What’s on Bedford: 25 April – 5 May 2024

1938

Your weekly what’s on guide for Bedford and the surrounding area from The Bedford Clanger

Never miss a thing in Bedford ever again. From theatre to film, live music to art exhibitions, The Bedford Clanger what’s on guide lands every Thursday and is the only guide you need to know what’s on and what’s happening across the Borough for the next 10 days.

The Bedford Clanger’s What’s On Guide is kindly sponsored by The Cellar Bar.


Until Sunday 27 April 2024

Festival: Bella Ciao! A festival of Italian culture
Various venues
Tickets from the website bedfordmusicclub.com

Bedford’s Italian heritage is being celebrated this month by Bedford Music Club’s Bella Ciao! festival – a joyful combination of Italian culture and classical music.

This “love letter” to Italy comprises 30 events at seven different venues throughout the town centre from 15 – 27 April. From opera to jazz, cinema to poetry, local history to Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, there’s something for everyone to immerse themselves in la dolce vita right on our doorstep.

The festival takes its name from the Italian protest song, Bella Ciao! which was originally sung by 19th-century workers, later becoming a symbol of resistance to Fascism and Italy’s re-emergence as a modern democracy.

The packed programme can be found at the Bedford Music Club website (bedfordmusicclub.com) and includes film screenings, concerts, talks, walks and more.

Magnifico!


Thursday 25 April 2024

Folk: Three Acres and a Cow
The Place Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: £17/£14/£11

Three Acres and a Cow is a history of land rights and protest in folk song and story. The show connects the Norman Conquest and Peasants’ Revolt with current issues like the housing crisis, reparations, climate breakdown and food sovereignty via the Enclosures, English Civil War and the Industrial Revolution.

Part TED Talk, part history lecture, part folk club sing-a-long, and part storytelling session, come and share in these tales as they have been shared for generations.


Thursday 25 April 2024

Dancing: Planet Swing featuring Minnie and the Moochers
The Dance Hall, Wixams Retirement Village, Bedford Road, Bedford, MK42 6EA @ 8pm – 10.30pm
Tickets: £12.99

An evening for dancers and music enthusiasts alike. Cashless bar, plenty of seating (night club set up) and dance floor. Book in advance and come along at 7.15pm for a 45 minute dance class in Balboa, one of the original swing dances of the era. For the main event, just turn up – pay cash at reception – have fun, no booking needed.


Friday 26 April 2024

Comedy: Comedy Nights in The Burrow at the Blues ft Alistair Barrie
The Burrow at the Blues; Goldington Road (MK40 3NF) @ 7pm / first act @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £14.50

One of the top headliners on the international comedy circuit, Alistair has performed in over 40 countries including acclaimed performances in Australia, Cape Town, Mumbai and the legendary Comedy Cellar in New York.

He is a regular at London’s world-famous Comedy Store. “Properly smart comedy for grown-ups. By a properly smart comic,” said The Scotsman.

Standard bar and food menus will be available; laughs and entertainment guaranteed at the home of Bedford Blues.


Friday 26 April 2024

Theatre: The Freshwater Five
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £16/£13

Five fishermen. £53 million of cocaine. An ongoing fight for justice. A tale of our deteriorating coastal communities. An enthralling, poignant and poetic retelling of the infamous Isle of Wight tragedy, inspired by the award-winning Guardian podcast.

In 2011, five fishermen on the Isle of Wight (Jamie Green, Jon Beere, Daniel Payne, Scott Birtwistle & Zoran Dresic) were sentenced to a total of 104 years for conspiracy to import £53m worth of cocaine. They have always professed their innocence and this powerful new play seeks to heal the divide and explore the state of our coastal communities.


Friday 26 April 2024

Comedy: Priorite à Gauche
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £15

Back in Bedford by popular demand, Priorité à Gauche – France’s premier acoustic pop/rap/rock sensation – make ANOTHER one-off special appearance here in Bedford.

The hugely popular Perrier award-winning spoof French musical duo bring you sixty magnifique minutes crammed with all the hits that made them into the stars they think they are today.


Friday 26 April 2024

Live music: House of All (Ex-The Fall Supergroup) + Guests
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £18

A band that continues the bloodline of The Fall –  with all of its members’ time served within the ranks of the legendary post-punk band to form an (almost all) Ex-The Fall supergroup. Featuring Martin Bramah, Peter Greenway, Si Wolstencroft and the classic rhythm section of Paul Hanley & Steve Hanley.

