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Student/Business Partnership needs you!


It’s a new scholastic year and at Mark Rutherford Upper School that means it’s once again time for their excellent Business Partnership programme to kick into action.  The Partnership has been successfully running for three years and provides a valuable link between the worlds of work and education and they’d love even more local employers to join them.

Since 2011, local businesses and organisations have worked with the students and staff at the school with projects on employability skills and work experience.  The aim is to give students an insight into the world of work and provide them with the essential skills and confidence to help them get a job.

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If you think that this is something you or your business could get involved in then Kath Unwin at Mark Rutherford would love to hear from you.  She can be contacted by email or on 01234 290200.

The Business Partnership hosts regular breakfast meetings and the first of the new term takes place on Wednesday 24th September with a focus on Apprenticeships.  Mark Rutherford is also running an Apprenticeship Week in November with events for parents and students and is looking for contacts with training providers and employers to help with workshops and talks. Contact Tracey Reilly for information about Breakfast Meetings and to volunteer to get involved.  (

Dates for your diary:

24th September: Breakfast meeting – focus on Apprenticeships

26th November:  Breakfast meeting – focus on the Voluntary sector

2015 Breakfast meeting dates: 21st January, 18th March 2015, 13th May and 15th July 2015

Popcorn at the ready, Bedford Film Festival is back!


Great news, film fans: Bedford Film Festival returns at the end of September with feature films and documentaries from across the world and locally-shot short films from Bedfordshire’s aspiring film makers.

The Festival kicks off on 23 September with a charity screening of new British Rom-Com/Drama Delicious at The Pad Nightclub. The film has a connection with Bedford as local band Cicero Buck have provided a song for the film’s soundtrack. The director of the film, Tammy Riley-Smith, will be attending the screening for a Q&A after the film and Cicero Buck will be performing too.  The evening with raise money for eating disorder charity B-Eat.

On Friday 26 September BFF hosts a full day of workshops at Bedford College, led by film industry experts in Directing, Make-Up, Documentary Making and Editing, before a screening at The Higgins Museum on Castle Lane of Italian Oscar winning film The Great Beauty.

Nine films over two days then follow, including:

  • Aladdin – The animated classic introducing younger audiences to the genius of Robin Williams.
  • Ida – A Polish film about a young girl on a journey of discovery as she researches her family’s dark history.
  • Tony Benn: Will and Testament – A brand new documentary about one of our most respected politicians.
  • Sign Painters – Presented by Bedfordshire Creative Arts, this documentary looks at the dying art of freehand sing painting in spectacular fashion.
  • Night Moves – Jesse Eisenberg and Dakota Fanning star as hard-core environmental activists whose plans don’t go well.
  • Palo Alto – A teen movie for the ages, and debut feature for Gia Coppola. Starring James Franco, Val Kilmer and Emma Roberts.
  • The Slums of Berlin – This 1925 classic gives a hard-hitting attack on a society that gave no second chances.
  • Supernova – This beautifully shot comingof-age Dutch film follows Meis, a bored fifteen year old girl looking for excitement in her small town.
  • 20,000 Days on Earth – A bold look at one of music’s most mysterious and charismatic figures: Nick Cave. Also features Kylie Minogue and Ray Winstone.

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Within the features and documentaries will also be a Shorts Session featuring the work of incredibly talented local filmmakers. These include films shot in Bedford, Wootton, Cranfield and Sharnbrook. The Shorts Session is free but also aims to raise awareness and funds for Bedford Day Care Hospice and music event Oxjam.

Paul Hutchinson, from Bedford Film Festival, says the selection this year truly shows how varied cinema can be: “We’ve received excellent feedback about this year’s line-up and tickets are already selling well, proving there is a genuine desire for events like this to show films, for all ages and tastes, that are not always available in the mainstream.

“We’re also very proud to be supporting aspiring local film makers with our filmmaking workshops presented by world class industry experts, and by showing locally made short films that prove the wealth of filmmaking talent on Bedford’s doorstep.”

You can purchase tickets for the screenings and get the latest information about Bedford Film Festival at

About Bedford Film Festival

Bedford Film Festival was set up to help bring films to Bedford that are not available in town anywhere else. While developing the ethos to #SupportVariety, the organisers also wanted to establish a programme of encouraging a new generation of film makers in the town with high quality industry workshops. Bedford Film Festival also actively encourages other local organisations to host their own film screenings, offering screening collaboration opportunities and support.

