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Pavilion at the Park Bedford

Bedford Park

locally produced, seasonal food. We cook simple and imaginative dishes and high quality British cuisine.

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Racing on the River

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It is not every town that boasts an embankment and river quite as stunning as the one here in Bedford. It's so easy to take the river for granted if you live nearby; rushing past it on your way to school and work all the time. But this weekend is one of the weekends when the river really comes into its own. This Saturday (11th May) Bedford will host the largest one-day regatta in the country; a regatta with a long and wonderful history. The Bedford Regatta celebrates its 149th birthday this year, with a race every two minutes between 8.15am and 7.30pm, and over 1,500 competitors from all over the country.

The 1200m course begins at County bridge, and crews race under the town bridge down to the finish line just by the Suspension Bridge; making it an excellent regatta to come and watch, and you can admire the wonderful display of tulips in the flowerbeds along the embankment at the same time!

If you'd like a closer look at some of the trophies on offer, you can walk along to the enclosure, just near the Suspension Bridge. For the price of a race programme (£1.50) you can come and wander around the enclosure, where there will also be a barbecue and fully licensed bar to enjoy! It's also a great chance to meet and chat to some of the competitors and get to know a bit more about the sport of rowing, and how you can get involved.

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Rowing used to be seen as a bit of an elitist sport - strictly the territory of public schools and Oxbridge. And whilst these institutions have a vibrant rowing history, the future of rowing is far more open to all. Bedford sports not one, but two rowing clubs, who come together to organize the regatta along with the Harpur Trust. Both Bedford Rowing Club and Star Rowing Club are open to any new members, from total beginners to seasoned professionals wanting to get back on the water. They also work with local state schools to get more children into the sport. Interested? Why not come along on Saturday to get a glimpse of what you could achieve with a little hard work, dedication and a LOT of flapjack!

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Bedford has a proud history of rowing alumni, including Tim Foster, Olympic gold medalist who trained at Bedford Modern and Star Club. You could be watching the next generation of Olympic rowers whilst sitting serenely on the embankment sipping your Kiosk Ethical Addictions coffee and munching on one of Barbara's flapjacks (endorsed by many a hungry rower.)

We picked the brains of David Dixon, President of Star Club for the crews to watch this year. He recommended trying to catch the Elite 8s race between Christ Church college Oxford and Kingston Rowing Club at 2.38pm. The Christ Church boat should contain 4 members of this years' victorious Oxford boat race crew - which basically makes it a rowing-celebrity boat. It should be a great race, and the final of the Elite mens' 8 category is the last race of the day, at 7.30pm. There's plenty of local interest too, as Bedford Rowing Club, Star Club, Bedford Modern, Bedford School and Bedford Girls School all have crews taking part, and there should be some good clashes to test local loyalties. Race commentary will be provided throughout the day, keeping you up to date with exactly who it is flying down the River Ouse.

Bedford Regatta 1851 c) Cecil Higgins Art Gallery; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

This painting is of a regatta on Bedford river in 1851, just a few years before the first official Bedford Regatta began. Maybe it will be hanging in the newly renovated Higgins? (opening June 21st - also very exciting!)

Photos at the Park

The area around Russell Park is a bit of a hotspot for local photographers and creative people. As well as Gemma Kirkham, who has taken so many of the great photographs you can see on our facebook page and on the blog, local photographer Graham Watson of We Can Creative often takes amazing photos on his way through the park in the early morning as he is on his way to the gym. Have a look at some of these magnificent shots: including very rare views of the empty playground!

Sunrise over the big swing

Anyone coming out to play?

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A snowy mini-golf course

Now that (hopefully) the snow is just a sparkling but distant memory, and Spring has finally sprung, it's a great time to come and enjoy spending some time outside. It's good for vitamin D levels,  as well as being great exercise and, as Kelly the natruopath said in her guest blog last week, it's highly recommended for your sense of happiness and wellbeing. Just yesterday the Kiosk welcomed loads of children enjoying a musical morning outdoors, thanks to Mark from Piccolo Music Club. He hopes to come back in a few weeks for some more musical fun. Keep an eye on the blog and our facebook page for dates.