FFO: The Fall, Gang of Four & The Wedding Present


Friday 26 April 2024

Live Music: Lord Baker
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

An incredible soul and ska show that will get you dancing from the first song. Lord Baker really knows how to entertain and the Cellar Bar guarantees you will not be disappointed! 


Friday 26 April 2024

Live music: Killa P + Illaman & Pitch 92 + Dotz + Ffs Ytho + Guests
Bedford Esquires @ 7pm
Tickets: £12 / £16

FDE 5th Anniversary Bash featuring Killa P, Illaman & Pitch 92, Dotz, Ffsy tho + special guests.


Saturday 27 April 2024

Walking: North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ weekly walks
Meet at Bedford train station @ 8.20am
Meet at Bromham, park on Old Northampton Road MK43 8HJ @ 1.30pm

Ramblers of all abilities are sure to find a walk to suit at the Bedfordshire Festival of Autumn Walks. Image: North BedfordshireRamblers
Ramblers of all abilities are sure to find a walk to suit at the Bedfordshire Festival of Autumn Walks. Image: North BedfordshireRamblers

The 2024 Unlock Walk is visiting West London and specifically the London boroughs of Kensington and Chelsea and Hammersmith and Fulham for a 7.5mile walk.

Maybe take lunch and drinks and also some coins to make donations to the churches as you follow the route. There is usually a quiz for you complete as you walk.

Also taking place on Saturday is a local walk in Bromham – a circuit of Shalem Thrift via Stevington. This is a circular 6 miler.

Check out the North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ excellent website for further information.


Saturday 27 April 2024

Community: The Big Bumper Book Sale
The Place Theatre @ 10am
Tickets: Free

Come and join the Place team for their first Big Bumper Book sale in aid of their Raise the Roof campaign. Browse a huge selection of second-hand books including fiction, non-fiction and children’s books.

Pick up a bargain and relax with a cuppa and a piece of cake while you enjoy your latest purchase! All proceeds go towards their Raise the Roof campaign.


Saturday 27 April 2024

Walk: Mental Health Mates Bedford – Walk & Talk Meet Up
The Pavilion, Bedford Park @11am
Free to attend

Mental Health Mates is a peer support group set up by journalist, author and mental health advocate, Bryony Gordon, back in 2016. There are over 100 MHM groups across the UK, including here in Bedford

The MHM walks in Bedford take place on the final Saturday of each month, meeting at The Pavilion At The Park and finishing back there afterwards for an optional drink and chat.

The walks are free to attend and just turn up to, you can talk as much or as little as you wish about anything, and everyone is welcome regardless of diagnosis or not.


Saturday 27 April 2024

Theatre: Flo Smith – Now and Then
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £12


It’s 1969 and a woman looks back on her life in London. From the Boer War to The Summer of Love, Flo Smith, daughter, sister, wife, mother, widow and grandmother recalls with horror, humour, tears and joy those turbulent times at home and in the world beyond her front door.

The show is based on the book of the same name written by Christopher Saul and taken from the real-life audio recordings he made of his paternal grandmother, Flo Smith, when he was a drama student working on his dissertation. He sat in her cosy living room in North London, drinking copious amounts of tea and listening avidly while spool after spool of his tape recorder was filled with her recollections.

Flo told of her Victorian childhood, her marriage to a young man who was later seriously wounded in the First World War, her struggle to put food on the table for her hungry children in the 1930s, and her harrowing experiences of the London Blitz.

For the times, it was a common enough story and yet, for all that, a unique one too.


Saturday 27 April 2024

Music: R.E.M. By Stipe – unplugged
The Quarry Theatre @7.30pm
Tickets: £15.50

R.E.M. remain one of the world’s most enigmatic bands.  With a string of peerless albums; one eye on the underground and one eye on the soaring chorus; it’s safe to say we will never see their like again.  From The One I Love through to The End of the World and more besides. 

Whether it’s playing major festivals or appearing on the One Show, performing for Michael Stipe himself, Stipe are the definitive R.E.M. tribute – a complete band, and encyclopaedic knowledge of the back catalogue.