Animals, pop ups and Portas


by Erica Roffe (editor of The Bedford Clanger)

Castle Lane has a very special place in my heart. It’s home to the newly refurbished Higgins museum and gallery, it has some great restaurants, it’s hosted the superbly quirky cycle cinema and there are some truly unique shops in this corner of Bedford including Pensieri, Design Twenty and Lady K’s boutique.

In fact, it’s hard to remember the time when the units were empty, the museum was closed and most of Bedford had forgotten the street existed.

Back in 2011, when seven of the properties were vacant, We Are Bedford ran a number of empty shops projects in Castle Lane.

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These events formed the blueprint of Bedford’s successful bid to become a Portas Pilot town and spawned other similar projects.  They were a catalyst for a positive change in attitudes towards the town and signalled a more collaborative approach to working.

I should declare an interest here, as one half of We Are Bedford was me.  The other half was Kayte Judge.

Therefore, it is beautifully apposite that the final unit to be let on Castle Lane is a collaboration that Kayte is involved in: Animal Studios.  And one of the other ‘Animals’ is illustrator David Litchfield. Animal Studios is on the site of We Are Bedford’s pop up gallery of David’s ‘A Drawing A Day’ project that took place in the summer of 2011, so it feels like the circle is now complete.

Animal Studios Ltd is many things. One half of the building is Animal Gallery which will regularly exhibit contemporary art, design and illustration work created by some of the best creative artists from around the world.  The other side of the building is a vibrant co-working studio space currently home to freelance illustrators, graphic designers, architects and creative individuals working in arts education and events management.  Animal studios is also used as a client meeting facility, an area to run workshops, film-screenings, pop-up activities and a host of other events.

The very ethos of Animal Studios is reflected in Mary Portas’ Review of the High Street.  She suggested that to survive, traditional shop units must adapt and offer work and community space. It is therefore appropriate that Animal Studios Ltd was awarded start-up funding by the Bedford Portas Town Team.

So, I urge you to visit Animal Studios and while you’re on Castle Lane, pop into the many other shops, cafes, restaurants, bars and businesses that make up the cultural quarter of Bedford.  They may be off the beaten track, but they are what makes Bedford unique and that’s why I love them.

For opening times and information about current exhibitions please visit:

Discover the Artists’ Network Bedfordshire Art Trail in September 2014

Bromham Mill

If you love art and are in Bedfordshire this September, then why not embark on the Artists’ Network Bedfordshire’s Art Trail? It’s a great way to get off the beaten track, explore new places and discover the work of some wonderful local artists.  

Throughout September the Artists’ Network Bedfordshire (ANB) is organising exhibitions of members’ work in 24 different locations throughout the county. In addition, this year 11 artists will be showing their work in eight Open Studios, where you will be able to see them working in their own environments.  

The ANB is a vibrant artist-led organisation promoting original works of art and craft created by artists living or working in Bedfordshire. The work produced by its members covers the complete spectrum of the visual arts – from watercolour, acrylics and oil painting, ceramics and sculpture, photography, through to jewellery, textiles and hat making.


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The September Art Trail begins in Bedford at Number 13 Café, 13 St Pauls Square on 18 August, quickly followed by Pensieri, 34 Ram Yard on 20 August and Coffee with Art, 82 High St, from 1 September. There will be large group shows of ANB work at the Bedford Art Centre and Gallery, 7 Howard Street from 30 August to 13 September and at Bedford Borough Hall for the whole month of September.

There will also be group shows in: Bromham Mill, Jordan’s Mill near Biggleswade, Ampthill, Cranfield, the UK Centre for Carnival Arts, the Stockwood Park Discovery Centre and the Luton Hoo Walled Garden, all in Luton; Ivinghoe and Rushmere Park near Leighton Buzzard.

Various art workshops will also be held throughout the trail.

Bromham Mill will be holding felt-making workshops, for more details contact


For Open Studios and further details about opening times and exhibiting artists, please visit

ANB on facebook: Artists-Network-Bedfordshire

twitter: @ArtistsNetBeds

A look behind the scenes at this year’s Heritage Open Days in Bedfordshire


Heritage Open Days is a national initiative celebrating England’s fantastic architecture & culture by offering free access to places that are usually closed to the public or charge for admission. 

