Bedford Celebrates its Rich Cultural Past During 'Love Local History' Week

Published on 26 February 2015

Bedford town’s rich and longstanding local history is present in almost all areas of the Borough, reminding us that if the town could speak, countless secrets and treasures would be revealed. As part of Love Local History Week, which begins on 2nd March, residents can discover more about the fascinating history surrounding Bedford by taking advantage of the following events being held at Bedford Central Library.

Tuesday 3rd March at 2.30pm

Votes for Women -The Women's Suffrage Movement in Bedford

An illustrated talk on the women’s suffrage movement in Bedford by Bob Ricketts. Bob is a well-known researcher and local historian who has held seminars previously on policing Victorian Bedford and the development of Bedford’s postal service.

Tickets £1 available from Bedford Central Library


Wednesday 4th March at 2.30pm

1st floor

Aragon Lacemakers

Join the Aragon Lacemakers to find out about the rich history of lace making in our local area, see some lace making in action and maybe even have a little go yourself!

FREE to attend


Friday 6th March at 11am

Bedford’s Architectural Heritage

A review of Bedford’s Architects & Architecture from 1800 to 1950 with local historian David Fowler.

Tickets £1 available from Bedford Central Library


Friday 6th March at 2.30pm

 “Bedford Physical Training College Students During World Wars 1 and 2

-A film made by Stephanie Daniels, Anita Tedder and Nigel Brittain and funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund

Trained in teaching and massage, the ’Bedford Girls’ tended to wounded soldiers during the First World War and washed the socks of those returning from Dunkirk in 1940. Working alongside the local community, they selflessly supported war efforts. Using filmed interviews, audio clips, archive photographs and archive film from unique collections, this DVD production tells the story of this influential women’s college during war time.

Tickets £1 available from Bedford Central Library


Saturday 7th March 9am – 1pm

Bedfordshire Heritage Library Open Morning

Come and visit the Heritage Library, normally only open on Tuesdays, but open this morning to celebrate Love Local History Week! Bedfordshire Heritage Library, houses items from the local history collection that are rare, valuable or delicate and are of particular historical significance.

FREE to attend


Fun facts about Bedford:

796: King Offa, the strongest ruler in Britain since the Romans, dies. A medieval chronicler called Matthew Paris, records that he was buried in Bedford

1066: Bedford is seized by the Norman army

1166: Bedford receives a town charter from Henry II

1688: Two "dreadful fires" destroy areas of the town

1794: The Swan Hotel was built for the Duke of Bedford

1801: Bedford Prison built in St. Loyes Street

1846: Bedford to Bletchley Railway line opened

1905: Shopping Arcade in the town centre was opened on March 25th

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