Saturday 27 April 2024

Dance music: Get Ready! 60s/70s Motown, Soul & Disco Night
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
Tickets: £6

This week sees the launch of Get Ready, from the team at Boombastic Events. Featuring the biggest hits of 60s/70s Motown Soul and Disco, featuring the biggest floorfillers of the era including The Jacksons, Al Wilson, Stevie Wonder, The Four Tops, Rick James, Chic, Sister Sledge, The Temptations, James Brown, Diana Ross, The Supremes, The Marvelettes, Martha Reeves and the Vandellas, Ray Charles and more…


Saturday 27 April 2024

Live Music: Forever Young + Helen Lester
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm  
Free entry  

Forever Young is a classic rock covers band based near Milton Keynes, performing covers by Pink Floyd, The Stone, The Kinks, Blondie and more.

In the second half of the double-header, Helen Lester returns to The Cellar Bar. Performing a wide range of material from across the decades, Helen will blow you away with her powerful vocals and upbeat style. Expect a bit of everything from  Motown, pop, disco, soul and more.


Saturday 27 April 2024

Live music: Roddy Woomble (Idlewild)
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £17

Almost Nothing is a new band from Scottish musician and writer Roddy Woomble.

Deviating from his indie and folk roots, this exciting new project ploughs into a more synth-pop direction. Roddy will also be doing a set of solo material, so it’s almost two gigs for the price of one.
The debut album was written and recorded throughout 2021/22 in collaboration with four different producers – Scott Paterson (Protection), Andrew Wasylck, Le Junk, and Luciano Rossi.


Sunday 28 April 2024

Walking: The Rise and Fall of Bedford Castle guided walk
Bedford Town Centre @ 11am at the gold postbox in St Paul’s Square
Tickets: £4/children over 8 £2 (Please use the code HIGGINS30 to remove the transaction fee)

Hometown tourist
Castle Mound

The Norman Conquest of Britain witnessed the introduction of castles to the landscape and in Bedford,  a major castle was built in the 12th century.  Walk through the old castle grounds, see the mound on which it once stood and hear the story of the castle and its demise in the siege of 1224. This year witnesses the 800th anniversary of the Great Siege of Bedford Castle in 1224.

Join the Association of Bedford Tour Guides for one of their fascinating weekly walks. Each walk is of 90 minutes to two hours duration and covers a distance of one or two miles. Most walks are suitable for people who are less mobile.

Children of all ages are most welcome on all of our walks but those aged 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Each walk costs £4 per adult or £2 for children over 8. All walks must be pre-booked.


Sunday 28 April 2024

Live music: Soul on Sunday 60’s & 70’s Motown & Soul
The Cellar Bar @ 3pm
Free entry

Head to the Cellar Bar for an afternoon of pure 60s & 70s Motown and soul with DJ Stevo at the helm. What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

From 3pm until 7pm.


Sunday 28 April 2024

Live music: Split Whiskers play the Sunday Afternoon Session
Bedford Esquires
Free entry

Split Whiskers have their roots firmly planted in Chicago blues, crossing boundaries into rock, Americana and more than a hint of the Delta.

The band’s fame is spreading and they are becoming one of the busiest bands at blues venues around the UK, in particular in great demand on the Festival circuit. Their superb musicianship, along with their infectious humour on stage, promises a great afternoon entertainment.


Tuesday 30 April 2024

Art & Culture lecture: Anna Moszynska – Fresh Encounters
The Addison Centre, Kempston @ 10.45am / 11am start
Tickets: NBAS members – free / guests £10

Gormley Sculpture by Antony Gormley, ‘Another Time XXI 2013 (Coronation Parade)’, 2017 (photo taken by Anna Moszynska)

Anna Moszynska – Fresh Encounters: contemporary sculpture and the public space, its role in the city, the growth of the park and the challenge of water.


Tuesday 30 April 2024

Art: The Circus of Illustration’s Drink and Draw – cut n paste
The Park pub, Kimbolton Road @ 7.30pm
Free (£2 donation appreciated)

Hey daddio! Get cool and creative with this month’s drink and draw, inspired by vintage jazz albums and mid century graphic design. We’ll be going back to basics with collage materials, so we’ll provide a whole host of funky papers and magazines to chop up. Ya dig?

Drink and Draw is for all grown ups!
– Chat with new people who like creative stuff
– Do some no-pressure doodling and get inspiration from others.
– Equipment provided
– All abilities welcome
– No membership, no signing up, it’s free to just turn up and join in.
– £2 donation welcome!


