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Guest Blogpost: Clare Phillips from Boutique Planet


I’ve been working here at Boutique Planet for about 5 months now and I love working for an independent local business. I love working here because as much as I love working with fashion, it’s mostly because I get to engage in a whole community of people. People that are really passionate and enthusiastic about what it is to be a local business.

Boutique Planet likes to foster new local talent and we’ve recently taken on a new line of jewellery from Maker/Designer Jade Hibbert.

I managed to steal five minutes of Jade’s time to talk about what her work is about and she had this to say:

“My work is a result of consistent yet inconsistent methods of making, meaning the processes are the same yet the finished pieces all turn out differently.

My work is also a result of things I haven’t seen in stores yet wished there were places that stocked such items.

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All my jewellery is handmade one by one, no casting involved, so I think people have more of an appreciation for handmade finish and design. I like the fact the imperfections are exploited; even pair of studs are not the same, which I find interesting.

I take inspiration from a designer called Alexandra Dodds, a New Zealand designer. As you’ve seen, my work is quite rustic and organic which I prefer as it takes less time to achieve perfection but also I find it interesting when a material takes a natural form, unlike us as humans who try to perfect everything.

I work with mostly Silver (sterling) but have worked with Brass, Copper, Resin Wood and Gold in the past.”

We love Jade’s work here at Boutique Planet and love showcasing new talent.

Jade’s pieces sit wonderfully along side the new season collections in store.

Great Plains knitwear accessorized by delicate silver bangles and White Stuff dresses paired with minimalist earrings. Nothing could be better!

Clare Phillips works at Boutique Planet in Bedford’s Victorian Arcade. Check out their website here and their brilliant blog here.

Juicebox Showcase 23rd October : Screen People


If you’ve got an insatiable hunger to see live bands following Oxjam and the infinite number of great bands that have played Bedford recently, but your skint, what do you do ?. Here’s a suggestion: Every so often a thing happens at Esquires called ‘Juicebox Showcase’ and it’s free. It’s been running for a couple of years now with the same magic formula: bring together 3 or 4 bands and let people listen for free.

Later this month (23rd), three bands will take to the stage: The Mobbs, from Northampton, The Maida Vales, from London, and Screen People, from just outside Cambridge who have some chart time behind them, having held the top spot on Radio Cambridgeshire’s unsigned chart for 6 weeks.

Alie Pavlitski is Vocalist & Guitarist, Ed Robinson plays Bassist and Becca Robinson is on Drums & Percussion. Their album ‘Greater Good‘ is available to download

I asked them some questions and they gave me some, y’know, answers.

What inspired you to form a band ?

A combination of two things: Firstly, we had played together before for various productions and

so we knew each other well, as well as our capabilities. Secondly, we all have a passion for writing

music. Three years later and we are still here!

How did you decide on the name ?

Alie came up with the name which we thought was rather unusual, and so we stuck with it for that


Favourite Book ?

Alie: The Moral Landscape by Sam Harris.

Ed’s: Goosebumps series

Becca: The Drummer’s Bible

Best Thai Restaurant ?

Thai Rack Glass House in Royston – a place where many meals are had between practice and

recording sessions!

Where did you record Greater Good ?

Greater Good was solely recorded at Alie’s house. It was a challenging yet fantastic experience and

one which we can importantly learn from, for our new content we are currently working on! We will

be performing some of those songs in Bedford!

What were your 2014 highlights ?

Outside of music we all finished our study in A Levels and having graduated from university. With

regards to music, we busked for Oxfam for the first time which we found to be a really enjoyable and

successful experience. Keep an eye out for us when we next busk!

What are your plans for 2015?

We hope to have a solid set of new songs recorded, and to branch out of Cambridgeshire to perform

at some awesome venues with some awesome bands

Been to any good gigs lately ?

We have seen some great bands play lately, from The Mercy House, Austere, The Super Nothing

(from Bedfordshire/London!), Bella Loka, The Abstracts to name but a few!

Autumn Theatre Round-Up


Clanger contributor, Paula Walker, has selected her top theatre tips for the coming season. To see the full programme of events at each venue, please visit their websites.

University of Bedfordshire

Unfolding Theatre presents:

Best in The World

Wednesday 15 October at 7.30pm  Tickets: £8 (concessions £5)

Love theatre? Love darts? One person who answers yes to both is theatre director, Annie Rigby. Now Annie and her Newcastle-based company, Unfolding Theatre, are bringing their latest new show Best in the World to the University Theatre to spread darts love among us all.

Best in world dartboard

Best in the World is inspired by some of darts’ biggest heroes: 16 times World Champion, Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor, and 80s legends, Eric Bristow and Jocky Wilson. Performer, Alex Elliott, uses their stories as starting points for a hilarious, heart-warming and occasionally heroic journey to find out what it really means to be best in the world.

Annie told us, “It’s a fantastic feelgood show with audiences getting the chance to step up on stage and throw a few darts, eat emergency bananas (vital for all athletes!) and share their own personal triumphs. Who knows, the people of Bedford might just be the best audience in the world.”

