What’s on Bedford: 30 May – 9 June 2024


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.

Thursday 30 May 2024

Film: The Royal Ballet presents: Message in a Bottle
Stevington Cinema Club, Stevington Village Hall, MK443 7QT @ 6.45pm
Tickets: £6

The peaceful village of Bebko is alive with joyous celebrations. Suddenly, under attack, everything changes forever. Three siblings, Leto, Mati and Tana, must embark on perilous journeys in order to survive.

Message In A Bottle is a spectacular new dance-theatre show from five-time Olivier Award nominee, Kate Prince, inspired by and set to the iconic hits of 17-time Grammy Award-winning artist Sting, including Every Breath You Take, Roxanne, Walking On The Moon and more. With a mix of exhilarating dance styles, high-energy footwork and breath-taking athleticism, Message In A Bottle tells a unifying and uplifting story of humanity and hope. The iconic songs of Sting. The electrifying choreography of Kate Prince. This is a tale of hope.

Thursday 30 May 2024

Theatre: The Handlebards present The Comedy of Errors
The Quarry Theatre @ 7pm
Tickets: from £3.50

The Comedy of Errors Pedalling from venue to venue with all of their set, props and costumes on the back of their bikes, the HandleBards are a four-strong troupe of actors who are spending the summer bringing environmentally sustainable Shakespeare to venues across the UK. 

Join the troupe at The Quarry Theatre for a bicycle-powered production of Shakespeare’s ‘The Comedy of Errors’ like you’ve never seen before.  When two sets of estranged twins are brought together on the same island, this classic comedy takes hold, with mistaken identity, music and manic costume changes a plenty.

Friday 31 May 2024

Shopping: Late-night shopping event
The Arc/You For Coffee @ 5pm – 9pm
Free entry

Chill out, grab a drink and do some fabulous late-night shopping at the Arc, with a 15% discount as an added incentive – as if you even need one.

Friday 31 May 2024

Comedy: Comedy Nights in The Burrow at the Blues – headliner Roger Monkhouse
The Burrow at the Blues; Goldington Road (MK40 3NF) @ 7pm / first act @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £14.50

This month’s comedy night at the Burrow features Roger Monkhouse, one of the most original and distinctive acts on the circuit.  A highly original and quirky performer, Roger’s trademark stage-prowling style and curious, inimitable manner have established him as one of the hottest names on the comedy circuit. “His laconic delivery shields an engaging persona and an enquiring mind” The Guardian.

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

Friday 31 May 2024

Live Music: The MKGs
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

The MKGs make their debut at The Cellar Bar, taking you back to the era of Mod mayhem.

The set list covers music The Small Faces, The Who, The Spencer Davis Group, Eddie Floyd, Booker T and the MGs, The Kinks, Otis Redding, Smokey Robinson, The Specials and many more.

Friday 31 May 2024

Poetry and Spoken Word: Greg Byron: Stand-Up Poet
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £15

Writer/Performer of original Spoken Word and host of the #StandUpPoet podcast on iTunes, Spotify etc…

Funny, witty, outraged, plain silly, sometimes just poignant or cathartic, but always “keeps you constantly engaged” (Kansas City Star, USA) delivering verses on life, the universe and everything (ish)… Verses inspired by modern day and social comment, performed with a twinkle, a laugh, and a wry pointy finger! Plus sporadic anecdotes, wit, and his unique 55-word stories.

Greg has performed in theatres, bookshops, on beaches, under the stars, in tents, village halls, restaurants and bars in the UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand and Japan…

Friday 31 May 2024

Live music: A Foreigners Journey – a tribute to Journey and Foreigner
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £14

Legendary bands Foreigner and Journey are giants of the AOR (Adult Orientated Rock), Yacht Rock and Classic Rock genres, attracting huge audiences as live acts since forming in the 1970s. The two bands have achieved massive commercial and critical success, and both sold in excess of 80 million albums, with their earliest hits are still played on radio shows worldwide every day.

Sadly, for those in the UK, their shows over here have been few and far between, and most fans of their music have not experienced the thrill of hearing it played live. Thankfully, however, the next best thing is here in the shape of the award-winning band A FOREIGNERS JOURNEY.

