Let Your Blog Shine: My Hometown

April Blog Prompts

Over on Facebook I’m part of a blogging group. On the Wednesdays of each month we have a group prompt that we’re all going to answer. This weeks’ prompt is…

My Hometown…

I live in a town called Bedford. It’s about sixty miles North of London and about half way between Cambridge and Milton Keynes. I’ve lived in Bedford my whole life. Up until I was 21 I’d only lived in one house, since then I’ve lived in four different houses/flats – I’ve told Chris that next time we move (well if we move) I am going on holiday and he will need to pack up and move house without me. Then again taking Jaxon away from the craziness of house moving might be a good plan – he might get packed in a box or something by mistake.

I had set out with the best intentions of taking my own pictures but it’s not necessarily happened that way. I reached out to a local group that I’m part of on Facebook and asked if anyone could help with some pictures.

Multicultural

Bedford is very multicultural. Following WW2, the local brick works at Stewartby recruited a lot of workers from Italy, at one point 20,000 Italians had arrived in Bedford. This soon grew with people settling in the local area their families joining them or their families growing. More recently Bedford has grown more with a large Polish population. We have a large Gurdwara Temple in the town along with a crazy number of churches. The New Frontiers group of churches alone has four churches here. That’s excluding all the CofE churches!

Queen's Park Gurdwara

Parks

Bedford has a crazy number of parks, there’s Goldington Green and Priory Marina/Country Park within walking distance of my house. Both are lovely.

The Priory Park is good for spotting nature, whether it’s something big like this heron (can you spot it?) or Mini Beasts on the nature trail. The Country Park is good for walks and adventures. (I can just about do one lap under half an hour if I get a shifty on so it’s good for burning those extra few calories before weighing in!)

Priory and Bedford Parks

The big picture is Bedford Park, the others are taken in Priory Park. The bottom right image was taken by Hazel and the others were by Laura M both from the We Are Bedford group.

The Embankment

The Great Ouse River runs through Bedford on it’s way westward towards the sea (it eventually gets there into The Wash which is between Lincolnshire and Norfolk). The main section of The Embankment in Bedford stretches for about a mile from The Town Bridge at one end to the Aspects Leisure Park and Longholme Bridge at the other end. There’s a couple of pubs along the route for a nice cold pint on a Summer’s evening. On one side there is Russell Park which hosts the Kite Festival and various other fun days during the Summer. It’s a lovely area for a picnic in the Summer and it’s not too far for the swings to take the kids. Every two years we have the River Festival which takes over the best part of the park, The Embankment and the field across the River (and the whole of Bedford gets affected by the extra people in town!). A couple of years ago I was part of a project to yarn bomb a section of the Embankment. These pom poms from one of the trees has to be my favourite bit. (You can see the rowers on the river in the background. Nearly every afternoon and every Saturday there are people out on the river rowing. There are two rowing clubs in Bedford plus all the teams from the private schools).

Yarn Bombing The Embankment

Theatres

Growing up we’d go to see The Marionette’s Pantomime at Christmas, usually with Grandma and Grandad as well as my parents. I think sometimes people from Chapel would join us too but I don’t remember. We used to go to the Civic Theatre for that. Unfortunately the Civic Theatre was closed and the building as been renovated and converted to house the Council’s Customer Service Centre. Another theatre that was in Bedford but unfortunately closed was the Bowen West – myself and Hannah (from Little Golden Daffodil) got to do a couple of performances there and were fortunate enough to be  in the first performance at the new University Theatre on UOB‘s Polhill Campus. Unfortunately the Bowen West is derelict now and has been sat empty since it closed in 2007.

In the next couple of weeks a new theatre opens. It’s called The Quarry at St. Luke’s. The building that it’s in used to be St. Luke’s Church, a band I used to sing in played at the last service before the church closed it’s doors. This is one of the shots from their FB page. I love all the lighting on the top section – so pretty!

Quarry Theatre at St. Lukes

I was trying to think what else there is to do around Bedford. As a resident, you forget about all the tourist-y bits in your own hometown. There are museums to explore including the The Higgins Museum. Lots of places to eat depending on your tastes, where possibly we try to go to local businesses rather than big brands. I went to dinner at The Higgins Pantry last week with my Mum and this week I’m off there with some friends that I used to work with – hopefully the service will be just as good as last week given that it was my suggestion to not go to our usual.

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