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What’s on

June - September 2013

The Higgins Bedford

The Higgins Bedford

Opening 21st June 2013 Dawn to Dusk We can’t wait to see you...



Friday 21st June - Dawn to Dusk Get ready to explore... We’ll be open for a massive 17 hours in order to welcome as many visitors as possible. Be amongst the first to visit by booking on a free tour at: 4.40am, 5.30am, 6.30am, 7.30am or 8.30am. Places are limited on each tour but all those booked on a tour will receive a complimentary continental breakfast. Booking is via the Central Booking Office. Call 01234 718112 to

book your place or visit The Higgins Bedford will be open for general visiting from 9am until 9.30pm. There will be events throughout the day with music and drinks available in the evening. Come and join us, explore the new exhibitions and displays and help us to celebrate the opening of The Higgins Bedford!

Saturday 22nd June - Victorian Higgins 11am - 4pm... The celebrations continue on Saturday. Join us for a Victorian Family Day. Meet Mrs Higgins and her guests, experience some Victorian tasks, play with traditional toys, try on costume and get your hair done by Sarah’s Doo-Wop Dos.

The Higgins Bedford

The Higgins Bedford



Victorian Visions: Pre-Raphaelite Watercolours and Drawings Friday 21st June - Sunday 10th November 2013

A Sense of Place Friday 21st June – Thursday 19th September 2013

The Wixamtree Gallery, a major new temporary exhibition gallery, will show work by the founding members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the artists they influenced.

Through The Higgins Bedford’s Audience Development Project, ten community groups from Bedford have explored their perception of ‘place’ in A Sense of Place. The exhibition, curated by artists Alex Julyan and Lucy Wilson, brings together works created by the

Drawn entirely from the Cecil Higgins Collection, the collection’s strength lies in its preparatory sketches and watercolours, including studies for larger works such as BurneJones’ Cupid’s Hunting Fields (1880) and The Car of Love (1895) and illustrations by Millais and Simeon Solomon. Also on display will be designs by Rossetti, Burne-Jones and Ford Madox Brown for stained-glass windows made by Morris & Co.,

Aesop’s Fables Friday 21st June – Sunday 24th November 2013 Dante Gabriel Rossetti (1828 - 1882) Fanny Cornforth: Study for fair Rosamund 1861, coloured chalk on paper © Trustees of Cecil Higgins Art Gallery

while further links will be drawn between the work of these visionary artists and the redisplayed decorative arts collection on show in Design and William Burges galleries.

Summer Lecture - Victorian Visions Thursday 15th August 5.30pm – 7.30pm (lecture 6 - 7pm) Booking essential. £10 (concessions £8)

groups who have all had a relationship with The Higgins Bedford for some time. They include family carers, adults with learning disabilities, firstgeneration Italian migrants, members of the Polish British Integration Centre and people in a new housing area.

Enjoy an evening dedicated to the Pre-Raphaelite brotherhood. The evening will include time to enjoy the exhibition, followed by an illustrated talk. Complimentary drink included.

In the 1970s the artist and designer Edward Bawden made a series of prints based on Aesop’s Fables. The exhibition will show these vibrant linocut prints alongside preparatory drawings and colour separations, allowing visitors to see the artist’s entire process from initial sketches to the final print. The Aesop’s Fables prints show Bawden at his entertaining best. They bring to life such wellknown stories as the Hare and the Tortoise and the Daw with Borrowed Feathers, as well as lesser-known fables like the Ant and the Grasshopper, which tells

the tale of a grasshopper being told off by an ant for spending the summer singing and not working. Also on display will be a series of adverts Bawden was commissioned to design for Guinness, which featured updated versions of some of Aesop’s Fables.

Edward Bawden (1903 - 1989) Aesop’s Fables: Peacock & Magpie, 1970 linocut © Edward Bawden Estate


The Higgins Bedford

The Higgins Bedford

© Steve Winter (USA) Last Wild Picture

Exhibitions Fatal Attractions Friday 21st June – Sunday 15th September 2013 An exhibition curated by students from Beauchamp Middle School Fatal Attractions is an exhibition about ‘death and beauty’, according to the students from Beauchamp Middle School, who have curated this intriguing exhibition in an unique project for the opening of The Higgins Bedford.


