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ISSUE 10: APRIL 2012

Illustration:Marisa Straccia

THE BEDFORD CLANGER
Lovely

Tasty

Pretty

y Craft

Yummy

Cudd

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ews! Good N

Sweet
Exciting

Unique

For: music-lovers, culture-vultures, crafters, artists, makers, gardeners, traders, foodies, fashionistas
@bedfordclanger The Bedford Clanger Group Page email: thebedfordclanger@gmail.com blog:thebedfordclanger.wordpress.com

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THE BEDFORD CLANGER UNIQUE BEDFORD
UnIqUe BedFoRd: John MedhURsT, 10 MILL sTReeT, MK40 3hd TeL: 351458 John Medhurst jewellers is located on Mill street, just next to the entrance to Mill Yard. The business opened in 2002 and is now serving the great people of Bedford with all their fine jewellery requirements! The eponymous owner chatted to The
been established? JM: We opened the Mill Street shop in 2002 and our extension with the second entrance in Mill Yard then opened in 2010. BC: If I wanted to invest in a piece of jewellery what would you suggest? Diamonds, pearls, classic or contemporary? JM: I would never recommend jewellery as a purely financial investment. VAT, currently set at 20%, and the jewellers’ margin to cover business overheads, both eat into your investment. However, an investment as a family heirloom, to be passed down through the generations, very much depends on taste but a classic diamond item, such as a single stone ring or a bracelet does not date. BC: What is your busiest time of year? JM: The build up to Christmas. In the months of November and December most retail jewellers will do about 25% of their annual business and is therefore a vital trading period. Valentine’s Day is also a very busy time of year. BC: What items of jewellery are your best sellers? JM: Diamond engagement rings and diamond set wedding rings. BC: Judging by the pages of the glossy mags, the luxury end of the market seems to be weathering the recession relatively well. Does this ring true with you?

APRIL 2012

Beauty and...

Letter from the Editor
his month has seen The Bedford Clanger welcome Gemma Rogers to our ranks. As Advertising Director, Gemma has the honour of working with all our lovely local businesses to help them publicise themselves to over 8,000 Bedfordians through the pages of our paper. If you’d like to find out more about advertising in The Bedford Clanger, email Gemma at bedfordclangerads@ gmail.com or tweet @clangerads. She’s absolutely lovely and will do whatever she can to help! A big thank you this month has to go to Clanger designer Marisa Straccia for her front-cover illustration. As the ‘shop local’ issue began to take shape I had absolutley no idea what the cover should look like. Fortunately, Marisa is a genius. I hope you love it too! We also hope that you like love our local shopping suggestions as recommended by Clanger readers and Facebook & Twitter followers. As the comments flooded in, it became apparent that there was a lot of love for the shops of Queens Park. I was fortunate to check it out for myself with Ouse Valley Singles Club front-man and QP resident Tim Barron. It’s a wonder he ever leaves the area they’ve got everything on their doorstep, including the brewery! See you next month. Erica x

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Bedford Clanger about how the police force’s loss was the jewellery world’s gain, and how business has been affected by the economic downturn… Bedford Clanger: So John Medhurst, was it always your ambition to become a jeweller?

John Medhurst: No. As a teenager I wanted to join the police force! Unfortunately my eyesight meant that I did not meet the entry requirements. After that I became interested in becoming a retail jeweller, worked at John Bull on St Peter’s Street as general manager and have now been in the industry for 43 years. BC: How long has the shop on Mill Street

JM: No! In the last twelve months business has been slightly quieter than in previous years and I think that 2012 will be very challenging. BC: For those of us trying to watch our waistline this Easter, is there a jewellery alternative to the traditional chocolate egg? JM: A lovely Pandora bracelet! It is a

wonderful gift that you can buy now and add to for years to come at modest prices. Bracelets start from £40 and beads from £15. There are some beautiful beads for this time of year including a bunny, a chick and an Easter bonnet. BC: Finally, sum up Bedford in three words.... JM: Friendly – multicultural – riverside

PUTnoe Wood & MoWsBURY hILLFoRT
It’s easy to become blasé about Bedford. But look below the surface and there is a wealth of history to be found in some unlikely places. Take Putnoe Woods for example...
ying east of Bedford, Putnoe Woods has a long history and was once part of a much larger wooded landscape. The area was first recorded in the Domesday Book in 1086 as Salf End and Buckelowe (Putnoe). Before this date there is evidence that a Saxon named Putta had settled here and then later in 1066 being the property of Anschil or Asketill a name of Scandinavian origin. In 1224 considerable damage was done to Putnoe Wood during the nine weeks siege of Bedford Castle. The Royal forces of Henry III used the wood as a convenient source of timber. Warden Abbey demanded and received annual compensation for their ravaged woodland during the remainder of the King’s lifetime, however a full century was needed for the complete recovery of the wood. The Wood as it is today was purchased by Bedfordshire County Council in the mid twentieth century from the proceeds of the sale for the present Midland Road Station and is now owned and managed by Bedford Borough Council and the Priory Park Rangers. The wood is coppiced on a seven year cycle and has a wide diversity of plants and wildlife. Look northwards beyond Putnoe Woods and you will see Mowsbury Hillfort. One of only 10 univallate hillforts in Bedfordshire (that is a single line of defences, one bank and ditch) and is the best preserved. Pottery fragments show that the hillfort was occupied in the later Iron Age and into the Roman period, probably as a small farmstead. The site has been identified with the Manor of Morinsbury, mentioned in various documents before 1465. The name may have been retained as “Morsebury” a 16th century field name, which included the area of earthworks and presumably devolved to the present name of Mowsbury. Walk through what is called the ‘courtyard meadow’ where hundreds of orchids flower in the spring and you will find the remains of medieval fishponds and orchards planted in the 1920s. Work is constantly being carried out by the Park Rangers and the Friends group to stabilise and manage both sites. Want to find out more about Putnoe Woods and Mowsbury Hillfort? Then go to: www.putnoemowsburyfriends.org.uk

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Most Bedfordians are aware of the international reputation of John Bunyan’s The Pilgrim’s Progress, but how many of us are actually familiar with the story?
f you’re a bit sketchy on the details, or perhaps already know and love the book, then why not head along to the Bunyan Meeting rooms to see a stage performance of this seminal work? On Tuesday 8th and Wednesday 9th May, The Saltmine Theatre Company present The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan which has been adapted for the stage by Richard Hasnip and David Robinson. Tickets can be purchased from The Word Christian Bookshop, 167 Castle Road or Central Bedford Box Office (tel: 269519) and are priced at £12.00 (£10 Concessions) Free admission to Bunyan Museum extended opening hours until 7.00pm Refreshments available before the show

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Photos: Shaun Armstrong

HOMETOWN TOURIST

PILGRIM’s PRoGRess PeRFoRMAnCe

You must know who this guy is by now

It’s a shop local special this month

Photos: Tessafox.com

THE BEDFORD CLANGER ST. GEORGE’S DAY CELEBRATION: SKA STYLEE
Following last year’s sell out show, the St George’s Ska festival is back at Bedford Corn Exchange for another great evening of live music with some of the biggest artists in the scene. Headlining this year’s event will be Bad
... The Beast

APRIL 2012

LIsTenInG eARs on - IT’s RoCK n RoLL BINGO!

Manners. The band quickly became firm favourites of the Ska scene through their bald, enormous-bodied frontman’s on-stage antics, earning early exposure through their Top of The Pops TV exploits and an appearance in the live film documentary, Dance Craze. Bad Manners were at their peak during the late 1970s and early 1980s, during a period when other ska revival bands such as Madness and The Specials, The Beat and The Selecter, filled the charts. Bad Manners spent 111 weeks in the UK Singles Chart between 1980 and 1983 and have continued as a worldwide popular touring live act to this day.

Some of Bad Manners’ more notable hits include “My Girl Lollipop”, “Lip Up Fatty”, “Ne Ne Na Na Na Na Nu Nu”, “Lorraine”, “Just A Feeling”, “Walking In The Sunshine”, “Can Can” and “Special Brew”. One of the main reasons for their notoriety was their outlandish huge-tongued and shaven-headed frontman, Buster Bloodvessel. His manic exploits got them banned from Top of the Pops (really? – Ed) and they were also banned from Italian TV after Bloodvessel mooned a concert audience, after being told that the Pope was watching on TV! A full supporting line up features very special Guests: King Hammond & The Rudeboy Mafia + The Ska Masters + The Pressure Tones.

DJ Ben Ford will be spinning ska and reggae vinyl in-between the bands and Hammy and Geoff will be filling the floor with their Northern Soul classics in the Howard room until 1am. The Corn Exchange, St Pauls Square, Bedford, Saturday 21st April - Tickets £20 advance from the Corn Exchange Box Offfice / Seetickets. Doors / Auditorium open at 6pm. WE HAVE 2 PAIRS OF TICKETS TO GIVE AWAY. JUST SEND AN EMAIL TO thebedfordclanger@gmail.com with BAD MANNERS IN THE SUBJECT BY 18 APRIL TO BE IN WITH A CHANCE.

in the crowds with its Rock & Roll bingo hosted by the one and only Eddie Odd-Kin Adams. In a nutshell, each bingo card (just £1) has the names of songs on it instead of the traditional numbers. Eddie then plays snippets of songs and if the song played is on your card, mark it off til you’ve got a full house. Yell out ‘Rock & Roll Bingo’ and you’re a winner! Eddie is the host with the most, selling tickets, dishing out

Thought bingo wasn’t for you? Then think again! Every Tuesday night, Esquires is pulling

the dabbers (that’s bingo slang for ‘pens’) and generally encouraging everyone to have a great time. A cool combination of karaoke and bingo, the songs are a mix of old and new covering every genre, so it’s a great way to show off your Statto-esque musical knowledge too. There are cash prizes, great drinks deals and if you buy a bingo card you qualify for free pizza. Seriously folks, what’s not to like?? Esquires, 60a Bromham Road, MK40 2QG (just up from the bus station) penultimate track ‘Throttle’ and set closer ‘Heavens Below’ the crowd were already baying for much more, knowing that all in all they were the winners by the time the house lights came up. With a profile rising by each show and being tipped for big things by indie bible NME, this is a band we will be hearing much more from in the future. All in all Wet Nuns are simply superb. What have you got to lose,the singles are free and it is the best free download that you will ever make. Do yourself a favour and do the following things a) download the single b) watch the video (please note: don’t watch near dinner time) c) catch them live if you can. Fun With nuns

soMe WET NUNS CAMe To BedFoRd LAsT MonTh…
By Gareth Barber

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IN!!

