NEW ALL YEAR AND AUTUMN TERM COURSES AVAILABLE TO BOOK NOW 

Set out below are the details of our Summer Holiday and All Year and Autumn Term courses available at the REC delivered by expert tutors. Search for a course that meets your needs by title, subject, tutor, day or term. Further details of our tutors together with which courses they are running can also be obtained here.

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Batik Workshop
Start Date: 16th September 2022
This is a self-help group most of whom are experienced and skilled, but very much welcome new members and offer help and encouragement.
Watercolour Class
Start Date: 13th September 2022
This course is for students with previous experience who wish to improve their watercolour painting. There will be the opportunity to learn new techniques and to develop your own personal style through the exploration of other artists and cultures art.
Art Club Summer
Start Date: 27th July 2022
Sharpen those crayons, clean up your brushes and bring them along to this self-led group.  Join like-minded people for a couple of hours a week. Chat as much as you like and find inspiration and guidance from each other. Bring your own projects; drawing, painting etc. No pressure – just do your own thing in…
Gelli Plate Printing
Start Date: 26th July 2022
Have you ever wanted to try printmaking but been put off by the equipment? That’s where mono printing— making a one-off print—with Gelli Plates comes in. Gelli plate printing is using a gelatine plate to take a print using either fabric or paper. The process is easy, paint is put on the gelli surface, spread…
Landscape Painting Using Pastels
Start Date: 12th September 2022
The course would be for both beginners and more experienced artists. The sessions will begin investigating landscape paintings by well known artists. The more experienced participants will be encouraged to use their own source images. All participants will be supported throughout each session to aid their individual learning. Participants will need to provide a set…
Printmaking - What is lino cutting?
Start Date: 13th September 2022
Want to try something new? This is going to be fun. Keen to extend and develop your existing skills in printmaking? Here’s your opportunity. Cut an image into a block of lino using the tools provided, roll specialist ink onto the surface of your block and make a series of prints on paper. From a…
Gelli Plate Printing
Start Date: 12th September 2022
Have you ever wanted to try printmaking but been put off by the equipment? That’s where mono printing— making a one-off print—with Gelli Plates comes in. Gelli plate printing is using a gelatine plate to take a print using either fabric or paper. The process is easy, paint is put on the gelli surface, spread…
Development of Drawing Skills
Start Date: 14th September 2022
The course will be intended for those students who have some experience drawing and want to develop their skills and experience and techniques in a wide variety of surfaces and mediums. such as : Graphite pencils Coloured pencil crayons Charcoal Conté crayons Pen and Ink Different papers or surfaces Students will need to provide a…
Watercolours for Beginners
Start Date: 15th September 2022
This course is suitable for anyone new to watercolour painting or those who wish to refresh their skills. Demonstrations, examples and individual help will introduce students to the core watercolour washes, colour mixing and brush strokes. These techniques will be put into practice in exercises and paintings starting from a variety of subject matter.
Drawing for Beginners
Start Date: 15th September 2022
This carefully structured course is suitable for complete beginners and those wishing to refresh their skills. Demonstrations, examples and individual help will lead you through a sequence of drawings. These will enable you to see in new ways so giving you the confidence to draw a variety of subject matter.
Chinese Brush Painting - Beginners and Improvers
Start Date: 31st October 2022
In this module we will be looking at the basic skills of Chinese Xieyi (free style) brush painting. We will use the traditional Subjects including the Four Gentlemen – Plum Blossom, Bamboo, grass Orchid and Chrysanthemum. These four subjects give you the basic techniques you need to tackle all other subjects and are those traditionally…
Art Club
Start Date: 14th September 2022
Sharpen those crayons, clean up your brushes and bring them along to this self-led group. Join like-minded people for a couple of hours a week. Chat as much as you like and find inspiration and guidance from each other. Bring your own projects; drawing, painting etc. No pressure – just do your own thing in…
Art and Craft Club
Start Date: 16th September 2022
Why not join like-minded people for a couple of hours a week in this self-led group? Bring your own art or craft work; drawing, painting, collage, knitting, cross stitch, quilting… whatever. Chat as much as you like and get inspired by others. Enjoy company and art or crafting!