Working as a team alongside museum staff, the students were invited to develop an exhibition from scratch. They selected artwork and artefacts that excited their interest from The Higgins’ collections. Fossils, weapons, Egyptian artefacts and works by Constable, Picasso and Dix have featured amongst their eclectic choice.

In addition to choosing and interpreting the objects, the students have designed the gallery layout and posters and have used their thoughts, designs and drawings as evidence towards a Bronze Arts Award. They have learnt what it takes to make a public event engaging, safe and enjoyable. “When people come in to our exhibition we want them to go ‘Wow!’ ’’ For further information about Fatal Attractions and opportunities for schools please contact the learning team on 01234 718627 or email

Magazine Partner

Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year Friday 21st June – Sunday 15th September 2013 £3.50, £2.80 concessions. Children under 3 free. The world-renowned exhibition, on loan from the Natural History Museum in London opens at The Higgins Bedford on 21st June 2013, featuring 100 awe-inspiring images, from fascinating animal behaviour to breathtaking wild landscapes. Now in its 48th year, the internationally-recognised annual competition has drawn over 48,000 entries from 98 countries, from amateur and professional photographers

alike. The rigorous selection process has brought together judges from across the globe, to choose the best entries based on creativity, artistry and technical complexity. Through the lens of wildlife photography, the exhibition captures the intrigue and beauty of our planet, giving us a glimpse of the natural world as it has never been seen before. The exhibition at The Higgins Bedford forms part of a tour to ten venues across the UK, as well as internationally.


The Higgins Bedford

The Higgins Bedford

Events Rumpelstiltskin and The Wheel of Fortune A Bedfringe event Friday 26th July £8 adults, £6 children (under 16), £24 family ticket (max 4 people; max 2 adults)

Image © Theatre of Widdershins, 2013


11.30am and 2.30pm. Duration 60 mins. Booking essential via Bedford Central Booking Office 01234 718112 Not advised for under-5s.

Finds Up Close Friday 26th July

Poor Polly Buckwheat, the Miller’s daughter, is in a bit of a pickle! If she doesn’t turn a roomful of straw into gold by morning, the greedy King will turn a bit nasty. Laugh and gasp at this new show by local company Theatre of Widdershins. “Superb storyteller and puppet-maker extraordinaire.” Fringe Review 2010

Who Stole the Ducks? Tuesday 30th July

Twelve and Up Saturday 17th August

11am - 4pm. Drop in. £2 per child

11am - 1pm, 2 - 4pm

You’re the detective: solve the clues, find the evidence, interview the witnesses and present your case to the Justice, during this fun family day on Victorian crime. In partnership with the Bedfordshire & Luton Archives and Records Service.

A day of art taster activities for adults and children over 12. Our Silver Arts Award young artists will guide you through the basics of observational drawing, printing, watercolour and Chinese brush painting. Have a go, nothing to lose! Donations welcome.

Crafts of the High Street Saturday 14th September

Lunchtime talks From 8th August 2013

@The Higgins Bedford

Every other Thursday at 1pm Cost: £2.50 (concessions £2) Enjoy a series of lunchtime talks related to our temporary exhibitions and new displays.

Bedford’s Big High Street Showcase Saturday 27th July

11am - 1pm, 2 - 4pm Free drop in

@Bedford High Street

Come by and view some of our objects brought out specially to celebrate the Festival of British Archaeology. Get some expert insight and find out more about our superb archaeological collections.

Look out for our free drop-in activities for families in this Townscape Heritage Initiative event. Create your own collage of a historic shop front, play at ‘shopping’ and try on costume.

Enjoy this taster day for adults and children alike as part of Heritage Open Day in partnership with Bedford’s Townscape Heritage Initiative. Demonstrations of traditional crafts and free workshops for a range of ages. Visit our website for more information over the summer.

• 8th August - Pre-Raphaelites as designers •2  2nd August - Trevor Huddleston •5  th September - Pre-Raphaelites as designers (repeat) •1  9th September - Trevor Huddleston (repeat)


The Higgins Bedford

The Higgins Bedford


What’s On Calendar

Saturday Archaeology Workshops (SAW)

Quick Calendar guide to What’s On - details of these events are elsewhere in the leaflet.