The carefully balanced set-list, including bonafide rock classics such as the massive anthem Don’t Stop Believin’, Cold As Ice, Separate Ways, Juke Box Hero, Feels Like The First Time, to gentler power ballads like the hits I Want To Know What Love Is, Faithfully, Waiting For A Girl Like You, Open Arms and many more, A Foreigners Journey take things far beyond a mere ‘tribute act’ and turn their show into a living, breathing and powerful experience.

Friday 31 May 2024

Live music: Porij + Sam Girling
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £16.50

One of the hottest new artists around, Porij, are coming to Esquires for an exclusive, one-off show to warm up for Ceremony Festival the next day.

Porij have been causing serious waves since releasing their debut album and come to us fresh from selling out their UK headline run, including a show at London’s Electric Ballroom. Joining the band on that tour was Bedford’s very own, Sam Girling, who also joins them for this hometown show.

Saturday 1 June 2024

Walking: North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ weekly walk
Wilstead, Whitworth Way MK45 3DY. Park off Whitworth Way @ 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

Lovely six-mile walk in the local area. Be warned, it is hilly, muddy and can be slippery when wet.

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

Saturday 1 June 2024

Comedy: Comedy Club for Kids
The Quarry Theatre @ 2pm
Tickets: from £8

Since 2005, the Comedy Club 4 Kids has been getting the best stand-ups and sketch acts from the international circuit to do their thing for an audience of children and their families… but without the rude bits! It’s just like a normal comedy club, but it’s on in the day, kids are allowed in, and thus there is a higher than usual chance of heckles like “why is that your face!?”

Saturday 1 June 2024

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

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 incredible Cameo.  This is a late late event.

Saturday 1 June 2024

Live music: CEREMONY 4 ft. HotWax – Picture Parlour – Benefits + many more
Bedford Esquires @ 1pm – 11pm

On Saturday, Esquires hosts its fourth all-day music festival, Ceremony.

Hot Wax, dubbed ‘Britain’s next great guitar band’ are headliners alongside Benefits and Picture Parlour, who recently supported Bruce Springsteen at Hyde Park and performed on the main stage at Latitude. 

Amongst the 15 acts appearing across the day will also be the skittering pop perfection of Kaeto, euphoric shoegazers Deary, Dave Grohl-endorsed punksters Loose Articles, mysterious art rockers The Itch and electro-punk renegades, Clt Drp.

This gender-balanced, multi-room, new music festival is fast becoming a staple of Bedford’s cultural calendar. 

Saturday 1 June & Sunday 2 June 2024

National Theatre Live: The Motive and the Cue
The Quarry Theatre @ 7pm on Saturday & 2pm on Sunday
Tickets: £15

Sam Mendes (The Lehman Trilogy) directs Mark Gatiss as John Gielgud and Johnny Flynn as Richard Burton in this fierce and funny new play. 

1964: Richard Burton, newly married to Elizabeth Taylor, is to play the title role in an experimental new Broadway production of Hamlet under John Gielgud’s exacting direction. But as rehearsals progress, two ages of theatre collide and the collaboration between actor and director soon threatens to unravel. 

Saturday 1 June 2024

Live music: Rada Manojlović
Bedford Corn Exchange @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £35

Rada Manojlović is a famous Serbian Balcan star, followed by over 1m followers on social media.

In 2003, she released her first album, Ćao bezobrazni and in 2007 she rose to public attention as a contestant on the third season of the singing competition Zvezde Granda, where she finished in second place. She then released her album Deset ispod nule under Grand Production in 2009, which sold 180,000 copies.

In 2011, Rada won the Female Folk Singer of the Year Award at the Oskar Popularnosti and she released Marakana. At the beginning of 2016, Manojlović was announced as a judge on the second season of the children’s version of Zvezde Granda, called Neki novi klinci. She is a renowned International multitalented pop star, appearing on the world stage in numerous countries.

