Bedfordshire Local History Association

Bedford Town Centre Statues

How often does a visitor to a town wonder who ‘that statue over there’ is, or a resident ask ‘what statue?’, having walked passed it everyday? These questions are answered for visitors and residents of Bedford in a new guide Bedford town centre statues: a self-guided walk with street map, by BHRS-member Stuart Antrobus.
The guide features ten statues and a door with relief panels, sculpted over two and a half centuries (1768-2009), of well-known individual Bedfordians and groups who have contributed to the town and county: the First World War memorial; the South African (Boer) War memorial; John Howard; Sir William Harpur; Glenn Miller; the Meeting Group; Verso Domani; Trevor Huddleston; Reflections of Bedford; the Bunyan Meeting bronze chapel doors; and John Bunyan.
Information about each statue is displayed over a double page with a photograph on one side and text on the other, describing the statue, what it commemorates, who the sculptor was and the circumstances in which the statue was put up. Just one page of A5 text contains a fascinating amount of information and often highlights features that it would be easy to overlook, for example the art nouveau decoration on the base of the statue of John Howard.
This guide is carefully researched, beautifully illustrated and well-laid out. It is both handy for the visitor and of lasting value to residents and those interested in the history of the town.
The booklet costs £5 and is on sale in Bedford at the Tourist Information Centre, the The Higgins Bedford gallery and museum and the John Bunyan Museum shop. Proceeds go to the British Schools Museum in Hitchin and can also be purchased from the museum by sending a cheque for £5.60 payable to Hitchin British Schools Trust and posted (with own address, marking the envelope ‘Statues booklet’) to Admin, British Schools Museum, 41/42 Queen Street, Hitchin, Hertfordshire, SG4 9TS. (From BHRS Blogspot Thursday 31st October 2013)

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