Archive | March, 2013

Branching Out!

31 Mar

We are branching out! I like electro goth, cyberpunk, EBM music, hardcore dance type stuff like Combichrist. As a group we are all concerned at the increasing demise of hard copy magazines and they are folding at an alarming rate. So as the title suggests we are branching out and acting as a distributor for a little semi regular magazine called Unscene which is a high quality mag that focus’s on new bands in the general alternative music arena. Interviews, reviews, places to go all that type of stuff and and to cap it all it comes with a free CD of sample tracks. The latest issue (#10) comes with two CDs for just £4.00 and if you get your running shoes on and run down to Lady Ks Burlesque shop down Ramyard (near the museum) you can get your hands on a copy. We are not making any money on this and my personal logic is that I like Unscene and if I want to keep enjoying it, just sitting about and reading it isn’t enough!

Issue 10

Issue 10

We will be approaching Paul at The Bear on the High Street to see if he’ll let us use Bedfords alternate scene pub to host Now or Never magazine soon! And a quick word on Lady Ks, if I want to find Bedford’s faint pulse, its here, a little shop with a lot of heart, the girls and boys that run the shop give me that feeling that we are not dead yet and if others follow their example the town could do quite well. They’ve moved from just selling produce to event organisation for Bedford alt scene and also a place were Bedford transgender comunity can find a smile!

In Search of Andre!

30 Mar

Touched on this a few months back. Ten years ago Bedford Community Arts engaged an agit prop artist called Andre Stitt to produce a number of actions (akshuns as he called them) and installations around town. It got everyone lathered up and huffy puffy with indignation. Bedford which had previously only hit the headlines through seeing Hanratty off at Bedford Prison and one of our townsfolk sending a postcard to Terry Waite suddenly found itself in the national press and on Have I got News for You!. I hasten to add that Terry Waite was fastened to a radiator in the Lebanon at the time otherwise it wouldn’t really have been of interest I suppose.

Panic on the streets of Bedford!

Panic on the streets of Bedford!

Er…oh yes…Andre Stitt coming to Bedford. Apparently it cost £12K to get us national publicity and the silly twats that we are…we had a real moan about it especialy when Mr Stitt announced his attention to kick an empty curry tin down the High St one Saturday night. An attempt to show how the town centre had abandoned itself to piss heads and short skirts the event had to be abandoned due to the inability to guarantee Andre’s safety which at the time (and now) had me purple with laughter.

Me and Debs have been trying to to renew interest in The Bedford Project as it was called so we trundled into the library this afternoon to have a see what they had on file. Nothing. But in doing so we met a really nice library lady who seemed really interested in making sure that Andre’s work wasn’t going to be forgotten in 2013, ten years later.

National publicity and still we moaned!

National publicity and still we moaned!

I’ve been racking my head trying to come up with ideas for the Bedford Bid to throw their weight behind, something that galvanises public attention if not support or total endorsement. The Bedford Project was pue art. It encouraged and outraged in equal measure and that’s the point, it’s why I love the Angel of the North and the other Gormley statues. Few people remember that Glenn Miller flew out from a landing strip north of Bedford before he vanished notwithstanding a reported sighting in a Parisian knocking shop. Yes we snapped Hanratty’s neck. Yes Joy Brodier popped a postcard of John Bunyan into a postbox and a few years later Mr Waite was waving it around at RAF Brize Norton praising John Bunyan even though he didn’t post it. Very good but it took a Northern Irish born Cardiff resident called Andre to drag us into the millenium with a spoof about old magnetic recording tapes, a shed behind the museaum and the curry can to get us all bubbly with beer belly husbands saying “F**kin hell Doris, we are in the Daily Mail!.

We called in at the Eagle Bookshop later and Pete the Book (that’s his moniker) remembered it all well and if we track down a copy of The Bedford Project book that Andre produced at the time we will donate it to Bedford Library. We are like that us anarchists!

SO the point of this is…Bedford Bid, lets start thinking outside the box, I’ve got Andre’s contact details!

