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For: music-lovers, culture-vultures, crafters, artists, makers, gardeners, traders, foodies, fashionistas
Your finger-on-the-pulse, indispensable guide to what’s going down in this town.
email: twitter:@bedfordclanger facebook: The Bedford Clanger Group Page
Illustrations: David Litchfield. Design: Marisa Straccia

Letter from the Editor


Phew! What a month July was. With

NO LIMITZ, HARPUR STREET, BEDFORD One of Bedford’s most established independent retailers is No Limitz on Harpur Street. To discover what it takes to build a successful business in our town, we spoke to owner Phil Elphick:
What inspired you to open a specialist sports shop? We are a family that loves sport. Unfortunately due to the decline in quality sports shops in and around Bedford we found we were having to travel further afield to find shops stocking the equipment and offering the expert sales knowledge we needed. In 2001 with no experience in retail but a real passion for sport we decided to give it a go and opened No Limitz. Since then we have learnt a lot and after just celebrating our 10th anniversary, we have never looked back. What made you choose Bedford town centre? Being born and bred in the town, it is in Bedford that our family played all our sport, from school-boy level up to Bedford Blues. With the strength and range of sport being played in and around Bedford we identified that there was a definite gap in the market and opened No Limitz. A town with such a significant sporting pedigree needed a specialist sports equipment shop. What have been the biggest changes to the town in the last 5 years? The biggest change has probably been the introduction of the Bedford BID. This has helped to make the town centre a safer and friendlier place. What is the key to competing with the big brand names in nearby Milton Keynes and in the town centre? The key to competing is not to compete. At No Limitz we pride ourselves on our

over 50 Bedfringe events, 50 busking slots and Evan Dando at Esquires it’s quite a relief to see August on the horizon! That’s not to say that there isn’t loads going on this month in Bedford. For starters, check out David Litchfield’s ‘Drawing a Day’ retrospective at a pop-up gallery in Castle Quay on the weekend of 13th & 14th August. Also, Twinwoods, Rhythm and Festinho! festivals are bringing bank holiday joy to the Shire while it’s a jam-packed schedule at all the town’s live music venues. Check out the centre pages of this issue to find out everything that’s happening as part of the inaugural Bedford Book Festival. Until the end of the month, town centre businesses are getting all literary on us and will be running book-themed events so check them out. And if you want to clear out your book shelves, check out the town centre Book Swap locations too. Happy Augustt Erica x



Prestigious award for Bedford-based bag supremo!
isa Tilley, Bedford resident and founder of cult bag brand ‘uoldbag!’ has been awarded second prize in the prestigious ‘Made in Britian’ awards sponsored by Honda. Lisa received the award for the continued development of her vintage bag range. The competition aimed to unearth the country’s most highly-skilled crafters, innovators and techies. On winning the £300 grant, Lisa said: “The standard was impeccably high and to be awarded second place is fantastic. The ‘Made in Britian’ campaign goes to prove creative talent in the UK is abundantl.” Uoldbag! has long been recognised by the fashion cognoscenti as one to watch and has featured in Vogue magazine (and now The Clanger – onwards and upwards Lisa!). We’re looking forward to featuring more of Lisa’s bags in a future issue, but for the time being, massive congratulations to uoldbag! and keep up the good work!

THEATRE Bringing the best in touring theatre to the heart of Bedford
Bedford School Theatre has got a new name and we think you’re going to like it! Now called Bedford Theatre, the new identity has been unveiled to coincide with the launch of the Autumn programme. In the heart of the town centre, Bedford Theatre puts on a host of professional shows as well as student performances. Check out the website at www. for full details of forthcoming performances.

Photo by: Shaun Armstrong


Phil Elphick: Fit For Business If you could make one improvement to Bedford, what would it be? Provide incentives for small independent businesses like No Limitz as businesses like ours will always provide the lifeblood of a town. Without them Bedford would just become another run of the mill town centre lacking the character and charm that independents bring to a town. And finally, sum up Bedford in 3 words... Great Sporting Town

friendly customer service and expert product knowledge. We sell a wide range of products, most of which are not available in the big multiples, catering for the beginner to the professional athlete. Whether you need a new cricket bat, badminton racket, rugby boots, we can advise you what will be most suitable. We will even video you running on a treadmill so that we can advise you on the correct running shoes. People may travel to Milton Keynes, but we actually get a lot of people visiting No Limitz from Milton Keynes and even further a field as finding a specialist sports shops like No Limitz is becoming increasingly difficult.

Tales Of The Unexpected...GHOSTSIGNS
You may not know what a ‘ghostsign’ is, but you will almost certainly have seen them around our town.
hey are the faded remains of hand-painted advertising signs that still adorn the facades of many of the buildings in Bedford. Harking back to the Victorian era, they evoke a nostalgia for times past and offer us an insight into Victorian brands and shopping. Local historian Lloyd Lugsden has a special interest in ghostsigns, and has complied a gallery of the ones that can be found in and around Bedford on his flickr site ( “As a former graphic designer I have an interest in fonts and design, so these advertisements intrigue me,” said Lloyd.


“Archives show that the Victorians had a great understanding of advertising and took every opportunity to promote their wares. From delivery bikes to walls, nothing escaped the sign-writer’s brush!” Painted advertising survived until the early 1930s before being super-ceded by the printed form. However, a national archive of over 600 remaining ghostsigns can be found at the National Advertising Trust’s website. (

were treated to everything from African drummers to acoustic sets from Betaboy, Blue Harp and Beth Farraday. 11 year old Kai Jenkins wowed the crowds with his melodian playing and the Castle Road Community Centre’s lion dancing was a sight to behold! Thanks to everyone who took part, everyone who made it possible through ‘’ and everyone who cheered, clapped and dug deep to show their appreciation for these talented Bedfordians!

Shoppers and visitors to the town centre

The weekend of 23rd and 24th July saw Bedford town centre become home to a bevvy of buskers as part of the We Are Bedford Busking Festival.


Photos by: Harry Cribbes


Who’s your favourite Bedford sporting hero?



WHAT TO WEAR: MANGO JAM • email: • Tel: 07779100171

1 3 2 6

Last year, Bedford College lecturer David Litchfield decided he needed a challenge. So, in June 2010 he embarked on a mission to create a drawing a day for an entire year. Each day, David posted a new drawing on his blog ( and twitter (@Le_David_Tinker) and as word spread so did his following. This June David finally completed his challenge and to celebrate this achievement, We Are Bedford is returning to Castle Quay to host a pop-up retrospective at one of the empty shops . On Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th August, you will have the chance to see all 365 drawings displayed together in a unique exhibition. Frames for the event have been kindly donated by the good people of Bedford and the lovely Art Centre on Lurke Street.

The Clanger has fond memories of hours spent at the local Rollerama in the mid 80s, but it’s many years since a rollerboot graced our feet.
Q2: Not only do all the girls look super cool, you’ve all got the best nicknames. What is the ethos behind that? The sport has its origins in 1950’s America and it’s said that the girls invented their ‘alter-egos’ as a way of excusing the behaviour on the track! Mild-mannered secretary by day/aggro rollergirl walloping her teammates by night. It’s one of the few aspects of the original game that has carried over to the current resurgence of the sport and it’s a really fun apect of it that sets Roller Derby apart. All the names are registered so no two are the same worldwide - my favourites include Correctional Felicity, Chariot Sophia (say it aloud!) and our own Vi Aggro. Q3: What inspired you to join the Bedfordshire Rollergirls? I skated as a child and if I’m honest & when I heard about the BRG I didn’t think I’d do it for long. It took a good 18 months to have enough people ready to play other teams and we’re still learning but it’s thoroughly addictive and the only exercise I’ve ever done that doesn’t bore me! Also I was never part of any school teams so that aspect is really lovely - because of the full-contact nature of the game we look out for each other on the track and I’ve made some really good friends. Q4: Can anyone join? Yes, as long as you are over 16 (or 18 to play full-contact), anyone can join! We have spare kit and the first four sessions are free. Another great aspect to the sport is that, so long as you are relatively fit, all shapes and sizes can play. There are as many different positions and tactics that benefit from a fuller-figured lady as there are those that suit the skinny girls. Q5: Finally, sum up Bedford in 3 words... Home, Community, Diverse


Photos by: Shaun Armstrong

However, once we heard about the

Bedfordshire Rollergirls Roller Derby team, we hooked up with Helen ‘Betty Trubble’ Parker to find out what these cool chicks are up to: Q1: To the uninitiated, can you explain the basics of Roller Derby? Basically, Roller Derby is played on an oval track about the size of a basketball court. Two teams of five girls on quad rollerskates get onto the track with eight girls standing at the start or ‘pivot’ line - this is known as the ‘pack’. Twenty feet behind them the remaining two girls have their own start line and they are designated to be the ‘Jammers’ or point scorers. On the ref’s first whistle, the pack moves off and once they have all travelled past their start line, the ref blows another whistle to release the Jammers. They sprint to catch up with the pack and score one point for each of the opposing team that they can get past. The pack will do whatever they can to block the opposing Jammer and help their own through - we can shoulder barge players off the track, hit them with our hips, ‘whip’ our own Jammer through or simply just skate in their way - there are strict rules about how and where we can make contact though! After two minutes of the Jammers skating round, lapping the pack and scoring points, the ‘Jam’ as it is called, ends, and we have 30 seconds to send out another five players to start all over again. After two half hour periods, the highest scoring team wins.