MUSIC: RECORD SHOP DAY
W::S RECORDS CELEBRATES WORLD RECORD STORE DAY It’s World Record store day on April 21st - a chance for the entire planet to celebrate independent record shops. We asked Gareth Barber of The Pad to
of vinyl. I wondered how technology had affected Paul. “Sales are down from a few years back. All the industries that can be digitally sold like music, retail, photography, libraries etc... are all struggling to survive,” explained Paul. “We really do need to count on local DJs to support us as much as possible. The service that you get face-to-face in a vinyl shop literally cannot be beaten by the web. Websites try to suggest things for you but they can’t do it like a human can!” That said, W::S Records does embrace modern technology and offers a download option on their website www.wsrecords.com. Fortunately for Paul and the other surviving record shop owners, there is a new generation of vinyl buyers keeping the scene alive and Record Store Day is a chance for this new breed to get their hands on some exciting limited edition records released specialy for the event. “Record store day is the day after my birthday so it all fits in nicely!” said Paul. “We are waiting for promotional products from our suppliers and it’s a shame I dont know what these are yet as I could of promo’d them here! Whatever they are, these goods always turn out to be rare, collectable and valuable so they are worth a look - although we’ll be limiting to one copy per title per customer on 21st. Hopefully people will respect the thought behind Record Store Day and not be greedy or just buy them to sell them on ebay! We’re also offering a discount throughout the shop the

Make a cuppa tea, put a record on

interview Paul Willsher of W::S Records on Mill Street, Bedford’s only remaining record shop, to find out what they’re doing to honour the ocassion. W::S Records opened its doors in January 2003 when its founder Paul Willsher was 21 years old. “I had been DJ-ing with my friends since I was 17 and really got gripped by the DJ phenomenon,” said Paul. “I left school & completed an introductory business course, and then wasn’t really going anywhere in life so I decided to put my business brain into gear and I realized what I liked was music so I researched the market and found that there was a demand for records.” Although there were other record shops in Bedford, none of them specialised in Paul’s preferred genre: drum n bass. “I got a business plan together, approached the Princes Trust and succeeded in getting a loan from them. When we started out, it was myself and Andy Stroud who opened up the shop, hence the name W (Willsher) S (Stroud) Records.” At The Pad we’ve seen an increasing number of DJs turning up with memory sticks and laptops rather than boxes full

day.” Like all great independant shops W::S seems to be the hub of the local scene. Do you see yourself as a place to go to to to find out what’s happening? “Yes, WS::Records is a great place to find out what’s going on both in & out of the town, anything music related comes into the shop so if you are stuck at a loose end and wondering what to do, WS::Records will inspire you into doing something!” So Paul, any last words for the Clanger readers? “Yes, firstly thanks to the readers who have taken their time to read this, if you mention this article in store and say you’d like the”Bedford Clanger Offer”, you can get 10% off your purchase, unlimited up until Record Store Day on the 21st April 2012! (Excludes tickets and 6xCD Packs - Normal CD’s are still OK) Also I just want to say, keep it real & support your local businesses - it makes your town better for you in the long run. After all, what’s the point in lining the pockets of another company in another town, it’s better to support your local businesses, it gets you out the house as well!” I couldn’t agree more....

aving enjoyed the ritual pre-gig tour diet of bombay mix, Wet Nuns took to the stage around 10.15pm, looked at the audience, then at each other and started to play. What followed was 35 minutes of visceral, sexy and downright dirty bluesdeathpunk that reminded everyone what good music should sound like. Ripping out staple songs ‘Laura’ and ’7 year itch’, both Terence Trent D’Barndance (Growls,Vocals, Guitar) and Grim Westwood (Perfect torso, Vocals, drums) were on great form, stopping between each tirade of Queens of the Stone Age meets Black Keysesque riffs to tell jokes and chat to the crowd. The two piece create their trademark modern lo-fi, blues-stoner-punk sound (that’s a niche genre – Ed) that is hard not to like and by the time both singles were ready to rattle out of the speakers for the

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Photos: Tessafox.com

The Pad presented another stellar line up of live music at esquires on 17th March, and in traditional style brought another of tomorrow’s big bands to our very doorstep.

Visit www.wetnuns.com he Pad opens up its doors from 11am on Saturday 21st April and stallholders will be selling and swapping music of all genres. Best of all it’s completely free to get in, the bar will be open all day and local musicians will be playing 20 minute acoustic sets throughout the day to keep you entertained while you browse. Performing on the day are Rebecca De Winter, BetaBoy, Tom Evans, Fishwives Broadside and The Ska Masters with more to be confirmed soon. So pop down on the 21st, have a beer, a browse, a buy and a listen and donate whatever you can to the Primrose Appeal. Pitches are free for anyone wanting to come and sell their records, just book your space by calling Sam on 07928547810, all we ask is 10% of all money made from the day gets donated.

ReCoRd sToRe dAY AT THE PAD

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Record store day is being celebrated at The Pad this year in the form of an all day record and Cd fair, jam packed with live performances from some of Bedfords finest musical talent and all while raising funds for Bedford hospital’s Primrose Unit.

Two DJs go to the cinema. One says to the other: “I wonder who the projectionist is tonight?”

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THE BEDFORD CLANGER

APRIL 2012

SHOP LOCAL!
The growing dominance of supermarkets (or one particular supermarket) in Bedford is an emotive subject.
edfordians are proud of their independent shops and the infiltration of areas of the town by big-name convenience stores is a threat to our local traders. Of course, there is a place for supermarkets. For those who are cash rich/time poor, they conveniently offer everything you need (and lots you don’t) with special offers galore to lure you in. But there is an alternative. Last December, I decided to undertake all my Christmas shopping in Bedford. Apart from one second hand e-bay purchase, every gift, card and food item was purchased in our town. This got me thinking about the quality and wealth of choice

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among the independent retailers in Bedford and how The Clanger could celebrate them. So April’s Shop Local special edition was born! In this issue we’ve asked Clanger photographer Graham Watson to undertake a comparative shop between T***o and his local retailers. We’ve also interviewed Clare Rayner, The Retail Champion, about the importance of independent retailers to the success of a town. Christina Rowe, head of BID also talks to us about the Love Bedford initiative and their commitment to supporting diversity among Bedford’s retailers. We’ve asked our Facebook and Twitter followers to recommend their favourite independent food shops and the bargains and treats that can be found without getting in the car. From Queens Park to Castle Road, Bedford has a rich and varied selection of shops saving you time, money and petrol. You might not receive reward points, but if the reward is knowing your local shopkeeper by name, supporting Bedford’s retailers and stopping supermarket dominance in our town, I’d say it’s worth it.

We LoVe BedFoRd. We hoPe MARY PORTAS does Too!

A ‘Town Team’ action group has been formed to bid for Government money for Bedford Town Centre following the findings of Mary ‘queen of shops’ Portas’ high street Report.

I do like making things, and although they sometimes turn out looking a little unusual I don’t let this get me down or stop me trying! In this ‘shop local special’, I thought I would say a ‘thank you’ to the Bedford shops that help me with my creative attempts…
Goldings : I’ve written at bedfordnetwork. co.uk about the tea-light candle holder I made for my friend. I did this by bashing holes into an old (clean) Golden Syrup tin. All you need to do this is get an old tin and a pointed bradawl – I got mine from Goldings. This is one of my favourite shops, I love it there! They sell almost everything and also have lots of advice on gardening.

BEDFORD NETWORK

We bought our daffodil and onion bulbs from Goldings and the daffodils are looking very lovely in the garden, despite Mr W getting the bulbs mixed up, so now we have a veg patch with daffodils and clumps of onions growing randomly around the garden. Art Centre : Another creative attempt, which at the moment is on-going, is blinging up my gnome. I found a lovely gnome at the bottom of my garden and I decided it needed painting. The people at the Art Centre in Bedford were very helpful and made sure I got the right paint. What I hadn’t realised was that although I thought painting a gnome gold would be a good idea, it looks a little scary. Singers : I do love bunting and if you make it yourself it’s even better. I did this by buying tape, material and pinking shears from Singers. The ladies at Singers are really helpful and thanks to them the end result was almost professional looking bunting! Now I just need to make a fishing rod for my gnome… www.bedfordnetwork.co.uk Twitter: @bedfordnetwork Facebook: www.facebook.com/BedfordNetwork and ideas people who are all doing so much in their own ways towards promoting Bedford and its many facets and features. It can only be a good thing to have them working together with the local authority, the museum, multi-cultural representatives and the broad commercial umbrella of the BID which represents 564 levy-paying business.” In addition, BID is supporting July’s Independent Retailer month with a promotionl and PR campaign. Hurrah!

INDEPENDENTS’ DAY ChAMPIonInG oUR IndePendenT ReTAILeRs
Clare Rayner is The Retail Champion. she is a regular on TV and is a mentor, consultant, trainer and speaker on all aspects of the retail sector.

She is passionate about independent

retailers and is spearheading Independent Retailer Month which will be a nationwide initiative taking place in July. The Clanger is proud to be a champion of Bedford’s local traders, so we wanted her advice on how our town’s indies can thrive and grow… Bedford Clanger: Bedford is fortunate to have a plethora of independent retailers. What conditions need to exist for independents to thrive? Clare Rayner: For independent retailers to thrive it is essential that they can make profit – whilst this sounds obvious there are several factors that are making that aim increasingly difficult in the current environment. These factors include: 1.Cost of lease & any necessary refurbishment / refits 2.Cost of rates 3.Operating costs Town centre footfall is reducing due to preferences to shop online or out of town. The majority of independent retailers are town centre located so this reduced footfall equals reduced customer spending. With rates and rents increasing the profitability of any high street retail outlet (independent or otherwise) is being squeezed. Therefore in order to thrive they need locations with good footfall, and the right kind of footfall for the offer they will present. They need to plan their finances (cash flow and overall operating costs vs. revenue) in great detail to clearly understand what has to be achieved in terms of sales revenue in order to make a respectable income. They need to stay totally focused on their local customer – understanding their needs and wants and, most importantly, as they can’t ever compete on price they need to compete on service and on convenience. BC: What can an independent shop offer that multiples/online retailers can’t? CR: Independents can offer a level of

existing slogan of the Bedford Business Improvement District (BID), the group includes We Are Bedford, The Bedford Clanger, Cecil Higgins Art Gallery & Bedford Museum, Castle Quarter, Bedford Borough Council, local newspapers, independent High Street retailers and Richard Fuller MP. The Portas Project offers town centres up to £80,000 if they can come up with an idea to revitalise their High Street and boost business, which can be replicated in other towns. Christina Rowe, Director of BedfordBID said, “A healthy High Street is the heart of a town and so we are doing this under the banner of the existing Love Bedford logo. The key thing here is that we are all working together for the same end. “We are glad to have on board dynamic business need to realise that their local councils have not had a say in setting the rates, they just collect the money! Still, councils DO need to address the hygiene factors that repel customers from visiting town centres – they can review parking charges, cleanliness and security issues. These are within their control. I think if councils can create an attractive environment that makes it easy for customers to get to a town, and welcoming when they are there, that will in turn create the right environment to attract retailers. BC: Due to high rents & rates, independent retailers are often unable to trade at the heart of the town. Is this beneficial (eg: creating ‘destination’ areas off the beaten track & outside the High Street) or detrimental (eg: they risk being ignored by the mainstream shoppers)? CR: I think this is detrimental to the town as it ends up with a split personality! A great town has a vibrant mix of multiples, offering a consistent, standardised experience and indies with a diverse, exciting, creative experience. Customers like both! Multiples and indies side by side have positive synergies, each increasing footfall for the other. When a town becomes all multiples it can look too “samey” and at that point a customer may as well go to a shopping centre, avoiding the risks of poor weather and probably getting free parking too! After all, if the offer in the town is identical to out of town there is no compelling reason to go into the town. When an area is all indie it can work, but it is less attractive to the broadest range of customers who also want to shop with multiples. Most customers prefer a bit of variety, choice and a good mix. Whilst it is entirely possible to do all your shopping with independent retailers (Go Graham ! – Ed), we need to be realistic