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Piccolos Music Club

In the meantime, why not come and take some photos of your own of  Russell Park and post them to our facebook page? We'd love to show off the work of all happy snappers! And there is the small issue of that empty playground that needs filling up...

Guest Blog: Kelly the Naturopath

We're very excited about this guest blog from one of out lovely local customers, Kelly. Kelly is a naturopath practicing in Bedford. Here's her story of how she has worked hard to pursue her dream job; with a few handy tips for healthy living too! I grew up in Bedford but moved to London when I was 19 to pursue a career in media. After making copious cups of tea and running so many errands that I knew the West End as well as any black cabbie, I bagged my first job as Beauty Assistant on the coming-of-age teen title Sugar Magazine, and within a few years I’d worked my way up to be the youngest Beauty & Wellbeing Editor on the block. I had a contacts book stuffed with the numbers of London’s top hairstylists, facialists, make-up artists and wellness experts, a bathroom over-flowing with more products than your average branch of Boots and my new-found passion for natural health and beauty started to grow.

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A school-girl pact that my best friend wouldn’t let me forget saw me swap lipstick launches for LonelyPlanet itineraries and sealed the fate of my Ford Fiesta as it was exchanged for a round-the-world ticket from STA Travel. The sights, the sounds and oh the smells of  the wider world were more mind-blowing than I could have ever possibly imagined but what really resonated with me were the tastes. Mmmmm how we ate, and more often than not it was locally grown or reared, seasonal and fresh. I also couldn’t help notice that this simpler, stress-free, outdoors way of life was itself food for the soul.

As flight BA10 from Bangkok returned us home with a bump, new-found dreams of returning to Australia to study naturopathy were put on the back-burner as I started work as a PR Director for an agency specialising in natural wellbeing. In March 2004 my Dad died suddenly and with life’s fragility thrust in my face I enrolled at the College of Naturopathic Medicine in London to start a five-year course studying Naturopathy and Nutritional Therapy. At the same time I signed up for a diploma in Reflexology at The London School of Reflexology.

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Working full-time, getting married and having two children made studying far from easy but I was fascinated by all that I was learning and I graduated two weeks after my second son was born. We’d made the decision to leave London when I fell pregnant the second time,  and with a pros and cons list Kirsty herself would be proud of, we embarked on the relocation challenge and after a long search, headed back to Bedford!

Once we’d been back here almost a year, and the re-plastering dust had finally settled  and wiped away, I felt ready to start thinking about how I was going to turn five years of hard study and into a new career. I decided on calling my business 'Kelly the Naturopath' because I thought it had a friendly, local feel to it and because a Naturopath is a health practitioner who applies a number of natural therapies, which encompasses what I do. My specialist area  is Nutritional Therapy, which means  using food to optimise wellbeing, but I also look at my client’s lifestyles, sleep patterns and emotional wellbeing. In addition to dietary and lifestyle changes I might recommend nutritional supplements, tissue salts, flower essences, herbs or a touch therapy like reflexology.

Everyone has their own reason for seeing a Naturopath, for some it may be to get support if they’re trying to conceive, for other’s if they’re suffering from an illness. Some people want help with weight management whilst others simply want to learn how they might maximise their long-term wellness or reduce the feelings of anxiety and stress. For each client I put together a personalised treatment plan to meet their individual needs and then support them whilst they achieve their health goals.

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I’ve now been practising for a year and work most Thursday’s and the first Sunday of the month with the lovely Lord sisters at Lords & Ladies on St Cuthbert’s Street. Skype and at-home consultations and treatments are both available upon request based on the needs and circumstances of individuals. Any Mum will know juggling work and kids is never simple but I feel very privileged that I’m able to work around my family doing a job that I am passionate about and find hugely rewarding.