Tuesday 30 April 2024

Live music: Songwriting Showcase
The Cellar Bar @ 8pm
Free entry

Head to the Cellar Bar for a night of original music performed by local Bedfordshire acts as they celebrate and share the unique songwriting talent that exists in our county.

The night is hosted by Mat Roberts, who has himself written and recorded hundreds of original songs throughout his 30+ year career in music.  He will be joined by three up-and-coming acts from around Bedfordshire, playing a half-hour slot each, followed by a Q&A opportunity.


Wednesday 1 May 2024

May Day celebrations: Red Cuthbert Morris ‘dance up the sun’
The Pavilion, Bedford Park at dawn (just before 5.30am)

Red Cuthbert Morris will be once again dancing up the sun on May Day outside the Pavilion in Bedford Park, athough the audience will have a bit of a wait for the café to open!

Morris dancing on May Day is a centuries-old custom, welcoming the traditional start of summer. While dancing the sun up only goes back to 1930s Oxford, it is a fun way to make the day a bit different and though their early morning audience is usually few in number they usually seem to enjoy it. We will be performing from just before 5.30am, so that we will be dancing at the precise time the sun rises.

Red Cuthbert is an inclusive morris dancing side based in Bedford, open to all adults regardlesss of age, gender and ethnicity as folk dancing is for everyone. The side has been going since 2012, and dances a mixture of their own creations, traditional Border morris, and some Cotswold morris. “We seek to fan the flames of a living tradition, and make it fun for our audiences and ourselves.”


Wednesday 1 May 2024

Walking: “Bedford in WWII” guided walk
Bedford Town Centre @ 11am at the gold postbox in St Paul’s Square
Tickets: £3/£1.50 (Please use the code HIGGINS30 to remove the transaction fee)

Glenn Miller performing

A walk that reveals the way of life in Bedford and some of the little-known facts about the role it played during World War II. Learn how Bedford became the main hub of the BBC during the war and how it also became a centre of wartime entertainment. Discover a ‘secret’ Bedford and the connections of the town to the code breakers at Bletchley park. 

Join the Association of Bedford Tour Guides for one of their fascinating weekly walks. Each walk is of 90 minutes to two hours duration and covers a distance of one or two miles. Most walks are suitable for people who are less mobile.

Children of all ages are most welcome on all of the walks but those aged 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Each walk costs £4 per adult or £2 for children over 8. All walks must be pre-booked.


Wednesday 1 May 2024

Film: Cinema @ 3 St Peter’s presents – Monty Python’s Holy Grail
3 St Peter’s Street @ 7pm
Tickets: £12/£10.50/£9/£6

Directed by Terry Gilliam and Terry Jones, Monty Python and the Holy Grail has achieved cult status since its 1975 release.

This laugh-out-loud parody of the legend of King Arthur’s quest to find the Holy Grail is full of absurdity and wit, starring Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Terry Gilliam, Eric Idle, Terry Jones, and Michael Palin.


Thursday 2 May 2024

Dancing: Planet Swing featuring The Umbrella Big Band
The Dance Hall, Wixams Retirement Village, Bedford Road, Bedford, MK42 6EA @ 8pm – 10.30pm
Tickets: £12.99

An evening for dancers and music enthusiasts alike. Cashless bar, plenty of seating (night club set up) and dance floor. Book in advance and come along at 7.15pm for a 45 minute dance class in Balboa, one of the original swing dances of the era. For the main event, just turn up – pay cash at reception – have fun, no booking needed.


Thursday 2 May 2024

Theatre: Appraisal
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £13.50

An annual work review that goes horribly wrong.

Head of Department Nicky wants to get on with her job, her boss Jo has other ideas. He has a plan and thinks she is going to like it…

A two-hander dark comedy, Appraisal achieved 5* reviews and Sold Out performances at Edinburgh Festival and Adelaide Fringe, where it also won a Best Theatre Award. The 2023 Edinburgh run garnered multiple award nominations from OffFest and Dark Chat including Best Play, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Show.


Thursday 2nd May 2024

Live music: Karaoke
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

The Cellar Bar is the only place for karaoke on a Thursday on the High Street; no free drinks or gimmicks, just 50,000+ songs to choose from. Hosted by Matt Bedford, you can perform like a pro with professional lighting, sound and a proper stage. Sing with friends with multiple microphones.