Under the banner of ‘Love Bedford’, the

– people won’t. What matters is that there is a balance and that customers are attracted to an area in greatest number, which is typically driven by choice, and that’s underpinned by having a both multiples and indies represented on the high street. BC: How important is social media to independent retailers? CR: It’s important, not the be all and end all, but it does mean they have an additional channel for communicating with customers and showing off a bit of their personality. As they say, people buy from people, and if a retailer demonstrates their “human face” it will help them engage customers and secure loyalty. As multiples don’t yet have that close level engagement with customers, often due to centralised processes and restrictions on what store staff can say about the brand online, it does present a great opportunity for independents. Another benefit is that social media as a platform is free to use, so a business really only needs to consider the cost of the time invested in using it. My advice is to be where your customers are (or at least be where those who influence your customers are) – so if they use twitter, facebook or other media BE THERE and if they don’t then you’re probably wasting your time! BC: Is there an ideal ratio of indies:multiples to create a thriving town? CR: No – each town has a unique local customer base and a thriving town will have evolved to meet the needs and wants of that customer. The critical success factor is uniqueness, which is probably why the towns which became known as clone towns (each looking like the next) have begun to fail!

local focus that a multiple can’t – they can fine tune their product offer, promotions and service proposition to fit in perfectly with what their local customer wants. Data and customer research has shown that consumers accept up to 18% price premium for convenience. Now don’t assume that convenience means a corner shop. It means offering access to products and services in a way that makes it easy for the customer – so easy that they are happy to pay a little extra. Things like changing the store opening hours to suit customers’ lifestyles, offering local delivery or buy now collect later options – whatever retailers can do to make their customers’ value their proposition. When a customer values a retailer they’ll be happy to pay that little bit extra because the benefit of shopping with that retailer, due to their services and convenience, will outweigh the costs. It’s these “personal touches” that connect independent retailers with their local customers and enable them to compete with the multiples successfully. BC: What can Bedford Borough Council do to encourage independents to come to our town centre? CR: It may not be what you want to hear, but councils are struggling too right now; their budgets are being slashed due to government spending cuts. Whilst businesses complain that rates are on the increase they

BC: It looks like Bedford is going to thoroughly embrace Indpendents’ Day this July. Hurrah! What advice can you give the town to make the most of their invovlement? CR: One day is not enough, but it’s a great “kick start” – I urge Bedford to also get behind Independent Retailer Month, which is throughout July. Leverage Retail Indie Day on 4th July to “launch” the town’s “shop local, shop indie” campaign and then really encourage the retailers to get creative – they have “permission” (if they ever needed it!) to let their imaginations run wild – they can work together to run events, activities and promotions – making sure that these are really attractive to get the attention of the local community! They say it takes about six weeks to form a habit, well a month is a good start. Make sure that the local customers get a really good reminder of what’s on their doorstep so that they don’t just make an effort for one day, or even one month, but that as a result of a month of activities that keeping them coming back time and time again, they’ll decide they don’t want to stop shopping local! Retailers will have re-engaged their local customer, increasing loyalty, customer base and sales for the longer term! Bedford BID will be supporting Independent Retailer Month, so if you’d like to get involved in the activities, check out www.independentretailermonth.co.uk Clare Rayner can be contacted on: 01727 238890 or email: clare.rayner@retailchampion.co.uk

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Ditch that take-away ditch-water. Bedford has the best family run Italian coffee shops

THE BEDFORD CLANGER

APRIL 2012
a wonky-wheeler stolen from T***o) and go for a walk with the kids after work (if you can) to get stuff. It gets you out more, bumping into friends, getting fresh air or rained on. It won’t kill you. And yes, for bulk cupboard stuff then it could get pricey – but go to Lidl or Aldi if you have to stock up, and grab the rest on the way back. But remember, our parents never had supermarkets. And we’re doing ok, right? Myth #4 – “It’s not very convenient” Err, yep. I concede this one is true: I can no longer buy underpants at 3am if I forgot to put a wash on the day before. But hang on – my new car is now gathering dust as I walk to get bits for breakfast before work (The Cheese Kitchen, Bakery and Corner Shop open early), I can pop to the shops mid-dinner to grab some tinned tomatoes and fresh salad from Foods Of Italy, or I can nip out after half a bottle of wine on a Friday for some extra bits for a dinner party from Andaluz (they open late Thursday – Saturday for food, and the Deli stays open). I can’t do any of this with Tesco; it’s too much effort to drive for a couple of little things. Ready meals are sold by Foods of Italy, as are their excellent £2 baguette sandwiches. The Organic Shop sells market veg from dawn to dusk at bargain prices, and failing this, there’s a corner shop. Myth #5 – “What if I forgot some Valentine’s day stuff?” It’s true, I did. So I got up at 7am, and was truly delighted. Everywhere opened early. So I got freshly-baked croissants from The Cheese Kitchen, picked up stunning roses from the florist, grabbed Italian ground coffee from A Touch of Italy, orange juice from the Corner Shop. And served up a locally-sourced Valentine’s day breakfast on a whim in under half and hour. You know what? It felt romantic. Not some garage-grabbed, last minute desperate attempt. Conclusion So, can you buy everything you need locally in Bedford? Well we live by Castle Road, and, to my surprise there wasn’t a single thing that we either couldn’t buy, or to be honest, didn’t really need anyway… And that’s the point. Shopping locally forces you to re-evaluate what you really need. True, it sometimes requires extra thought, or an idea of what you need. But that’s no bad thing. Is it? I don’t want to become a zombie shopper, being tricked with voodoo, offered ‘essentials’ which I neither ‘’needed’ or knew I wanted. Not only are you helping save what makes your area unique, but you’re helping your brain too. It feels like you’re on holiday each day, It cost less, and I’m all-the-richer for the experience.

SHOP LOCAL!
by Graham Watson

YoU’LL Be BeTTeR oFF In eVeRY sense

“erica, I’ve got a great idea for a feature in next year’s Clanger, we’re going to spend a whole month onLY shopping locally” Tutti Frutti I said this without really
thinking it through. We were at the We Are Bedford ‘Pop Up Emporium’ and I was caught up in the whole ‘shop local’ thing. It sounded like a great idea in my mind though, it sounded so idealistic. But when Erica enthusiastically agreed, I knew I had to stick by my idea. Bugger… A feeling swept across me akin to the one felt when I told my parents I was moving out – Tesco was like a mum. And just like moving out - I knew where I stood being looked after by mum. Mum was safe. Mum was there 24 hours a day. Could I really do this? What will I do in ‘the big, bad world’ of local without all of Tesco’s advice? In my mind I also thought that Tesco would be cheaper, but wouldn’t it be all quaint and middleclass to drop “I only shop locally you know” into conversations? Well here I am one month on. And you know what? I don’t want to move back home, being told what to do all the time. And I’m richer, in every sense of the word.
Photos: Tessafox.com

you to get what you need, in the amount you need. And only what you need. There are bargains to be had too. Harris & Sons offer excellent value on everyday meats and cheeses, Lingers had half price cheese one weekend (their brie is divine), the Pharmacy offers household bargains on everything from hand soap (including a wonderful chocolate one), toilet rolls, plasters, antiperspirant… the list goes on. Trust me. Our cupboards aren’t as full, but we are.

SHARING THE JOY - THE BEST OF BEDFORDS FOOD SHOPS

It’s all very well opposing the influx of T***o, but if you don’t have the low-down the great independent shops selling supermarket alternatives or can’t remember when market day is then it’s easy to just head to the out-of-town behemoths for your weekly shop.

So we asked our readers, FB friends and

To balance out the experiment we first spent an entire month ONLY shopping at Tesco. Each time we went in we came out around £20 poorer. Each time baffled at why, when we only went in for cat food, we came out with three bags of food. But it was all a bargain, and we needed it all, didn’t we? I’ve asked myself some tough questions during this experiment; questions and myths that others have also raised. And here are the answers I came up with… Myth #1 – “Shopping locally is too expensive” If you bought your standard sandwich cheese for your cheese and pickle butties from The (wonderful) Cheese Kitchen’s smorgasbord then yes. But we spent much less shopping locally. Not because stuff was much cheaper, but because it forces

Myth #2 – “There’s not as much choice” That all depends on what ‘choice’ means. Indeed, I was left with only two choices of ketchup for my bacon sarnie one Saturday (Tesco offers 27 varieties)… But who needs that much choice? There’s more variety locally, as shopping locally offers a wealth of choice in the form of shops. Our perpetual need for choice is proven to increase stress levels of shoppers. I can’t even BEGIN to describe how much happier I am now I’ve escaped the soulless ‘ant nest’ that is a supermarket. God it’s depressing. And if you want choice, the wonderful Bedford Market, has a gargantuan choice of fruit, veg, cheese (and they do three Boursin for £1). Oh, and the stuff comes in brown paper bags, which is green. Myth #3 – “I can’t do a big shop locally” I agree that if you’ve got a big family, it’s going to take some effort. But get a shopping trolley (tartan wheelie thing, not

twitter followers for their recommendations. Being generous, we thought we’d share them with you. Foods of Italy on Bower Street: excellent ham and salami, bags of pizza dough - brilliant for a super-quick homemade meal with your favourite toppings. DavidJon Butchers on Stanley Street: super-friendly and knowledgeable staff, gorgeous fresh sausages and they know most of their customers by name. Jaffa Orchard Cafe on Pembroke St: 40p fairy cakes make it the perfect place to take the kids for an “austerity measures” afternoon tea. Giuseppe Deli on Haylands Way: great for all things Italian! The Italian Shop on Stanley Street: Huge selection of pasta, meats, olives and cheeses as well as fresh fruit and veg. Delicious fresh bread too if you get in early enough! FusionO the Chinese shop in the Harpur centre: friendly staff always happy to take time to explain products and help you try new things. Loving Foods of Italy as well! Roosters on St Cuthbert’s Street: The best little sandwich shop in town, without a doubt! Roasted Veg and Humous Sandwich? Heaven in edible form. Sylvano’s on Brickhill Drive parade: Italian deli, bakery and grocers. Also Chambers ‘More than just a newsagent’ because the people who run it are SO nice. They lost the post office and now they’ve got Tesco next door. They also take dry-cleaning and do passport photos. Lamberts supermarket on Midland Road: Huge selection of heap bulk bags of spices and rice. Queens Park (literally all shops!): You don’t need to leave QP to get everything you need (according to residents Jack Trot and Tim Barron). The shops have a huge range of spices, all manner of quality fresh vegetables, rices, oils, etc all cheaper than T***o. The Italian Deli on Ford End Road: the only place in Bedford where I’ve seen Parma ham sold on the bone. They also have an entire room dedicated to pasta. Over 150 varieties! Beat that T***o!

