Town centre Jubilee Trail, Makers’ Market and celebration Clangers kick off Platinum Jubilee festivities

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HM Queen Elizabeth II
HM Queen Elizabeth II

Local celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee begin this week with something for everyone to enjoy – and plenty of good reasons to visit the town centre.

The events are kicking off with a town centre Jubilee Trail that launched yesterday (Thursday).

Children and their families are encouraged to explore the town to find the twelve crowns that have been hidden in various windows around the town centre.

A Jubilee Trail map can be downloaded from bedford.gov.uk/Jubilee, or collected from The Higgins Bedford on Castle Lane or Bedford Central Library in Harpur Square.

Jubliee Clanger

While you’re in town, Gunns Bakery is launching two extra special Jubilee Bedfordshire Clangers.

The first features steak and ale at the savoury end, with apple and blackberry crumble with custard for dessert. It will be available in two sizes, standard and a larger ‘sharing’ option.

Hometown tourist
Bedfordshire Clangers at Gunns’ Bakery

The second Jubilee Clanger is still in the development stages, but David Gunns was able to give us a sneak preview.

“We think the savoury end is going to be Coronation chicken, followed by some kind of lemon dessert. It’s still under discussion, but will be available from next week in time for for the Jubilee celebrations.”

Asked how long Gunns has been making Bedfordshire Clangers, David said, “Oooh, as long as I can remember, and I’ve been here for 50 years.”

So we’re pretty sure that the product development is in safe hands…

Royal visits

Bedford has had its fair share of VIP visitors over the years and Bedford Central Library will be hosting a talk about royal visits to Bedford and the celebration of royal occasions in the town.

Read: What’s on Bedford 19 – 20 May 2022

The talk is hosted by local historian, Maurice Nicholson and there will also be a display of items with a royal theme from the Heritage Library collection during an open morning.

Postcards to the Queen and craft activities

There are also lots of free craft activities for children to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee during half term across local libraries and at the Higgins Bedford.

Under 12s can pick up blank ‘Postcards to the Queen’ from Bedford Borough Libraries, write or draw a message and pop it into one of the special Jubilee post-boxes in any library from 27 May.

The winning postcard from each library will be shared on social media, and the winners will each receive a Love Bedford Voucher to spend in the town centre. Prizes have been donated by BedfordBID.

On Thursday 2 and Friday 3 June, The Higgins Bedford is hosting a Platinum Jubilee Craft Activity as part of their half-term activities.

Beacon lighting

On Thursday 2 June, Bedford will be joining in the nationwide and international beacon lighting. The Beacon on Castle Mound will be lit on Thursday 2 June at 9.45pm, and this is free to attend.

Jubilee Makers’ Market

On Saturday 4 June, Bedford Borough Council and Made in Bedford will be hosting a Jubilee Makers’ Market in Riverside Square. There will be stalls to browse, with lovingly handcrafted and eco-friendly products including natural skin products, personalised designs and more.

The surrounding independent cafes and restaurants will all be open too, with outside seating to soak up the atmosphere (and hopefully the sunshine).

Best-dressed Jubilee windows

BedfordBID is also running a Jubilee Window Dressing Competition, with town-centre venues invited to take part.

Visitors are invited to check out the displays and vote for their favourites on BedfordBID’s website. Everyone who votes will be entered into a random prize draw for £50 Love Bedford vouchers.

Street parties

There is also still time to apply for a road closure if you are planning to have a street party for the Jubilee.

HM Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee

The Council has waived the usual administration fee, and is asking for applications to be submitted by Sunday 22 May 2022. You can find out more on the Council’s dedicated Jubilee webpage at bedford.gov.uk/Jubilee.

Let’s celebrate

Mayor Dave Hodgson said: “We have launched our Jubilee celebrations in Bedford Borough [this week], with the Town Centre Jubilee Trail.

“There is lots happening locally in the run-up to and over the four day bank holiday weekend, with lots of opportunities to meet up with friends and family, visit the town centre, take the kids along to a craft activity at your local library or museum, and enjoy the Makers Market.

“Visit bedford.gov.uk/Jubilee to get more information on our events and activities.”

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