MangoJam started out as a con5
versation between Alice Smith and Sarah Buggy on the sofa one day – both bemoaning the lack of unusual but affordable childrens’ clothing in Bedford. The solution was obvious – set up a business selling cool childrenswear and gifts! Er, but how to go about that? Neither of us being business minded or having any vaguely relevent qualifications or experience? Then, two things happened. Erica and Kayte dreamed up the fabulous ‘We are Bedford’ weekender idea, and the University of Bedford

managed to schedule a free course entitled ‘Building a Business’. We signed up to both. Armed with a bit of business knowledge and a deadline of the Castle Quay Weekender to work towards we threw ourselves into collecting lovely second hand clothing to create recycled outfits, and calling on all of our crafty-minded friends to provide us with some stuff to have on our stall at Castle Quay. We also had to find a name, which was tricky. mangoJam is a combination of mango (orange, Alice’s colour crush and the exotic bit) and Jam (Sarah’s Mums’ initials, and a very english thing.) We wanted to represent a bit of S. Africa (Sarah’s homeland) and the best bits of England.’ freshly washed, ironed and beautifully presented. Prices: 1 item (£4-£6) 2 items (£6-£8) 3 items (£8-£10) mangoJam ‘owl’ Tshirt (as before) Esme dresses (as before) ‘Hungry Caterpillar’ Taggies - £6 Russian doll skirt (as before) ‘Star’ sundress - £9 (sizes 1-2, 2-3, 3-4) Esme dress in ‘Strawberry’ (as above)

Taya jumping, Erin in background

Will eating cake

1 MangoJam ‘owl’ Tshirt - £10 (sizes 2-3, 4-6) 2 Russian doll skirt - £10 (sizes 2-3, 3-4, 4-5) 3 Recycled hightops - £8 (pictured, size 9) 4 Esme dress in ‘Strawberry’ - £12 (sizes 1-2, 2-3, 3-4)

5 Pogo Boy - superhero T-shirt with detachable cape - £12 (4-6, 7-9)

Erin on the run

6 Esme dress in ‘Holiday Blue’ - £12 (sizes 1-2, 2-3, 3-4)

Clothes in tree

(from left) An example of our recycled outfits - all great quality and makes,

Good work to all involved in the Castle Road Community Society. For those not in the know, the historic St Cuthbert’s church hall on the corner of Newnham Street, Castle Road and St Cuthbert’s Street has been saved for community use by a group of locals. By asking Castle Road residents to contribute, the Castle Road Community Society has secured the lease of the hall for the forthcoming year. “This is such an important building in our area and we are passionate about making it available to the local community to use,” said John Lucas, one of the founders. “There is space for a community café, an area to hold classes and also meeting rooms. We want the local community to really feel like they own this building.” If you would like to get involved, you Anyone remeber ‘Clothkits’? can become a member of the Castle Road Community Society by pledging just £40. This will make you an ‘angel’ of St Cuthbert’s and you will have voting rights to help steer the future of the hall. If you would like to rent the hall for your dance, sport, art or fitness group, then please also get in touch. John Lucas 07823 440231 Facebook group: Castle Road Community Society

United Skates of Bedford
Photo by: Shaun Armstrong


MON 1st AUG•••••••••••••••••••
• Open mic night It does what it says on the tin! The White Horse tel: 409306 • Quiz Night Get quizzical The Kings Arms tel: 354494

SAT 6th AUG•••••••••••••••••••••
• Loaded The Pad’s classic indie night The Pad • Kitty Lips + Silicone Bullet + Lionsex + Dead Cells 4 bands to entertain you Esquires - Main Stage • Light Alloy 80s to noughties covers band The Kings Arms tel: 354494 • Yum Yum Club Night Esquires - Holy Moly’s

THURS 11th AUG•••••••••••••••
• Jam Night with Mat Roberts Come along and get invovled! The Flower Pot tel: 296732 • Esquires Introducing… Spot new talent Esquires - Danny’s Bar

Music lessons from £6 per lesson •All types of Guitar • Drums/Percussion • Piano/Keyboard • Singing For adults & children. Individual & group lessons. Book now for September: 07949474661 or email Check out our other services at

Day time Café Quality fresh cooked food at honest prices. Evening time Bistro Fully licensed, friendly intimate surroundings. 20 Castle Lane, Bedford Tel: (01234) 269961

These beatiful gardens are open to the public from 1-5pm. Bring a picnic, enjoy a tour with Kathy or feel free to wander on your own. Tea & cake from 3.15 - 4.15pm £2.50. Entrance: £4.50 The Manor House, Church Road, Stevington, MK43 7QB 01234 822064 • Quiz Night Brain training - pub style The White Horse tel: 409306 • That Time of The Month Rib tickling fun at Esquires’comedy club Esquires - Holy Moly’s

TUES 2nd AUG••••••••••••••••••• •Kathy Brown’s Garden

FRI 12th AUG••••••••••••••••••••
• Radio 1’s Jaymo & Andy George DJ set from Radio 1’s rising stars. Cool & eclectic The Pad • Barely Alive Live music Esquires - Danny’s Bar • Dynamite Chicken Rock covers band The Kings Arms tel: 354494 • Hellfyre club night Esquires - Holy Moly’s

WED 3rd AUG••••••••••••••••••• Licensed cafe/deli Large range of spanish tapas, ingredients,cookware & gifts. Private catering/events hosted 120a Castle Road, Bedford Tel: 0791 3342654

• Who Lived In A House Like This? Ever walked past an interesting house and wondered about its past? Hear more about our oldest houses and the fascinating characters who designed and lived in them. 7pm Tourist Information Centre 01234 221712 • Open mic night The Kings Arms tel: 354494 • Wind Down Wednesday ft Benjamin Bloom + Sarah Doe Chilled out tunes to get you through the middle of the week Esquires - Holy Moly’s

Discover Bedford’s hidden history on this wonderful guided walk 11am Tourist Information Centre 01234 221712 • Quiz Night Flex those brain muscles The White Horse tel: 409306 • THR3E Esquires - Danny’s Bar • Music Quiz John Cutler’s music quiz. Now in its 21st year! The Kings Arms tel: 354494 • Open mic night It does what it says on the tin! The White Horse tel: 409306 • Quiz Night The Kings Arms tel: 354494

SUN 7th AUG••••••••••••••••••••• •I Never Knew That

SAT 13th AUG••••••••••••••••••••
• Ben Poole Blues from 9pm The Flower Pot tel: 296732 • Handmade & Vintage Market Gorgeous hand-crafted pieces and vintage fabulousness Midland Road • Loaded Exactly what you’d expect from your favourite indie night out. The Pad • Hey! Alaska + Who’s Driving? Bear’s Driving Esquires - Main Stage • 2 Non-Blondes Covers band The Kings Arms tel: 354494 • Esquires Club Night Great night guaranteed! Esquires - Holy Moly’s

MON 8th AUG•••••••••••••••••••

THURS 4th AUG•••••••••••••••••
• Jam Night with Mat Roberts Jammin’ The Flower Pot tel: 296732 • Esquires Introducing… Showcase of new talent Esquires - Danny’s Bar

FRI 5th AUG••••••••••••••••••••••
• Dave Spencer Duo Rock & pop covers from 9pm The Flower Pot tel: 296732 • Diamond Fire karaoke The White Horse tel: 409306 • 100 Greatest Hip Hop tunes From ground-breaking classics to modern masters. Bring the noise! The Pad • Full Circle Esquires - Danny’s Bar • Mutiny Club Night Esquires - Holy Moly’s

• Business Premises & Site Search Facility • Economic Intelligence • Regular News Updates • Business-to-Business Directory • Investor Development Programme

These beatiful gardens are open to the public from 1-5pm. Bring a picnic, enjoy a tour with Kathy or feel free to wander on your own. Tea & cake from 3.15 - 4.15pm £2.50. Entrance: £4.50 The Manor House, Church Road, Stevington, MK43 7QB 01234 822064 • Quiz Night Brain training - pub style The White Horse tel: 409306 •Beer Appreciation Society Hop-based chat Esquires - Holy Moly’s

TUES 9th AUG••••••••••••••••••• •Kathy Brown’s Garden

A circular walk along Bedford’s beautiful Victorian Embankment 7pm Tourist Information Centre 01234 221712 • Open mic night The Kings Arms tel: 354494

WED 10th AUG•••••••••••••••••• •The Jewel in Bedford’s Crown

A look at the statues and monuments in our town 11am Tourist Information Centre 01234 221712 • Quiz Night Flex those brain muscles The White Horse tel: 409306 • Sidewinder Live music Esquires - Danny’s Bar • Music Quiz John Cutler’s music quiz. Now in its 21st year! The Kings Armst el: 354494 • Open mic night Come along and get invovled! The White Horse tel: 409306 • Quiz Night Test your knowledge The Kings Arms tel: 354494

SUN 14th AUG••••••••••••••••••• •The Silent Faces of Bedford

MON 15h AUG••••••••••••••••••

Official Bedford Clanger Photography Here at B’dazzled we offer everything from, manicures, pedicures, gel nails, facials, tanning, teeth whitening, cuts & colours, hair extentions, and much more. 18 castle lane bedford MK40 3US Tel:01234 217533 Creating unique photo libraries to showcase your people, places, processes and projects. Take a peek at

These beatiful gardens are open to the public from 1-5pm. Bring a picnic, enjoy a tour with Kathy or feel free to wander on your own. Tea & cake from 3.15 - 4.15pm £2.50. Entrance: £4.50 The Manor House, Church Road, Stevington, MK43 7QB 01234 822064 • Quiz Night Brain training - pub style The White Horse

TUES 16th AUG•••••••••••••••••• •Kathy Brown’s Garden









This supplement was produced by volunteers in next to no time at all. It’s not perfect, but we hope it gives a flavour of what’s on in Bedford this summer and lays the foundation for something bigger and better in 2012. Get involved by joining the Facebook group ‘Bedford Book Festival’ and follow for details of more events and all things bookish. Supported by LoveBedford. Huge thanks to our contributors, and to you for reading! The story continues ...