It never happened, except in our dreams! Come back Andre !

It never happened, except in our dreams! Come back Andre !

 

Need a wee wee?

29 Mar

Full bag? Need to go..you know..wee wees, well if you are shopping round Bedford you might have a problem as the council have closed most of the public WCs down but worry no longer. Cafe Thirteen on St Pauls Sq has opened. its a council facility so if you’ve had a few coffees at The Piazza over the road where Libby will make you a nice sandwich with a smile and some banter and you’d like to have a pee before you set off shopping simply pop into Cafe Thirteen. divest yourself of your burden (remembering to wash your paws and check for food betwen your teeth) and then off you go.

Decent opening times for bodily functions!

Decent opening times for bodily functions!

No need to spend any money there in fact we would discourage you from such activity, far better to spend it somewhere else. But there you go, Bedford Bypass solves the problem of having nowhere to have a wee in Bedford! We don’t charge for this useful advice but feel free to leave a comment. I’ve been asked to tell you about the time I was bitten by a fox so I’ll think of the best way to fit it in!

The best public loos in Bedford! You can Aaaaaah! in style.

The best public loos in Bedford! You can Aaaaaah! in style.

Night at the Museum 2

29 Mar
Doug gets stuck in!

Doug gets stuck in!

I need to eat humble pie. Look people I’m quite happy to admit when I’m wrong!

Many years back I was wandering through Manchester when I stumbled across a security van being robbed by pick axe weilding men with pulled down bobby hats. With eyeholes! I had two choices, one was to run over and help stop the robbery with a few Kung Fu moves learnt through watching Bruce Lee, the other was to take my camera out and take pictures of the event and hand to the police or maybe flog them to the Evening News. Problem I had was I didn’t have a camera so I went off with some considerable gusto, bought one then ran back to find the local police trying to work out which whey they had gone so a took a few pics and went off to the Evening News and sold them the film for £10 and that was the start of my relationship with the press.

Anyway you know how I’m always going on about our Councillors claiming over £20,000 a year for hanging around and going to meetings, well wandering down past the museum yesterday tea time blow me down…there’s Cllr Doug McMurdo helping a nice lady called Lynette put big sticky posters up telling us that from June 21st the museum will be open and we will be able to look at old farmyard tools and pictures of cows (at least that’s how I remember it from a few years back before it closed). Now out came the camera. Not the one I bought in Manchester, I dropped it near Stonehenge in 1984 whilst being chased by a policechap and the back cracked but my new digital one that by some weird means does away with film and uses a wee little plastic thing. I’m getting into new technology but I miss my Saturday chats with the staff of the developers shop in town (closed last year, quite probably my fault) but with this new one I just slip the little chip thing in the slot of the PC and…Here’s the result…a Bedford Borough Councillor getting stuck in. Well done. I asked Doug what he was doing and he told Bedford Bypass exclusively that although they’d put out a press release they’d forgot to put notices round the museum itself which doesn’t surprise me at all as its all about spin these days.

Doug’s not on his own, one noble councillor was recently spotted helping a council contractor unload a load of bricks and taking them round the back of a house. OK it was his own house but we salute him for getting stuck in!

Happy Easter, the day when baby Jesus comes down the chimney and dishes chocolate eggs out to children that have been good.

Stand by for blast off!

28 Mar

Brilliant, and I thought it was all made up. David Miliband the one that didn’t win has spent much of the last 36 hours clogging up the news because he’s got the top job at International Rescue. I used to love it especially when Thunderbird 1 got chased by those mechanical fish driven by flobber wubble men. And the green headed bloke…The Mekon.

Dave Tracey

Dave Tracey

Thing is I thought the top guy was indestructable after the Mysterons got him. Is Zoony still going?

Anyway just when things were looking tedious this happens!

A Night at The Museum

28 Mar

Something good for a change! We are to get our museum back on June 21st, it’s the longest day of the year and Ma McClinton’s birthday, me and Gill will have to find a new novel set in Liverpool that she’s not read.
Yes, the Higgins Museum which is tucked away at the side of the castle mound has spent the last few years boarded up while the builders were in. CAstleIf you look at the top map, the Museum takes in the former Castle Brewery!