Sunday 2 June 2024

Walking: “Bedford’s Movers and Shakers” guided walk
Bedford Town Centre @ 11am N.B. Please note that this walk starts from St Loyes, opposite Bedford Prison
Tickets: £4/£2 (Please use the code HIGGINS30 to remove the transaction fee)

You will know of the ‘mugshot’, but did you know it was first introduced into the criminal justice system by Robert Evan Roberts, a reforming governor of Bedford Prison in Victorian times?  Join us on this walk and meet Roberts and others who made a difference in Bedford and in the world; an astronomer, a polar explorer, the first woman county councillor and discover how some of the most attractive private dwellings in Bedford came to grace this area of town.  N.B. Please note that this walk starts from St Loyes, opposite Bedford Prison

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 2 June 2024

Family fun: Filtton Potato Race
Flitton & Greenfield Village Hall, MK45 5DR @ midday
Entry fee from £10. Entries must be recieved by midnight on 30 May

Run, walk or stagger a mile carrying a sack of spuds to raise money for charities, local projects and good causes!

The Flitton Potato Race is an annual event in June run through the villages of Flitton and Greenfield. Historically it was an opportunity for the farmhands to earn some extra cash at the end of the potato season by carrying the spuds through the villages. The route is still along the main road and there is still cash to be won, but the race has been expanded to accommodate all ages and even relay teams; there are no restrictions on entry apart from health and motivation.

Competitors from 10 upwards run a mile carrying a sack of potatoes either as an individual or in a relay team of 4. Runners will cary either 20kg, 10kg, 5kg or 2kg depending on their age 

The course record for 20kg is 5 minutes 26 seconds from 2018, although there was a very valiant effort last year at 5m 44s in 29 degrees of heat. There is every chance this year that the five minute barrier might be broken! There are also spud and spoon races for those aged nine and under.

Refreshments and music will be available at all 3 pubs (The White Hart, The Compasses, The Jolly Coopers), the village hall and church hall.

Sunday 2 June 2024

Family Theatre: The Lost Forest
The Place Theatre @ 11.30am & 2pm
Tickets: from £8

There’s magic and mayhem in the rainforest! Animals’ homes are at risk as bulldozers and diggers crash through the trees. Who will come to the rescue and fight the evil Endorro? Can we save the rainforest? 

Join Indigo Moon Theatre as they present The Lost Forest, a mesmerising performance of puppetry and digital projection for young children and families. Discover a tale of climate change and deforestation as small creatures flee the destruction of their natural habitats.

This popular, long-running show is timelessly relevant, taking environmental concerns and weaving a fun and dynamic show around them. 

Integrating the age-old tradition of Wayang Golek (colourful rod puppets from West Java, Indonesia), stunning rainforest projections, shadow puppet theatre and original musical score, the show embraces innovative and interactive approaches to storytelling. Aimed at younger audiences with lessons for us all to think about nature and the world in which we live.

Sunday 2 June 2024

Live music: Sunday Chillout Session – The Black & Gold
The Cellar Bar @ 3pm until 7pm
Free entry

The Black & Gold played their first full gig at the Cellar Bar on St Patrick’s Day and are back to provide the entertainment at the first Sunday Chillout Session.  

Fronted by Rich Taylor on guitar and vocals with Samantha Hughes (banjo/vocals), Mary Wilcockson (fiddle), James Lewin (drums), Dan McGrath (harmonica), The Black & Gold play songs by The Pogues, The Dubliners, American-Irish and upbeat trad tunes.

Sunday 2 June 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 – Time and Time Again ‘We have no time to stand and stare’, ‘The first time …’, ‘Time of my Life…’ – an exploration of time in literature and music. 

This monthly event takes place at The Eagle Bookshop in St Peter’s Street.

Tuesday 4 June – Saturday 8 June 2024

Theatre: The Importance of Being Earnest
The Place Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £12

Everybody loves Earnest. In fact, Cecily and Gwendolen are both engaged to Earnest. The only trouble is, he doesn’t exist. Or does he…?

Best friends Jack and Algy have both created alter-egos to win the affections of their beloveds; but when will they stop being Earnest and start being, well, earnest?

