The art of Bedford’s history

b11-1238 The BigTime Travel Draw. Bedford Museum. JE wk 44
b11-1238 The BigTime Travel Draw. Bedford Museum. JE wk 44

FROM pre-history to the present day, via dinosaurs, John Bunyan, Bedford Castle and Glenn Miller, an autumn art project has brought the story of Bedford to life.

The scheme, led by the Bedford Museum team, has brought a cascade of colour to the boards outside Bedford Museum and Cecil Higgins while the complex is closed for renovation.

And visitors or passers-by alike can enjoy the sight by visiting the green space between Newnham Road and the museum complex.

Museum spokesman Gemma Hutton said: “We’ve always had half-term activities at the museum, and while the museum being closed at the moment we didn’t want to let that stop us.

“It’s been great fun, and some children have come on all three days to take part.”

Art lovers young and old took part in the scheme on Tuesday to Thursday last week,

And the museum team hope the display will stay up as long as the elements allow, before being replaced by another art and history project.

But the depictions are all rooted in Bedford’s history - and some of them might reveal things you never knew.

Gemma said: “There is one woolly mammoth in the painting, although there have actually been several found in Bedford - there was one at Horne Lane, one in the High Street and one in the High Street.

“There have also been discoveries of Ice Age hippos and prehistoric reindeer - there was a whole safari of ancient animals.”

She added: “It shows when Bedford was on the border of Danelaw, the hangings after Bedford Castle was besieged by King Henry III, Bedford as a town of markets, and even robots of what some people think the town will be like in the future.

“We’ve also got people like John Bunyan, John Howard, Glenn Miller, and Bob Hope who is rumoured to have performed at the Corn Exchange during the war.”