19th Century Furniture - The Battle of the Styles
Start Date: 19th November 2022
This one-day course will improve your understanding of 19th Century English furniture and the decorative arts. A visit to The Higgins Museum in Bedford is included in the course and will complement your knowledge of 19th Century styles.
Mobileography
Start Date: 19th November 2022
It was Chase Jarvis who said, “The best camera is the one that’s with you.” Indeed, Jarvis was talking about the popularity of mobile phones in the 21st century – with a built-in high quality camera system at your fingertips to record life as it evolves around you. This 1-day workshop will introduce Mobile Phone Photography…
Jurassic Geotrail (Bromham)
Start Date: 8th September 2022
Join Bev Fowlston for a walk around the beautiful village of Bromham. Explore the Jurassic limestone bridge and local buildings with local building stones. A gentle walk along good footpaths (unless it’s been raining!). Enjoy a bite to eat at Bromham Mill afterwards. Meet at Bromham Mill at 10.30am.
Leighton Buzzard Geotrail
Start Date: 9th September 2022
Join Bev Fowlston for a walk around Leighton Buzzard to explore a different building stone and its use in significant buildings around the town. Meet at Leighton Buzzard’s war memorial at 10.30am. Parking in Leighton Buzzard town centre car parks is chargeable. Tesco car park is free for three hours.
What Happened to the Dinosaurs?
Start Date: 20th July 2022
About 65 million years ago, a rock from space roughly the size of Mount Everest collided with the Earth. The planet-wide catastrophe wiped out the dinosaurs on every continent, leaving new opportunities for our Mammalian ancestors hidden safely underground. How the evidence emerged is as fascinating as the events themselves.
Fish with Legs: How the Vertebrates Left the Sea.
Start Date: 24th August 2022
Life began in the sea and remained there for billions of years. The fish which lived in Devonian times are the ancestors of all the 4-limbed land animals, including ourselves and the now-extinct dinosaurs. How did a fish leave the water? Why would it want to? We now have answers to these questions.
Introduction to the Solar System
Start Date: 10th August 2022
An introduction to where our solar system came from and the variety of planets found in our region of the universe. We’ll look at some of the robot probes that have been sent to study them revealing them in incredible detail. We will finish the day with the best techniques on how to observe them…
Butterflies: Time-Travellers of Evolution
Start Date: 2nd August 2022
Butterflies have taken part in some of the most fascinating relationships ever constructed by Evolution. Their caterpillars have fought against plant defences across geological time, as well as their natural predators, principally birds. In the adult phase, their wings have served to save their insect lives in the subtlest ways imaginable. Delicate? Some species migrate…
Introduction to Astronomy and Telescopes
Start Date: 19th November 2022
An introduction to find your way around the sky and identify the brighter constellations and using star maps. A review of the many solar system and deep sky objects found in the sky and how to observe them. Describe how a telescope works and is best used, showing some of the more popular accessories used…
Introduction to Bedfordshire’s Geology
Start Date: 14th September 2022
As part of local and community history month, join Bev Fowlston for a short course introduction to Bedfordshire’s geology. Explore the rocks and geology that have shaped Bedfordshire’s landscape.
Birds and birdwatching – the background story
Start Date: 16th September 2022
As an increasingly popular pastime, there is a wealth of available information about birds and birdwatching. This course explores the background to our birds and birdwatching, using real life examples and experience – some expected, some unexpected, with topics taking us through the birdwatching year, the birds of different habitats, identification tips from the plumage…
The Apollo Moonshot
Start Date: 31st October 2022
You were too busy or too young in the Sixties to pay much attention to the race for the Moon, but no country before or since has devoted itself so determinedly to a peacetime enterprise of this scale. The human story is full of drama (and indeed sacrifice). The technology of space flight is both…
Women in Geology
Start Date: 2nd November 2022
Join Bev Fowlston and discover some of the women who have been influential in the science of geology. From Mary Anning to Marie Tharp, plus many others. Explore their struggles to be heard in a male-dominated science and the amazing work they are now being recognised for.
