For brief details of forthcoming


Wednesday 10th May 2017. Military Intelligence Museum, Chicksands.
Meet there 1.15pm for 2.00pm start. Donation on day.

Wednesday 24th May 2017. Guided walking tour of Cardington.
Meet there at 6.30pm. £2 per person payable on the day.

Saturday 24th June 2017.“Bedford Through the Ages”,
Bedfordshire Local History Association Conference, hosted by BAALHS.
10am at Priory Methodist Church, Newnham Avenue, Bedford, MK41 9QJ.
£20 per person payable on booking.

Monday 10th July 2017. Guided tour of St. Paul’s Church, Bedford.
6.30pm at the Church. Free, but donation to Church funds requested.

Sunday 23rd July 2017. Guided tour of Kimbolton Castle.
2.30pm at the Castle. £5 per person payable on the day.

Saturday 19th August 2017. Guided tour of Warden Abbey Vineyard.
Meet there at 2.30pm. £8 per person payable on the day.

Wednesday 13th September 2017. Annual General Meeting & Talk.
7.30 pm at Putnoe Heights Church & Community Centre, Putnoe Heights, Bedford,
MK41 8EB. After the AGM Kevin Varty will give a talk on the Great War.

Sunday 8th October 2017. Coach trip to the Richard III Centre, Leicester & Bosworth
Battlefield Heritage Centre: Leaving 8.15am from St Peter's Church, De Parys Avenue.
£35 per person payable on booking.


Important notes:
1. All outings meet at the venue, except for the coach trip (pick up point by St. Peter’s Church, De Parys Avenue, Bedford.
2. Pre-booking is essential. Members can book using the forms enclosed with the Newsletter or via
3. The trip to the Military Intelligence Museum can only be booked
4. Visitors or guests welcome.
5. For any queries about the programme, please contact Bob Ricketts, 68 Mendip Crescent, Bedford, MK41 9EP, telephone 01234 313608 or e-mail



Wednesday 10th May 2017: Military Intelligence Museum, Chicksands.
This is a car trip to the Military Intelligence Museum, meeting 1.15pm for a 1.30pm start.
The visit will take approximately 2 hours, starting in the museum building’s foyer with an introductory talk on intelligence and the showing of a 10-minute video. This includes unique vintage film from the Cold War period when BRIXMIS (“British Commander-in-Chief’s Exchange Mission to The Soviet Forces in Germany”) was based in Potsdam (East Germany) From 1946 to 1990 the teams from BRIXMIS were able to tour East Germany and report developments in Warsaw Pact equipment and tactics in that forward area.The group will then divide in two and visit, in turn, the main galleries. One is devoted to the Medmenham Collection which covers the history of aerial photographic interpretation (PI) and imagery analysis (IA) from World War One, through World War Two, up to the present day. The other covers the history and achievements of the Army Intelligence Corps and its role in operational and strategic intelligence. Returning to the foyer, there is an opportunity to study exhibits showing the American radio intercept operations at Chicksands from 1950 to 1996 and the activities of the wartime Special Operations Executive (SOE) brought to life by displays of artefacts brought over from post-war France. There is a small shop stocking intelligence-related books and souvenirs. For further information, see the Military Intelligence Museum’s website:

There is no entrance charge for this visit, but we ask you to make an appropriate donation to the Friends of the Intelligence Corps Museum (FICM).

This is a visit by car, a journey of 13 miles about 30 minutes south-east of Bedford along the A600 to the museum at Building 200 Chicksands, Shefford, Bedfordshire NN6 9PF. Detailed instructions will be supplied. For security reasons we need to provide Chicksands with details of visitors and drivers’ cars 10 days in advance. The following is needed:
Full name..........Passport Number or Photo Driving Licence Number..........And if driving, Vehicle registration, make, model, and colour.

Cars should initially be parked in the lay-by in front of the gates and opposite the guard-room. Visitors then book in at the guard-room and exchange their nominated ID document for a temporary security badge and return to their car. When all have arrived the convoy of cars – limited in number to 10 vehicles – is escorted onto the site and to a parking area close to the museum. IDs are recovered on exit in return for the badges. We aim to have a group of 20 or so, so that car sharing will be necessary.

Please book by 30th April at the latest using the e-mail address, giving your details and preferred contact information.

Wednesday 24th May 2017: Guided walking tour of Cardington.
A guided walking tour of this historic village, meeting outside Cardington Church at 6.30pm. Our tour leader will be Gordon Vowles, one of our members, an active local historian and member of the Council of the BHRS. After the tour, we will gather in the Church for tea and biscuits.

Nikolaus Pevsner described Cardington as “remarkably rural and undeveloped, the consequence of its ownership since the late C18 by the Whitbread estate.” Dominating the village is the large Church of St. Mary. It was heavily restored in 1897-1901, but considerable Late Perpendicular work remains, The Whitbread chapel is very fine, as is the Wedgewood black basalt font given in 1783 by the Whitbread family. Pevsner noted that the church has “one of the richest assemblies” of monuments in the county, with fine brasses. Cardington’s other jewel is its fine village green, with handsome late-C18 houses – particulary John Howard’s house, Malting Farm and the Old Vicarage.
Cost: £2 per person payable on the day.