Wilde’s comic masterpiece gets The Pantaloons treatment in their anarchic take on the classic comedy of manners. This energetic and musical production from the critically acclaimed company infuses Wilde’s witty words with snappy new songs and frantically funny physical theatre to give this perennially popular play a hilarious contemporary twist!

Tuesday 4 June 2024

Live music: Tuesday lunchtime concert
St Paul’s church, St Paul’s Square @ 1pm
Free entry with retiring collection (suggested donation £5)

St Paul's lunchtime concert. Image: Bedford Independent/Bedford Clanger
St Paul’s lunchtime concert. Image: Bedford Independent/Bedford Clanger

Cello and lute recital featuring Pablo Tejedor-Gutierrez.

Tuesday 4 June 2024

Poetry: Ouse Muse featuring guest reader Lee Nelson
The Eagle Bookshop, St Peter’s Street @ 8pm

Ouse Muse is delighted to welcome guest reader Lee Nelson to their monthly Open Mic night.

Lee has been writing and performing since 1996 and he has run the UTTER! Lutonia night for more than a decade. In that time he’s shared stages with John Cooper-Clarke, Atilla the Stockbroker and John Hegley and appeared at festivals including Glastonbury, Edinburgh, Morecambe and Bedford Fun Palaces.

His stuff lately has largely been about connection, commitment, community and kindness and dancing, football and hymns.  The Bedford event will see him sharing a good portion of a new full-length show, Assembly, which will be debuted on the Morecambe Fringe later in the summer. There will also be the Ouse Muse open mic as usual.

Wednesday 5 June 2024

Walking: “Tales of the Tower and the Steeple” guided walk
Bedford Town Centre @ 11am at the gold postbox in St Paul’s Square
Tickets: £4/£2 (Please use the code HIGGINS30 to remove the transaction fee)

St Paul’s and St Peter’s churches have a fascinating history and many stories to tell.  Join us on a brief tour of each church and discover why they have played such an important and integral part in the development and the history of the town itself.

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 5 June 2024

Live music: UUHAI + guests
Esquires, Bedford @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £15

UUHAI is much more than just a music group – they are a complete experience, a captivating fusion of Mongolian Folk and Metal sounds that transcend cultural boundaries. Their indelible imprint on all those who have had the privilege of attending their concerts makes them pioneers in the world of music, and powerful cultural ambassadors for Mongolia.

“The program always includes the most exotic folk metal, throat singing accompanied by traditional instruments. An audacious sound, even more rooted in Mongolian tradition. Get ready for another moment of communion and collective frenzy!” Not our words. The words of HELLFEST.


FFO: The HU, Korpiklaani, Turisas, In Extremo

Thursday 6 June & Sunday 9 June 2024

National Theatre Live: Nye
The Quarry Theatre @ 7pm on Thursday & 2 pm on Sunday
Tickets: £15

Michael Sheen plays Nye Bevan in a surreal and spectacular journey through the life and legacy of the man who transformed Britain’s welfare state and created the NHS. 

Confronted with death, Aneurin ‘Nye’ Bevan’s deepest memories lead him on a mind-bending journey back through his life; from childhood to mining underground, Parliament and fights with Churchill.

Written by Tim Price and directed by Rufus Norris (Small Island), this epic new Welsh fantasia was recorded live from the National Theatre and is presented as an ‘Encore’ performance.

Thursday 6 June 2024

Folk music: Irish Folk Night
The Castle, 17 Newnham Street @ 8.30pm
Free entry

Join The Castle’s Irish Folk music musicians every first Thursday of the month for some great traditional foot-tapping Irish tunes.  Be sure to get there early as this is a very popular evening.

Thursday 6 June 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 a maximum of six people.

Cash prize for the winning team.

Thursday 6 June 2024

Dancing: Planet Swing featuring featuring The Untouchables
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 6 June 2024

Live music: Alfie Templeman Album Release Show
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm

Bedford’s own Alfie Templeman will be returning to Esquires for an album release show presented by Slide Record Shop, as part of his UK instore tour.