Kelly's Local Health and Wellbeing Tips

* Go for a walk outside – sunlight increases serotonin production to create more positive moods and helps to trigger vitamin D synthesis in the skin which is needed for calcium metabolism and neuromuscular and immune system functioning. Just choose a green space and go!

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* Eat a Mediterranean Diet – rich in fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, olive oil and wholegrains, using herbs and spices instead of salt and limiting red meat to a few times a month whilst enjoying fresh fish a couple of times a week, with the odd glass of red wine if you choose; the health benefits of a Mediterranean diet are well documented. The secret ingredient… eat leisurely with friends and family. Try local delicatessens Foods of Italy and Andaluz.

* Eat cake if you want to – just maybe not every day, and make sure it’s freshly baked and therefore not bulked out with preservatives. Depriving yourself of a little bit of what you fancy isn't good for the mind or soul (see below). Personally I can’t get enough of The Kiosk’s Super-Seedy-Flapjack.

Flapjack at the Kiosk- as recommended by Kelly!

* Be happy - being healthy is more than just eating the right food. In studies looking at people who live the longest there is a common trait, happiness. Think about what would help you have a more fulfilled life and do it.

If you'd like to get in touch with Kelly (and she comes highly recommended, one other Kiosk customer described her as having magic hands!) - you can visit her website, or email her: info@kellythenaturopath.com

The Roundabout Garden

Not very far at all from Russell Park, there is a sort of secret garden. It is not ever so secret, because if you are local, you probably walk past it, or through it very regularly. It is easy to  forget it is there. But it is worth remembering  because as well as being a very pretty garden,and a small oasis of green set in the middle of a busy road junction; it is a very useful garden. It is a community herb garden.

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Two of the large flower beds on the roundabout which links Castle Road and Rothsay Road are set aside as a herb garden; organised and cared for by volunteers from the Zero Carbon Castle group. Under the leadership of local residents Lucy Bywater, and Anne Doody,  Zero Carbon Castle hold regular working parties to help maintain the garden, and the herbs are available for anyone local to pick and use.  The next working party, incidentally, is this Saturday: the 20th April, at 10 am. New volunteers are very welcome to come along! Tools are provided, just bring your own elbow grease...

Lots of herbs grow in the garden, including thyme, mint, rosemary, sage, lavendar and oregano. Anne explained that there is a mix of common herbs, along with some more unusual traditional varieties, such as dyers greenweed: which does exactly what it says it will, and has traditionally been used to dye cloth and wool yellow. Elecampne can be found here too, which is a herb that has been around since Roman times and used to be commonly used as both a medicine and a condiment.

The garden is also home to a selection of mint plants - they even have a chocolate mint (you really can  smell the chocolate on it - it's amazing!) Anne and her husband Graham, who were tending the garden when I visited listed some of the other varieties of mint that they are hoping to cultivate, including orange & lemon mint, and ginger mint. The chocolate mint is just starting to grow now, so in a few weeks, as the garden springs to life, you should be able to go and pick some - it's a great way to flavour your ice cream!

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The Garden won an award in 2012 -  for being the region's best drought/water tolerant garden. Despite the fact that 2012 was the year of rain, rain, and a LOT more rain, (as we at the Kiosk remember all too well... ) the two previous years had been incredibly dry. The herb garden proved very resilient to the dry weather, as the majority of the herbs here are from the Mediterranean, and used to the dry climate. They have also been the runner up twice in the Regional Community Garden awards.

If, like us, you'd like to know more about the herb garden - they are holding an open day on 18th May, from 10.30 until 3pm, with Jane Perrone, Gardening editor of The Guardian - as well as The Bedford Clanger-  organising a foraging walk. around the garden. Plants will be for sale on the day; Anne says that she is currently cultivating around 200 on her patio in preparation for the day. There will also be a bee keeper coming along, and representitatives from the Wildlife Trust offering advice on how to make your garden attractive to wildlife. The garden itself is home to several hedgehogs, and the volunteers leave bowls of water out for them, sunk into the flowerbeds. A local childrens' book club will be at the open day too, talking about their favourite wildlife stories. It sounds like a great day to come along and enjoy the garden, as well as taking the opportunity to learn about the work the volunteers do, and what herbs are on offer in the garden.  The herb garden is designed to be a community garden - so everybody  is welcome to come along and enjoy it!