Throughout Bedfordshire many venues are throwing open their door, giving us a unique glimpse behind the scenes and all for FREE!!

From 11th to 14th September, members of the public are invited to explore the Bunyan Museum, Panacea Museum, Willington Dovecote, Moot Hall, Foster Hill Road Cemetery, Bromham Mill, Queen Anne’s Summerhouse at Old Warden and Stevington Windmill among many others.  This is the first time Stevington Windmill has participated in the Heritage Open Days weekend so this is a great opportunity to see behind the scenes at this iconic landmark.

Alongside participating venues there are also FREE guided tours.  Bedford Tour Guides’ ever-popular ‘I Never Knew That’ walk will lift the lid on the many hidden treasures around the town centre.  It takes place on Saturday 13 September at 11am and places are very limited so book early to avoid disappointment by calling 01234 276257 or email

If you are interested in the more distant past, join the Hidden Landscapes: An archaeological walk on Friday 12th from 11.00am to noon.  This will leave from St Peter’s Green and booking is essential.  To prebook, email or call 01234 718618.

Here's all the info you need.

Here’s all the info you need

More details can be found at or you can pick up a leaflet at the Tourist Information Centre on St Paul’s Square, at your local library or at any of the participating venues.

Free Films this August in Bedford


This summer, loads of FREE events are taking place throughout the town that can be enjoyed by people of all ages.  One such example is the ‘Love Bedford Pop Up Cinema’ which, thanks to BedfordBID and the Place Theatre, will be screening a series of outdoor films every Thursday, just after sunset, at the Archaeological Park, Castle Quay, Bedford (next to Spaghetti John’s).
The programme features genuine classics, with one screening raising raise funds for the excellent OXJAM.
• 7th Aug – The Goonies (12)
• 14th Aug – Brief Encounter (PG)
• 21st Aug – ‘OXJAM fundraiser’ Hard Day’s Night (U)
• 28th Aug – Labyrinth (U)

That is one giant picnic basket. Is someone hiding in here? Is it Chunk??

That is one giant picnic basket. Is someone hiding in here? Is it Chunk??


Also this month, Bedfordshire Creative Arts will be screening, ‘Art Party’ at The Pad, Lurke Street on August 21st at 8pm. This part road movie, part documentary, part political fantasy film by Tim Newton & Bob and Roberta Smith, captures the spirit of the Scarborough Art Party conference held in November 2013; championing the importance of art and its place in education and modern politics. More details can be found at:

So, from pirate adventures, to the silver screen, to music legends and then mystical puppet fantasy tales, all free to attend, Bedford’s cinema lovers have plenty to choose from.

(Abridged from Paul Hutchinson’s full article in the July-September issue of the Bedford Clanger.  Paul is the co-founder of Bedford Film Festival.)

Bedford Cricket Club Girls win U13 Lady Taverners County Cup Final


Bedford has a proud association with cricket, what with England captain Alastair Cook being from these parts, so the Clanger is thrilled to report that Bedford’s female players are causing a stir.

Bedford Cricket Club Girls won the first U13 Lady Taverners County Cup Final at the beginning of July at Bedford Cricket  Club beating Blunham Cricket Club in the final.

The players who started the process in the winter term defeated Queens Park in the semi final. Players who contested the final were: Kia Deidrick, Kiran Kaur, Orla O’Callaghan, Jasmine Andrews, Laurel Beadu-Ryder, Athena Payne, Holly Damon, Hawa Ayub.

The finalists

The finalists

When Bedford Cricket Club started working with girls in local schools with a view to introducing them to cricket it was beyond their wildest expectations that a team would become the very first girls county champions; BUT that is exactly what has just happened.

Jill Ainscough (Chair) said “This is such an exciting time for Bedford cricket Club and I am delighted to see such enthusiasm from our girls”.

Gary Richardson (dedicated Girls Coach) said, “We have unearthed a very good team of players that can go a long way in the sport.”

For those wishing to find out more about existing and forthcoming opportunities for girls and women to experience cricket in the county please contact Howard Moxon,Director of Learning and Development, on 07740 365050 or email


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