What does your bookcase say about you?

o help the very young get involved in reading, Little Monkey Murals in St Cuthbert’s Street is staging a series of events throughout the summer. From storytime for those as young as six months, to talks by published children’s authors, there is something for every little one, and mum. Owner Karen Fryc and children Charlotte, nine and Oliver, five will be there to welcome guests to the many super activities - most of which are free. “We have a Poetry Competition, Art Illustration Classes and Paint-A-Story Time all of which will help to keep children occupied during the summer,” said Karen. Visit http://www.littlemonkeymurals. com/Whatson.htm



Book clubs are a great idea in theory. But throw in a full-time job, a kid or two, an ill relative, a pile of washing and a gym class, and suddenly it’s hard to find time.

But here I am. Back at a new book club, two years after slowly sloping off my last attempt due to work commitments. Book clubs are abundant in Bedford – something you don’t realise until you start asking around. I know of at least six, but I’m certain there are times three this number in the local area. I arrived with two minutes to spare, not wanting to seem to keen yet not wanting to be late. I was the first there. I introduced myself to the organiser, just a pub punter, with an interest in books. As people slowly appear, I tick off the English teacher, the journalist, the newly redundant, the eccentric old man and everything in between. After agreeing that we will do a lucky dip to decide the book for the following decision, we discuss the different genres of books we read and what our one piece of ‘desert island literature’ would be. Many of us love reading but often get lost in reality, switching on the box rather than turning the leaves of a good book, forgetting quite what an escapist tool it can be. But, as this collection of strangers started to talk about their love of novels, non-fiction and the rest, that passion within starts to reignite as I desperately try to make a mental note of all the books being mentioned. Two hours later, and with a spring in my step, I bound home and go straight to my bookcase to choose a new book to get stuck into. The journey begins here. Books rule!

Calling all budding writers! We
thought we could have some fun – So how about WE all produce a story... Over at the Bedford Book Festival

website (www.bedfordbookfestival. we have started the collaborative story. The idea is that anyone can click on and add to the story in your own words Do we have the makings of a political thriller? Or is it going to be a comedy? Don’t be scared, have a go at adding something to the story!


The Prime Minister suddenly looked a little nervous, and certainly not as mule, they now use motor cycles, a unique form of transport that allows decent progress over most terrain, ground that would have off-roading four wheelers as mobile as a superglued boulder. Bikes also replicate their four-legged predecessors in that they are economical to run and maintain and allow the rider to be at one with the people on the way as well as the terrain. And sometimes the bruises are testament to when that last point is taken too literally… Paddy Tyson is one such twowheeled adventurer who has travelled the globe in search of new horizons, cultures to explore and peoples to meet along the way. And if you think that such travel is the preserve of the wealthy, think again. The Northern Irelander has been a motorcycle courier and instructor, a university lecturer, writer, builder and even collected litter at a landfill site to fund his travels… His stories are many and as entertaining as you would expect of a man who has two-wheeled many continents and who admits to perhaps being the only person to have never successfully got a job in a fast-food

confident as he’d looked when Susan had been introduced to him half an hour ago ….. “I see,” he said slowly, rolling the word round his mouth, and trying desperately to think of a way out of the sticky situation he now found himself in. Susan spread her arms, as if the whole thing was nothing to do with her. “The problem is, you see, now that the media have got hold of the story, our options really are rather limited,” she

sighed, scratched her head, and then added, “Unless, of course, you feel this is grave enough to justify actioning the Geneva Protocol…?” ‘Ah, yes, the Geneva Protocol…’ the PM mused. He concentrated very hard at doodling a smily face on the blotter before him. ‘There’s so much stuff to remember in this job, remind me?’....

of travelling the globe, or simply enjoy hearing about the adventures of others, you’ll be pleased to hear there’s a whole world of adventure travel coming to Bedford on 14th August.
In the increasingly sterile world of organised world travel, there are still pioneers out there pushing back the boundaries and heading towards the horizon to do their own grass-roots exploration. Where once these trail blazers would have been on horse or

PADDY TYSON THE TWO-WHEELED ADVENTURER By Laurie Caddell If you’ve ever dreamed


restaurant. While Paddy had his first road trip as a six-year old (admittedly as a passenger…), Simon Gandolfi is a successful author who discovered the joys of two wheeling in his 70s. Since then he too has been drawn to the open roads and rockstrewn tracks across the Paddy Tyson authour of The Hunt for Puerto Del Faglioli globe which has resulted in stories too on the road, will be happy to bring the numerous to mention – but he will try! lesser-explored corners of the earth to We can’t all be out there on motor Bedford’s Civic Theatre on the 14th! cycles seeing all there is to see, but thankfully Paddy and Simon, and fellow two-wheel traveller Sam Manicom, who spent an amazing 8 years

19th July to 29th August (ish) 2011

He talks to us about the project
tucked away in the back room of a motel, and wondered how it got there? Or picked up a copy of something you’ve never heard of before, after seeing it tattered and torn, ripped and forlorn, laying lonely in the empty seat opposite you on a midnight train?

I’ve often seen these books, literary Littlest Hobo’s, haunting lofts and dusty attics, forgotten and unnoticed in unlikely places, waiting to be found and taken on – for a time – and then launched off again, spinning away to picked up by the next pair of hands to notice them. I have always wondered about the journeys these books make. I flip the pages and wonder about the sweat that has soaked into the paper, about the other hands that have touched them, about the other hands that will touch them after I am done. I find this a pleasing thought. I like the sense of connection. I like the sense of a journey, and the part I play in it. I have published a book, but this book no longer belongs to me, not even a single one of the 100 copies currently in existence. You might hold it at some point, but it doesn’t belong to you, either. That’s where it got its name: The Free Book. It contains three short stories of fan-

Have you ever found an old book

tasy, of varying shades of darkness. The hundred copies of The Free Book are all individually numbered, and every copy has a web page of its very own, dedicated to the travels it makes. The books have been given out to friends, left on bookshops and libraries, and posted to distant places with no other insurance than hope. Hope that the people who pick them up will read the introduction, and share the same sense of wonder and curiosity that I feel when a random book falls freely into my hands. Now the books have been released into the wild – and many of them in my home town of Bedford – so keep an open eye and maybe you will spot one. If you see one, why not pick it up? I’m sure it will be itching to be read, and eager to tell you where it has been so far... If you fancy seeing how the copies are progressing, log on to:

WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE BOOKS EVER? We asked the question. Here are some answers:
Animal Farm - George Orwell
It’s entertaining and thought provoking without lecturing

To Kill A Mockingbird Harpur Lee

A truly amazing book with the best characters I’ve ever read. And a very humble author too. Anything illustrated by Arthur


The truth about morris dancing as a martial art!

Lords and Ladies by Sir Terry Pratchett

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

It’s like a magical intellectual soap opera from South America

House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende
South American magic realism at its best. Brilliant book!

Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro

It unfolds a chilling yet warm tale of being human The multi-functional

There are few things to recommend commuting from Bedford to London. For a start, you almost certainly go

variety of books, if I was particularly engrossed in one I would actually look forward to getting out of my warm bed and onto the draughty 7.24am to St Pancras, just so I could immerse myself in another world. Characters who have joined me through Harlington, Flitwick and Leagrave are diverse. From Nicholas Nickleby to Sherman McCoy, Captain Correlli to Holly Golightly, I was never without a book in my bag and no delayed train ever bothered me too much if I knew I could escape within the pages of my latest read. Martin Amis, JD Salinger, Arundita Roy, F Scott Fitzgerald, John Irving, Mark Twain, Brett Easton Ellis, Isable Allende, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Sebastian Faulkes, the list goes on. So many love affairs with books and their authors were cemented for me on those long, dark commutes. I may have been travelling on my own, but I was never lonely.