I like museums. I was in Bolton a week or two back and their museum is open on Sunday’s, it’s got Egyptian mummies, maybe they come to life at night and cap this, the library is in the same building, open Sunday 10 till 4 and having peeked round the door was quite busy. Even better..there’s an aquarium in the basement. AN AQUARIUM. Beat that! I’m rather hoping that when Bedford Museum reopens the powers that be might start to think outside the box a little in terms of its events, more stuff in the evenings and weekends.

Castle2
It’s been a long time coming and what with the redevelopment of the Castle Lane car park into grossly expensive flats and the shops down below the whole area has been holding its breath for work to draw to a close so an overall sense of normality can return. Like that very silly Kevin Costner film where he builds a baseball field in the middle of nowhere the thought process seems to have been, if you build it they will come. They built it, they eventually came in dribs and drabs and it’s been a real struggle for the shops as…well they need customers.
It’s a backwater of sorts, off the beaten path and to get there from the town centre you have to go down Luddingtons Passage which has been spruced up (we still advise not to go down the alley on Saturday and Sunday till Glenn’s team from the council have cleaned the piss and puke up) or down the very beginning of Castle Lane further to the river. The positive about this that if the Higgins becomes a draw it will take walking visitors past the Pensieri coffee shop or Lady K’s where you might just get a glimpse of the very glorious Eddie Adams wearing something nice!

Our museum!

Our museum!

No doubt the Mayor will spoil things by crow-barring his mugshot into the picture and then putting something on his website claiming that it “woz him wot dun it all”

Kicking of the Week!

28 Mar

Been a while some anyone was seriously duffed up in the town centre, we’ve had a few in the outer areas but really to qualify for this regular feature about all that is good in town it needs to be in or within a short ambulance trip of A&E at South Wing! Batman. Anyway yesterday at just before 3.00pm someone was worked over on Howard St opposite that nice art shop and Bedford Bypass through excellent timing just happened to be in a position to find out by looking at the Beds on Sunday website and using their photo without permission (although they’ve used enough of ours like that one of boat sinking from early last year).

The scene of the crime!

The scene of the crime. Is the traffic warden trying to book him for not moving?

Don’t know about the victim except he followed that time honoured route in a land ambulance rather than the far more exciting helicopter down through the perpetual traffic jam to the hospital where all manner of dangerous antibiotic resistant bugs lurk and the recently departed were stored on the floor in the chapel of rest. Batman. A friend of mine had a minor stroke 8 years back and ended up there, while being examined a doctor asked him how he was feeling. He said he felt very very frightened. Asked to explain why he felt so frightened and his response was “Well I’m in the notorious Bedford South Wing Hospital, I have reason to be scared” End of conversation.

What we need is someone dressed as a bat to go round and stop this sort of thing. Batman.

Competition Time!

27 Mar

Here’s a first for Bedford Bypass, a competition with a proper prize. We have a bumper selection of back issues of popular laugh out loud magazine Now or Never which I’m sure you have heard us mention before. All you have to do is study the two photographs shown below and spot the difference. To make it easier one shows Mayor Dave Hodgson and Cllr Doug McMurdo outside Café Thirteen as shown in the local newspapers and the other is lifted from Dave Hodgson’s Lib Dem website. Something is missing and we hope you can help us work out what it is!

Spot the clue!

Spot the clue!

The lucky winner will receive about five Now or Never back issues which we can either post to you OR we will leave them at a prearranged pick up point somewhere in town, probably behind the bar at The Bear in which case we will also stand you a drink!

WHere's Doug Gone?

WHere’s Doug Gone?

So just take your time and see if you can spot the clue as to who’s not really wanted on the Lib Dem website although to be honest he might as well join as it would in my opinion be less nauseous seeing him make a twat of his previous association with the Independent Mayor of Bedford. In case of a tiebreak please also send us an amusing caption that’s better than “Right sod off, I’m boss and its my turn!”