Thursday 2 May 2024

Quiz: Esquires Monthly Music Quiz
Bedford Esquires @ 8pm
£2 per person / max six people per team

Brain cells at the ready, it’s Esquires music quiz and everyone’s welcome. Featuring music from the 50’s to the present, it’s £2 per person to enter with teams of up to six.


Friday 3 May 2024

Theatre: The Mystery of Dracula
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £13.50

Occult Illusionist David Alnwick investigates the supernatural folklore of Bram Stoker’s acclaimed novel. Expect a fast paced, twist-filled narrative told using magic.


Friday 3 May 2024

Live music: A Certain Ratio + Special Guest: Ellen Beth Abdi
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £25

For a band whose path has intersected with the lives of Joy Division, The Fall, Talking Heads, Madonna and Grace Jones, to now be immersed in their most creative and prolific period since the early 1980s, puts the great majority of their contemporaries to shame. Formed in 1977, ACR have a new album, produced by Dan Carey, and will visit Bedford as part of their extensive UK tour. 

FFO: Section 25, The Teardrop Explodes, Magazine, Crispy Ambulance


Friday 3 May 2024

Dance music: A Certain Ratio After Party
Herd, St Cuthbert’s Street
Entry: £5

The mighty A Certain Ratio are coming to sprinkle their northern funk magic on the denizens of Bedfordshire for one night only at Esquires, so the team at Herd thought they’d make that night last a little longer with an after party, starring ACR stalwart Martin Moscrop.

Accompanying Martin will be long-term ACR devotee, Bedford-resident and veteran DJ/writer, Bill Brewster, aided and abetted by Gav Kendal. For those of you unaware, ACR rose to prominence in the last days of the 1970s and early 1980s as one of the greatest products of Tony Wilson’s Factory Records, playing a twisted Mancunian version of the soul, disco and funk they listened to, locked in with Donald Johnson’s powerhouse rhythms, aided by core members Jez Kerr and, of course, Martin Moscrop.

Entry is just a fiver which will give you night’s worth of boutique entertainment for the price of a Starbucks fluffy coffee. Dress to sweat.


Friday 3 May 2024

Live Music:  MoonDog & The SunCats
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

The Cellar Bar hosts the pioneering auteurs of ‘schwafflepop’ MoonDog & the SunCats. They are not just a band, but more of a fun experience in melodic storytelling and they have just released their debut EP.


Friday 3 May 2024

Dance music: DJ Luck and MC Neat
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 8.30pm
Tickets: £19.25

Get ready for an epic night of old school garage vibes as Give Me Garage brings you the legendary DJ LUCK & MC NEAT live in person!


Saturday 4 May 2024

Family fun: Pop Princesses
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 1pm
Tickets:

A magical show where beautiful Princesses become Pop Stars! This is the children’s pop concert with a big difference. The four fabulous Fairy tale Princesses are back with their new show for 2024. It’s the perfect mix!

Featuring a soundtrack of top pop hits from artists such as Little Mix, Ariana Grande, Taylor swift. Meghan Trainor and Miley Cyrus, plus  all the best songs from all your favourite Films and Musicals. Come and join the fun!


Saturday 4 May 2024

Classical music: Bedford Sinfonia
St Paul’s church @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £12/£5

A variety of 19th century works conclude Bedford Sinfonia’s 2023-2024 season of orchestral music, conducted by Ian Smith.

The programme will consist of Rossini’s Overture ‘The Italian Girl in Algiers’Siegfried Idyll, Wagner’s exquisitely musical Christmas present for his wife, Cosima, Dvorak’s Czech Suite, opus 39, dances descriptive of the Bohemian countryside, and Schubert’s Symphony No. 4 ‘The Tragic’, a title which, although designated by the composer, belies its bubbly, youthful vitality.


Saturday 4 May 2024

Music: An Evening with Jacqui Dankworth: In Concert
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £18

Jacqui Dankworth – the imaginative and moving, award-winning vocalist, appears in concert, for one night only, at The Quarry Theatre.

In this very special and intimate concert, audiences will be treated to a sparkling collection of songs drawn from her highly praised studio albums – including music from her much anticipated new album, due for release in Spring 2024 – alongside tracks that have inspired her incredible career.

