The Bedford Clanger – What’s On Highlights!

February at the Higgins Bedford:
Spread a little love and kindness this half term with the Higgins Bedford’s family join-in activities.
£2.70 per participating child. Activities last for about 1 hour with sessions start at 11am, 12 noon, 2pm and 3pm.

Edward Bawden (1903 – 1989) Fortnum and Mason leaflet for Valentines day, © The Edward Bawden Estate’

Tuesday 14th February
Bookmarks for your Bestie: Handcraft something special for the one you love on Valentine’s Day

Wednesday 15th February
Crafted with Care: Show someone you care by creating a unique compliment card

Friday 17th February
Bighearted Boxes: It’s Random Act of Kindness Day. Decorate a box of smiles to give away.


LGBT History Month
LGBT-HIGH-RES university of bedfordshireThis month the Higgins Bedford will be marking LGBT History Month. If you have memories and photographs of the Barley Mow pub over the years, the team would really like to hear from you – get in touch at or call on 01234 718618 to speak to Lydia or Victoria about your memories.

There will be an LGBT History trail around The Higgins Bedford to highlight stories and facts about some of the artefacts already on display at the museum.

On the 23rd February at 12noon Adrian Woodhouse will be at The Higgins Bedford to talk about the life of the photographer Angus McBean, who was imprisoned for homosexuality in 1942 but was able to successfully resume his career after WWII.  McBean produced surreal and romantic portraits of the film stars and musicians of the 1930s, 40s and 50s.


Edward Bawden and his Studio
11th February 2017 – 28th January 2018
Between 1981 and 1989 Edward Bawden donated the contents of his studio to The Higgins Bedford (then the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery). The works included items from the walls of his house, the insides of cupboards, plan chests and portfolios.

The exhibition charts the development of Bawdens career chronologically, looking closely at his inspirations, obsessions and recurring themes. These include cats, creatures, and Kew Gardens.

Related Events:

Gallery Tour – Edward Bawden and his Studio
Wednesday 22nd February 1pm – 1.30pm
£2.80 (Concessions £2.30) Booking essential

Join exhibition curator, Victoria Partridge, for a lunchtime tour of Edward Bawden and his Studio.

Skeptics in the Pub: Herding Heminway’s Cats
Kat Arney Skeptical in the Pub this monthThursday 16th February at the North End Social Club, 60 Roff Avenue, MK41 7TW. 7.30pm
Dr Kat Arney is a professional science communicator, media spokesperson, award-winning blogger, podcaster and general comms dogsbody for Cancer Research UK. She counts among her achievements saying the word “boobs” and discussing oral sex on the Today programme and likening part of the cell division machinery to something out of Star Wars. With the help of cats with thumbs, fish with hips and wobbly worms, Kat will unpack some of the mysteries in our DNA and explain the latest thinking about how our genes work. 


Gilbert Lloyd Art Lectures present ‘David Hockney: Ways of Looking’, a lecture by Helen Little.
Thursday 9th February at 7.30pm, Erskine May Hall, Bedford School. Admission free.
In this lecture Helen Little introduces one of the greatest and most popular artists of our age. Bringing together works from Hockney’s 60 year career, from his celebrated paintings of California swimming pools to more recent landscapes of Yorkshire Wolds, it will provide a fascinating insight into the ways Hockney has consistently challenged the orthodoxies of picture making and the way we look at the world.  Helen Little is Assistant Curator at Tate Britain where she devises exhibitions and contributes to the care and study of Tate’s collection of modern and contemporary British art.  She is currently organising its David Hockney exhibition, the artist’s largest retrospective to date and one of the biggest shows in Tate Britain’s history.

David Hockney A Bigger Splash

Charity night at Herd
Saturday 4th February,
Herd – purveyors of great music and even better burgers – are hosting a charity event in support of the Kings Arms Project. The night will feature two rooms of music: one room playing house, the other anything soul/funk/disco.  Tickets cost just £10 and can be brought in advance.  On the night there will be a raffle and auction to raise additional much-needed funds for the charity.  “We have chosen King’s Arms Project as we’ve noticed a marked increase in the number of homeless people around Bedford town centre,” said Herd co-owner, Jess Griffiths.  “This is our way of trying to help in some way and we’re looking forward to everyone having a great night
while helping to raise lots of money.”
Herd, 25 St Cuthbert’s Street, Bedford MK41 3JG tel: 01234 300193

John Bunyan Museum: half term workshops and more…
On Tuesday 14th February, the John Bunyan Museum will emerge from its winter break and reopen from Tuesday to Saturday 11.00am – 4.00pm until October (Closed Good Friday). Admission, as ever, is free.

Half term activities:
On Thursday 16th February, the team behind the Bedford Chronicles will be hosting ‘Potions, Posies, and Poems’ children’s workshops as part of the half term activity. The sessions start at 10.30am and 1.30pm (each last 1hr 30mins) and are £3 per
For more details contact the Curator Nicola Sherhod on 01234 270303 or email 

A feast for the eyes at the Pavilion in the Park
This month, head over to the Pavilion in the Park for a veritable feast for the eyes.  The Circus of Illustration have hand-picked 12 artists to create illustrations inspired by glorious grub. The Food Glorious Food exhibition will be on display from 7th February until 13th March. Enjoy a cup of coffee, cake or a slap up meal at the Pavilion while you digest affordable artwork for the discerning foodie!

Food Glorious Food CoI image

Join in! Drink and Draw
Join The Circus of Illustration on 28th February at The Three Cups for their monthly Drink and Draw session. This month they’re making zines to play with ideas of storytelling, or why not make your own lo-fi fanzine [it works for us – Ed]. Informal atmosphere, everyone welcome, drop in from 7.30pm. It’s free, but they wouldn’t say no to a £1 contribution for materials.
The Three Cups, 45 Newnham Street, Bedford MK40 3JR

Behind the Scenes at the Saleroom
An evening of antiques with David Fletcher from BBC TV’s popular ‘Flog It!’
On Saturday 25th February, the Bedford Guild House will be hosting a light-hearted evening of amusing anecdotes from TV antique expert, David Fletcher. Guests will also be able to win £50 of Waitrose vouchers by correctly guessing the value of some of David’s own antiques. What fun! The evening starts at 7pm and tickets are £10, including a glass of wine and canapes.
Tickets available from Bedford Guild House between 10am and 4pm Monday to Friday or by calling Maggie Fletcher on 0774 818 4429. 
Bedford Guild House, 56 Harpur Street, Bedford, MK40 2QT

Half term at Bedford’s libraries
This half term sees the new Lego Batman film hit the multiplexes, so Bedford libraries are taking their half term inspiration from the super cool super hero, and Lego…and a bit of Mardi Gras too…From colouring to superhero mask making, origami to owl crafts, there’s loads going on for free in Bedford, Kempston and Wootton libraries. Check out Bedfordshire Libraries on Facebook for more details or go to

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