‘Radiosoul’, Alfie Templeman’s second studio album, is an ambitious suite of tracks that showcase a bold new acid-pop direction for the Bedfordshire-born polymath. The record features production from Templeman as well as Nile Rodgers, Dan Carey, Karma Kid, Oscar Scheller, Will Bloomfield, Justin Young, Josh Scarbrow and Charlie J Perry.

It is an album of self-discovery, one that zips between genres at whim and showcases a newfound incisiveness and acerbic humour to Templeman’s lyricism, whilst retaining the sense of joy that defined his previous releases. It is the work of a prodigiously talented songwriter truly coming into his own.

Friday 7 June 2024

Theatre: Jarman
The Quarry Theatre @ 7.30pm
Tickets: from £13.50

Derek Jarman: film-maker, painter, gardener at Prospect Cottage, gay rights activist, writer…his influence remains as strong as it was on the day AIDS killed him in 1994.

But his story, one of the most extraordinary lives ever lived, has never been told. Until now. This vibrant solo play from Mark Farrelly (Quentin Crisp: Naked HopeHowerd’s End) brings Derek back into being for a passionate, daring reminder of the courage it takes to truly live while you’re alive. A journey from Dungeness to deepest, brightest Soho and into the heart of one of our most iconoclastic artists.

Friday 7 June 2024

Live music: We Are Not Devo
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £12


Ahoy, spuds! We Are Not Devo are coming to Bedford to perform choice cuts of gonzo mutato classics from throughout the career of DEVO, Ohio’s finest sons; a labour of love and sincerity bringing the message of Devolution to the good spuds of the UK.

Friday 7 June 2024

Live Music: Mel Quinn + The Krakens
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

Mel Quinn and her guitar partner in crime Billy Casey are here for you to celebrate a night full of upbeat covers and quirky, sarcastic, somewhat unhinged originals.

With vibes of Lily Allen, Kate Nash and Lucy Spraggon these guys will sure to catch your attention!

After their stand-out performance a few weeks ago, The Krakens are back! They are a four-piece rock band featuring Chris Craigen on Keys/Vocals, Naomi Vranas on Bass, Jon Mason on Guitar and Seb Hensman on the Drums. The band covers a variety of rock songs through the ages including Elton John, Queen, Nirvana, Goo Goo Dolls, Green Day and many more.

Friday 7 June 2024

Dance music: Behind the Eyes Album Tour with Outrage + Digital
Bedford Esquires @ 9pm
Tickets: £10

The Bedford stop of Outrage’s tour, alongside O.G. Digital, Function Records’ head honcho and local drum and bass talents, pays homage to his roots in the genre. Celebrating “Behind the Eyes,” it showcases over 25 years of Outrage’s influence in drum and bass and jungle. This event is set to be a deep dive into classics and fresh bangers from across jungle and drum ‘n’ bass, reuniting Bedford’s drum and bass community for a memorable night.

DJ LINEUP: Digital b2b Outrage, Mazy D b2b 7even, Kano b2b Dynamic, Gravity b2b White-E, Relative Concept b2b AST.

Saturday 8 – Sunday 16 June 2024

Environment: The Great Big Green Week
Various locations

The Great Big Green Week is returning this June, a celebration of community action to tackle climate change and protect nature. 

From Saturday 8 – Sunday 16 June, Bedfordshire Climate Change Forum and Friends of the Earth Bedford will be hosting events throughout Bedford Borough – all for free.

The theme for events during the 2024 week is “Swaps”, with sustainability and sharing at the top of the agenda in Bedford.

From litter picks to community yoga in Bedford Park, there are a wealth of events on throughout the week. Check out their website for full details of all activities.

Saturday 8 June 2024

Walking: North Bedfordshire Ramblers’ weekly walk
Wilden Village Hall, MK44 2PB @ 1.30pm

North Bedfordshire Ramblers following a footpath alongside a summer meadow towards a rural church
Joining North Bedfordshire Ramblers is a great way to explore the county and beyond (image: North Bedfordshire Ramblers)

A 6.5 mile walk to Colesden and back to Wilden in open countryside.