Pilates Intermediate (9.30-10.45)
Start Date: 16th September 2022
Pilates is a body conditioning method that works by targeting the deep postural muscles, rebalancing the body and toning and stretching the muscles: This is a more challenging class for those who have done Pilates for at least 2 years - it is not suitable for beginners. Takes place at Priory Methodist Church, Newnham Avenue, Bedford.
Pilates Improver (11.00-12.15)
Start Date: 16th September 2022
Pilates is a body conditioning method that works by targeting the deep postural muscles, rebalancing the body and toning and stretching the muscles: This class is suitable for those with a basic knowledge of Pilates. This class is not suitable for beginners.  This class will take place at Priory Methodist Church, Newnham Avenue, Bedford.
Bodyaware
Start Date: 16th September 2022
Bodyaware is a great way to start an exercise program or as a development to other forms of exercise and helps with Body Posture, Function, Movement and Balance. This course is for Beginners and Advanced students alike.  Classes held at Russell Court, Bushmead Avenue.
Tai Chi (2.15-3.45)
Start Date: 16th September 2022
Tai Chi is a slow mind/body exercise using yoga type principles to help improve how we move including correcting our breathing, posture, toning muscles, and improving flexibility. Classes held at Russell Court, Bushmead Avenue.
Rothsay Ramblers
Start Date: 12th September 2022
Rothsay Ramblers is a sociable group, run by its members and offers walks every Monday morning. Walks are usually between 3 and 5 miles, within a 20-mile radius of Bedford and end with lunch. Occasionally the Rothsay Ramblers organise walks that are longer, further afield or focus on interests such as bird watching and geology.
Boxercise (Summer)
Start Date: 28th July 2022
A boxing-based fitness class for all abilities. Whether you have never tried boxing before or have experience on the pads then Boxercise is for you! We use boxing gloves and pads and work through a sequence of punches with a partner. We aim to increase heart rate and muscle strength by incorporating exercise-based movements alongside…
Dance Fitness (Summer)
Start Date: 28th July 2022
A fun, cardiovascular-based exercise class incorporating dance moves whilst increasing your fitness levels. Over the 5-week course, you will dance to music from the last 8 decades whilst learning new routines each week! We will also spend some time incorporating strength-based exercises such as, squats and lunges as well as a focus on flexibility towards…
Yoga
Start Date: 14th September 2022
Yoga stretches for health and wellbeing of mind, body and soul. We will use yoga blocks and belts (please bring your own) to support the various exercises to enable support in the postures. Through the 5 weeks, we will explore breath work, physical movement and meditative relaxation techniques. We look forward to you joining us!…
Communication in Bridge
Start Date: 19th November 2022
Do you find some hands more difficult to bid than others? What about those troublesome 4-4-4-1 hands or what to do when your partner opens 1NT and you have an interesting hand you’d want to tell your partner about? Communication between partnerships is vital and precision in your bidding is required. We can assist you…
Laughter Therapy
Start Date: 4th November 2022
Laughter is the best medicine is a well-known adage and it really is. During this course we will gain an understanding about the therapeutic benefits of laughter and the role laughter has played in our life. We will explore the link between laughter, joy and happiness and learn how we can incorporate more laughter into…
Dance-Fitness
Start Date: 15th September 2022
A fun, cardiovascular-based exercise class incorporating dance moves whilst increasing your fitness levels. Over the 5-week course, you will dance to music from the last 8 decades whilst learning new routines each week! We will also spend some time incorporating strength-based exercises such as, squats and lunges as well as a focus on flexibility towards…
Boxercise
Start Date: 15th September 2022
A boxing-based fitness class for all abilities. Whether you have never tried boxing before or have experience on the pads then Boxercise is for you! We use boxing gloves and pads and work through a sequence of punches with a partner. We aim to increase heart rate and muscle strength by incorporating exercise-based movements alongside…
Advanced Bridge
Start Date: 13th September 2022
Bridge is a pretty easy game to learn but it can take decades to master. Would you like to improve your card play, plan your strategy, learn more conventions or develop your hand evaluation skills? Based on the experience in the room, we will tailor our classes to progress your game to a higher level.