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The herb garden receives no funding, and is entirely run by volunteers. All proceeds from the plant sale at the open day will be used to buy more plants, and to maintain the garden.

Herb of the month at the moment in the garden is chives. Chives are a wonderfully versatile ingredient,  and the information board at the herb garden gives you some great ideas for what you can do with them, including mixing them with soft cheese and chopping them into salads.  Here are a few other ideas of using chives to spice up some other everyday favourites:

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And on the subject of chives, savoury muffins are the next Big Thing due to rock up at The Kiosk. Have you got a favourite savoury muffin recipe? Do you fancy a bit of a Masterchef-style competition, with the winning recipe made up and served up at The Kiosk? If so, get in touch! We'd love to hear from you...more details to follow.

If you'd like to find out more about the Zero Carbon Castle and the community herb garden, you can contact them via facebook, where they are called Abundance Bedford, or email Lucy at lucybywater@yahoo.co.uk

Ethical Addictions at The Kiosk: Great Coffee, Great Story.

Here at the Kiosk we serve a very special kind of coffee. If you've ever popped by for a cup of it, you really are part of something pretty amazing. We serve Ethical Addictions Coffee.

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Ethical Addictions Coffee is a remarkable story of a business setting out to do something very straightforward. Just something simple and fair, but something that is at the same time, completely extraordinary. The company is founded on the belief that ethical business does not have to compromise on quality, and doesn't have to be significantly more expensive for the consumer.

Inspired by a few years living on the West Coast of Canada, where there was an abundance of 'great coffee with great stories', founders Ian and Dave came up with the idea of setting up a coffee brand that dealt direct with the growers. No middle-men or complicated supply chains. Coffee, Ian told us, is the most traded commodity in the world after oil. Often there are 7 or 8 links in the supply chain, all adding to the cost of the products, but leaving many of the farmers in poverty.

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When you think about it, cutting out the supply chain makes perfect sense. The farmers get a fair wage for their work - far higher than they would otherwise - and consumers pay no more than they would for any other coffee. Ethical Addictions pay the farmers the same amount as they would pay coffee suppliers in the UK. The difference is, of course, that the farmer keeps the whole amount. This also means that Ethical Addictions is not a luxury brand, it's an affordable alternative to other coffee brands.

It is also not a Fair Trade coffee. For the villagers to register with the Fair Trade brand, they or the farm would have to put up about $1800, which, as Ian pointed out, is more than the average yearly wages of the villagers. In places like this, where the need is so great and the villages fall through the gaps of Fair Trade, Ethical Addictions is making a real difference. “Fair Trade made consumers think again twenty years ago,” says Ian “maybe it's time to think again now”.

He describes the business as “a passion; part business, part social enterprise. We're not doing anything amazing, we're just doing the right thing. We can't change the world, but we can change things for families in a couple of villages.” And yet, depressingly, even now the business model sounds quite revolutionary.

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On their website, Ethical Addictions tell the stories of their coffees. This is the one about Mountain Top Coffee, and Bente. Bente is the manager of Machare Farm, who they credit with the vision, as well as helping forge the relationships with growers that has given Ethical Addictions the chance to make a difference. Bente introduced them to two small villages high up the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro in East Africa who had no route to market for their high-quality coffee, and just had to sell to any supplier who happened to come along; meaning that they were getting an insultingly low price for the coffee they had worked so hard to produce.

With some investment from Marchare Farm, Ethical Addictions, and other funding, the villagers were able to produce their own coffee. Now, a few years later, those same villagers have been able to put their children through school for the first time. They've been able to save to repair their houses, and buy livestock. They are producing exceptional Arabicancoffee: 'Dark and smooth with a velvety cocoa and caramel finish.'