SAW is a monthly archaeology workshop for children aged 8 to 16 years, run in collaboration with archaeologists from Albion Archaeology. Children learn about archaeology from the professionals through a variety of practical and creative activities.

Country Park on the 27th & 28th July, part of the Festival of British Archaeology.

To see SAW in action visit the children’s excavation at Priory


In advance of booking, participants need to register. For further information please call 01234 718627 or visit the blog

10 Things to do this summer holiday... Join-in Wednesdays and Fridays from 31st July to 23rd August 11am - 1pm, 2 - 4pm No booking required – just drop by and join in

Enjoy a range of creative family activities for adults and children alike. £2 to make (free play for under 3s, free for non-making adults assisting children).

Date June

What’s On

Need to Book? Audience


Dawn to Dusk opening celebrations

See page 2



Victorian Higgins




Rumpelstiltskin and the Wheel of Fortune


Families (age 5+)


Finds Up Close




Bedford’s Big High Street Showcase




Who Stole the Ducks




Castle Tales: Noble Knights & Perfect Princesses




Castle Tales: Medieval Makers




Nature Days: Natural Art




Lunchtime Talk: Pre-Raphaelites as designers




Nature Days: Geological Monsters




Inventive Victorians: Imagination Makers




Summer Lecture: Victorian Visions




Inventive Victorians: Art Treasure




Twelve and up: Art Taster Day


Age 12+


Raiders and Roaders: Pirates!





31st July

Noble Knights and Perfect Princesses – crown or head dress, sword or shield-making


Lunchtime Talk: Trevor Huddleston




Raiders and Roaders: Go Motoring!



2 August

Medieval Makers – construct a model castle

27/8 to 30/8 Discover8


Age 8 only

7 August

Natural Art – create art inspired by animals and birds


9th August

Geological Monsters – help make large ‘sea dinosaurs’




14th August

Imagination Makers – ‘almost steampunk’ crazy sculptures




16th August

Art Treasure – make and decorate treasure boxes


Lunchtime Talk: Trevor Huddleston (repeat) No


21 August

Pirates! – get kitted-out for action!


Study Session: Bawden in Focus


23 August

Go Motoring! – make a model 1907 Adams car

nd th



Lunchtime Talk: Pre-Raphaelites as designers (repeat) Heritage Open Days: Crafts of the High Street



The Higgins Bedford

Thank you... We want to say a big thank you to everyone who has participated in, supported and assisted with the redevelopment of The Higgins Bedford. We couldn’t have done it without you. Mayor of Bedford, Dave Hodgson says “The redeveloped Higgins Bedford belongs to us all, and I hope local people of all ages will come along time and again to enjoy what is on offer. In the face of extremely challenging economic conditions we have a stream of town centre regeneration projects coming to fruition, bucking the trend of decline for high streets elsewhere.” Robyn Llewellyn from the Heritage Lottery Fund says “It’s exciting to see this project come to fruition. These are wonderful collections and it’s fantastic that they are going to once more be


available for those who know them from old as well as whole new audiences.”

The Higgins Bedford

We would like to thank everyone who has funded the redevelopment of The Higgins Bedford including Bedford Borough Council (£3.2m); the Heritage Lottery Fund ((£1m), the Harpur Trust (£500,000), Wixamtree Trust (£500,000), the Monument Trust (£350,000), the Trustees of the Cecil Higgins Art Gallery (£100,000), Charles Wells Ltd (£200,000), Patrons, Friends of The Higgins Bedford and many other sources. We would also like to thank: - All those who have supported the redevelopment process especially our great team of volunteers, specialist advisors and council colleagues. - Everyone who has contributed to the exhibitions and displays: partner schools, A Sense of Place community groups and artist-curators, families, Collection Point participants, SAW young people, oral history interviewees, partner museums. - The many contractors engaged in the transformation of the buildings and services. Thank you to the redevelopment team. Buttress Fuller Alsop Williams, architects, say “We are delighted to be delivering such an important and exciting

Paul Wells of Charles Wells Ltd says

development in the heart of Bedford. The project will provide high

“On behalf of the Wells family I am absolutely delighted to be able

quality museum and gallery facilities which will be beautifully

to support the redevelopment of The Higgins Bedford. We take great

presented and accessible to all.”

pride in our Bedford roots and at being at the heart of the local community with Charles Wells pubs and beers since 1876. The Higgins is particularly pertinent for the company, not only as the hub for the town’s history, of which Charles Wells plays a significant part, but

Appleyard & Trew, project managers say “Appleyard & Trew LLP are delighted to have been appointed as Project Managers for such a prestigious project for Bedford Borough Council.”

also as our founder and my great grandfather Charles actually lived

Borras Construction Ltd, main contractor, say

in the property at one time.”

