Old Arcade and Made in Bedford can be found at Number 13 on St Paul’s Square. Small units are available for an “all in” price making St Cuthbert’s Arcade the ideal location for small businesses wanting to progress or for start-ups.

More information on the St Cuthbert’s Arcade Facebook page.


Who is Bedford? New show for children explores cultural heritage of Bedford
Saturday 11 May at 11am, 1pm and 3pm
Higgins Bedford, Castle Lane, MK40 3XD
Families and school children in Bedford will be treated to a brand-new cultural experience this year with Who is Bedford? an interactive show exploring the heritage of Bedford and the people who live here.

With over 50 ethnicities represented in the town, Bedford is one of the most culturally diverse towns of its size in the UK. Who is Bedford? is a celebration of everything that makes Bedford the vibrant town it is today. With funding from National Lottery Heritage Fund, Bedfordshire’s Full House Theatre have combined interactive audio technology with real stories, working in partnership with The Higgins Museum for inspiration.

“It has been so exciting to create a show with and for the people of Bedford, our local town,” said Ben Miles and Harriet Hardie, creative directors of Full House Theatre. “We’ve worked with cultural, religious and heritage groups, as well as the wonderful school children of Bedford, to produce a fun experience that all the family can enjoy.”

For further details and booking information go to

Swish your way to style
This month, Bedford Golf Club in Great Denham will host swishing-green exchange event.  A fun evening that not only helps protect our environment but restocks your wardrobe.

You bring the things in your wardrobe that are not quite your colour, not a good fit or not really your style. You donate them and hopefully find other things to take home which make your heart sing. All left over items will go to Déjà Vu the charity shop at the MS Therapy Centre in Barkers Lane, Bedford. Sponsor (and super-stylish lady) Liz Toogood said: “We hope this will be a fun event and raise lots of money for the Foodbank but it will also save clothes from landfill – everybody wins”.

Book your tickets here.


Skeptics in the pub
These Miserable Wretches: Skepticism and the supernatural in pre-industrial Europe
Thursday 16 May at 7.30pm

Along with Johannes Nider’s Formicarius, Heinrich Kramer and Jacob Sprenger’s 15th century book, Malleus Maleficarum, became the manual for a vigorous campaign of European Witch Hunting.

Protestant London saw 67 witch trials in the decade of 1600-1610: both before and after the accession of the witch hunting King James.  In the world of publishing, 1598 to 1610 saw a huge growth in fairy-themed literature, with both the rural and urban sick seeking the help of ‘fairy’ empowered Cunning Folk in the absence of trained medics.  But did everyone actually believe in it?

Author and researcher Jon Kaneko-James will examine the hidden language of equivocation found in medieval chronicles, the differing nature of experience, and the existence of skeptical narratives in pre-industrial Europe.

North End Social Club, 60 Roff Avenue, Bedford MK41 7TW


Save the date: Superhero scavenger hunt for the homeless
On Sunday 9 June the SMART Prebend Centre will be hosting a family scavenger hunt to raise awareness and funds for the Bedford-based homeless centre.  Lisa Harrison, SMART’s Area Manager for Bedford said, “We are excited to build on the success of last year’s Superhero bike ride! This year we will be inviting families to walk, ride, scoot or skate their way around our scavenger trail to find hidden treasure! Clues and questions will be suitable for all ages.” The event will take place at Russell Park, Bedford on Sunday 9th June 2019 and runs from 10am until 4pm. Superhero costumes are optional (but definitely encouraged). It’s just £2 to take part and you’ll get a prize on completion. In addition to the hunt there will be old fashioned fair games, stalls and refreshments for everyone to enjoy. All profits from the day will be used to support the ongoing running costs of the SMART Prebend Centre.

Register here to take part or you can just turn up on the day.

To find out about The SMART Prebend Centre, to make donations and to volunteer please visit

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