Firmly established as one the country’s leading jazz vocalists, Jacqui’s live concerts showcase her unique versatility and effortless mastery of a wide spectrum of genres, drawing on jazz, folk, soul and blues, as well as her acute sensibility as a songwriter and lyricist.


Saturday 4 May 2024

Live music: ABBA Forever
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 8pm
Tickets: £29.15

ABBA Forever are recognised as one of the best live recreations of ABBA Live in Concert and theatre audiences worldwide have long enjoyed this superb recreation of possibly the world‘s greatest pop band.

In their amazing live show, the unique ABBA sound is replicated with incredible attention to detail, using a six-piece band featuring electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards and piano, drums, and bass guitar. Two outstanding ABBA girls complete the line-up, adding the essential glitz and glamour to a well-polished and gently humorous show.

Packed full of excitement and exuberance, dazzling costumes and authentic lighting design, ABBA Forever will take you on a journey back to the 70’s; the show is guaranteed to delight – from the opening refrain to the final sing-along chorus.


Saturday 4 May 2024

Live music: CASH – payin’ respect to the Man in Black
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £14

There’s two types of people in this world: Those who like Johnny Cash and those that don’t know a damn thing about music. CASH are dedicated to making sure as many people as possible get into the know…

The mighty CASH (Johnny Cash tribute) returns to Bedford Esquires for his first show in seven years.

Having lived the life and music of Johnny Cash and other country heroes who came before and since, Ben, aka CASH, has effortlessly recreated the sound, vibe and appeal of the master himself.


Saturday 4 May 2024

Live Music:  Double Header – The Stalkers + Five Five Six
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

The Stalkers will be playing a full one-hour set in ahead of Five Five Six.

They are back!

If you’ve not seen Five Five Six at The Cellar Bar before, you are in for a treat, get ready for a great night of legendary rock tunes.  The Cellar Bar literally rocks when these guys play! If that’s not enough they will be supported by The Stalkers playing a full 1 hour set.  This is a late, late event.


Saturday 4 May 2024

Live music: Sounds Mint + City Parking
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £10

They were so good at Ceremony Festival recently that Esquires had to get them back sharpish, SOUNDS MINT and CITY PARKING return to the club on bank holiday weekend.

Big vibes, punk energy and clashy, fuzzy guitar sounds a SOUNDS MINT gig is exciting, raucous and bags of fun. They’ve recently supported Blur on tour and are destined for big things.

Recently endorsed by Yard Act, Sheffield’s CITY PARKING are a mix of post punk guitar, gurgling electronics and deadpan lyrics. Fans of Dry Cleaning will find a lot to love here.


Sunday 5 May 2024

Walking: “I Never Knew That” guided walk
Bedford Town Centre @ 11am at the gold postbox in St Paul’s Square
Tickets: £3/£1.50 (Please use the code HIGGINS30 to remove the transaction fee)

The most commonly heard phrase after the completion of a Guided Walk. This Walk encompasses all that information about Bedford and its many features that YOU never knew!

Join the Association of Bedford Tour Guides for one of their fascinating weekly walks. Each walk is of 90 minutes to two hours duration and covers a distance of one or two miles. Most walks are suitable for people who are less mobile.

Children of all ages are most welcome on all of the walks but those aged 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. Each walk costs £4 per adult or £2 for children over 8. All walks must be pre-booked.


Sunday 5 May 2024

Live music: The A Band play the Sunday Afternoon Session
Bedford Esquires @ 5pm
Free entry

Bruce Murray, Pete Bonas, Mark Ayles plus Richard and Tim Winter are the A Band.

One of Bedford’s longest running bar bands, they’ll be at Esquires on bank holiday Sunday afternoon for their mix of classic rock and soul covers, with a few of their own songs thrown in for good measure.


Sunday 5 May 2024

Poetry: Read Poets Society
The Eagle Bookshop @ 7pm
Tickets: Free but please book via The Place Theatre website

Join the Swan Poetry Society for their monthly reading of poems reflecting the season. This month’s theme is: The Italian Influence, linking with Bedford Music Club, exploring Italian influence on writers in English. This monthly event takes place at The Eagle Bookshop in St Peter’s Street.


Sunday 5 May 2024

Live music: Hillbilly Moon Explosion
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £20

The Hillbilly Moon Explosion are coming to town for the very first time after the Esquires team have been trying to book them for many years.