Some of Ian's favourite Ethical Addictions moments come from the trip he made to Machare Farm back in December 2011. “Four or five years of supporting the farms and workers has made such a tangible difference,” he explains. “There were people who said 'the wage that we're earning means our children have been able to go to school,' or 'we've been able to have a new roof put on our hut'. These are real peoples' lives that we're helping to change, long-term, for the better."

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This is Desiana Pauli, talking about how Ethical Addictions has changed things for her and her family: "Before, we used to all sleep in the same room on the same bed. Now, I could build a bedroom for my five children so that they have more space. I could also pay the school fees for all the five children, including the uniforms and the books, etc."

And you are helping those same families too, just by drinking our coffee at the Kiosk. Great coffee, great story. 

Comic Relief in the Park

'Do something funny for money' was the instruction from Comic Relief this year. Not needing much encouragement to don a Onesie or two in aid of a very good cause - the Kiosk team made preparations for a day of fun AND fundraising. Offering free drinks to all who came down to the Kiosk dressed in their Onesies - with the price of the drink instead donated to Comic Relief - we also enlisted the help of resident photographer Gemma Kirkham to come and record the day for posterity and a few more donations!

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Preparing for the big (red) day, we stocked up on lots of maltesers - a key ingredient of our ever-popular malteser squares. Maltesers were donating 5p to comic relief for every pack sold, so essentially we were baking and eating to raise money, never something to be sniffed at. We also had special red nose cookies supplied by our biscuit guru Karen Bland - all money from sales of those going straight to Comic Relief.

Our friend Jacquelyn Cooper from Halcyon Yoga came and painted our nails red and gave her time for the cause (realising her secret desire to be a beauty therapist at the same time), and Alison Godwin popped down with her Olympic Torch metaphorically, if not literally, lighting up our day!

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With so many charities competing for our donations, all year round, it's easy to forget what an impact Comic Relief has. The wonderful thing about the charity is that it supports vulnerable families all over the world - from children in the very poorest of countries, to families in the UK who are struggling to feed their children. It really does change lives in a very meaningful way.

We raised £100 for Comic Relief today. £100 could mean the world to so many people. Here's a few things that £100 can do:

It could provide life-saving anti-malarial drugs for 80 children - quite literally changing their lives.

It could vaccinate twenty children against deadly diseases like tetanus, meningitis and pneumonia.

It could pay for 20 mosquito nets to protect sleeping children and their mothers from potentially fatal malaria.

It could fund more than 30 people living in the slums of Sierra Leone with long term access to clean water.

It could fund access to advice and support for ten families in the UK living with dementia.

Or it could provide 100 meals for UK families struggling to feed their children.

Here are some photos of us enjoying our FUNdraising efforts. Enjoy. If you can, donate more money to Comic Relief here.

We can't think of any better ways to spend £100. Thank you so much to all of our customers, friends and the many local people who just popped by to show their support.

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Carers at The Park

One of the many lovely things about working at The Kiosk at the park is meeting lots of groups of people having a great time together, and enjoying being outside in the fresh air - even when the air has that ever-so-slightly-arctic feel about it. Recently we had a group from Carers in Bedfordshire arrive at the Kiosk for an essential warm drink interlude. A quick chat with them revealed that this walking group is just a part of the vibrant support network that the charity provides for the ever increasing numbers of people who become carers for aging or ill relatives. We were so impressed by the support that the walking group provided, we went to meet Linda, adult care support worker and one-woman dynamo to find out more about the work that Carers in Bedofrdshire do. Linda is one of those people who is so utterly passionate about her job that her enthusiasm and kindness is infectious.

