You could drive along Harpur Street (Picture courtesy of Bedford Borough Council )
You could drive along Harpur Street (Picture courtesy of Bedford Borough Council )

Who remembers how the Harpur Centre used to look? We take a peek around former Bedford Modern

You used to be able to drive down Harpur Street

By Clare Turner
Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 5:12 pm
Updated Wednesday, 22nd June 2022, 5:29 pm

Look familiar?

Well, anyone who was born in Bedford anytime from the mid 70s onwards won't have a clue what I’m talking about – but the rest certainly will.

So, for the uninitiated, this is what the Harpur Centre used to look like.

Yes, it was the old Bedford Modern School – and is one of the most distinctive buildings in central Bedford.

It was designed by architect Edward Blore and built between 1831 and 1834 – and was itself a replacement site, the school moving from its original home in St Paul’s Square which it had occupied in various iterations since the 16th century.

The school moved to its current site on Manton Lane in 1974 as lack of space became an issue.

My favourite pictures are the ones that showed you used to be able to drive down Harpur Street ...

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