To book tickets: call 01234 793197 or go online via Bedford Central Box Office

Sharnbrook Mill Theatre Trust present:

Miss Saigon School Edition

Friday 14th to Saturday 22nd November at 7.30pm.

Saturday 15th and 22nd November Matinee at 2.30pm

No performance on Monday 17th.

Tickets: £10

 Featuring a cast of performers under the age of 19, the show by Alan Boublil and Claude-Michel Schonberg (the creators of ‘Les Misérables), is one of the most stunning theatrical spectacles of all time. Based on Puccini’s immortal grand opera, ‘Madame Butterfly,’ ‘Miss Saigon’ tells the story of an American soldier and a Vietnamese girl who fall in love amidst the turmoil of the Vietnam war. Separated when Saigon falls to the enemy, they spend the following years struggling to find each other again only for their endeavours to end in tragedy for her, but some hope for the child that he knows nothing about.

Kim and Engineer

A great story told with great music, ‘Miss Saigon’ offers a moving testament to the human spirit and a scathing indictment of the evils of war.

Director Paul Wildman says, “I couldn’t ask for a more committed and talented cast and crew to make this stunning show a possibility. The acting, singing and movement is of such a high standard that you don’t need to go to the West End!”

Tickets are available from: The Central Box Office 01234 718112, or in person from Sharnbrook Post Office, Sharnbrook.

The Place Theatre

Square Peg presents:

The Man Who Woke up Dead

Wednesday 15 and Thursday 16 October at 7.30pm  Tickets: £10 (concessions £8.50)

 A taut thriller, influenced by 1950s film noir and the dystopian worlds of George Orwell. The Man Who Woke Up Dead is a dark, claustrophobic nightmare, exploring the divide between fact and fiction. When everything you believe is shown to be false, holding on to any kind of truth becomes a deadly game.

When a mysterious man is rescued by an unsuspecting nurse, their worlds are thrown into paralysing doubt. As their stories unravel, we uncover a web of deceit, betrayal and manipulation where nothing is quite what it seems.

Using their unique physical and cinematic style, Square Peg Theatre creates an elegant, bold and beautifully choreographed world from the empty stage.

Tickets are available from or from Central Box Office 01234 718112

The Place Theatre

Dumbshow present:

The Pearl (from the novel by John Steinbeck)

Tuesday 28 October at 7.30pm  Tickets: £10 (concessions £8.50)

When impoverished pearl-diver Kino finds the pearl of the world, he believes his family’s life will be transformed forever. Seduced by the pearl’s beauty and promise of riches, he is blind to the danger of having something that everyone else wants.

Instead of bringing hope, the pearl leads Kino and his family down a dark and dangerous path.

The Pearl The Pealr

A timeless fable about the allure of wealth, the confines of class, and the redemptive power of love. The Pearl asks us to consider what we value most in the world.

Tickets are available from or from Central Box Office 01234 718112


Bedford Theatre

Tangram Theatre present:

Albert Einstein: Relativitively Speaking

 Thursday 6 November at 7.30pm   Tickets: £10 (concessions £8)

John Hinton with costar Jo from the production of Albert Einstein: Relatively Speaking

Join Albert, the genius behind the übercoolest moustache in science, for a lecture like none you’ve ever attended.  The eccentric theoretical physicist is accompanied by his two wives and mum on the piano, and by guest rapper MC Squared, as he quantum leaps us through two world wars, two theories of relativity, and the deployment of two very big bombs. Plus the worst sausage joke ever heard.

Tickets available from or from Central Box Office 01234 718112

It’s time to stand up for the NHS

Hazera Forth 9

On 3 September a group of mums from Darlington arrived in Bedford.

Nothing unique about that you might think. Except these women & their supporters had walked all the way from the North East of England. And they were welcomed to Bedford by shadow Health Secretary Andy Burnham.  And they were waved off to Luton by Natalie Bennett, the leader of The Green Party.

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The ‘Darlo Mums‘ had recreated the 1936 Jarrow March, arriving in Westminster on Saturday 6 September. They covered 300 miles, were joined by 1000s of supporters along the way and did it all with the aim to save the NHS from privatisation.

We believe we have to go beyond political ideology and aligning our cause to one party or another. Our one aim is to save the National Health Service from the greed & corruption of private companies who wish to sacrifice one of the greatest institutions of our country, recognised globally as the most cost-effective and efficient health services in the world. United together we can create a voice too strong to ignore. We can and will end the deceitful selling off of our most precious NHS.

It’s your NHS. It’s our NHS. And its privatisation is making people so angry that they are willing to walk the length of the country to shout about it.

Here in Bedford we are acutely aware of the coalition’s health policy. Our hospital is currently under grave threat & there is a very real chance that our A&E department will close, we’ll lose our maternity department, as well as many other essential services. That will mean a 45 minute journey to the nearest hospitals in Luton or Milton Keynes.  If the thought of that makes you at least a tiny bit livid, then you need to do something about it.

But what can we, the people, do?

It’s time to stand up for our NHS – now!