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Carers in Bedfordshire offers support for all kinds of carers - people who are elderly or sick themselves but still looking after a disabled husband or wife; parents who care for disabled or terminally ill children, even the siblings of disabled children, whose own needs can often feel neglected. The charity's strap line is 'working to prevent the carers of today becoming the carers of tomorrow.'  Linda explained how many carers, especially those who are elderly themselves see caring for their loved one as a responsibility that they must fulfill whatever the effects on their own health. 'It's like taking on another full-time, new career when they are well in to their own retirement,' she said. 'And often these people are very close to breaking point, because it's such a physical job, with all the lifting and moving it involves, as well as the huge emotional strain. When dementure is involved, it's a kind of grief the carers are dealing with on an every day basis, often for years at a time.'

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Founded by Yvonne Clark, herself a carer and nurse, the charity which also receives some local authority funding, provides a lifeline to hundreds of cares in the Bedford area. The walking group that we'd met at the Kiosk is one of their organised activities, and Linda was particularly enthusiastic about the benefits of the group meeting outside, and having a reinvigorating stroll in the fresh air, whilst having a natter and of course a restorative cup of tea. 'Many of the walking group have been going for a long time now, and it's become like a family. We keep carers registered for as long as they feel they need, even after the person they've cared for has passed away. There are even groups for ex-carers,' explains Linda.

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All of the groups the charity run are along a similar theme - treating carers as the individuals that they are, giving them a much needed break from the intense work that they do, or just offering a space to share worries and experiences with others in similar situations. 'Carers Cafes' are a service that the charity offer on a regular basis - these are regular drop in sessions across Bedfordshire where carers, and the people they care for can relax in a safe and friendly environment.

Hairdressing, manicures and chiropody appointments are amongst the services available at these cafes, as well as talks by guest speakers, arts and crafts and the benefits of having a good chat over a cup of tea and a slice of cake, and meeting new friends. Talking about the success of the cafes, Linda says 'they work because there are no age or gender boundaries. It's so inclusive, and we get such a variety of people who come. ' Offering services like hairdressing can be vital to full time carers. 'I knew of one lady who almost never got her hair done, because it just involved so much work and was so expensive - she had to arrange for a specialist sitter to come and look after her husband, arrange transport to and from town - and it was just very expensive. She can come to one of our Carers Cafes now, and her husband is looked after while she gets her hair done, just in the next room. And then they can have a cup of tea together afterwards.'

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There are also specialist  groups for people who care for those with mental health problems, for carers of disabled children, young carers and siblings of cared-for children. The charity offer advice on benefits and other services open to carers and hold regular fundraising events. Linda was instrumental in organizing the most recent - an Elvis night with a disco, bar and a special guest appearance by the man himself! She also organizes shipments of handmade teddies and hand puppets to be sent to children in hospitals and orphanages in places such as Burma. Often these are made by carers, or people who are cared for. 'The feeling that they are helping children who have very little,' says Linda, 'means a lot. They love feeling like they are helping someone else.'

If you, or someone you know is a carer, and would like some support, you can register as a carer on the Carers in Bedfordshire website here. And equally, if you'd like to donate to the charity, you can do that on the same page. We think the carers do a wonderful job, and can't wait to have a cup of tea and a cake or two with the walking group on their next outing!

Guest Blog: Gemma Kirkham

We're really lucky to have loads of brilliantly creative people living in and around Russell Park. Here, mum and photographer Gemma Kirkham talks about her kind of park life.

I feel so lucky to live so close to Russell Park - I’ve always loved to spend time outside and with two active boys to run around after it’s lovely to be able to release the kids into the Park to blow off a bit of steam!

Since The Kiosk opened, it’s changed our experience of the park because it really adds to the sense of community and has become a real hub and place to meet! There is always someone there to enjoy a cup of tea or coffee with…and the kids can’t walk past without begging for a giant cookie or slice of cake! It’s the first stop on any visit to the park and I love coming around the corner to see Nansi, Emma, Charlotte, Hannah or any of the other lovely staff.