Time to Celebrate!

27 Mar
Well done Dave!

Well done Dave!

C’mon, wave your lighters about! Congratulations in volume must go to the Bedford Liberal Democrats for scooping a national award for being green. Just in time for its 3rd birthday, the pioneering Mayors Climate Change Fund has won the Bedford Borough Liberal Democrat Group an award for the Liberal Democrat ‘Green Council Group of the Year’.
Now that bit above it italics comes from the local Lid Dems website and contains a clue as to who has won the award and who has bestowed it on Mayor Dave and his band of disciples. Yes it’s come from the Liberal Democrats and after a quick google you’ll find that Bedford isn’t alone in gaining fame as the Liberal Democrats seem to have been handing these gongs out for all manner of Liberal Democrat related tomfoolery so all they are doing is patting themself on the back, at least they don’t have to wash their hands!
And another local success story, the anarchist blog Bedford Bypass has been named as second best anarchist blog in Bedford based in close proximity to the Bedford bypass by the Bedford Bypass Best Blog Collective!

Coffee anybody?

27 Mar

Natural selection. Brute Darwinian politic. A process that weeds out the weak promoting fitness within the species. Survivors usually exploit weakness within the competition as well as using their own selective attributes to gain dominance. Those that fall by the wayside wither and die, their inferior genetic structure being removed from the resource pool. Memories from my university days!
It doesn’t always work that way as within species we see mutual cooperation, apes both higher and lower exercising care and compassion to older members of the cohort, caring for those unable to feed, in terms of the selfish gene there’s no clear reason for this as one member of the clan is sacrificing resource on the weak and infirm unless the dominant members are taking out insurance for their own future. Discuss…Hopefully you find these random nuggets within Bedford Bypass of passing interest and you might see how the above segues into the below.
To get into monday night’s planning meeting we were directed through the councils new Café Thirteen. No particular reason as there’s two main doors direct into the hall so I guess it was a bit of marketing “look what we’ve got” type of thing.
I commented to one of the staff that it looked a tad sterile and then asked him if he thought it was a good idea having the council running a business on the public account competing with independent traders or maybe a slap I the face for those that don’t have access to the public purse. The bloke, obviously some kind of financial guru openly stated “they are competing against us”. When faced with this sort of intellect I get all fumbly and aware of my own insignificance so I just looked at him with total admiration and wandered off, I know when to give up.

CAfe 13, a kick in the teeth!

CAfe 13, a kick in the teeth!

I’ve commented before on the fact that the Borough Council lead Town Centre Working Group last met in June 2010 and features such luminaries as Cllr Will Hunt and Colleen Atkins who are both in receipt of over £20,000 a year for attending such meetings. Then there’s the Mayor who having looked at his press releases on the local Lib Dems website gets very excited about things that improve Bedford and we arrive in a very circuitous way at the Darwin thing that I started this piece off with!
That, as far as I can see appears to be the extent of the push to rejuvenate the town centre, to open up a café / restaurant that sticks two fingers up to the ones that don’t have the luxury of council coffers to help the balance sheet. Now I also chat through things like this before I type, just to see that I have a shared basis for my thoughts and it turns out that a small garage down London Rd that does MoTs and repairs is in competition with the Borough Council managed depot round the corner near the bingo hall.
Now I’ve been rumbled! For all my arping on how crap the town is, it’s now my town and I’m quite fond of it but keep this quiet. I like the comic ship, Maria’s coffee shop, Lady Ks, The Bear, Reem for wonderful Lebanese scoff, The Wellington, Oxfam Bookshop, Peter down at Eagle Bookshop is always very entertaining and worth a visit, I could list loads of traders and people that contribute to the town’s pulse, which sad to say at this moment is faint. But they’ve grafted to keep their shops going, taken on evening jobs cleaning and cooking (yes that’s you, yes you know who I’m on about!) and keep hoping that things will improve and that the council might ditch the press releases and start earning its keep!