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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.


The Friends of the Higgins Bedford Lectures


Meetings start at 7.30pm at The Higgins Bedford. 

Tickets - Members £4, Non-Members £9


Dr Anne Daye - An Exceeding Good Ball; Dancing in the Life and Novels of Jane Austen

Tuesday 15th October

Dr Daye, who has advised the BBC on its recreation of Regency dance in adaptations such as ‘Pride and Prejudice’ will talk to us about dance in the era of Jane Austen. The intricacies of dances that would have been familiar to Austen and her family - cotillons, quadrilles and reels - will be explained, as will ballroom etiquette and music of the 1800s.


Barry Venning - Artists' Feuds

Tuesday 29th October

The history of art is peppered with first rate bust ups: between the great early Renaissance artists, Brunelleschi and Ghiberti, between Constable and Turner in the early 1830s, and, most recently, between the graffiti artists Banksy and ‘King’ Robbo, who painted out and amended each other’s works. Join popular lecturer and art historian, Barry Venning to find out about the world's greatest artistic feuds.


Christopher Bennett - The Antarctic Explorer, Apsley Cherry-Garrard

Tuesday 3rd December

County Archivist Christopher Bennett will tell us about the extraordinary life of Bedford-born polar explorer, Apsley Cherry-Garrard. His experiences as part of Captain Robert Falcon Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the South Pole were recorded in ‘The Worst Journey in the World’, a book that is still in print over 80 years later and is considered a classic of travel literature.


Professor Phil Cleaver and Deborah Wolpe - Berthold Wolpe: The Total Man

Tuesday 14th January 2020

Wolpe helped shape graphic design in post-war Europe. His 1,500 book jackets for Faber & Faber, with their intense colour and vivacious typography, were way ahead of their time, and his Albertus typeface continues to be widely admired and used by designers today. Wolpe had arrived in London in 1935, having escaped Nazi persecution, and went on to teach at Camberwell School of Art and the Royal College.


Hugh Belsey - The Grand Tour

Tuesday 11th February 2020

Furthering his classical education, collecting works of art from antiquity or the renaissance, marvelling at sublime scenery - all were motivations for the 18th-century gentleman to embark on a Grand Tour of Europe. Hugh Belsey will give us a new perspective on the Tour, explaining what the English ‘Milordi’ saw and, fascinatingly, how they made their travel arrangements, and who they took with them.


Bob Hook - Swifts: The Fastest Birds on the Planet

Tuesday 17th March 2020

Why are there so few parties of swifts swooping and wheeling above our towns these days? Bob Hook will tell us more about these amazing birds and talk about what might be affecting them, and what is going on locally to help find homes for these iconic birds of summer.


Paul Middleton - The Art of John Seymour Lindsay

Tuesday 14th April 2020

A keen amateur artist before the First World War, John Seymour Lindsay had hiked around the south of England, sketching the disappearing vernacular buildings he saw. He developed a particular interest in, and skill at depicting, elements of architectural ironwork. The coming of war saw him serving 16 months in the front line, and he saw action at Ypres and on the Somme. His many letters to his wife and brother form a moving testament to the horrors he survived.


James Russell - Rirzah Garwood

Tuesday 5th May 2020

Art Historian James Russell will discuss the life and work of Tirzah Garwood, drawing her out from the shadow cast by the considerable reputation of her husband, Eric Ravilious. The couple had met when Ravilious taught Garwood at Eastbourne School of Art. During their marriage Tirzah worked at wood engraving, and made marbled papers, but it was only after Eric’s early death that she matured artistically, producing remarkable oil paintings and 3D constructions made of paper.

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The Higgins Bedford

Castle Lane


MK40 3XD

t: 01234 718618

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