Reference book, doorstop and lethal weapon

Oxford English Dictionary

Sandman by Neil Gaiman

A vast story about stories, intricate, terrifying, funny, beautiful, magical

to and from work in the dark for most of the year, late-running trains are a daily hazard and a friendly smiling face is rarer than hens’ teeth. Add to that the fact that our route is called the ‘Bed-Pan line’ and any glamour quickly evaporates. However there is one advantage to spending 160 minutes a day on the train. The commuting Bed-Pan bibliophile can take advantage of almost 3 hours of uninterrupted reading time (and that’s without any added tube action). It’s enough to make me nostalgic… Back when I was commuting I was averaging 22 books a year (compared to 12/13 when I was an idle student). Not only did I read a huge

Delia Smith’s Complete Cookery Course
Satisfied my appetite on many occasions and kept me alive

Absolute Friends John Le Carre
My days of commuting are just a distant memory. I still love reading and always have a book on my bedside table. But a snatched couple of pages before bed is nothing compared to the luxury of devouring chapter after chapter on the 18.55, knowing that whatever weirdo was sitting next to me, I’d be oblivious to them for the ensuing 40 minutes, sharing my journey with an infinitely more interesting character.

Gripping - a window into the world of double-crossing international spies and a friendship that transcends borders So there you have some recommendations for holiday reading, brought to you by Bedford Book Festival. Enjoy!


19th July to 29th August (ish) 2011

2nd August 2011 10:00 -11:00 Bright Little Monkeys Playgroup Little Monkey Murals, Bedford 11:00 -12:00 Circus Stars Bedford Central Library, Bedford 3rd August 2011 10:00 -12:30 Arty Monkeys with Illustrator Katy Dynes Little Monkey Murals, Bedford 13:30 -16:00 Little Monkeys Authors Corner with Author Lucy Daniel Raby Little Monkey Murals, Bedford 4th August 2011 11:00 -11:30 Little Monkeys Paint-a-Story Time with artist Catherine Tobin Little Monkey Murals, Bedford 9th August 2011 10:00 -11:00 Bright Little Monkeys Playgroup Little Monkey Murals, Bedford 10th August 2011 10:00 -12:30 Arty Monkeys with Illustrator Katy Dynes Little Monkey Murals, Bedford 13:30 -17:00 Little Monkeys Authors Corner with author Giles PaleyPhillips Little Monkey Murals, Bedford 11th August 2011 11:00 -11:30 Little Monkeys Paint-a-Story TIme with artist Catherine Tobin Little Monkey Murals, Bedford 14th August 2011 3pm-5pm Adventure Travels with Paddy Tyson, Simon Gandolfi, Sam Manicom, Talks,Slideshow & book signings at The Civic Theatre, Bedford 16th August 2011 10:00 -11:00 Bright Little Monkeys Playgroup Little Monkey Murals, Bedford 17th August 2011 10:00 -12:30 Arty Monkeys with Illustrator Katy Dynes Little Monkey Murals, Bedford 13:30 -16:00 Little Monkeys Authors Corner with author Julian Defries Little Monkey Murals, Bedford 18th August 2011 11:00 -11:30 Little Monkeys Paint-a-Story Time with artist Catherine Tobin Little Monkey Murals, Bedford 23rd August 2011 10:00 -11:00 Bright Little Monkeys Playgroup Little Monkey Murals, Bedford 24th August 2011 10:00 -12:30 Arty Monkeys with Illustrator Katy Dynes Little Monkey Murals, Bedford 25th August 2011 11:00 -11:30 Little Monkeys Paint-a-Story Time with artist Catherine Tobin Little Monkey Murals, Bedford 30th August 2011 10:00 -11:00 Bright Little Monkeys Playgroup Little Monkey Murals, Bedford 31st August 2011 10:00 -12:30 Arty Monkeys with Illustrator Katy Dynes Little Monkey Murals, Bedford

There will be lunch time talks at the Salvation Army book shop, High Street, Bedford. Times and talks tbc. Book Swap - Finished a book (or have a book you are unlikely to ever read) - Drop it off at one of the venues in town taking part in the book swap and pick up something different. They are: •Baia Cascais - Cafe Newnham Street •The Bear pub - High Street •Little-Monkey Murals - St Cuthberts Street (for kids books) Check the website for details on all the events:

Photo by: Christian Webb

made an impact to me one way or another…

BOOKS THAT MADE AN IMPRESSION BY CHRISTIAN WEBB Below is a list of books that have

The book I wish I’d written… The Magus… because it’s ambitious, and very clever. The book that was unexpectedly ruined… All Quiet on the Western Front. A moving ending ruined by a crude drawing of a penis on the last page. The book that I read in the hope that I’d appear intelligent and sensitive… Bonjour Tristesse The book I most often recommend… A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole (his first book was called The Neon Bible-which might interest Arcade Fire fans?) Christian Webb teaches Art, Design and Photography. There will be an exhibition of his photography work at Pensieri café in September. He has self-published a book of his photography work. It is available online at detail/1517620

The book I haven’t read because the film was so good… One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest by Ken Kesey. Sadly Ken wasn’t too happy with the film. The book so complex, I didn’t know there were pages missing…. On Photography by Susan Sontag… this one isn’t fiction and it’s actually a very good collection of essays ‘on photography’ (surprisingly enough) The book I’m afraid to read… Ulysses. A friend of mine destroyed it after a few hundred pages. The book that I don’t get… Catch-22. A few funny moments but it felt completely disjointed to me. The book that makes up for Harry Potter being on my shelf… Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski. Two reasons: 1. It’s a good book 2. The author’s called Bukowski and that looks great on the shelf.


19th July to 29th August (ish) 2011

LONG LIVE THE BOOK by Rachel Burgess

ON THE BORDERS by Chris Riley
A writer that you might not associate with Bedfordshire is H. E. Bates.
The very good reason for that is because he was born in Northamptonshire and many of his novels, such as Love for Lydia, are based in the rural world of east Northants. But surely what’s a matter of miles between friends? He’s a writer on our borders and the world he paints, now gone, is one not so far removed from the villages of Bedfordshire. Some of his characters leave their homes to venture into the next market town which could indeed be Bedford. It’s a matter of conjecture whether his fictional Evensford is indeed Bedford or Wellingborough. His range of work holds something for everyone as Bates was a writer who transferred his life experience to fiction and so although began telling pastoral tales of love and longing, his work broadens out to a war time setting using his own military experience in short stories like How Sleep the Brave. After the war he moved to Kent and there wrote the comic novels many people still remember from the TV series, creating the popular Larkin family in The Darling Buds of May. These are a celebration of a different county and of an attitude to life which we can all enjoy, if not copy. My own favourite of his work is one of his later novellas, The Triple Echo, which is a war time love story set in an unspecified countryside. It was made into a film starring Glenda Jackson which, although powerful, did not convey the poignancy of the original text and, in particular, its ending. If you want to enjoy a good read from a writer who can conjure up drama in a rural setting, try H. E. Bates. Sweet dreams or nightmares of Liefeld

Books in some form or another have existed since ancient civilization. What was once written on papyrus by the ancient Egyptians is now printed on leafs of paper bound together.
But is this long held tradition diminishing with the advent of technology? How many of you, readers, have forgone the old-fashioned way and acquired a Kindle? As the daughter of a printer, and a print journalist, it’s unsurprising that I fiercely protect the beauty that is the book. Can anything beat the satisfaction of a riveting book, with the leaves rustling as clumsy fingers quickly turns the page to see what happens next? But the Kindle, Amazon’s version of the e-book (and its biggest selling product according to its website) has many redeeming features too. As an avid traveller and reader, how much space and weight have I taken up in my suitcase over the years with books? With a Kindle, this problem disappears. And you’ll never run out of books. Nor are there dilemmas of overflowing books around the house piled high in every corner. When Annie Simpson, a recent Bedfordian convert to Kindle, was first given hers as a gift, she insisted it would be used alongside books, rather than in place of them. “I still read books – traditional books – but the ease of the Kindle makes it so convenient in a lot of situations. But I think books are wonderful and wouldn’t want them to disappear.” Many people voice concerns that holding a Kindle isn’t akin to holding a paper-bound book. But Simpson says it is surprisingly natural and “not as different as you might think”. Never say never. I see the benefit of e-books and in many ways, they are the perfect solution. Any form of reading is better than none. But, for me, nothing beats arriving home from a long day and lazily looking through my bookshelves, taking in all the weird, uplifting, dark, inspiring brilliance of literature. You wouldn’t get that with a Kindle.


On the window. She smiles.

The fields glistened from above Like something out of an Austen novel Two horses trot along the road, Narrow as a ribbon. In the distance A speeding Porsche appears and I hear The screech of his breaks, realising The ownership of the lane that these Proud animals hold. The air vibrates slightly, old Mr Pell Has started the tractor’s engine Gearing up for some pre dusk labour. Then, some happy screams, the children In naïve happiness playing hopscotch, Where I once did. The mothers Gossiping at the gate, but thankfully I Can’t hear them. Their big cars invade my drive. I feel annoyed for no reason But pure awkwardness. Joan, Walks past, head still hung low Mourning the suicide of her husband, Fourteen years ago. Even up high I can’t escape the image of that day, Thomas Hanging there. My eye is distracted, two ducks Flap in the stream at the bottom of The garden. Ah, my house. Holding such an air of serene Domesticity. As I peer in, I spy my mum, Ribs expanding, big sigh, because she still Hasn’t cleared out the attic. I tap

Not Love
I never went to his house. The blossom in the garden did not land in my hair, whilst I sat and watched him cook a barbeque. There were not any stars Or a moon when I didn’t look Out of his window Dreaming of great things. I never stood in his Kitchen, shaking like A baby, because at that moment He didn’t say he loved me. He absolutely didn’t.