Price Check in the Harpur Centre: a continental Alladins cave. Blue glass on St Cuthbert’s Street: Fantastic wine selection. With most decent wine retailing in T***o’s now at £5-£6 a bottle there are some great wines at The Blue Glass within the £5-£7 range, and some great ones under a £10! Run by the lovely John Barnes. Lingers Butchers on St Cuthbert’s Street: So helpful, particularly to the novice cook (Kayte Judge) “They have been helping me learn to cook - when I said I was a bit intimidated going into a butcher he offered to open up on a Sunday to talk through the different types of meat for me and anyone else who’d like to broaden their meat buying.” Loving Lingers and their sausage rolls are awesome! The Cheese Kitchen on Castle Road: Lovely, helpful staff and such a range of cheeses! Andaluz on Castle Road: for the lovely range of spanish meats and delicious tidbits. Bakers Best in Church Arcade for nononsense, proper jam doughnuts. Super Euro Halal on Ildelsiegh Rd, Queens Park: all the spices you will ever need, pouches of them-10 times the weight you get in the little bottles for the same price in T***o. Harris & Son Butchers on Castle Road: Knowledgeable staff, their lamb is to die for. Not to mention their sausages... Arcadia Sweet Shop, The Arcade: Pear drops, bon bons, sherbert pips. Step back in time! Bostock Health Care in Garfield St: for all things first aid! Whole Foods health food shop in Thurlow Street (next to the Bus station): Sells nuts and spices by weight and at very reasonable prices. Goldings Ironmongers on the High Street: Stock practically everything ever made in the world ever and know everything about everything they sell. Best of Bedford in one shop! And finally, Bedford Markets.... Ok, you might need to invest in a tartan shopping trolley to lug all your lovey food home, but there’s no better place to get all your fruit, veg, meat, fish and eggs than Bedford Market. With stall-holders vying for your attention and customers thronging St Paul’s Square, the atmosphere is a world away from the sanitized supermarkets. The Piazza cafe right in the heart of it not only serves great bacon butties but offers a (relatively) peaceful spot to people watch. Bedford’s Charter Market takes place on St Paul’s Square and Harpur Square every Wednesday and Saturday. Thursday is the gourment food market and Friday specialises in home and garden including fresh flowers. With thanks to the following people for their recommendations: Tim Barron (whose bargain limes started the whole thing off), Teresa Brooks, Caryl Jones, Nansi Rose, Jack Trot, Kristian Purcell, David Gallagher, Jane Perrone, Ellie Boyde, Gemma Hutton, Emma Garrett, Kayte Judge, Chris Thatcher, Deborah Walsh, Anne Godwin, Shane Hughes, Joanna O’Donovan, Fiona Thraille

DELICATESSEN • FRESH BREAD • PASTAS • PLATTERS

FOODS OF ITALY

75 BoWeR sTReeT, BedFoRd, MK41 3RB Tel:01234 213 500 www.foodsofitalybedford.co.uk Every dollar you spend is a vote for how you want the world to be

5

THE BEDFORD CLANGER
LISTINGS THIS APRIL 2012
Sun 1st April••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• A local community pub in the Castle Road area of Bedford with a warm & friendly atmosphere. Serving a fine range of Quality Cask Ales & selection of fine wines from around the world 32 Dudley Street, Bedford, MK40 3TB,   tel:01234 359329
•Clare Free Live music Danny’s Bar - Esquires www.bedfordesquires.com •Music Quiz @ The KA 21 years old and still going strong! The Kings Arms, St Mary’s Street tel:01234 354494 •Liam Rowlands Live music at The Bear The Bear, High Street •Grace Trabucchi Sensational singer The Bedford Arms, Bromham Road www.thebedfordarmsbedford.co.uk

APRIL 2012
•Sat 7th April•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
•Speak & Spell Depeche Mode tribute band Esquires Main Stage www.bedfordesquires.com •DJ Fat Lad @ The Exec DJ Fat Lad (aka Ian Congdon-Lee of In2Beats Radio & Grange Hill fame) spins the party tunes til 5am The Executive Club tel: 401500 •Hot Buckle Productions presents: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens New innovative adaptation of one of Dickens’ greatest novels. With the bicentenary of Dickens’ birth this year, this electrifying, exhilarating and moving production of Pip’s progress is a must-see! Tickets £10 The Place Theatre, Bradgate Road www.theplacebedford.org.uk •The VIPeas Live music Danny’s Bar - Esquires www.bedfordesquires.com •Live Music Saturday Does what it says on the tin! The White Horse, Newnham Avenue www.whitehorsebedford.co.uk •Sounds of the 80s club night Holy Moly’s @ Esquires www.bedfordesquires.com •Lost for Words Live music at the KA The Kings Arms, St Mary’s Street www.thekingsarmsbedford.co.uk •Music Quiz @ The KA 21 years old and still going strong! The Kings Arms, St Mary’s Street tel:01234 354494 •Swan Theatre Company presents: Spring has Sprung An evening of poety and spoken-word full of new-life, new growth and the joy of the new season. A lovely way to round off your Easter weekend! £5 The Place Theatre www.theplacebedford.org.uk •Last Minute Comedy Club @ The Pad The Pad, Lurke Street www.thepadbedford.com •Cutting Out Live music Danny’s Bar - Esquires www.bedfordesquires.com •Jeff’s Jazz Quartet The Bedford Arms, 2 Bromham Road, Town Centre, Bedford MK40 2QA, Tel: 01234 214 656 •General Knowledge Quiz Stretch those brain muscles at this weekly quiz. The Kings Arms, St Mary’s Street tel:01234 354494 •Allison Neale on Alto Allison teams up with another lady on the gig, Florence Moore on double bass, along with Terry Collie on the keyboard and Johnny Gregoir at the drums. The Bedford Arms, 2 Bromham Road, Town Centre, Bedford MK40 2QA, Tel: 01234 214 656 •Open Mic Night with Mat Roberts The White Horse, Newnham Avenue www.whitehorsebedford.co.uk •Diamond Bingo! Eyes down, people. It’s bingo night at the Flower Pot The Flower Pot, Tavistock Street tel: 296732 •Rock & Roll Bingo Get those listening ears on and win prizes! Free pizza when you play! Danny’s Bar - Esquires www.bedfordesquires.com •Book Club The Bedford Arms, 2 Bromham Road, Town Centre, Bedford MK40 2QA, Tel: 01234 214 656 •Esquires Jam Night Join in or just enjoy the talent Danny’s Bar Esquires www.bedfordesquires.com •Charity Pub Quiz In aid of Friends for Life The White Horse, Newnham Avenue www.whitehorsebedford.co.uk •Stitch and Bitch The Bedford Arms, 2 Bromham Road, Town Centre, Bedford MK40 2QA, Tel: 01234 214 656 •Alternative Karaoke at The Bear! The Bear, High Street

Fri 13th April•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Mon 2nd April•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
•General Knowledge Quiz Stretch those brain muscles at this weekly quiz. The Kings Arms, St Mary’s Street tel:01234 354494 •Open Mic Night with Mat Roberts The White Horse, Newnham Avenue www.whitehorsebedford.co.uk •Roger Nobes. This will be the first time we have a truly outstanding vibraphonist on a session. Roger has played and featured with some of the jazz greats. Keyboard player Pete Shepherd’s Trio will be there, to create an evening of quality music. The Bedford Arms, 2 Bromham Road, Town Centre, Bedford MK40 2QA, Tel: 01234 214 656 •Diamond Bingo! Eyes down, people. It’s bingo night at the Flower Pot The Flower Pot, Tavistock Street tel: 296732 •Rock & Roll Bingo Get those listening ears on and win prizes! Free pizza when you play! Danny’s Bar - Esquires www.bedfordesquires.com

  

•Juicebox Live music Esquires Main Stage www.bedfordesquires.com •Cherry Lee Mewis Blues in Bedford The Flower Pot, Tavistock Street tel: 296732 •The Effect Live music at The Bear The Bear, High Street •Music Box Lace @ 123 Create Discover the hidden melodies in patterns with audio-visual artist Kathy Hindle. 1-4pm £3 advance. 123 Create, 123 Midland Road Call BCA to book tel: 01234 818670 •The Wholls EP release show Local boys done good! Esquires Main Stage www.bedfordesquires.com •Friday Karaoke Open til 2am The Executive Club, Lurke Street tel: 401500 •Mutiny’ club night Holy Moly’s @ Esquires www.bedfordesquires.com •Vinyl Revival Put the needle on the record… The Bedford Arms, Bromham Road www.thebedfordarmsbedford.o.uk

Tues 3rd April•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Sun 8th April•••••••••••••••Easter Sunday

Sat 14th April••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

       

        

Wed 4th April •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
•Charity Pub Quiz In aid of Family Groups & Home Start The White Horse, Newnham Avenue www.whitehorsebedford.co.uk •Esquires Jam Night Join in or just enjoy the talent Danny’s Bar Esquires www.bedfordesquires.com

•Thurs 5th April

 
    

•Bedford Alternative Music Showcase Esquires Main Stage www.bedfordesquires.com •Mat Roberts’ Jam Night Come and join in or just be entertained by Bedford’s talented musicians. The Flower Pot tel: 296732 •Very Good Thursday at The Bear Alternative & 90s karaoke followed by Phil & Ben down Esquires or The Tea Party at The Pad! The Bear, High Street •The Tea Party Classic 90s indie night The Pad, Lurke Street www.thepadbedford.com •A Very Good Thursday’ club night Holy Moly’s @ Esquires www.bedfordesquires.com •Traditional music session No work on Friday, so why not head out for a pint & some music? You know you want to! The Bedford Arms, Bromham Road www.thebedfordarmsbedford.o.uk

Mon 9th April•••••••••••••Easter Monday

•The Bootleg Sixties The Bedford-based Bootleg Sixties are back on tour with their fantastic ‘sight & sound show’. A brilliant evening’s entertainment that’s sure to rock the Corn Exchange to its very foundations! Bedford Corn Exchange www.bedfordcornexchange.co.uk •DJ Fat Lad @ The Exec DJ Fat Lad (aka Ian Congdon-Lee of In2Beats Radio & Grange Hill fame) spins the party tunes til 5am The Executive Club tel: 401500 •Music Box Lace @ 123 Create Discover the hidden melodies in patterns with audio-visual artist Kathy Hindle. 1-4pm £3 advance. 123 Create, 123 Midland Road Call BCA to book tel: 01234 818670 •Neil Innes ‘Long Tales & Short Stories’ He used to be in The Rutles! Esquires Main Stage www.bedfordesquires.com •Loaded Classic indie night @ The Pad The Pad, Lurke Street www.thepadbedford.com •Pop Up Cinema’ film night Exciting! Holy Moly’s @ Esquires www.bedfordesquires.com •Light Alloy Live music at the KA The Kings Arms, St Mary’s Street www.thekingsarmsbedford.co.uk

Sun 15th April•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
•Music Quiz @ The KA 21 years old and still going strong! The Kings Arms, St Mary’s Street tel:01234 354494 •Mojo Live music Esquires Main Stage www.bedfordesquires.com •Nick Stephenson Live music The Bedford Arms, 2 Bromham Road, Town Centre, Bedford MK40 2QA, Tel: 01234 214 656

Tues 10th April•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Fri 6th April••••••••••••••••••Good Friday

Have you ever thought about becoming a market trader?
Whether you want to bag a bargain, find that unique gift, taste something special or just soak in the atmosphere Bedford markets are the place to be. We also have opportunities for new market traders.
Do I have the skills to be a trader on the market? What do I need to do to become a market trader?

•Hot Buckle Productions presents: Great Expectations by Charles Dickens New innovative adaptation of one of Dickens’ greatest novels. With the bicentenary of Dickens’ birth this year, this electrifying, exhilarating and moving production of Pip’s progress is a must-see! Tickets £10 The Place Theatre, Bradgate Road www.theplacebedford.org.uk •Dinosaur Disco Motown floor fillers all night long! The Flower Pot, Tavistock Street tel: 296732 •Dubzilla tbc The Pad, Lurke Street www.thepadbedford.com •Karaoke! The White Horse, Newnham Avenue www.whitehorsebedford.co.uk •Friday Karaoke Open til 2am The Executive Club, Lurke Street tel: 401500 •Hekz Album launch night Esquires Main Stage www.bedfordesquires.com •Kent Duchane Live music Holy Moly’s @ Esquires www.bedfordesquires.com

Mon 16th April•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
•General Knowledge Quiz Stretch those brain muscles at this weekly quiz. The Kings Arms, St Mary’s Street tel:01234 354494 •Tenor sax man Simon Spillet makes a welcome return, Supported by a great rhythm section lead by Keyboard Master Russ Williams The Bedford Arms, 2 Bromham Road, Town Centre, Bedford MK40 2QA, Tel: 01234 214 656 •Open Mic Night with Mat Roberts The White Horse, Newnham Avenue www.whitehorsebedford.co.uk

Wed 11th April•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Tues 17th - 21st April••••••••••••••••••••••

Thurs 12th April ••••••••••••••••••••••••••
•Tea Dance 2pm.Put on your dancing shoes & join us in the elegant surroundings of the Bedford Corn Exchange. Bedford Corn Exchange www.bedfordcornexchange.co.uk •First Aid Training - 1 day intensive course £84+VAT Bedford Athletic Stadium sales@bostockhealthcare.com •Mat Roberts’ Jam Night Come and join in or just be entertained by Bedford’s talented musicians. The Flower Pot tel: 296732

•ShowCo Bedford present Showboat in Concert & a Tribute to Oscar Hammerstein II A celebration of the works of the great lyricist Oscar Hammerstein II. The first half features the wonderful music of Jerome Kern’s Showboat. The second half is a journey through his career feturing classic collaborations including of course his great work with Richard Rodgers. £10 The Place Theatre www.theplacebedford.org.uk

Who can I ask for help?

