photographed from a book  titled 'English Pictures Drawn with Pen and Pencil' published in London ca. 1870.  Copyright has expired on this artwork. Digitally restored.Image By antiqueimages AdobeStock_77113865

John Bunyan, Bedford and Beyond

As part of the exhibition, ‘Pride Inspiration Hope’ The Journey From Bunyan to the Brickworks, The Higgins Bedford will host a variety of accompanying events and talks based on exploring the journeys of pride, inspiration and hope made by John Bunyan, alongside those who came to Bedford after the Second World War to work at the Brickworks.

7th May: John Bunyan, Bedford and Beyond by John Pestell

9th May: Bunyan to the Brickworks Reminiscence Session

25th May: Pride, Inspiration, Hope: Bedfordshire Brickworks Day

26th May: From Open Fields to Fletton Bricks: a History of Landscapes in Bedfordshire from John Bunyan to Sir Malcolm Stewart by Brian Kerr

John Pestell, author of Travel with John Bunyan, is giving an immersive lunchtime lecture on 7th May. He will outline the life, times and works of John Bunyan. Entry for this talk will cost £5.90 per person, with concessions available at £4.70. Booking is essential. To book your place, please email

On 9th May, join the discussion, meet new people and be inspired by memories and stories of the past, based on newly opened exhibition ‘Pride Inspiration Hope’ Journey from Bunyan to the Brickworks. Explore the story of Bedford’s long heritage as town, as well as the journeys of John Bunyan and the people who came to work at the Brickworks after the Second World War. This Reminiscence Session starts at 11am and is free to join, but refreshments are £1.

Explore all things Brickworks in a day filled with fun activities, music and talks on 25th May. Enjoy a variety of folk songs and stories, including performances from local musicians, Invisible Folk. Participate in an interactive panel discussion, where members of the public are invited to share memories and help build our wall of inspiration. The event runs from 11am to 4pm and is free for all to enjoy.

Discover the stories of two historical Bedfordians and how they navigated through a period of change in the town. Join Brian Kerr as he discusses John Bunyan’s use of Bedfordshire’s topography to inform his writing, and Sir Malcolm Stewart’s legacy in the village built for the workers at London Brick, Stewartby. This talk takes place on 26th May at 2pm and is free to visit.

Tom Perrett, Manager for Libraries and Culture said:

“This fascinating exhibition explores two aspects of Bedford’s history, and these events are a great chance to get involved and share your memories.”

More Brickworks talks and lectures will take place in the Summer on a variety of topics, including the rise and fall of Bedford’s brickmaking industries.