Directions: Turn off the Bedford southern by-pass A421 at the junction with the A60S. Take the turning signposted ‘Cardington’ and follow the road into the village until you come to the Church.

Saturday 24 June 2017: Bedfordshire Local History Association AGM and Conference.
Hosted this year by BAALHS.
AGM 9am followed at 10am by the conference, “Bedford Through the Ages”. To be held at Priory Methodist Church, Newnham Avenue, Bedford, MK41 9QJ. £20 per person payable on booking.

Monday 10th July 2017: Guided tour of St. Paul’s Church, Bedford.
The guided tour of the Church will be led by the historian James Collett-White. The large church of St. Paul’s, with its dramatic spire, dominates the town centre. Although it has been heavily restored, the earliest exterior feature is the Early English west doorway, dating to the rebuilding of the Church after the destruction of the Castle in 1224. The remainder appears C14 and C15. There is a 4 bay south chapel, built in 1416 for the Guilds of the Trinity and Corpus Christi, which later became the Archdeacon’s Court. There is a large selection of good, largely Victorian, stained glass. Brasses to Sir William Harpur and his wife; he is in armour, but also wears his alderman’s robe. Magnificent hanging monument signed by Benjamin Palmer, 1768, paid for by the trustees of the Bedford Charity. Lots to see and an expert guide!

Meet at 6.30pm by the main entrance to St. Paul’s Church, St. Paul’s Square, Bedford. No charge, but a donation to Church funds would be appreciated.

Sunday 23rd July 2017: Guided tour of Kimbolton Castle.
A car trip and guided tour of Kimbolton Castle, meeting at the entrance to Kimbolton Castle at 2.15pm, for a tour starting at 2.30pm. The tour will last approximately two hours and will include a look at the exterior and grounds if the weather permits.

Kimbolton Castle is an early-18thC adaptation by Vanbrugh and Hawksmoor of a medieval/Tudor fortified manor house dating back to 1200. It was the last residence of Katherine of Aragon, who died there in 1536. The Castle has an outstanding set of murals by the Venetian artist Pellegrini and a fine collection of family portraits of the Earls and Dukes of Manchester, who owned the Castle for nearly 350 years. It is now the home of Kimbolton School.
Please note that disabled access is quite difficult, involving a flight of external stone steps with a handrail. Cost: £5 per person payable on the day.

Directions: From Bedford, follow the B660 ‘Kimbolton Road’ to Kimbolton. At the junction with the B645, follow the signs to Kimbolton. Entry is via the Iron Gates entrance.
Approximate time 20-25 minutes.

Saurday 19th August 2017. Guided tour of Warden Abbey Vineyard.
Car trip meeting in the car park at Warden Abbey Vineyard at 2.15pm. Guided tour starting at 2.30pm for about 1.5-2 hours, including a walk and talk around the vineyard discussing its history from its medieval origins to modern times, the varieties of vines and their care, the challenges of growing vines in our climate, and the modern English wine industry, as well as the Vineyard Community Project. Finishing with a wine tasting!
Cost: £8 per person, payable on the day.

Important notes:
Wine will be available to buy at the end of the tour should you wish to take some away with you. Unfortunately the Vineyard does not have credit card facilities yet, so cash or cheques would be welcome. Current prices are £13.50 a bottle for still wine and £23.00 a bottle for sparkling. The vineyard is on a gentle slope and the ground is uneven. Please dress for the weather! The tour will go ahead in most weather. There is plenty of parking on site.

Directions: The Vineyard is situated off Bedford Road between Old Warden and Cardington (nearest to Old Warden). Look out for the white A-board with black grapes on the verge opposite the entrance or the yellow grape sign tied to the new wooden fencing at the entrance. The entrance to the vineyard is now shown as a pin on Google Maps – follow this link: Link to location on Google Maps. You can then get directions directly via Google Maps from your location. This can also be used in sat navs. Or use coordinates 52°04'58.9"N 0°21'47.0"W. There are also directions on:
Putting the post code into satnavs often causes problems because it takes you to neighbouring properties. Also, when people simply “google” for the vineyard it occasionally shows the estate office in Southill, but the vineyard is a couple of miles away from there.

Wednesday 13th September 2017. The Society's Annual General Meeting & Talk.
7.30 pm at Putnoe Heights Church & Community Centre, Putnoe Heights, Bedford,
MK41 8EB. After the AGM Kevin Varty will give a talk on the Great War.

Sunday 8th October 2017. Coach trip to the Richard III Centre, Leicester & Bosworth Battlefield Heritage Centre.
A coach trip leaving from outside St. Peter’s Church, De Parys Avenue, at 8.15am. We will visit the fascinating Richard III Centre in Leicester, for an introductory talk and self-guided tour. There will be time for a light lunch/snack at the Centre’s café.
Bosworth Battlefield Centre: We will then visit the Centre’s award-winning interactive exhibition, exploring the weaponry, armour and tactics used in the Battle of Bosworth. An introductory talk will be followed by a short guided walk. Afternnon tea/refreshments available in the medieval Tithe Barn.

We will depart from Bosworth at about 4.30pm to return to Bedford.
The cost of £35 per person, payable on booking, includes the coach and all admission charges and the guided walk. This is excellent value – commercial trips to Leicester (not including Bosworth) are at least £60 per person.