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Talks & Tours

talks and tours

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Get more from your visit by coming along to one of our regular talks or tours. If you're a member of a group that may be interested in coming along to a talk or tour, have a look at our Bringing a group page.


10 Minute Tours

2pm, 2.30pm, 3pm and 3.30pm

Join volunteer and Tate tour guide, Andrew Rodgers, for a lightening quick tour of our current exhibition.

Saturday September 24th - Rebels! Sickert & Lewis

Saturday October 1st - Stanley Spencer


The Friends of the Higgins Bedford have regular talks - read more about joining The Friends here >


Friends lectures

Tuesdays, 7.30pm

Cost: £3 (Friends), £8 (Guests)


Lectures 2015 - 2016

Meetings start promptly at 7.30pm at The Higgins Bedford

Tickets - Friends £3, Guests £8



Tuesday 13 September 2016

David Boyd Haycock - Carrington and Gertler            

David Boyd Haycock will examine the tempestuous relationship between these two artists, both of them central figures in the exceptional generation that attended the Slade in the years immediately before the Great War.


Tuesday 11 October 2016

Nigel Lutt - The Duke of Manchester’s Light Horse

Former County Archivist Nigel Lutt will talk to us about this local regiment, which was raised in 1860 by the Duke of Manchester at Kimbolton. The Duke was apparently inspired by his friend, the Earl of Sandwich’s formation of the 1st Huntingdonshire Rifles Volunteer Corps in the 1850s.


Tuesday 8 November 2016

Adrian Woodhouse - Angus McBean, Photographer

Angus McBean produced surreal and romantic photographic portraits of the film stars and musicians of the 1930s,40s and 50s. Adrian Woodhouse, who has written the definitive biography of McBean, ‘Facemaker', will tell the unexpurgated story of thephotographer’s dramatic life.


Tuesday 10 January 2017, 12 noon

Mike Luke - The Northern Bypass

Mike Luke, who is a project manager at Albion Archaeology, will bring us up to date on developments which have taken place on the Northern Bypass since he last spoke to us in 2015.


Tuesday 7 February 2017, 12 noon

Chloe Cockerill - Heraldry

Heraldry is all around us, in country houses, cathedrals and castles, as well as in our towns, from pub signs to the police station. Chloe Cockerill will help us make sense of the heraldry around us, and give us an appreciation of its modern applications.


Tuesday 21 February 2017

Sean McIlroy - Ivory Products in the Antique Market

Concern& about the effects of elephant poaching has led to increased scrutiny  of the trade in antique ivory. In Europe, there are no restrictions on the trade in antique worked’ ivory that dates before March  1947. But is there a connection between an object carved hundreds of years ago and ivory obtained illegally today?


Tuesday 14 March 2017, 12 noon

Stephen Cockings - The Roman Villa at Manton Heights, Bedford

In 2011 a dig at Manton Lane in Bedford uncovered the remains of what may turn out to be one of the most lavishly decorated Roman villas yet found in Britain. Stephen Cockings, lead archaeologist on the project, will highlight some of the exciting finds made there.


Tuesday 11 April 2017

Amanda Goody - Colonel Frederick Burnaby

Amanda Goody will tell the story of one of Bedford’s most unusual sons, the swashbuckling Victorian adventurer Colonel Frederick Burnaby. His was a life story with episodes of derring-do which would seem far-fetched if found in a 19th century novel.


Tuesday 16 May 2017

Kate Bostock and Helen Jones - Cowper and His Hares

William Cowper (1731 - 1800) was England’s most respected poet in the late l8th and early l9th centuries. While convalescing in Olney, he was given three hares to look ager and this talk will tell the touching story of how the creatures became an important part of his life.


Tuesday 6 June 2017

Marion Maule - Time for Tea, Coffee and Chocolate

Since tea, coffee and chocolate reached our shores from three different continents in the 17th century, they have enriched our lives, promoted trade and transformed the fine and decorative arts. This fully-illustrated lecture will explore their fascinating influence.