Anybody with a flair for selling can become a market trader, as either a part-time or full-time career. (services)
To find out more pick up a Markets guide from Bedford Tourist Information Centre or contact 185 Castle Road, Bedford MK40 3RX Paul Jamieson on 01234 718676. Telephone 01234 345333
Facsimile 01234 347744

K

K

(services)

185 Castle Road, Bedford MK40 3RX Telephone 01234 345333 Facsimile 01234 347744

www.rose-tinte 4 Clair Court, Lime St, Bedford, MK4

6

THE BEDFORD CLANGER
Tues 17th April••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
•Diamond Bingo! Eyes down, people. It’s bingo night at the Flower Pot The Flower Pot, Tavistock Street tel: 296732 •Rock & Roll Bingo Get those listening ears on and win prizes! Free pizza when you play! Danny’s Bar - Esquires www.bedfordesquires.com Celebrate our national saint’s day with Buster Bloodvessel & Bad Manners. Ska & reggae DJs plus Northern Soul tunes to end off the night. Hurrah! Bedford Corn Exchange www.bedfordcornexchange.co.uk •October Rose Live music at the KA The Kings Arms, St Mary’s Street www.thekingsarmsbedford.co.uk Bedford Corn Exchange www.bedfordcornexchange.co.uk

APRIL 2012

Fri 27th April ••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Wed 18th April••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Sun 22nd April•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
•John Verity Live music Danny’s Bar - Esquires www.bedfordesquires.com •Olie Campbell Live Music The Bedford Arms, 2 Bromham Road, Town Centre, Bedford MK40 2QA, Tel: 01234 214 656 •Music Quiz @ The KA 21 years old and still going strong! The Kings Arms, St Mary’s Street tel:01234 354494

•Philharmonia Orchestra Juraj Valcuha conducts Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto and Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition featuring internationally revered violinist Sergey Khachatryan. Class! Bedford Corn Exchange www.bedfordcornexchange.co.uk •Bedford Camera Club exhibition Exhibition of imagery taken by the talented members of the camera club. Get your portait taken at the Castle Photo Graphics stall on Saturday 9am - 5pm The Harpur Suite •Esquires Jam Night Join in or just enjoy the talent Danny’s Bar Esquires www.bedfordesquires.com •Charity Pub Quiz In aid of Bedford Park Lions The White Horse, Newnham Avenue www.whitehorsebedford.co.uk

Mon 23rd April••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
•Colin Watling And his big sound and feel on the Tenor Sax, is backed by Guitarist Nick Page’s Band. The Bedford Arms, 2 Bromham Road, Town Centre, Bedford MK40 2QA, Tel: 01234 214 656 •General Knowledge Quiz Stretch those brain muscles at this weekly quiz. The Kings Arms, St Mary’s Street tel:01234 354494 •Open Mic Night with Mat Roberts The White Horse, Newnham Avenue www.whitehorsebedford.co.uk •St George’s Day celebration at the White Horse Special lunch & dinner menu The White Horse, Newnham Avenue www.whitehorsebedford.co.uk •Open Mic ‘Big Band Xtra’ Jam St George’s Day special: Bring along your instrument to join in, or just enjoy the amazing talent in our town! The White Horse, Newnham Avenue www.whitehorsebedford.co.uk •Diamond Bingo! Eyes down, people. It’s bingo night at the Flower Pot The Flower Pot, Tavistock Street tel: 296732 •Rock & Roll Bingo Get those listening ears on and win prizes! Free pizza when you play! Danny’s Bar - Esquires www.bedfordesquires.com

Wed 18th, 19th & 26th April•••••••••••••

•First Aid Training 3 day course Bostock Healthcare are running this 3 day first aid course £223 Bedford Athletic Stadium sales@bostockhealthcare.com

•The Last Chance Ragtime Band The Bedford Arms, Bromham Road www.thebedfordarmsbedford.o.uk •School Disco for Grown Ups! Join the Seven Up On Ice ladies as they raise money to fight breast cancer. As well as walking in their bras in the night in Iceland in June, the girls are organising this great night out. With school dinner, tuck shop and school photos on offer, the School Disco promises to be a fab night for an excellent cause. Tickets £12.50 Silsoe Village Hall www.facebook.com/sevenuponice •Ben Poole Live music The Flower Pot, Tavistock Street tel: 296732 •Silent Disco The Pad’s Silent Disco returns, so headphones at the ready. Theme tbc The Pad, Lurke Street www.thepadbedford.com •Sounds of Lace @ 123 Create Experience lace through the medium of sound on specially commissioned software. 12.30-4.20pm £3 advance 123 Create, 123 Midland Road Call BCA to book tel: 01234 818670 •Friday Karaoke Open til 2am The Executive Club, Lurke Street tel: 401500 •Tie One On Live music Danny’s Bar - Esquires www.bedfordesquires.com •Hellfyre’ club night Holy Moly’s @ Esquires www.bedfordesquires.com

The Tavistock Pub & Carvery has just opened its doors following an imaginative & stylish makeover.
We are a family run establishment offering good quality food, beers, wines & coffee. As well as our daily Buffet Breakfast & Carvery, we have an extensive menu offering Pizza, Pasta, Traditional Pub Favourites and yummy Desserts! We are delighted to welcome you to our relaxed & friendly pub and hope you’ll visit and feel as much at home as we do! IN A HURRY at lunchtime? Ask for a copy of our menu and you can call and preorder. We also have free WIFI! Open daily from 8am. Food Served until 9.30pm daily 117 Tavistock Street, Bedford, MK40 2SB Telephone 01234 219595 www.thetavistockpub.co.uk Email: info@thetavistockpub.co.uk Twitter: @TheTavistockPub

Thurs 19th April•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Sat 28th April••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

•Paul Daniels: ‘Hair Today Gone Tomorrow’ Not only Paul Daniels but the lovely Debbie McGee feature in this show full of magic, comedy and amazement. Do you want to go? Say ‘yes Paul.’ Bedford Corn Exchange www.bedfordcornexchange.co.uk •Bedford Camera Club exhibition Exhibition of imagery taken by the talented members of the camera club. Get your portait taken at the Castle Photo Graphics stall on Saturday 9am - 5pm The Harpur Suite •Charity Sock Monkey workshop Kitchen Table Sewing’s Janet Lehain hosts an evening of sock monkey sewing in aid of Sue Ryder Care’s St John’s Hospice. Just bring your socks - no sewing skills necessary! £10 (all of which goes to the charity). 7pm at Fancy!, Roff Avenue kitchentablesewing.blogspot.com •Mat Roberts’ Jam Night Come and join in or just be entertained by Bedford’s talented musicians. The Flower Pot tel: 296732 •Alternative Karaoke at The Bear! The Bear, High Street •Grace Trabucchi Live music Holy Moly’s @ Esquires www.bedfordesquires.com

Tues 24th April •••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

24th - 28th April•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
•Fysh to Fry Theatre Co present: Spring Awakening Spring awakening explores the journey from adolescence to adulthood with a poignancy & passion you’ll never forget. Spring Awakening is an electrifying fusion of morality, sexuality & rock & roll that is exhilarating audiences across the nation. The Place Theatre www.theplacebedford.org.uk •Charity Pub Quiz In aid of Cat Protection League The White Horse, Newnham Avenue www.whitehorsebedford.co.uk •Esquires Jam Night Join in or just enjoy the talent Danny’s Bar Esquires www.bedfordesquires.com •Tea Dance 2pm Put on your dancing shoes & join us in the elegant surroundings of the Bedford Corn Exchange. Bedford Corn Exchange www.bedfordcornexchange.co.uk •Stitch and Bitch The Bedford Arms, 2 Bromham Road, Town Centre, Bedford MK40 2QA, Tel: 01234 214 656

•Bedford Comedy Club Season finale of Bedford’s best comedy club. Don’t miss the four, yes four comedians, plus food available and bar open througout the evening. Bedford Corn Exchange www.bedfordcornexchange.co.uk •DJ Fat Lad @ The Exec DJ Fat Lad (aka Ian Congdon-Lee of In2Beats Radio & Grange Hill fame) spins the party tunes til 5am The Executive Club tel: 401500 •Sounds of Lace @ 123 Create Experience lace through the medium of sound on specially commissioned software. 12.30-4.20pm £3 advance 123 Create, 123 Midland Road Call BCA to book tel: 01234 818670 •Acoda + Attention Thieves + Ocasan + Gold Skies Ahead Esquires Main Stage www.bedfordesquires.com •Roxanne De Bastion + support followed by club night Holy Moly’s @ Esquires www.bedfordesquires.com •Maxwell Slater & Smith Live music at the KA The Kings Arms, St Mary’s Street www.thekingsarmsbedford.co.uk

Sun 29th April•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
•Karaoke! The White Horse, Newnham Avenue www.whitehorsebedford.co.uk •Denny McCafferey Live music Danny’s Bar - Esquires www.bedfordesquires.com •Music Quiz @ The KA 21 years old and still going strong! The Kings Arms, St Mary’s Street tel:01234 354494

Fri 20th April•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
•Stephen Triffit is ‘Frank Sinatra’ Stephen Triffit used to see photo-copiers in Somerset. Today, his Frank Sinatra tribute act is acclaimed all over the world. From the voice, the moves, the style and the looks, Stephen has made Ol Blue Eyes his own. Bedford Corn Exchange www.bedfordcornexchange.co.uk •The Graduates feat. Dave Marks Live music The Flower Pot, Tavistock Street tel: 296732 •Friday Karaoke Open til 2am The Executive Club, Lurke Street tel: 401500 •Ben Poole Homecoming album launch Esquires Main Stage www.bedfordesquires.com •Amanda Shires + support Live music Holy Moly’s @ Esquires www.bedfordesquires.com •Karaoke! The White Horse, Newnham Avenue www.whitehorsebedford.co.uk

Wed 25th April••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Portuguese restaurant 4 Newnham Street, Bedford MK40 3JR Tel: 01234 364400 www.baiadecascais.co.uk

Mon 30th April•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
•Open Mic ‘Big Band Xtra’ Jam Bring along your instrument to join in, or just enjoy the amazing talent in our town! The White Horse, Newnham Avenue www.whitehorsebedford.co.uk •General Knowledge Quiz Stretch those brain muscles at this weekly quiz. The Kings Arms, St Mary’s Street tel:01234 354494 •Trombonist Roy Williams makes a very welcome return Supported by Drummer, Bobby Orr’s Trio The Bedford Arms, 2 Bromham Road, Town Centre, Bedford MK40 2QA, Tel: 01234 214 656 •Open Mic Night with Mat Roberts The White Horse, Newnham Avenue www.whitehorsebedford.co.uk