“This will be a striking looking building for the people of Bedford and

The Harpur Trust say “The Harpur Trust is delighted and proud to be supporting the

Borras are delighted to have been appointed to work on such a prestigious scheme.”

development of The Higgins Bedford through our grant funding

Designmap, exhibition designers, say

programme. This is the largest development project we have funded

“For us as interpretation designers The Higgins Bedford has been a

for many years, and we look forward to seeing The Higgins Bedford re-

rare opportunity to play a key role in the creation of an entirely new

open to the public so that both the Bedford based and internationally

cultural destination. We are convinced The Higgins Bedford will not

recognised collections, that are now proudly on display in the new

only be a success story for the region but will attract both national

venue, can be enjoyed by a diverse audience for many years to come.”

and international visitors.”


The Higgins Bedford

The Higgins Bedford

Bringing a group

We welcome group bookings for talks and tours. If your group is interested in booking, call us on 01234 718618 or email us at We’re looking forward to seeing you!


Welcome Talk

Cecil Higgins Collection Tour

A short introduction from one of

or Talk: Ideal for those groups who

our front of house team. There’s a

specifically want to explore the Cecil

lot to see at The Higgins. As well as

Higgins Collection, we can offer this

being a friendly welcome, this will

as a tour or illustrated talk.

help you and your group get the

Time: 1 hour. Cost: £5

most out of your trip.

(£4 concessions) per person

Time: 15 minutes. Cost: Free Collections in Focus Talk: Exhibition Tour:

This range of talks focuses on

Join one of our tour guides for an in-

particular areas of the collections

depth look at your chosen temporary

to suit the interests of your group.


We also offer a longer session with

Time: 30 mins. Cost: £5 (£4

a chance to view and sometimes

concessions) per person

handle objects not usually on public display. Options include:

The Higgins Tour or Talk:

Watercolours & Prints, Ceramics

Join one of our tour guides for the

& Glass, the Edward Bawden

perfect introductory tour of the

Archive and William Burges.

highlights of The Higgins Bedford.

Time: 1 hour (talk only) 1½ hours

This is also offered as an illustrated

(talk and object handling). Cost:

talk with seating provided.

(£4 concessions) per person

Time: 1 hour. Cost: £5 (£4

(talk only)

concessions) per person

per person (talk and object handling)


£10 (£8 concessions)

All of our talks and tours can include refreshments such as morning coffee or afternoon tea. Please call us to talk through your options. 01234 718618

Venue Hire The Higgins Bedford has several new spaces available for hire. These range from modest meeting rooms, through to large lecture spaces. They are ideal for corporate functions, meetings, groups or clubs, lectures and workshops. If you feel that your event would benefit from the cultural surroundings as well as state-of-the-art facilities give us a call on 01234 718618 or email What’s On Email Newsletter The regular email newsletter is free. If you would like to receive our email newsletter please call

us on 01234 718618 or email to sign up.

Scan this QR Code with your Smartphone to sign up for our regular email newsletter and be the first with all of the news.


The Higgins Bedford

Contact Us How to find us... To Lurke Street Car Park

Mill Street

Swan Hotel

Castle Mound


The Lawn


taura Res

Opening Hours:


am Newnh

eet (A6) High Str

ne Castle La

John Bunyan Museum

The Embankment

Tuesday – Saturday: 11am - 5pm Sunday and Bank Holiday Monday: 2 - 5pm Closed on Mondays

Stay in touch... We have a Facebook page

You can follow us on Twitter

The Higgins Bedford Castle Lane Bedford MK40 3XD t: 01234 718618 f: 01234 718619 e: w: The Higgins Bedford is a Bedford Borough Council Cultural Service. Home of the Cecil Higgins Collection. AS117_13

The Higgins Bedford - What's On June - September 2013  

Find out What's On at The newly opened art gallery and museum The Higgins Bedford this summer.