Swingeing government cuts are inevitable (we’re told) in these austere times.  Of course, there’s always enough to go round when an unjustified war needs waging, or banks need bailing out…

But the National Health Service MUST put patients before profit. It cannot work as a privatised model. It needs to outlive this coalition government, receive adequate investment and once again become the absolute pride of Britain. Under the Health and Social Care Act, Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt no longer has responsibility for running the NHS (I KNOW! – Ed).  That responsibility has been handed to NHS England and they in turn hand the responsibility down the food chain to Clinical Commissioning Groups. This localisation of budgets deflects the blame for decisions from central government (today’s strike action over midwifes’ pay is a prime expample). The Clinical Commissioning Groups cannot over-spend their budgets so compromises are made.  It’s simple economics.

We marched part of the Bedford – Luton leg with Dr Nik Johnson*, consultant paediatrician at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, supporter of Bedford Hospital and Labour candidate for Huntingdon to find out how you & I can you help Bedford Hospital (& save the NHS in the process):

- sign the Mayor’s petition. 10,000 people have already made their voices heard & children’s emergency services have been reinstated as a result. The downgrade of Bedford Hospital is still a very real possibility, so let’s make our views heard.

- Join your GP surgery or hospital patient forums. Healthcare providers need to take patients’ views into consideration. By getting as many energetic, engaged, motivated people on these boards we can raise concerns at the highest level.

- Mobilise your friends and family to write to their councillors and MPs to challenge decisions made about the NHS.  Where tendering processes are on-going, people-power demanding NHS providers rather than external private healthcare providers has been successful. Richard Fuller MP’s contact details are here. You can find your local councillor here.

- Join FB groups. 38 Degrees & the National Health Action Party have FB & twitter feeds, constantly updated with their latest campaigns. These are apolitical groups with no affiliation to any political parties.

- Register to vote. There is a general election next year. Both Labour and the Green Party have enshrined the safety of the NHS within their policies.  UKIP believes as passionately about privatising the NHS as it does about leaving the EU & stopping immigrants settling here. And they feel prrrrretty strongly about those two things.

- Take to the streets. Why not? I can feel revolution in the air…

*It was a bit difficult to take notes while we were marching, so we spoke on the phone afterwards too.

Many thanks to the wonderful Hazera Forth for the use of her photographs.

Animal Gallery dives in at the deep end…


For only the second time in their history, Animal Gallery & Studio are opening the flood gates to “THE DEEP”, the latest exhibition from ART SCHOOL DISCO running from October 31st to 22nd of November (Bring a wet suit, it’s nautical themed!)

Art School Disco

The private view is a Halloween themed “Creatures From The Deep” event, so amazing and creative costumes are highly encouraged, from kraken to sirens. Plus there are print prizes, zines, tattoos and grog to reward those of you who dare to cast away your demons and boogie the night away!

ART SCHOOL DISCO are a collection of 6 multi-disciplinary (primarily) illustrators, artists, VJ’s, milliners, do-da’s and gangle pins hailing from Southampton Solent University. They’ve exhibited in biscuit factories in London, shoeboxes in Shoreditch, shops in Southampton and back alleys in Bedford. They like drinking, arting, and most of all never parting.

Exhibition opening times available at and

Private View – Friday October 31st – 7pm – 10pm

Animal Gallery and Studio is in Bedford Cultural quarter, 24 Castle Lane, MK40 3PQ

(a short walk from Bedford train station)

Pist and Shout – Sleaford Mods


Sleaford Mods are playing Esquires on Thursday 25th September. If you like confrontational, shouty music, you’ll love this. Jason Williamson (shouts) & Andrew Fearn (noise) describe their sound as ‘electronic munt minimalist punk-hop rants for the working class and under’.




Making Mike Skinner sound like Barry Manilow, they’re not strictly mods, though 50% of the act have a sharp Barnett. They’re the talk of the town, following a string of critically acclaimed singles and last year’s album ‘Austerity Dogs’ and we had a quick Q&A with Jason before he came to our…town – Bedford, to promote latest long-player ‘Divide and Exit’


Been to Bedford before ?

Yea ages ago mate on holiday. We stayed in some registered building somewhere. Me’n’a mate.


Are you Notty boys or Sleafordians ?

Notts mate.


Have you played the US before? Will NY get you ?

Nope never but it should be good I think. Better flippin be. Will they get it? Flip me, they got the spice girls so we are laughing I reckon.


Any music that sticks in your head from childhood ?

Neil Diamond. My old man used to love that.


First record you bought ?

‘Something Else’ by Sid Vicious. Cochran cover I believe.


Anyone you’d like to work with ?

Ed Miliband and his county life.


Recommend any new music ?

Fat white family’s new single works. Few other bits i suppose but nothing mega striking.


Recommend a book ?

Anything that attacks capitalism.


Would you go on the One show ?

Jake Bugg can do that. I’m washing me hair.


Ever shouted yourself hoarse ?

Couple of times. Mostly though I’ve been lucky.


Car or bike or bus ?

Car, bus. Flip bikes.


Sleaford Mods grace Esquires on Thursday 25th September. Well worth a punt, but may contain swears !

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


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