Thurs 26th April•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
•Science Museum Live on tour New experiments for 2012!! Unleash your inner Einstein with explosive fun for all your family - but especially the sciene geeks. Back by popular demand the fantastic show is designed to blow your mind and challenge your brain. Suitable for 7 years and over. 7pm Bedford Corn Exchange www.bedfordcornexchange.co.uk •Mat Roberts’ Jam Night Come and join in or just be entertained by Bedford’s talented musicians. The Flower Pot tel: 296732 •Alternative Karaoke at The Bear! The Bear, High Street •Artful Esquires Main Stage wwwbedfordesquires.com •Science Museum Live on tour New experiments for 2012!! Unleash your inner Einstein with explosive fun for all your family - but especially the sciene geeks. Back by popular demand the fantastic show is designed to blow your mind and challenge your brain. Suitable for 7 years and over. 11am

Sat 21th April••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
•Think Floyd The UK’s number one Pink Floyd tribute are renowned for their stunning celebration of these titans of the music industry. Bedford Corn Exchange www.bedfordcornexchange.co.uk •Hurricane Fly Live music The Flower Pot, Tavistock Street tel: 296732 •DJ Fat Lad @ The Exec DJ Fat Lad (aka Ian Congdon-Lee of In2Beats Radio & Grange Hill fame) spins the party tunes til 5am The Executive Club tel: 401500 •Larry Miller + Motherlode Esquires Main Stage www.bedfordesquires.com •St George’s Ska Fest

Want to advertise in The Bedford Clanger? Then email Gemma at bedfordclangerads@gmail.com for more information. Got an event that you’d like everyone to know about? Then email details to thebedfordclanger@gmail.com. Cost is £1/listing Come & enjoy our luncthtime special: 2 Black Rock steaks for just £10. 20 Castle Lane, Bedford www.cafeangelo.com
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7

THE BEDFORD CLANGER
INFINITE 29 at 123 CReATe, Midland Road EAGLE GALLERY
The eagle Gallery on Castle Road is celebrating its seventh anniversary this month and is more successful than ever, despite the recession.
isappointed by the lack of hanging space in Bedford, a group of artists came together in 2004 to form a co-operative. With the help of Peter Budek, proprietor of the Eagle Bookshop, the group were able to transform 101 Castle Road into a viable space for art, complete with a garden for showing sculpture. The gallery opened its doors for the first time on 2nd April 2005 and the artists haven’t looked back since, working together to run the gallery, hang

APRIL 2012

SEvEN YEARS ON AND FLYING HIGH
Sarah Buckingham from the Eagle Gallery committee, says: “The interest in the Eagle Gallery just keeps on growing - we obviously filled a gap for both artists and art lovers in Bedfordshire. It just shows what people can do if there is enough energy and enthusiasm to make something happen! In our seventh year we are looking forward to another packed schedule of exhibitions: coming up we’ve got a one week show of paintings by Sue Melville (14-21 April), a new show of work by all 45 artists (23rd April - 24 May), Alasdair Bright and Mark Cheng with their dual exhibition of illustrations and paintings (26 May - 1 June) and then our themed exhibition, Journeys (4 June - 5 July). Come down and see us - and don’t be afraid! We don’t mind if you want to have a chat, take a seat, laugh, enjoy the garden - the gallery’s for everyone to enjoy.”

D

ing workshops and creative sessions at 123 CREATE in Midland Road, and are engaging with local artists and creative people to produce collaborative artwork that they will display in an exhibition later this year. Recent workshops and sessions have involved painting and ‘phonetography’ as well as exploring the revival of Bedford’s historic tradition of lace making. Infinite 29 recently held a workshop with international artist Arabel Rosillo de Blas and Cranfield lace maker Janet Faulkner, a lace-maker for more than 30 years. Artist Arabel is currently commissioned by Bedford Creative Arts (BCA) to produce a large lace installation that will appear in Bedford in May. Alongside this project, Infinite29 have been looking at the fascinating history of lace making in Bedford and have been combining contemporary ideas with the traditional craft to produce their own artwork. Want to get invovled? With many more exciting ideas and workshops planned, Infinite29

Creativity for Wellbeing is part of a new community project right here in Bedford. Every Wednesday afternoon they are hold-

hopes to engage people in art for health and wellbeing by providing a direct link for creative and inspired members of the community to work with established artists in their field. If you would like to know more about the group or are interested in becom-

ing a member then please contact Jackie Haddock Group coordinator and Creativity & Wellbeing Activist by e mailing her at Jackie@infinite29.com or by telephoning Bedford Creative Arts on 01234 818670, jackieh@bedfordcreativearts.org.uk

BehInd The sCenes AT The MUseUM ARTS AWARDS FOR ARTY ARCHAEOLOGY AND MEDIEvAL MANGA
A convocation of eagle artists

new exhibitions every single month (sometimes more often) and put on events for the local community. The group is made up of 45 local artists from all corners of Bedfordshire. Each piece on show is an original artwork. The gallery reflects the diversity of people that make up the co-operative, from full time artists to those who fit their art around full time jobs. The work includes paintings, drawings, etchings, sculptures, photography, glass and pottery.

The Eagle Gallery is open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5.30pm. Disabled access available. Eagle Gallery, 101 Castle Road, Bedford MK40 3QP. www.eaglegalleryartists.co.uk Follow us on Twitter! @Eagle_Gallery Or join our group on Facebook: Eagle Gallery Artists

did you know that studying these topics can get you a qualification? over the last five months, two groups of young people working creatively with Cecil Higgins Art Gallery & Bedford Museum have achieved a Bronze Arts Award.
rts Award is managed by Trinity College London in association with Arts Council England and aspires to support any young person to enjoy the arts and develop creative leadership skills. As part of two pilot schemes exploring how Arts Award can be offered in a heritage setting, the young people developed their individual artistic skills to help them explore history. Five young people, who attend our monthly Saturday Archaeology Workshops in partnership with Albion Archaeology, visited the London Archaeological Archives and Research Centre and the Museum of London. According to Aidan’s review, it was “an amazing day.” Chris Dobson introduced them to the smelly arts of dyeing and weaving wool, just as the Saxons would have done. Each candidate

A

group, were challenged to recreate the Siege of Bedford Castle on the hoardings at the Gallery & Museum site during our ‘Time Travel Big Draw’ event. Ben so enjoyed painting scenes on the hoardings that he came back another day to help other visitors have a go. This project was part of the Effective Museums programme for the East of England which was funded by Renaissance and managed by Norfolk Museums and Archaeology Service. We hope this will be the first group of many to achieve their Bronze Arts Award and plan to offer Silver Arts Award in the future. The timing of this projects fits well with the recommendations of the Henley report on Cultural Education in England which recognises the importance of cultural education in school and the necessity of enhancing this provision through partnerships with local arts and cultural organisations. Henley Report: http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/ files/pdf/h/henley%20review%20of%20 cultural%20education%20in%20england. pdf Government Response to the Henley report: http://media.education.gov.uk/assets/files/ pdf/g/government%20response%20to%20 the%20henley%20review.pdf

POTTERY FOR BEGINNERS
4 week Pottery course, starting Saturday 14th April - 10.00am -12.00pm 1 Newnham Street, Bedford, Bedfordshire, MK40 3JR Taught by Eve Carroll, an experienced potter/tutor who will guide you through a variety of popular pottery techniques, including throwing on the potter’s wheel & hand-building. This course would suit people who are ready for a creative challenge. Fee: £120.00 (Inclusive of tuition, materials and kiln firings) For further information please contact Eve Email: evestudiopottery@gmail.com Mobile Tel: 07807 275682

also pursued their own individual artform, for example, Japanese armour leatherwork, Roman ceramics or book-binding and paper-making and displayed the results in portfolio form. Arts Award is about enjoying the arts and helping others to do so. After a workshop with Manga artist Lee Smart, young people at Beauchamp Middle School who joined a Medieval Manga after-school

April 21st MAy 30th 2012 rock city Art 26 cAstle lAne, Bedford tel: 01234 910448 STEVE EMBERTON’S PUNK ERA EXHIBITION CAMDEN MUSIC MACHINE LONDON 1977 RICHARD HELL, MICK JONES, SID, NANCY& JOHNNY ROTTEN

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8

Gosh! There are a lot of artistic people in this town

THE BEDFORD CLANGER

APRIL 2012
Amy, how does your kindergarten grow?
Illustration By David Litchfield

GREAT BEDFORDIANS:
By Lydia Saul

AMY WALMsLeY

Amy Walmsley was a formidable Bedfordian. She moved to Bedford in 1896 to become

the second Principal of Bedford Kindergarten School and Teacher Training College, expanding the School and teacher training facilities to make it a success. She was involved in promoting women’s rights in Bedfordshire through supporting the Women’s Suffrage Society, and later becoming the first female County Councillor for Bedfordshire. The Kindergarten school was founded in 1882 by a local group intent on creating an infant school in the town. Mary Sim was the first Headmistress of the school, an early pioneer in kindergarten methods. The school followed the principles of Friedrich Froebel, a German educationalist. The word ‘Kindergarten’ means ‘child’s garden’ and is based on the idea that children were like plants. Various skills could be nurtured, and the teacher, like a gardener, should understand the children’s needs (mental, physical, moral and spiritual) to be able to provide the nourishment to help them grow. After the death of Mary Sim in 1895, Amy Walmsley became Headmistress,. The School had been in decline when Amy took it on, but she was determined to turn things around. She set up a second Kindergarten school, called “Froebel House”, which opened on Goldington Avenue in 1896. Then, in 1899 she opened a hall of residence for pupils, which she ran at Shenstone Lodge, 74 Ashburnham Road and that meant the school could now compliment the Harpur Trust Schools in the town for elementary education. The Froebel Gazette in 1900 comments; “She has made the Bedford Kindergaten College analogous, on a small scale to the women’s colleges at Oxford and Cambridge…Why should not Bedford become as conspicuous a centre of Kindergarten study as it has become as a centre of secondary education generally.” In fact in July 1901 Amy Walmsley made something of a take over of the school, buying out the majority of the shareholders for a sum of £2000, and becoming the sole director. It was surprising perhaps

that the board allowed this but perhaps in context it made sense. “It would be a mistake not to hand it over to Miss Walmsley to whom it would be more satisfactory to be her own director…she had richly deserved it. She had come to their aid at a critical period … and had thrown her life into the work”; reported in the Bedfordshire Times, 21 June 1901. She continued to expand the school and teacher training college over the next ten years securing new residences and demolishing the buildings at 14 The Crescent to convert them into a purpose built College in 1906. Amy had also always had an interest in women’s rights and in 1908 she was instrumental in re-founding the Bedford Women’s Suffrage Society. Amy was appointed honorary secretary to this group in 1909 and became its Chair in 1913. In June of 1913 56 members from Bedford joined other Suffrage Societies at Sandy in a national march, known as the Women’s Pilgrimage, which culminated in an enormous rally at Trafalgar Square. In 1920 after the vote had been achieved for all women over 21, Amy went on to found the National Council of Women Workers. In 1918 she stood as a parliamentary candidate, but was unfortunately unsuccessful. By 1922 she decided to run in the local elections and became Bedfordshire’s first female County Councillor. Sadly, Amy Walmsley suffered ill health and was forced to retire in 1927. After Amy’s death in 1928, Froebel House School changed its name to Walmsley House in 1954 and moved premises in 1956 to Kimbolton Road where the building is now part of St. Andrew’s School. Her strength, ambition, and determination makes her a deserved Great Bedfordian worthy of remembrance in making a success of Bedford’s teacher training inheritance, as well as being an advocate for all women to reach their full potential and have their rights recognised. Acknowledgements Thanks to Richard Smart, for more information see his two books “Bedford Training College 1882-1982” and “On Others’ Shoulders”. Further material also can be found at Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service relating to the Froebel School, the local Suffrage movement and National Council of Women Workers. shop’ ideas to improve the town. We Are Bedford are offering a number of bursaries over the next 12 months, so make sure you follow them on twitter (@wearebedford) or check out their Faceook page for more information on how to apply. Of course, The Clanger will keep you posted too! “We’re looking for Pop Up People with ideas that promote Bedford,” said WAB co-founder, Kayte Judge. “We’re really looking forward to collaborating with other individuals and groups and offering funding and advice.” Watch this space! http://wearebedford.co.uk

e Are Bedford wants you to help them make stuff happen in our town. After a year of activities including the Castle Quay Weekender, Bedford Busking Festival, David Litchfield’s Drawing A Day exhibition and The Monster Draw event, Kayte Judge and Erica Roffe are asking Bedfordians for their ‘empty

W

WANT TO BECOME POP UP PEOPLE WITH US?