God’s sake. One pick-up off a dodgy drugdealer. I promiseit won’t ruin your angelic life. You’re only young Once. Listen to me!

Sometimes I feel like I never want to get out of bed but sometimes I feel that I want to jump up and go for a jog. Sometimes it rains just as I step foot out of the front door and sometimes its so cold that my car won’t start. Sometimes I think life is just great and sometimes, I just don’t care. Sometimes I have no inspiration for writing like now but sometimes my brain is churning with exciting possibilities and potential. Sometimes I wish I were somewhere else: Togo, Brazil, India. Sometimes I will be in those places exploring new things. Sometimes I like it; the change, the variety but sometimes I like it all just the way it is.


I am your escape From conscience. Stop writing your coursework Go get drunk Feed your hangover with Yummy bacon sarnies. Who was that hottie last night? Have some fun girl, he fancied you, I could tell. Where’s that spontaneous side? Your should listen to your friend, Poppy. She has it right. You are correct, drugs are illegal. Experiment! You’re a student for

Poems by Roxy Simmonds.

Bedford’s great comic shop on two floors. A good comics shop is tricky to find outside of the city, but this place has a large selection of comics and graphic novels. You can also find action figures, computer games and game cards too. Also, check out the life sized Batman at the entrance to the shop. Keeping an eye on the shenanigans about Midland Road no doubt. They hold signings with comic artists and writers about once a year. 59 Midland Road Bedford MK40 1PW T:01234 270777

Almedina Store 42 Iddesleigh Road Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK40 4LH 01234 215155 County Town Books 7 High Street Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK40 1RN 01234 341789 The Eagle Bookshop 103 Castle Road Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK40 3QP 01234 269295 Oxfam Book Shop 16 Saint Paul’s Square Bedford MK40 1SL 01234 213 768

Ouse Valley Books 16 Home Close Sharnbrook Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK44 1PQ 01234 782411 Salvation Army Charity Shop 113 High Street Bedford Bedfordshire MK40 1NJ Waterstones Booksellers Ltd 11-13 Silver Street Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK40 1SY 01234 272432 Waterstones Bookshop College Road Wharley End Cranfield Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK43 0ST 01234 754280 Wesley Owen 30 St. Loyes Street Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK40 1EP 01234 262517

The Works 6-10 Allhallows Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK40 1LJ 01234 326500 W H Smith Ltd 29-31 Harpur Centre Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK40 1TG 01234 363545 There are five libraries in the borough, plus the mobile library and Library Link who deliver services directly to you. * Bedford Central * Bromham * Kempston * Putnoe * Wootton * Mobile Library Visit for a list of all the shops in Bedford Town centre.



gazing classics. The Pad • Lost for Words Rock covers The Kings Arms tel: 354494 • Absolution club night Esquires - Holy Moly’s •Alzheimers Charity Event Raising money for Alzheimers at Esquires Esquires - Main Stage

WED 17th AUG•••••••••••••••••• •The Rise & Fall of Bedford Castle
Bedford Castle was removed stone by stone. Find out more on this guided walk 11am Tourist Information Centre 01234 221712 • Open mic night The Kings Arms tel: 354494 • Wind Down Wednesday ft. Luke Jackson Break up your week with some live tunes Esquires - Holy Moly’s

These beatiful gardens are open to the public from 1-5pm. Bring a picnic, enjoy a tour with Kathy or feel free to wander on your own. Tea & cake from 3.15 - 4.15pm £2.50. Entrance: £4.50 The Manor House, Church Road, Stevington, MK43 7QB 01234 822064 • Quiz Night Flex those brain muscles The White Horse tel: 409306

TUES 23rd AUG•••••••••••••••••• •Kathy Brown’s Garden

The last proper pub on The High Street. We have a pool table, table football, pinball, bar games, poker night every Wednesday, live music & probably the best jukebox in town. There’s even a mini library for you to use too. 92 High Street, Bedford. Tel: 01234 401020


THURS 18th AUG•••••••••••••••
• Jam Night with Mat Roberts Weekly jam session The Flower Pot tel: 296732 • The Last Chance Ragtime Band Esquires - Holy Moly’s

Discover Bedford’s wartime secrets 7pm Tourist Information Centre 01234 221712 • Open mic night The Kings Arms tel: 354494

WED 24th AUG•••••••••••••••••• •WWII Bedford Walk

FRI 26th AUG••••••••••••••••••••
• Rhythm Festival 2011 August 26-28 The Mansion House, Old Warden Park, Biggleswade, Bedfordshire, SG18 9DX Toots & The Maytals, Imelda May, Nick Lowe, Steve Cropper & The Animals, Buzzcocks, Jack Bruce, Terry Reid, Mark Steel, The Blockheads • Festinho! August 26-28 Hinwick House near Podington Family friendly festival fun. All proceeds go to Brazilian street children • Jimmy & The Moondogs Back by popular demand! Beatles covers band The Flower Pot tel: 296732 • Live Music from 2 Non-Blondes The White Horse tel: 409306 • The ZZ Tops + support Grizzly bearded rockers’ tribute act Esquires - Main Stage bedfordesquires. com • Classic Rock club night Awesome! Esquires - Holy Moly’s

FRI 19th AUG••••••••••••••••••••
• Cherry Lee Mewis Brilliant blues from Bedford’s finest The Flower Pot tel: 296732 • Diamond Fire karaoke The White Horse tel: 409306 • Albany Down - album launch They say they’re the hottest independent rock band in the UK. Come along and make your own mind up. Esquires - Main Stage • Our Kind of Music OMG, it’s OKOM! The funkiest, friendliest night in town. Get your dancing shoes on and prepare to get funked. The Bedford Arms, Bromham Rd • Flashback Roadshow - 80s disco Take a trip down memory lane at the Flower Pot’s 80s disco. Fancy dress optional, so dig out those shoulder pads, pull on that stonewashed denim and show these youngsters what real fashion was all about. Prize for the best outfit & FREE buffet too! • Loaded Indie tunes aplenty The Pad • Soulweaver Classic rock covers & original material The Kings Arms tel: 354494 • Pearl Handled Revolver + support Bedford’s finest `dirty` rhythm and blues outfit Esquires - Main Stage bedfordesquires. com

A circular walk along Bedford’s beautiful Victorian Embankment 11am Tourist Information Centre 01234 221712 • FREE BBQ plus gig from Vintage Stuff Old favourites and modern classics. From 4.30pm in the beer garden The Flower Pot tel: 296732 • Quiz Night Flex those brain muscles The White Horse tel: 409306 • Punk All-dayer Bank holiday festivities with a twist Esquires - Danny’s Bar • Music Quiz John Cutler’s infamous musical brainteaser The Kings Arms tel: 354494

SUN 28th AUG••••••••••••••••••• •The Jewel in Bedford’s Crown

Opening next month in Bedford... Vintage clothing, accessories, home-ware, collectables and curiosities! visit our website for details.

Showroom with a wide varity of Antique Furniture, pictures, sliver and pottery. We also carry out Antique Furniture Restoration

J Moore Restoration

SAT 20th AUG••••••••••••••••••••

MON 29th AUG••••••••••••••••

• Mat Roberts’ Big Band open mic night Bring your instrument, join the band and see what evolves. Excellent night where anything can happen! The White Horse tel: 409306 • Quiz Night Round off your bank holiday weekend with this great quiz night. The Kings Arms tel: 354494

Visit our website for more details of the services we offer 01480 406993 Love wine and want to know more? Stuck in a wine rut but unsure what to try? Looking for a gift for a loved one? Swirl Wine School has the answers. Now open, in Bedford. Tel: 01234 761753

TUES 30th AUG••••••••••••••••••
• Quiz Night Brain training - pub style The White Horse tel: 409306

SAT 27th AUG••••••••••••••••••••
•Twinwoods Festival Clapham Non stop live music throughout the days and nights from amazing bands playing the very best swing, jive, jazz and rock’n’roll from the 40s, 50s, and beyond. • FREE BBQ plus gig from Cutting Out Classic & modern rock from 5pm in the beer garden The Flower Pot tel: 296732 • Crazy Horse karaoke Get in the bank holiday spirit with a good old sing-along. The White Horse tel: 409306 • Loaded Kick off the bank holiday with some shoe-

A historical look at the High Street and how shopping has changed over the last 200 years. 11am Tourist Information Centre 01234 221712 • Quiz Night Brain training - pub style The White Horse tel: 409306 • Ginger (acoustic) + support Esquires - Main Stage • Music Quiz John Cutler’s music quiz. Now in its 21st year! The Kings Arms tel: 354494 • Open mic night Your chance to shine! The White Horse tel: 409306

SUN 21st AUG••••••••••••••••••• •Guided Walk: Are You Being Served?