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As I am also a photographer, I like to hold my photo shoots outside come rain or shine- so Russell Park is the perfect location! All of my summer mini sessions were held in and around the Park which made for beautiful and natural photographs for all of the families I worked with! We did have to shelter at The Kiosk with a cup of tea one morning to wait for the rain to pass but when it did – the wellies and umbrellas combined with puddles made for lots of fun and great shots! On those cold winter sessions a pit stop at The Kiosk to warm up has become part of the routine. I find that shooting outside is much more fun for the children and for the parents – everyone is able to relax and enjoy the experience which really is the secret to creating the most natural photos!

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Gemma Kirkham Photography

Call me: 07771664532

Email me: gemma@gemmakirkhamphotography.co.uk Visit me: www.gemmakirkhamphotography.co.uk Join me: www.facebook.com/gemmakirkhamphotography

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The Wild Things are Here...

[gallery] We have been excited about the Dumbstruck/No Loss Productions Christmas show  The Wild Things for a while now - we even had a sneak preview when the cast popped down to The Kiosk in Russell Park (which you can see here) and at last, the Wild Things really are here!  Well, they are at The Place Theatre on Bradgate Road anyway, with performances from now until Christmas Eve. The show is lovingly based on Maurice Sendak's classic picture book 'Where The Wild Things Are' and is the story of Max, a boy who likes to dress up in his wolf suit and "make mischief of one kind, or another".

When Max's mum sends him to his room without any supper, he finds himself transported to where the Wild Things are. The story is very simple, and the show builds on the clues in the book to imagine what goes on when Max visits the mysterious creatures. The scenery and design are all masterful creations by Bedford's very own illustrator David Litchfield who keeps the mood of the drawings similar to the originals, but gives them his own special style. The four Wild Things all emerge as beautifully written, individual characters over the course of the stage show, which in a festive nod to the pantomime season, also involves a little audience participation. 

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In short, this is a wonderful and funny performance of a much-loved childrens' book which is a perfect Christmas outing for all little (and slightly less-little) Wild Things. To add to the magic, small packets of sweets from Arcadia Sweet Shop, as well as delicious Ice Cream from Spaghetti John's in Castle Quay can be purchased during the 20 minute interval. Interval entertainment is also available in the form of Wild Things activity sheets and crayons which are included with the programme. And magic is really what this show is all about. Max says at the end of his adventure, "I've been gone for ages and my dinner is still hot! Now that's what I call magic..."

Meeting a Local Hero

Once a month, the Kiosk at the Park host a very special afternoon tea for the winner of that month’s local hero competition. The competition is run through local Arts newspaper the Bedford Clanger, and each month celebrates a local person who does heroic things as part of their everyday lives. You can send in a nomination to the Clanger, and the winner – and crucially, the person that nominated them, gets to come to the Kiosk for a very nice cake-stand-full of delicious home-made cakes, and tea or coffee, or indeed hot chocolate. 
On Friday, it was the well deserved turn of Tracey Emmott, a local solicitor, who has spent most of her career helping victims of abuse. Tracey works tirelessly, fighting cases which often take up to seven years to complete, for justice on behalf of very vulnerable people. Recently, she won a landmark case in the Court of Appeal, London, which gives victims of abuse by members of the Church greater legal rights against them. Nominated by friends Fiona and Kristy Adams, who say that although her line of work could be seen as depressing and relentless, she is always “ever-cheerful, and despite work commitments, is extremely active in the local community, and is described as a ‘terrific mum’ by her children.” A true hero! 
As well as afternoon tea, local heroes are presented with a certificate, and are featured in the Bedford Clanger. It is a great way of recognizing the achievements of some of Bedford’s unsung heros. If you would like to nominate someone, you can email the Clanger here:
 thebedfordclanger@gmail.com
Tracey brought her mum, her husband, and the two friends who nominated her to share her celebratory afternoon tea at the Kiosk, much fun (and cake) was had by all. Congratulations, Tracey!
Here is our local hero Tracey (centre), along with friends Fiona (left) and Kirsty (right), and some rather tasty looking cakes…