WE ARE BEDFORD

POTTERY MAKING – It’s Good for the soul!

Eve Carroll, Ceramic Artist, will be

If you want to explore working in an organic material and feel like re-connecting with the earth, what better way than working in clay.

running a series of pottery classes for both adults and children on Saturdays in Bedford, starting on the 14th April with a 4 week adult course. Since completing a degree in Ceramics at London’s Camberwell School of Art, Eve has worked in various settings including her own workshop/studio under the name Eve Studio Pottery. She also works in schools and colleges and is involved in teaching and artist-in-residence programmes. Eve currently shows her work at the Eagle Gallery on Castle Road. The Saturday classes are an introduction to pottery making, with all the various techniques being taught, from hand-building to coiling, including throwing on the pottery

wheel, through to hand decoration. All work will be fired and glazed back at Eve’s workshop and returned to you after the course. The emphasis will be on developing and tapping in to your own creativity and these small classes will ensure that you receive as much or as little help as you require. Forfurther information please contact Eve via email: evestudiopottery@gmail.com

Licensed cafe/deli & gift shop Now open evenings (Thurs - Sat) 0791 3342654 www.andaluzshop.co.uk 120a castle road bedford
Hey! Don’t be an April Fool!

9

THE BEDFORD CLANGER
neW PUB oPens! THE TAvISTOCK PUB & CARvERY

APRIL 2012

FOOD: BAJA
By Stephen Bywater

positive changes afoot on Tavistock Street. Along with the UpRising ‘Tavision’ project (@tavision) and @TavToffs on Twitter, the area is getting a long over-due boost which will benefit both businesses and residents. Owners of The Tavistock, Ami and Nancy, are responsible for a string of successful Bedford businesses and The Tavistock promises to be no exception. “We are thrilled to open our new pub and want The Tavistock to be a place where everyone can come and enjoy great food and drinks in a friendly atmosphere,” said Nancy. “We’ve worked closely with Charles Wells and will be serving their much-loved beers and lagers as well as an extensive wine list.” Open all day, the menu covers everything from a hearty ‘All You Can Eat’ buffet breakfast or coffee and croissants through to a full carvery, pub favourites, pizzas and pastas as well as daily specials served from 12 noon. Take it from us, there is something on the menu for everyone! Open daily from 8am to 11.30pm, food is served from 8am to 9.30pm daily. Major credit/debit cards are accepted. The Tavistock Pub & Carvery, 117 Tavistock Street, MK40 2SB 01234 219595 www.thetavistockpub.co.uk Twitter: @TheTavistockPub

A new pub & carvery has opened its doors, breathing life into the former new Inn/ Cornerhouse building. With a new name reflecting its location and local history, The Tavistock has undergone a major refurbishment both inside and out making the site unrecognisable – in a good way! The launch is further evidence of the

ful enough for a Boden photo shoot. But would Hemingway eat in Baja? I doubt it, which isn’t a bad thing. It’s unpretentious in style, but it doesn’t serve tequila by the bottle and it’s not the place for a bout of arm wrestling. No, Baja is for those who’re a little bit in love with Mexico, who’re prepared to flirt with its market food, but like to know what they’re getting in return for their pesos. Start with a tequila and you’re catapulted to Acapulco. There are six to choose from, and I recommend the Hornitos

If the new Mexican restaurant in Castle quay was a hemingway character it’d be the chica squatting at the side the Pan Americana frying her chorrus and softly singing to herself. An orphan, pretty as a picture, colour-

Reposada: It’s smooth, warm and dances on the tongue like a chiquita on acid. Order a Baja Californian fish taco and she keeps dancing. The goujons of plaice are served in a warm tortilla, with Mexican rice and the house salsa on the side. All perfectly balanced - the Mexican equivalent of a fiery fish finger sandwich, but indescribably better. There’s plenty of choice on the menu, and if carne’s your thing then the sizzling fajita with chicken or carne asado is worth consider-

like those the wrestler and food critic Juan Suarez once described as being as warm and as soft as the folds of skin beneath his abuela’s teta. They just can’t be beaten. Baja is a welcome addition to the Castle Quay. Like a Frida Kahlo, it’s mixing colours and myths, languidly drawing you into its psychedelic world. Try a tequila, see the tattooed waitress, and admire the photos of Mexico.

FROGGY’S GIFTS

LEAPFROGS UP LIME STREET

Froggy’s Gifts is relocating just up the road to number 7 Lime Street enabling them more room to offer their fab therapies including massage, reiki, nLP, eFT, counselling, reflexology, shiatsu and hypnotherapy.
longside the treatment rooms, Froggy’s is Bedford’s independent purveyor of crystals, incense, Buddha’s, candles, dream catchers, books, greeting cards, relaxation CDs, jewellery and other gifts. The new shop will be open at the beginning of April, Froggy’s 7 Lime Street, MK40 1LD Tel: 07583275500 Email at froggys_gifts@hotmail.co.uk

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ing. You wrap your tortillas - a lot of it requires you getting involved - and enjoy the sautéed peppers, onions and whatever else takes your fancy. And the tortillas are just

BAJA, Castle Lane, Bedford tel: 325707 www.bajabedford.co.uk

CLUCKING GREAT ART AT PENSIERI
Check out these chickens!

BY GEORGE IT’s on oUR dooRsTeP
It’s st George’s day this month and one of the very best ways to celebrate takes place here in this very shire.
isitors to Wrest Park in Silsoe over the weekend of 21 & 22 April can take part in their annual St George’s Day Festival. From medieval jousting knights and soldiers of the Great War to Victorian side saddle demonstrations and dramatic falconry displays it really is a great day out for the whole family. Wrest Park’s beautifully restored grounds are vast so there’s plenty of space to find somewhere to have a picnic. Visitors will be entertained by Peterkin the Fool and witness impressive firepower displays by soldiers from the age of the British Empire. For kids there are a range of hands on activities and opportunities to learn all about the kings and queens of England in a fun and interactive way. And, of course, don’t miss the highlight battle between St George and the dastardly dragon! Nancy will be showing some original paper collages in a group exhibition at ‘Jack My Exhibition” in Hermitage Street, Hitchin during April and you can also find her on etsy.com Ticket Sales Team on 0870 333 1183 (Mon – Fri 8.30am – 5.30 Sat 9am – 5pm). Tickets will also be available to purchase at the event site on the day. Adults: £7.25 (member) £14.50 (nonmember) Children: £5.05 (member) £8.70 (nonmember aged 5 – 15) Family ticket: £37.70

Looking for an Nancy studied Fine unsual easter gift, Art at Manchester Art School and want a present for the then worked for a textile designer. chicken-lover in your Following the birth of her children she life, or just have a began making collage in penchant for pictures to hang “I their bedrooms. up beautiful design? started by cuttingof my old portfolio Then head over to textile designs to make pictures of ducks and Pensieri on Castle rabbits,” Nancy told Lane and check The“IClanger. to decided make some prints of out these gorgeous paper collages I have Giclee prints by made in order to have multiples of popular designs and to have a local artist less expensive range. Chickens are funny real Nancy Batty. creatures -and people have a sold fondness for them these prints have really well
and I have some plans for a range of pony prints.” Priced at £40, each print is framed and comes in its own cool and quirky Nancy Batty calico bag.

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All you can eat buffet breakfast? *Loosens belt*

THE BEDFORD CLANGER

APRIL 2012

GARDENING: APRIL IN THE GARDEN
By Jane Perrone, gardening editor of The Guardian

about, too – step away your the sprinklers and put down that spray gun: a hosepipe ban that comes into force in our area on April 5. Yes, your lawn may fry this summer, but don’t panic, it will grow back soon enough. Concentrate your watering efforts on newly-planted ornamentals and food crops, and do everything you can to take advantage of the “recyclable”water at your disposal – washing up water, bath water and water from boiling eggs, veg and pasta can all be used on the garden. Mulching borders with bark chips, grass cuttings, or even dampened cardboard or newspaper topped with compost or woodchip can cut down on the need to water and suppress weeds into the bargain. Make sure you water during a cool part of the day so the water reaches the plants’ roots rather than evaporating in the heat of the sun. And finally, if you haven’t got a water butt attached to every rainwater downpipe you have, get it sorted! (Bedford Council offer a 190 litre water butt at a subsidised price of £30: visit bedford.getcomposting.com for details.) One potential benefit of a dry spring is a fall in the numbers of slugs and snails on patrol, but it’s no time to let your guard down: if nightly mollusc stalking with a

The clocks have gone forward: for most people, this means an hour less in bed one sunday morning. But for those with a green finger or two, particularly those with small kids, it’s a moment of great joy, signalling that post-bedtime garden or allotment pottering is now a distinct possibility. And we need all the time we can get – this is the month when you face the distinct danger of descending into panic at the thought of all those untouched seed packets and the weeds clamouring for attention in the flowerbeds. This year there’s something else to worry

torch and a pot of salty water isn’t your style, try the biological control Nemaslug which is effective but pricey, or buy some wildlife-friendly slug pellets – Advanced Slug Killer is one brand that’s organic gardening-approved, for instance. Either way, get on with it now before your hostas are history. On a final, personal note, somehow I seem to have managed to get myself an allotment this year. It’s not my first, but I am feeling strangely nervous about it – it’s a form of performance anxiety, I think (everyone expects a gardening editor to have a superb plot) - particularly as my master

phrase Blur, is rubbish for that sort of thing. Vegbox delivery schemes are however, great. Locally we are lucky to have a number of producers bringing the best organic fare direct to our doors. One such business is Riverford Organics, set up in 1987 by Guy Watson in Devon to grow and deliver freshly-picked affordable organic vegetables to local people. As demand for their vegboxes grew, Guy set up regional sister farms for customers to enjoy organic

Wouldn’t it be great if we all had the time and tartan trollies to shop at independent shops, farmers markets and Bedford market rather than heading straight to the supermarket? The reality is that modern life, to para-

FRESH FRUIT & vEG TO YOUR DOOR

veg close to where it is grown. Our local farm is just up the A1 in Peterborough and we’ve asked them to share with us a monthly recipe reflecting seasonally available fresh produce.

