Monday, March 1, 2010

Clocking In

Our new exhibition, ‘Clocking In’ opens on 27th February 2010 at Bedford Gallery and continues until 23rd May.

The exhibition will be an exploration into the past, present and future working lives of the people of Bedford. From market trading to brick-making to cutting-edge aerospace research, the working lives of the people of Bedford have always been varied. We will be using interviews with local people, as well as the Art Gallery & Museum collections to illustrate the vibrancy and variety of Bedfordshire life.

The exhibition includes amazing insights in our working day, highlighting what has remained the same but also, how our lives have changed.

‘There were still people in Bedford who believed in what they called gold water, which was the water they washed the gold in, having medicinal properties when they drank it or rubbed it in. His job was to go and retrieve the water that they had washed the gold objects in and hand it out gratuitously to the people of Bedford.’ Richard Stoodley (speaking about his father working at John Bull & Co from 1920 to 1970)

We have commissioned artist Jonny Hannah to design a poster to celebrate the opening of the exhibition. We are very pleased to have limited editions of the poster, printed by Jonny Hannah at ‘Cake and Ale Press’, for sale at the exhibition.

On the 12nd March we will be having a one-off, free screening of British Pathé newsreels. From 2 – 3pm you will be able to see amazing footage of supersonic jets at Thurleigh, Land Army girls on the High Street, and the ‘Super Giant’ of Stewartby. It’s your chance to see the place you live in as you’ve never seen it before.

On Saturday 17th April there will be a chance to discover how Victorian Bedfordian’s would have lived and worked. Earning a Crust: A Victorian Working Day is a free family day at Bedford Museum. There will be lots of activities; you will be able to join in with rag-rug making, washday, writing with quill pen and ink and laying the table for a Victorian dinner party! There will also be folk music provided by Graeme Meek who sings songs inspired by Bedfordshire life, as well as traditional basket weaving from Martin Hazell and you can have a go at lace-making.

Our popular programme of free lunchtime talks will return, beginning with ‘Clocking In: An Introduction’ on Wednesday 3rd March, at Bedford Gallery, 1pm. Other planned talks include more in-depth looks at The Britannia Iron & Steel Works, Bedford High Street and The Elstow Royal Ordnance Factory.

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