Formed in 1998 in Zurich, Switzerland, The Hillbilly Moon Explosion are a melting pot of rockabilly, surf, blues and country, fronted by the incredible Emanuela Hutter. The band have released a whole load of albums over the years, including their much lauded sessions with long term collaborator, Sparky from Demented Are Go.


Sunday 5 April 2024

Live music: The Orielles + Thick Drizzle
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £14

The Orielles are back in Bedford Esquires on Bank Holiday Sunday 5th May.

Since forming in the West Yorkshire town of Halifax, over a decade ago whilst still in their early teens, the Orielles have journeyed from lo-fi DIY indie origins (Silver Dollar Moment, Heavenly Recordings 2018) to Stereolab and A Certain Ratio-inspired avant-pop (Disco Volador, Heavenly Recordings 2020), even directing and scoring their own experimental film (La Vita Olistica, 2021).


At the Higgins Bedford

Exhibition: Edward Bawden & Me
The Higgins Bedford until
Free entry

Sussex Lustreware are among the featured artists at the Edward Bawden & Me exhibition at the Higgins from 17 February. Image: The Higgins Bedford
Sussex Lustreware are among the featured artists at the Edward Bawden & Me exhibition at the Higgins from 17 February. Image: The Higgins Bedford

Brand new work by some of the biggest names in contemporary British art, illustration and textiles are on display at an exhibition at the Higgins Bedford in celebration of the work of one of Britain’s most inventive and influential artists

Entitled Edward Bawden & Me, the exhibition has been curated by Bawden’s good friend, illustrator and printmaker, Chris Brown and also features work by local artists’ collective, the Circus of Illustration.

Read: Star-studded new Edward Bawden exhibition opens at the Higgins Bedford

You can also read the full article in the February issue of The Bedford Clanger.


Exhibition: On The Wings of a Wire Bird
Higgins Bedford
Free entry

Artist Sophie Gresswell with one of the pieces from her new exhibition at the Higgins Bedford. Image: Bedford Borough Council
Artist Sophie Gresswell with one of the pieces from her new exhibition at the Higgins Bedford. Image: Bedford Borough Council

A new exhibition in the Higgins’ Sir William Harpur Gallery is the result of a year-long journey that has taken artist, Sophie Gresswell, from Luton to the island of St Helena and finally to Bedford.

On the Wings of a Wire Bird opened on Saturday, 3 February and weaves together the threads of empire, destruction, survival, and the enduring impact of Commonwealth heritage on the British identity.

Read: Local artist explores “rich thread of mixed heritage” in new exhibition at The Higgins Bedford


At the Panacea Museum

Exhibition: ‘Panacea: A Cure for All Ills’
Thursday – Sunday @ 10am – 4pm
Free entry

Free healing. Image: Panacea Museum

The current exhibition at the fascinating Panacea Museum explores the ministry which gave the Panacea Society its name.

Originally titled ‘The Community of the Holy Ghost’, their more famous name came later, connected with their international Healing offer. The Society sent out linen squares, blessed by their leader Octavia, these were placed in water to make a therapeutic elixir.  

This exhibition explains the origins of the Healing, how it became so well-known, and why it finally ended.
Entry to the museum and exhibition is free. More information about visiting the museum can be found on their website here.


Every Thursday

Cocktails, Quiz Night & Karaoke
The Cellar Bar from 5.00pm

Pit your wits against The Cellar Bar’s resident quizmaster to see if you can win the jackpot every Thursday from 8pm. £2 per person entry and a maximum of six per team. The winning team will win the jackpot PLUS a round of shots. Followed by Karaoke til close


Every Saturday

Food & drink: Cocktail mixology masterclass
The Cellar Bar @ 3pm / doors open at 12 noon
£30 per person

The Cellar Bar’s resident mixologist, Marley, will explain how to create some outstanding cocktails for your tasting enjoyment. Then, it’s your turn to put what you’ve learned into practice by making (and drinking) three cocktails!


Every Sunday

Live Music: Open Mic Night
The Cellar Bar @ 7.30pm
Free Entry

Guitar, open mic night

Every Sunday, join Mat Roberts for the Cellar Bar’s weekly Open Mic night. An opportunity for new and experienced performers to get up on stage and perform.

So whether you think you are the next Tom Grennan or just want a good night of entertainment, head the to Cellar Bar from 7.30pm.


Theatre highlights by Paula Walker