Follow in the footsteps of John Bunyan 7pm Tourist Information Centre 01234 221712 • Traditional Irish Music Come along and enjoy the relaxed craic of traditional Irish music in the bar Kings Arms 01234 354494 We really want to hear about your events so we can spread the word to our fellow Bedfordians. Cost is £1 per listing Please email your details to with ‘Listing’ as the subject by 17th June. Want to advertise? Then we’d love to hear from you too.

WED 31st AUG•••••••••••••••••• •The Life & Times of John Bunyan

DESIGNER FABRIC SALE. Embankment Hotel, Saturday 24th September 10am - 1pm or call Jo on 07900 905186

Take a fresh look at Bedford. 01234 359599

MON 22nd AUG••••••••••••••••

The county’s largest art store specialising in picture framing, original paintings & fine art prints, art & craft materials, cards & gifts. Our friendly team of experts are there to advise and assist you with your creative needs. Howard Street, Bedford MK40 3HS 01234 344784




Your Local: THE BEAR
It is 26 years since Paul Shilladay took over The Bear in the High Street and he’s now Bedford town centre’s longest serving landlord. ‘Local legend’ Paul chatted with The

Paul Shilladay: Not all grizzly on the High Street takes one troublemaker to affect the whole mood of the pub – and when they are removed it takes a little while for the atmosphere to return. ‘Since the smoking ban, we changed our garden. Maggie’s fiance Mike did the hanging baskets and they are the best in Bedford ... in my opinion. I keep expecting to see parrots flying out of them! ‘We introduced the bookcase at the girls’ suggestion. People are free to sit and read the books, take them away, bring them back or replace them. I am a bookworm too and love writing letters. ‘We have music on Thursdays or Sundays, with bands like Omnivibes, Fishwife’s Broadside and Ouse Valley Singles Club. Some people turned up thinking it was a singles club not a band but they still had a good time. Why should people come to The Bear? Because it’s the best pub in town! It’s friendly, it is a nice shape, comfortable and it’s not a cattle market.

This month The Clanger’s coffee and cake correspondent visited Frescoes Coffee House on Mill Street

Clanger about Bedford, The Bear, books, music, homing pigeons, hanging baskets and parrots – oh and a teeny bit about beer as well! ‘I love Bedford. It’s well looked after, the river looks fantastic. It’s a friendly provincial town where lots of people know each other. Although it’s the county town, it has a rural feel. And of course, there are lots of interesting characters. It’s like Bedford stopped being a village years ago but didn’t really realise it.’ ‘The Bear is not a High Street pub. In fact, the High Street is not really a high street – that just happens to be its name. It’s not the commercial centre of Bedford and unfortunately the term ‘High Street is synonymous with a pub crawl mentality.’ ‘I think of The Bear as a community pub with lots of regulars who are getting older (in their thirties and forties) and tend to attract more of the same – and we’re happy with that. We’ve had two Old Bear Regulars Reunions and one for my 25th anniversary. Lots of people came – I call them ‘homing pigeons’ as they spent their formative years as regulars in The Bear.

‘Our regulars arrange things like our pool nights on Monday and Tuesday (The Bear is in two local leagues) and poker on Wednesday. They are part of the pub. We recently won the ‘normal’ raft section of the raft race. At the age of sixty, Paul decided he enjoyed the pub so much, he signed up for another few years. ‘They say I’ll probably be carried out in a coffin.’ As a former civil servant and Quality Controller for Whitbreads Luton Brewery, Paul says ‘I’ve outlasted both Whitbreads and the brewery! I like my job – you’re lucky to find a job you love because if you love what you do, it’s not stressful.’ “It is my dream to create a jazz club in our town,” confesses Ricardo. “A relaxed venue where Bedford music-lovers can chill out and hear the coolest jazz. One day it will become a reality!” Of course, for the time being, the Twinwoods Festival in Clapham is just on our doorstep and the perfect place to indulge in a bit of big band, crooner and bebop jazz action! The Twinwoods Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary this year from 27 – 29 August and you can find out more information at www. Ricardo Gazzini will be DJing and hosting the evening entertainment in the Tin Hat area, so check him out. *We say ‘genre’, but jazz has more sub-genres that any other kind of music – 57 according to that fount of all knowledge, Wikipedia. From the slightly baffling free-form to traditional via big band, acid, swing, bebop, Dixieland, fusion, ragtime and modal there’s something for everyone. Nice! ate a big aural artwork, a living legacy of Bedford in 2011. The public can suggest their own favourite or most interesting Bedford sound spots for the map by posting them on the Bedford Creative Arts Facebook page. You can take part in a listening walk with Bedford Creative Arts and learn how to record and upload your sounds or just go to the Echo-Locations website and do it yourself. For artist Kathy Hinde appreciating sound is all about stopping and listening. She says, “Listening is active hearing. When you stop and

Is a pub’s character a reflection of the landlord’s personality? I used to think a pub’s character was about who lives next door, but it’s not. It is the people who are behind the bar. We get to know our neighbours – I remember Old Man Golding at 80! On pub culture ‘Society is changing and so are pubs. All day opening makes pubs more expensive to run – but we get different people in. I think binge drinking is more to do with cheap alcohol in the supermarkets, not pubs. BedSafe is good – troublemakers know that if they are banned from one pub they’re banned from them all. It only

nd asked ‘Why can I never make coffee for myself that tastes as good as yours – is it psychological?’ Barista extraordinaire Kevin Kavanagh (QC – quality control?) explained ‘Quality coffee is both a science and an artform’. In equal measure? ‘No – I’d say it’s a ratio of 50% skill, 25% equipment and 25% grinder’. But what about the beans? Surely they are important too? Cue a lecture on everything from the soil to the climate, a quick chat about arabica and robusta, grinding, roasting, transportation and economics (the correspondent’s coffee


Photos by: Shaun Armstrong

s a Bluenote endorsed DJ, what Ricardo Gazzini doesn’t know about jazz music probably isn’t worth knowing. And he’s passionate about sharing his love of the genre* and bringing more jazz to Bedford. “The jazz scene is thriving in Europe and the UK, particularly in cities such as Birmingham and London,” explains Ricardo. “DJs such as Giles Peterson and Snowboy have done much to encourage a younger audience and this is now spreading to the provinces. I’m determined to bring more jazz events to Bedford to build on this.” The Bedford Arms (Bromham Road) hosts Jazz Nights on a Monday and the Stables in Milton Keynes (the brainchild of jazz legends Sir Johnny Dankworth and Dame Cleo Lane) is slightly further afield but attracts world-class acts.



Outside, white walls and a sun synonymous with the Andalusian coast.

Inside, Castilian is being

sound like? Is it the drone of traffic, the bustle of the market or the tranquillity of the riverbank? You can find out by adding your sounds to a new sound map of Bedford. Commissioned by local organisation, Bedford Creative Arts, the sound mapping project is called Echo Location and has been made by artist and musician Kathy Hinde. This is your opportunity to capture a moment of the town’s history and to cre-


spoken at the opposite table and the contemporary sound of Chambao is playing (guitar and girl). What to have? The menu has variety, smacks of authenticity: chargrilled artichokes, Moorish olives, meatballs and a dozen other plates cold and hot tapas. Variety, but without overstretching the kitchen, or overwhelming the comedor. To drink, browse the wine bottles on the wooden shelves or pick up a juice or an Estrella from the cooler. Brian’s nearby, a patron with Irish charm, ready to share his passion for the wines he’s chosen. He recommends Goya – an aperitif that’s in vogue. You return to your table, glass in hand. A chance to admire the vintage Jerez posters, the photographs hanging on walls darker than a matador’s cape: a windmill, a Moorish courtyard, a chapel perched on a cliff. Your food starts to arrive. Boquerones (fresh anchovies marinated with garlic and parsley), tortilla, bocadillos, Moorish-style meatballs in their own tomato sauce. Terracotta dishes and
Photo by: Shaun Armstrong

wooden plates fill your table. You try the boquerones, forking the shiny anchovies onto a chunk of bread. The taste is reminiscent of your first beach restaurant on the Med, the one where you sat with your lover on the wooden veranda and watched the fishing boats returning to the harbour. It’s sharp and tangy, and you wonder why you don’t eat anchovies everyday. Now taste the olives, the chorizo and whitebean stew. The bocadillos are crisp and perfectly toasted, Serano ham and melted Manchega cheese. You’re trying each other’s dishes, and it feels like you’re on holiday. Olivia, equally the patron and likewise enamoured with all things Analusian, starts to tell you about how they source their terrecotta pots, the deli food, the small place they have in Arcos de la Frontera. For a few precious nights they open their doors to the Anglo-Spanish community: wine tasting, a Castilian social. Check the website ( if you want a taste of Madrid for a night. Or I recommend you simply escape the staycation for half an hour with a Fairtrade coffee, a light lunch, or a glass of Rioja. 120a Castle Road Open Wednesday to Saturday 9am to 5:30pm Sunday 11am to 3pm Fancy Spain, but can’t afford the fare... then get down to Andaluz on Castle Road. For more information go to www. or call Bedford Creative Arts on 01234 818670. All are welcome to join no previous experience is required and training will be offered on recording equipment provided.