By Jane Baxter, Riverford Field Kitchen Taken from the Riverford Farm Cook Book Serves 4 as a starter or side dish INGREDIENTS: ½ cauliflower, broken into small florets 2 tbsp gram flour (or plain flour) 1 tsp paprika sunflower oil for deep-frying 1 dsp good quality red wine vinegar 1 tbsp capers, soaked in cold water for 20 mins, then squeezed dry and chopped 1 tbsp chopped parsley sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cook the cauliflower florets in boiling
ReCIPe:

spanish Crisp Cauliflower

If when you think of cauliflower you can’t get beyond the image of mushy school dinners, try this recipe. It’s a great way to give this great seasonal veg a new lease of life and you may even get the children to enjoy it too!
time baker living locally who tells me the secret to his handmade bread is time and love! He starts the process on Thursday and the result is fabulous different flavoured fougasse on Saturdays. The bread is proving (nice pun Olivia! - Ed) very popular and we hope to expand the offer soon.” As members of Taste Real Food Bedford (a charitable organisation designed to enthuse and educate schoolchildren about the origins and joy of eating Real Food) they recently raised vital funds for the TRFB sensory project. You can get involved by visitng the TRFB website. Alternatively we have information and membership application forms at Andaluz. A love of Spain is at the heart of Andaluz and they are keen to encourage learning/ speaking Spanish in an informal setting and they organise regular tapas evenings for school children. “The students get a chance to practise with native speakers outside of the classroom and will learn a little about Spanish food and culture at the same time,” fruit juices, vegetable juices and smoothies, there’s nowhere quite like it in Bedford. If you’ve skipped breakfast to head out early to stock up at the market, then swing by in the morning for porridge, poached eggs with smoked salmon, boiled eggs and finish it off with a fairtrade coffee or a juice. The seasonal lunch-time menu features homemade soups, filled ciabattas, sandwiches and wraps and homemade glutenfree bread and spelt bread are available most days. You can even make up your own salad box to accomany a baked spud. Dairy, wheat and gluten free homemade cakes are available and for those looking for something super-healthy there are delicious RAW chocolate and cakes too. Owner Louisa Jones doesn’t just run the joint, she also grows some of the ingredi-

salted water for a few minutes, until just tender. Drain the cauliflower well and, while it is still hot, put in a bowl with the flour, paprika and some salt and pepper. Mix it all together until the cauliflower is coated with flour. Heat the sunflower oil to 190°C in a deep-fat fryer or a deep, heavy-based saucepan. Fry the cauliflower florets in batches until crisp and golden, then remove from the oil and drain on kitchen paper. Sprinkle with the vinegar, chopped capers and parsley and serve. For more great seasonal recipes go to www.riverford.co.uk

plan for the moment is to smother half of the plot in cardboard sheets topped with woodchip to suppress the weeds until I am ready to cultivate, and just plant a row of flowers for cutting and loads of pumpkins on the rest: in the deeply traditional world of allotmenteering, this is akin to tying my knickers to a stick and waving them from the roof of my shed while shouting “I’m a weirdo! I’m a weirdo!” So, if you’re at Newnham Avenue allotments, look out for me (hopefully not atop my shed, knicker flag in hand), and do say hello! Other jobs for April: Deadhead daffodils, by all means, but don’t waste time and do your back in tying up the leaves – wait six weeks after flowering is over then cut them down. Now’s a good time to prune lavender bushes that are getting too large – a judicious trim is the key, as they won’t grow back if you cut into old wood. If yours are big, woody and sparse, cut your losses, rip them out and start again with new plants. Mow lawns regularly, but keep the blades at their highest setting to keep them looking green. It’s still a good time to plant up new borders, so get yourself down the garden centre: a good one will have experienced staff at hand to offer advice on what will work in your back yard. Sow some leek seeds in module trays filled with seed compost, and plant them out when they get to about 10cm tall. Towards the end of the month, some of the big boys of the veg patch – sweetcorn, pumpkins and courgettes - can be sown, two seeds per pot on a sunny windowsill.

ARTISAN BREAD AT ANDALUZ

explained Olivia. “Our spanish friends are keen to get involved in the local community too!” Andaluz are among the independent shops that readers have recommended in this issue. So where do they shop? “We try to shop locally whenever we can,” said Olivia. “We use Harris Butchers in Castle Road and we love Goldings in the High Street! When eating out we like to go to Baia de Cascais, Reem and Angelos.” Opening hours: Thurs, Fri, Sat from 10.30am till 3.30pm. We close for a couple of hours then reopen at 5.30 until 11pm. Sundays from 10.30 till 3pm. Opening times may extend after Easter! Watch this space....

owner Olivia O’Donoghue recently put a call out to find a local baker who could supply them with freshly made bread. “We were delighted when Jack Fargher of Hot Shelf Breads turned up with some bread for us to try,” said Olivia. “Jack is a keen part-

Bedford’s very own spanish deli and tapas bar opened its doors in March 2011 and in the last year has gone from strength to strength. Not ones to sit on their laurels, Andaluz

JUICE BAR

shopping locally means a bit of leg work. Rather than mindlessly cruising the aisles

ents! “Now the sun is returning we are able start growing our own wheatgrass again,” she said. “Wheatgrass is one of nature’s superfoods, and like our juice boosters Guarana, Ginseng and Echinacea, you can add it to delicious fresh juices for an added health kick.” With a sofa, a selection of books, magazines and newspapers to read it’s the perfect place to get comfy and watch the world go by (and there is always an up to-date Clanger to be had!). The music is pretty cool too!

of the supermarket it means exploring your town, meandering into courtyards, seeking out the unique shops that are off the beaten track. So after a morning of pounding the pavements of Bedford, you’ll be ready for some much-needed refreshment. We are so lucky in our town to have a plethora of independent coffee shops, cafes and restaurants, with very few of the identi-kit brand-names that litter other high streets. And one such oasis is Luscious Juice Bar on Lime Street since 2007. Offering fresh

After that heavy brekkie, a light meal like cauliflower crisp sounds perfect!

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THE BEDFORD CLANGER
Creating a level playing field.

APRIL 2012

SPORTS TRAIDER & BEDFORD COLLEGE TEAM UP FOR SUCCESS
Sports Traider is teaming up with Bedford College to offer the long-term unemployed a retail qualification. Sports Traider is Britain’s first dedicated
where the shops are located. This means all children can afford to take part in sports, and all the profits raised from sales is channelled back into local grass-roots level sports for children and young people. This has helped to fund sports coaching, access to facilities such as sports clubs and gyms, and even the transport required to get talented but disadvantaged aspiring athletes to training. As well as benefitting the sporting community, Sports Traider has ensured they support the whole community by offering work experience to the disabled, young people, the long-term unemployed, disadvantaged groups, and ex-offenders in the stores. “It’s fantastic that we were able to start Sports Traider in Bedford and that we are able to help the town’s community,” said Lance. “The public have been brilliant with the support they’ve given Sports Traider since we opened in 2009, from coming into the shop and purchasing items to donating their old sports equipment,” says Lance Haggith. Sports Traider has formed a partnership with Bedford College enabling them to offer a retail course for long-term unemployed people who live in and around the Bedford area. The course is a great opportunity for individuals who are seeking work, as it will provide retail experience along with a creditable qualification. Lance Haggith: “The retail course is part of Sports Traider’s commitment to helping individuals get back into work and breaking down social barriers. I’m pleased that we can offer it to the people of Bedford.” How you can help! Sports Traider’s shop is located in Bedford town centre (58 High Street) and is open Monday – Saturday 9am - 5.30pm. If you have sports equipment that you no longer use/need, please feel free to bring it into our store. All donations are gratefully accepted and will help support the local community. If you would like to be involved with Sports Traider or have any queries, please contact us on 01234 930045 or come into our store and speak to a member of our team.

Bedford-based card designer and owner of design hog, Nicky Dawson has recently collaborated with the British Racing Drivers Club to design an exclusive range of greetings cards.
t is the first time the BRDC - custodians of the heritage of British motor-racing - have allowed the images to be used, so The Clanger wanted to out how the collaboration came about. “The BRDC’s head archivist had been looking for a publisher for a while so invited me to have a chat. After some negotiations, the British Racing Drivers Club range for Design Hog was born,” explained Nicky. “I took the Hog Van up to Silverstone and myself and the archivist

DESIGN HOG RACes To VICToRY

spent a few weeks going through the images selecting the final 12.” Since Nicky’s latest range was featured in Beds on Sunday, Harrison & Simmonds at 80 High Street are now stocking the BRDC range, along with Design Hog’s ‘Best of British’ cards. A more feminine selection is also available at Pensieri on Castle Lane. For more information or to contact Nicky email sales@designhog.co.uk To place an order: www.designhog.co.uk.

sports charity shop, and it was established in Bedford! Not only is the retail concept been rolled out nationally, but it has earned its founder, Lance Haggith, a Big Society award from the Prime Minister and the 2010 BBC Sport Personality ‘Unsung Sporting Hero’ award. Sports Traider has recently moved its premises to a more high-profile shop on the corner of the High Street and Silver Street, so check it out! Selling a mixture of brand new and highquality second-hand sports clothing and equipment at affordable prices, Sports Traider also gives thousands of pieces free to locally disadvantaged youngsters

I

Grand Pixs

MoToRBIKe ChALLenGe In AId oF BRITIsh LeGIon’s PoPPY APPeAL
The Royal British Legion don’t just raise
money in November by selling poppies. All year round they are dedicated to raising funds to assist service personnel both past and present. This month, the Bedfordshire “Twig” of The Royal British Legion Riders Branch (The Beds Clangers - great name!) have devised a cunning plan to get as many riders out in the sunshine on their bikes or trikes on 29th April to get the biking season going and to raise much needed funds for the Poppy Appeal. The Clanger Challenge is a simple ride out, (not a time trial), where the riders spell out “THE BEDS CLANGER” by visiting in order, places in Bedfordshire starting with each letter in turn. Entrants will be provided with an official list of places that can be visited. There are three mandatory locations. “T” Toddington, the start/finish, “B” Bedford and “R” Ridgmont where given questions will have to be answered. The remaining Motorbiking for money

The Bedford Clanger would not have been possible without the quite exceptional talents of the following people: Designer: Marisa Straccia Advertising Director: Gemma Rogers Foodie: Stephen Bywater Additional editorial: Jane Perrone, Gareth Barber, Caroline Wise, Sue Gough Great Bedfordians: David Litchfield Photography: Graham Watson, Tessa Fox, Shaun Armstrong Proof-reading: Paul Martin

A BIG BedFoRd ThAnK YoU

locations are down to the navigational skills of the individual. Prizes will be awarded for shortest and longest routes (subject to scrutiny!) in two categories, solo machine and team riders (max three bikes/trikes per team) along with one for the most ingenious LEGAL way of proving any location visited! Entrants can pre register (preferable) by contacting Allan Stephens on 07766461966

or bedsreprblr@btinternet.com or they can just turn up from 9am. Cut off for riders to finish will be 8pm giving plenty of time for a nice ride out. Entrance costs £10 per machine with no surcharge for pillions. The fee includes the mandatory goody bag which will be one per entry form. As many will already know, The Royal British Legion raises money 365 (366 this

year) days a year to provide funding to assist service personnel both past and present along with their dependants. Qualification for assistance is based not on where or how long someone was “On active service” or whether they have been “in combat” or if they have lost limbs, but on whether they have served 7 days to the Crown. A truly great cause.

If you can’t wait til the April edition, check out the blog: thebedfordclanger.wordpress.com or search for the Bedford Clanger at scribd.com We’d love to hear from you, so why not get in touch? You can email thebedfordclanger@gmail.com

BEDFORD MORE THAN JUST SEWING!
Celebrating 30 years in Bedford as an independent family owned business. Sewing machines may of changed but our good old-fashioned service values haven’t We now have a brand new selection of hundreds of fabrics for curtains and blinds from
Simpson, Fibre Naturelle, York, Jones Interior and many more with 33% OFF SELECTED LINES We now offer a NEW curtain and blind making service too so call in for a quote. BEDFORD in Lurke Street 01234 350186 SingersBedford.com

Donate that old sports gear!

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