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Joining The Friends of The Higgins Bedford


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The Friends organisation plays an important part in the life of the art gallery and museum, and individual members enjoy an excellent range of benefits; joining the Friends will put you at the heart of The Higgins Bedford.


The Friends provide support towards The Higgins Bedford by:

  • Contributing fund to support the work in the museum and galleries
  • Fostering general interest in The Higgins Bedford
  • Providing volunteers to enhance visitor experience and deliver more activities and events


Membership Rates

  • £25 annual individual membership
  • £40 annual joint membership
  • £10 annual student membership


How To Join the Friends

To become a member of the Friends, please complete and return the application form, and either fill out the standing order form, or send us your cheque. The subscription year runs from 1st September.


Download the latest membership application form here.


Visit the Friends of the Higgins website.


Join the Friends of the Higgins Bedford Committee


The Friends of the Higgins Committee is looking for new members to join this friendly group that plays a part in supporting one of the finest small galleries in the country.


The Friends is run by an eight-strong committee and they are keen to bring new members on board. They meet around 5 times a year, and involvement can be tailored to fit your availability. In particular they are looking for someone who has any or all of the following skills:


  • Able to assist the membership secretary on record-keeping, renewals etc
  • Computer literate and has some knowledge of spreadsheets
  • Knowledge of social media
  • Expertise at running Zoom meetings for large numbers of participants.


If you’re interested in finding out more about joining the committee, please contact the Secretary, Anthea Samain, by email:


The Friends of the Higgins Bedford Lectures


All Friends Lectures are currently taking place online via Zoom. All lectures start at 7pm and members will be sent the zoom link. 


Jim Rockhill - Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu

Tuesday 6th April


Joseph Thomas Sheridan Le Fanu (1814-1873) was an Irish writer of Gothic tales, mystery novels and horror fiction. He was a leading ghost story writer of his time, and was central to the development of the genre in the Victorian era. His novella 'Carmilla' (1872) is often credited with having inspired Bram Stoker's 'Dracula' and M R James described Le Fanu as 'absolutely in the first rank as a writer of ghost stories'. 


Polly Saltmarsh - The Conservation of Paintings

Tuesday 27th April


Polly Saltmarsh, a Cambridge-based paintings conservator, will share some of the secrets of her trade with us. Polly trained at the Courtauld Institute, and gained valuable experience on the Making Art in Tudor Britain project at the National Portrait Gallery, which used scientific analysis to gain new insights into the dating and production techniques of Tudor portraits. Polly’s clients include the National Portrait Gallery, the National Trust, the Church of England, Kettle's Yard, Cambridge Colleges and private clients.


Dr Brian Whitton - John Tunnard (the Sandy born 20th Century Artist)

Tuesday 11th May 


John Tunnard was born at Sandy, Bedfordshire, in 1900, the son of painter J C Tunnard. He studied textile design at the RCA, and then worked as a textile designer in the 1920s as well as playing semi-professional jazz. In 1929 he began to paint and soon came under the influence of the Surrealist Movement, particularly the work of Miró. In the 1930s he moved to Cornwall where he spent the rest of his life panting enigmatic proto-Surrealist works and teaching at Penzance School of Art. 


Suzanne Bardgett - Wartime London in Paintings

Tuesday 25th May


Suzanne Bardgett is head of research and academic partnerships at Imperial War Museums, where she is leading an initiative to reinvigorate research across the IWM. Last year saw the publication of herbook ‘Wartime London in Paintings’. Suzanne will discuss the fascinating range of paintings and drawings from the Imperial War Museums’ own collections that she chose to feature in the publication. Alongside works by familiar artists including Edward Ardizzone, Henry Moore and Graham Sutherland are paintings by little-known artists giving extraordinary insights into the privations of life in the capital during the war years.