Photo by: Shaun Armstrong

was getting cold at this point, but was enjoying this education too much to worry unduly). The frankly rather naïve correspondent said ‘I don’t like milk, but thanks for explaining what Latte Art is. Now can you explain why the machine heats the water to 123 degrees – above boiling point, yet still comes out as water?’ Looks were exchanged. Tension was building. ‘I mean – is it a bit like a pressure cooker – why doesn’t it explode?’ A smile saved the day. ‘Ask the manufacturer’, said Kevin knowingly. ‘Do you know what the most expensive coffee bean in the world is?’ he challenged the correspondent. ‘I know what the most expensive coffee in the supermarket is’ the by-now slightly cocky correspondent replied ‘Blue Mountain?’. Another smile saved the day. He walked away and returned with a large encyclopedia – the correspondent, expecting to be gently bopped on the head with it, screamed in horror ‘I’ve only got 300 words to write you know!’ Sensing he (the correspondent) had overstayed his welcome, he scurried away like a small furry animal that poops out the most expensive bean in the world and went to the pub. Footnote: This correspondent was a tad disappointed that he would not be able to afford to make a quality coffee at home on his current salary, but feels more than happy to continue to indulge himself with one cup a day for the eminently affordable £1.70 for a medium americano.

listen through a microphone even noise can become interesting and beautiful.” BCA are looking for both familiar and unusual sounds of Bedford and are requesting sound contributions and suggestions of interesting places to record for the project.


What are your favourite memories of The Bear?



AUGUST IN THE By Jane Perrone gardening editor of The Guardian GARDEN
This is a busy month in my garden...
oth my Victoria plum and Jargonelle pear trees are ready for harvesting toward the end of it, prompting steamy evenings in the kitchen making jams, crumbles and tarts. This year I am going to try some drying, too: this works for my other major crop this month tomatoes. You can go out and buy an expensive gadget called a dehydrator to dry your homegrown booty, but I credit Wahid Khan of the sustainability team at Bedford College for saving me (and you) a lot of money by explaining the carbonand cash-free way of drying fruit – your car. Sounds crazy, but a car parked southfacing on a sunny day will get to precisely the right temperature to dry your fruit. Just stick the sliced fruit or tomatoes (scoop out the seeds – learn how to save them for sowing next year here on cooling racks, then stick a baking tray underneath each one and place them on the dashboard for a day or two. Think of it as a motivation to use your legs or a bike and leave the car at home. While the sun shines is also the time to be considering your spring bulb order: daffs should be planted in the next six weeks or so and if you’re after something

Gardener extraordinaire of The Manor House In Stevington chats to Jane Perrone


unusual, they often sell out fast. This is one of those occasions where being a forward-planner reaps its rewards: get some specially prepared Paperwhite narcissi planted now in some glass containers filled with stones, squirrel them away in your garage or somewhere else that’s cool and dark. Come Christmas you’ll be glad you went to the trouble. (Fascinating fact: paperwhites don’t flop when watered with a 4-6% solution of alcohol – vodka or gin’s usually recommended. Depends on how much you like your VATs whether this is a good idea.) If you’re a lavender fan, this month is an ideal time to trim back the flowers: when I say trim, I don’t mean hack away at woody stems – lavender, like rosemary, won’t regrow, and you’ll be left with a bunch of twigs. If your lavender’s leggy (not a good thing in the plant world), either admit defeat and replace with new plants, or take some cuttings if you’re that way inclined. The harvested flowers are great in baking – check out Nigella’s lavender cupcakes recipe in her book How to be a Domestic Goddess. This reference

to trimming flowers raises the spectre of deadheading – just the word sounds, well, deadly boring. But after a hard day in the office there is a certain zenlike calm that descends when you start snipping fading flowers from roses, sweet peas and marigolds. And it helps to know that your work will prolong the flowering season of these plants for weeks. Any flowers past their best and now flopping in the border, such as hardy geraniums and achilleas, can be trimmed back too. If you have opium poppies seeding all over the place, let them do their thing - serendipity often brings some unexpectedly lovely and effort-free flower displays, or if you’re a neat freak, harvest the seeds and use them in breadmaking or to make a really wicked lentil dhal. Other jobs for August: Remove the lower leaves from tomato plants to encourage fruit to ripen; sow lettuce such as ‘Merveille de Quatre Saisons’ for an autumn/winter harvest; give hanging baskets and containers a regular feed; top up ponds and water features if they are starting to look depleted; if you haven’t trimmed your hedges, do it now; and finally, take some time to sit back and enjoy your garden. Jane Perrone is the Guardian’s gardening editor. Visit her blog at

When Kathy Brown moved to Bedfordshire from London, one lorry brought the furniture, another was full of her plant pots.

“That was an expensive move!” she

With the Cecil Higgins

at Cecil Higgins Art Gallery & Bedford Museum seeks out art in some unlikely places: The most obvious public art in Bedford is the Silver Faces sculpture on the entrance to Silver Street. Since its unveiling it has divided local opinion (let’s say the jury is still out on that one) but the town has long been graced by the work of leading Victorian sculptor Sir Alfred Gilbert. His model for the figure of John Howard is in the Tate but the real thing stands in our own St. Pauls Square. If Enlightenment philanthropists aren’t

Kristian Purcell, curatorial assistant

Art Gallery having packed its much-loved collections away for a major refit and with BCA no longer providing a dose of contemporary art on the High Street since its relocation to new studios on Midland Road, what is the creatively inclined Bedfordian to do to get their town centre art fix?

your cup of tea, then have you seen the Art Nouveau cherubs holding grotesque masks at the base of the statue? Fantastic stuff. Gilbert’s mentor, by the way, was Joseph Boehm, another major sculptor of

the era, but we know him for the Bunyan statue, don’t we? (Of course! – Ed) There are a number of opportunities to view local artists’ work in and around antique furniture, all restored to its former glory and waiting for a discerning customer to give them a new home. With over 20 years in the trade, Gwyn began his career at 16 when he joined the YTS scheme. Hands-on experience and an apprenticeship with John Moore (who the company is named for) followed and on John’s death, Gwyn took over the company, dedicated to continuing the firm’s commitment to high-quality craftsmanship. “We are a friendly, local business and we welcome visitors to the workshop,” explains Gwyn. “We can even source furniture for our customers, so if there’s something particular you’re after, get in touch and we’ll see what we can do.” So, if you have a table you want

Bedford. Several cafes have started exhibiting, notably Pensieri in Castle Quay and Frescos on Mill Street. For the more commercial end of the market, check out the Art Centre on Lurke Street as they also devote space to local artists, Bromham Mill regularly shows local art groups’ exhibitions, and the Eagle Gallery is a long-established fixture on Castle Road selling its members’ work in monthly exhibitions. These all provide local artists with ways to show their work but from the viewers’ point of view no one right now is setting out to bring them work to interest or provoke them (and maybe even sell to them!). Curation can be an important mediator between artist and viewer either by selecting artists to exhibit together or by giving parameters to an artist: boundaries can provoke a more interesting creative response than the freedom to do what one likes. In the meantime, I’m looking forward to seeing all of the 365 drawings by David Litchfield exhibited together in August, and the artists I’ve selected to follow my own show of drawings at Pensieri, starting with the photographer and musician Christian Webb in September. Pensieri gift shop & café is currently showing Kristian Purcell’s ‘Cover Drawings’ until September. polished, a cabinet in need of some TLC or are looking for a piece of antique furniture for your house, head up the A421 to the Black Cat roundabout and follow the signs to Chawston. Gwyn will be happy to show you around and we guarantee you’ll leave safe in the knowledge that some trades are still alive and well and thriving in Bedfordshire. Gwyn Williams, J Moore Restoration, College Farmhouse Workshops, Chawston Lane, Chawston, MK44 3BH tel: 01480 406993 e: Mon-Fri: 9am – 4.30pm

Photos by: Shaun Armstrong


says over a cup of tea in the delightful Manor House in Stevington, its garden still filled with containers 23 years later. It’s impressive that Kathy has time to plant up pots at all. Her husband Simon handles the topiary and lawns in their four and a half acre garden when he’s not doing his day job as a judge, but Kathy manages the rest of the garden by herself, hosting hundreds of visitors a year during her regular open days and tours as well as running a garden design business. With its wisteria walk, art-themed gardens, formal garden and arrays of clematis, it’s an inspiration for even the most lukewarm gardener. Kathy started her working life as a graduate at the Bank of England, meeting Simon during that time: one of her first dates with him was a visit to the Chelsea Flower Show. She was drawn into gardening as a career after the birth of her first child. After meeting another new mother, they joined forces to set up Blooming Boxes, a container gardening business, hiring a van and selling ready-planted pots to the residents of Hampstead and Highgate at the weekends while their husbands pushed the babies around the park. Next Kathy came up with the idea of creating a container gardening book with colour photos and plant combinations presented like recipes. When ‘Creative Container Gardening’ came out in 1987 it was groundbreaking stuff to readers used to seeing all their gardening books illustrated in drab black and white. More gardening books followed, covering everything from bulbs to edible flowers, but it is to containers that Kathy is returning in her latest work, out next month. Whether you have a big garden or a tiny balcony, pots are a great way of getting instant results, says Kathy. And it’s not as much work as you may think. “You don’t always have to be replanting – when I first started writing I used to say replant every three years but it’s all jolly hard work and you get to the point where a pot you can’t go any bigger so as long as it was looking good I just left

it.” Kathy recommends ferns for pots in shady spots, because they’re so easy to look after and don’t need replanting very often – hence the ferns in the butler sink for a couple of decades. “They last through the winter until about February then you cut them down and the new leaves unfurl in May. Nothing gets them – vine weevils, slugs – nothing.” In the sunshine to the front of the house, meanwhile, grasses and hardy succulents make stunning displays. Kathy’s sense of fun is in evidence everywhere, from the ‘outdoor desk’ that’s home to a telephone sprouting succulents (see picture) to the table set for the Mad Hatters’ tea party in the midst of the wildflower meadow.