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

Saturday 8 June 2024

Children’s Theatre: James Campbell – Don’t Panic We Can Save the Planet
The Quarry Theatre @ 2.30pm
Tickets: from £8

A new live comedy show that’s perfect for any child who wants to swap being an Eco Worrier for being an Eco Warrior.  Based around his new book children’s comedian and author James Campbell presents a positive, funny, life affirming comedy show which will inspire children to feel confident that they can do something on their own terms to help in the fight against climate change.  

Saturday 8 June 2024

Live music: Pearl Scam
Bedford Esquires @ 7.30pm
Tickets: £12

Close your eyes and you will think you’re there: Seattle 1991, the birth of a sound and the birth of Pearl Jam. As the tones of Alive and Evenflow fill the room, you will remember how you felt when you first heard Ten! As you hear classic songs like Jeremy, Betterman, Elderly Woman and Given to Fly you will remember what Pearl Jam is all about ….. the music.

Pearl Scam is the UKs finest Pearl Jam experience . The bands musicians have come together with one common goal recreating the high-energy live shows , with 29 years of music to draw from.

Pearl Scam is dedicated to giving their all to every show, in every town, in every city.

Saturday 8 June 2024

Live Music:  Danny Barton
The Cellar Bar @ 8.30pm
Free entry

The wonderful Danny Barton returns to The Cellar Bar, playing a mix of acoustic rock and pop crowd-pleasers plus new material.

Sunday 9 June 2024

Walking: “The Jewel in Bedford’s Crown” guided walk
Bedford Town Centre @ 11am at the gold postbox in St Paul’s Square
Tickets: £4/£2 (Please use the code HIGGINS30 to remove the transaction fee)

The River Great Ouse, Bedford: View from Newnham Bridge.
The River Great Ouse, Bedford: View from Newnham Bridge.

The Jewel in Bedford’s Crown is undoubtedly the River Great Ouse and its Embankment. This entertainig and informative circular walk takes you along the banks of the river, which has been described as one of the finest riverside settings in England. Learn the story of the Victorian Embankment development and enjoy a walk in the ornamental gardens.

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 9 June 2024

Live music: Sunday Afternoon Jazz
The Castle, 17 Newnham Street @ 2pm – 5pm
Free entry

Sunday Afternoon Jazz is back at The Castle for the Summer, kicking off with the amazing Ric Carson Trio.

Sunday 9 June 2024

Live Music:  Retro Vibes – Daytime disco for grown-ups
The Cellar Bar @ 3pm 
Free entry

Fancy dancing along to some 80’s retro bangers on a Sunday afternoon? Have a few drinks, party hard and still make it home at a reasonable hour?

Then Retro Vibes at the Cellar Bar is for you! You’ll be transported back in time to an 80’s retro nightclub where night and day become one! Don your bright neon colours, shoulder pads, puffed sleeves, animal prints, leather, and lace or come as you are. What better way to spend a Sunday afternoon!

At the Higgins Bedford

Exhibition: Rediscovering Black Portraiture
The Higgins Bedford
Free entry

Virgin of Guadeloupe 1745 recreated by Peter Brathwaite. Image: Getty Publications

The newest exhibition at the Higgins began as a diversionary lockdown project in 2020 and can now be seen at Kensington Palace, the Bodeian Library in Oxford and now in Bedford.

It features the work of Manchester-born professional opera singer, Peter Brathwaite, who has lived in the Black Tom area of Bedford since 2018.

With all his singing work cancelled during the pandemic, Peter began looking for an outlet for his creative talents and started recreating famous and lesser-known Black portraiture paintings using as props whatever he could find around his house.

It was inspired by the Getty Foundation’s lockdown project, but quickly took on a life of its own, gathering a large international online following. You can explore the project at his Instagram page @peter_brathwaite.

And from Saturday, 18 May, they will form part of an installation at the Higgins Bedford which will lead visitors through the main collections and into Cecil Higgins’ house, with Peter’s interpretation of The Paston Treasure at its heart.

Read: ‘Rediscovering Black Portraiture’ at the Higgins Bedford this May

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 – 5pm
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

Cocktails. Image: bridgesward/Pixabay
Cocktails. Image: bridgesward/Pixabay

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

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