My Day Out!

16 May

In which Debs hits the town and Steve messes things up by trying to find a picture of the Victorian Lady an the red nun, fails miserably and holds this blog up by almost a week! Sorry Debs


My Day Out!

Another Saturday in sunny Bedford – time to give a load of “pre-loved” stuff to charity, so that I’ve got room to collect more. I walk into the charity shop..the lady behind the till rolls her eyes – I’ve been so totally inconsiderate enough to arrive at the same time as someone who wants serving, so she orders me to ‘leave it over there and I’ll look through it when I’ve got a minute to myself, if you please’. You respond to their emergency appeals for donations and leave feeling like you’ve inconvenienced them!

There’s a temporary pop-up shop in the High Street where Pizza Hut used to be and it is selling vinyl records for the day. Following its long use selling pizza’s it became a short lived charity shop and hasn’t amounted to much since. The place is full of cheerful men of a certain age, some with children perched on their shoulders, flicking through the racks andholding earnest conversations with the stall holders. Like them, I can’t resist looking at the album covers of my youth – but is anyone buying?

Fun in Bedford as the Police deal with some bloke with a machete!

Fun in Bedford as the Police deal with some bloke with a machete!

Bedford reached number 33 in our most sacred book Crap Towns volume 2 in 2004, but in the recently published Crap Towns Returns Bedford made it into the category of “towns not as crap as they used to be”. What’s changed? According to the guide, Bedford is a haven for eccentrics and misfits. I’m racking my brains as to why people would think that, when the Victorian lady sails into view. This is a woman of a certain age who dresses up as someone’s idea of a Victorian (or Edwardian) lady, complete with twirling parasol, huge hat, long dress and muff in winter time. Once I saw her in a bustle. And no one takes a blind bit of notice of this colourful character. I suppose to an outsider seeing her for the first time that would count as eccentric behaviour – as well as the total and utter indifference from the public.

See, it's a machete! Never a dull moment...

See, it’s a machete! Never a dull moment…

Why don’t they have the decency to point and stare? Unlike a lot of towns these days, Bedford still has a thriving press (I didn’t say a good one). One of the papers once interviewed a motley collection of Bedfordians for their views, and they’d managed to get hold of her. I was looking forward to reading what she had to say, maybe an explanation for her dedication to always wearing her elaborate costumes, but she didn’t. I suppose that’s eccentric, in its way.

God squad!

God squad!

We have an independent Nun of sorts that shouts her love of god and makes everyone jump! Sometimes she’s in red, maybe yellow, maybe black, no one bats an eye lid! 50s revivalists can be seen in increasing number notably Dawn from Bedford Creative Arts! As Crap Towns Volume 2 points out Bedford was a centre for Goths back in the 80s and pale paper thin survivors can still be spotted drifting through the evening mist off the river as can the odd genuine punk! After dark on a Saturday nighttAngels walk amongst us although rather than celestial beings ours are earth bound with red fleeces and help the drunks and the assaulted. Teddy Boys, Mods, Steampunks, we have them all and our favourite pub The Bear up the High Street is a drinking stop off for a great many disparate souls who some would have us believe only see each other when in mortal combat but in the Bear everybody pulls in the same direction!

Charlie Roydens Angels?

Charlie Roydens Angels?

Although its Saturday afternoon and having troubled the charity shop lady and clearly ruined her day there’s only direction I’m heading and that’s home! Maybe that should be Wong Direction?

(and if anyone does have a picture of our well dressed Victorian Lady and that dotty num can they pass them on, usual email Gill’s just phoned me up to wish me a happy birthday!)


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