Kathy Brown: Lady of The Manor Kathy’s tips for container gardening • If you find it a struggle to keep containers well watered, group them together and keep them in easy reach of the hose • Or try Sempervivums, which are hardy succulents that make great low-maintenance plants that will grow anywhere • Keep several identical plastic pots filled with plants that look good at different times of year: keep whatever’s looking good on show, then swap for another when it goes over See the Guardian Weekend magazine on August 6 for more pictures from Kathy Brown’s garden. Container Gardening by Kathy Brown is published by The Crowood Press priced £9.99 For details of garden openings visit You can also follow her on Twitter @poppingpoppies

J MOORE RESTORATION To visit Gwyn Williams’ furniture res-

toration workshop in Chawston is to step back in time to an era when hand-crafted furniture was king, and Ikea a mere glint in Sweden’s eye. Offering everything from cabinet restoration to re-polishing, gilding to lock repairs, Gwyn uses traditional methods that have stood the test of time. Immaculately tidy with every conceivable wood-working tool neatly in its place, the workshop is testament to the care and attention to detail that Gwyn offers his customers. Step upstairs, and you can see the fruits of his labour. The showroom is full of beautifully renovated

What’s your favourite public art in Bedford?


Want to get crafty, but no idea where to start? Luckily for us, Bedford has a wealth of talented crafters just waiting to pass on their knowledge to us less gifted individuals.

So Jo, what on earth is a ‘Crafternoon’?! My Crafternoons are held in the private dining room at The Embankment Hotel. The idea behind these was to have social event where like-minded people could get together to chat, sew and eat cake. I design special craft kits with a seasonal theme and it’s a lovely way to take a few hours out of our busy lives and relax with a needle and thread whilst nattering away with nice people. The next one is in November and will be Christmas themed, so sign up to my mailing list if this sounds like your idea of fun.” You’ve inspired me! I’m going to dig out my sewing machine and get crafty! Can you recommend places to get fab fabrics from? “For basics, The Singer Shop in Bedford and Dunelm. Sadly, for more interesting fabrics and notions you need to look online or travel to MK, Cambridge or London. This is one of the reasons I’ve decided to start selling fabric - to cater to the crafty community in Bedford and to offer an opportunity to feel the fabric before you buy. Buying fabric online is a bit of a minefield! I’ll be doing my first fabric sale event at The Embankment Hotel on Saturday 24 September from 10am – 1pm. I’ll have lots of lovely stuff, printed and plains and it will be cheaper than buying online.” See you there!
Photos by: Shaun Armstrong


“That was my 15 mins of fame on telly!” says Jo modestly. “I then landed a job working for Catherine Walker and the first dress I worked on was a £10,000 hand beaded evening dress for the Princess of Wales! I worked with amazing fabrics and incredibly skilled artisans and worked on stage dresses for Shirley Bassey, outfits for the Duchess of York, the Queen of Norway, even Margaret Thatcher (but don’t hold that against me!). In fact my boss at Catherine Walker was from Bedford!” (We get everywhere -Ed) So what inspired you to set up the School of Craft? “I’d left work to have my children and became inspired by the burgeoning craft scene. I started making things again & it made me feel good. Teaching people how to make simple things is integral to of School of Craft. I don’t want it to be intimidating. There are lots of things I could teach in sewing that are really complicated, but quite frankly who’s got the time? I want fast projects, easy to make, that hopefully will save some money too.” “My most popular class is my beginners 4 week evening class where we make a simple cushion cover and bag. All evening classes are for a maximum of 6 people. I provide the sewing machines, patterns and lots of gentle encouragement! Most people whizz through the projects and leave with a happy glow of achievement. Lots of my customers start off with this class, catch the crafty bug and come back for more. It’s great to see the enthusiasm!”

Leading the pack is School of Craft. We met up with the Master Crafter, Jo Flannery to find out what inspired her:
On entering Jo’s home and particularly her workroom, it’s clear that she has a passion for sewing and making beautiful things. “I’ve been sewing since I was about 10. I’ve always been - how shall we say vertically challenged and my mates were shopping in Chelsea Girl whilst I was stuck in the kids shops. Fuelled by a need to wear cool clothes I badgered my neighbour who was a seamstress, and she taught me how to make clothes. I still didn’t look cool, but at least the clothes fitted!” Following a fashion design degree at Manchester, she was selected by the Clothes Show as one of the most promising fashion graduates in the country!

Finally, sum up Bedford in 3 words... “Wonderfully Friendly Folk” For nfo on classes and to join the mailing list: Jo’s blog: category/blog/ Twitter: @socraft

Jo Flannery: She’s In Stitches


A DRAWING A MONTH by David Litchfield
This month ‘A Fox in a Rowing Boat Wearing a Tie with a Straw Boater’ suggested by Andrea Cracknell was chosen. Congratulations! If you would like to suggest something for David to draw in our next issue, please email by 15th September and if you’re chosen you will WIN a signed print of your picture.

Few are those that have had a piece of volcanic rock, heated to 440°, landing in front of them.
Fewer have tasted a sirloin steak cooked without oil on such a sizzling piece of stone. Tucked away in Castle Lane, between the ruins of the castle’s bailey and Bedford’s answer to Trump Tower, sits Angelo’s: café by day, bistro by night. At lunchtime it’s already established a loyal following: busy nurses, couples downtown, families shopping. The food’s fresh and menu has what you’d expect, from salads and toasted sandwiches to full

something with real meaning. And I’ve eaten with gauchos, sat amongst a dozen spit-roasted lambs, and while the cowboys of Argentina know their meat, Angelo’s way of cooking it – or presenting it – takes it in a whole different direction. Chicken, haloumi, tuna – just throw it on the rock and let it sear, whetting your appetite as it sizzles in front of you. What Angelo’s doing, with his mama’s aubergine and tomato parmaganna and his simple side dishes, is giving Bedford a place where you can relax at night, drink a glass of wine or a bottle of Peroni, try something special and leave without thinking ‘was it worth it?’ Angelo’s is a bistro with bistro prices, a welcome and arguably healthier alternative to the cheap Chinese or curry house.

English. At night the changes are subtle but significant. The classic car memorabilia is covered with chequered tablecloths. Candles and playing cards adorn the table. It becomes a relaxed bistro where British, American and Italian dishes, such as a proper parmaganna, are served by a smiling waitress. And in the evening there’s the black rock experience. Volcanic rock, radiating heat, cooking dinner on the table. ‘It seals the meat, cooks in the juices,’ says Angelo, ‘you cut strips off your piece of steak - rump, fillet, rib eye - put it aside on the salad, let it languish there, cooling a little, cooked to your taste.’ The sirloin I had was as moist and as tender as anyone could wish for. It redefined succulent, changed it from a throwaway remark to lottery! Well, not quite, but Bedford High Street has been awarded £850,000 from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The grant will be matched by the Council and supplemented by Bedford BID and local private landlords. This welcome investment will ensure that traditional shop fronts can be restored, building facades are upgraded, lost architectural details can be reinstated and the previously ignored upper floors of some of the buildings can be brought back into use. Alongside the redevelopment of shops and buildings, Luddington Passage

Cecil Higgins Art Gallery & Bedford Museum collections. From a book of views of Bedford, published by C.F Timeaus c.1912

We’ve won the

The Bedford Clanger would not have been possible without the quite exceptional talents of the following people: Happy summer everyone! Designer: Marisa Straccia Photographer: Shaun Armstrong Contributors: Caryl Jones, Lloyd Lugs-

(leading from the High Street to Castle Lane) will be improved. “This will make the world of difference to visitors’ perceptions of Bedford,” said Maria Bennett, owner of Pensieri gift shop and café on Castle Lane. “It’s wonderful that this much over-looked alley off the High Street area will get some TLC as a result of this grant. Hopefully people will be encouraged to walk through Luddington Passage following the improvements.” Mayor Dave Hodgson said, “This lottery funding will support the regeneration of the town centre, helping to re-establish the High Street as a vibrant and attractive place to shop.” We certainly hope so, Dave. And congratulations to all who worked so hard to secure the funding. Bedford salutes you!

den, Jane Perrone, Gemma Hutton, David Litchfield, Stephen Bywater, Dawn Giles, Harry Cribbes, all our advertisers and listers and of course, you, dear reader.

Can’t wait til next month for your Clanger fix? Then check out the blog: thebedfordclanger.wordpress. com

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