Beginners Bridge
Start Date: 13th September 2022
Whether an actual beginner, a novice or someone who learnt years ago and is out of practice, this course is for you. Even if you have never touched a pack of cards, a desire to want to play is all that is needed. The class will be small (maximum of 16 people), we will begin…
Yoga
Start Date: 12th September 2022
Yoga stretches for health and wellbeing of mind, body and soul. We will use yoga blocks and belts (please bring your own) to support the various exercises to enable support in the postures. Through the 5 weeks, we will explore breath work, physical movement and meditative relaxation techniques. We look forward to you joining us!…
HOMO JANUS – The Paradoxical Primate (us humans)
Start Date: 28th July 2022
Human beings “were social before we were human” according to the influential Australian philosopher Peter Singer.   But what sort of ‘social’, and how did we evolve to be this way?   In the second half of the 20th century talk about “human nature” was deeply unfashionable. Most social scientists insisted humans were born a “blank…
How Bletchley Park changed the course of history?
Start Date: 28th July 2022
For five years during World War Two the Government Code & Cipher School (now called GCHQ) was evacuated to Bletchley Park, in deepest Buckinghamshire. Many of the key tide-turning moments of the war were directly influenced by the 10,000 people who worked at the world’s first intelligence factory. Besides breaking the Enigma and Lorenz cipher…
British Sign Language Taster
Start Date: 24th August 2022
When I tell people I am fluent in Sign Language, the reply is so often that they would love to be able to Sign. This is an opportunity to understand more about Sign Language and have a two-hour session to see if it is something you would like to learn more about. By the end…
Deaf Awareness
Start Date: 27th July 2022
The aim of this course is to provide a better understanding of the communication barriers that deaf and hard of hearing people face every day and discuss how they can be broken down. We will cover topics such as statistics on deafness and what the audiology descpritions of the various levels of deafness actually mean.…
Marie Curie
Start Date: 10th August 2022
This 2-session talk looks at the life of Marie Curie, the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the first (and only) woman to win a second Nobel Prize. Known throughout the scientific world as Madame Curie, she was also the first woman professor to be appointed in the University of Paris. With slides…
Down the Nile: Egypt through the Ages
Start Date: 2nd August 2022
This 3-day course will provide a brief study of Ancient Egyptian art and archaeology, followed by the reception of Ancient Egypt in the Classical world. We will then look at the rise of Egyptomania from the 19th century to Tutmania in the 20th. The final session will also include a handling session of Ancient Egyptian…
India and Pakistan Partition
Start Date: 9th August 2022
75 years ago in 1947 India and Pakistan were granted independence in controversial circumstances. In this course we will look at the background and investigate the the effect on cultural experience of Partition
Acting Workshop
Start Date: 20th July 2022
4 Week Acting Workshop No previous acting experience necessary.   This 4-week workshop will give you an insight into how actors breakdown scripts to find well rounded characters. This will be a chance for you to experience building a character from scratch. These lessons will let you participate in the fun attached to the craft.…
Creative Writing
Start Date: 12th September 2022
We will concentrate on the short story. Each week we will analyse a short story and look at the devices the writer used. The class will then write their own short story, drawing inspiration from what we have read. Each class will include a workshop session where class members can read their piece aloud and…
Greeks and Turks - Inveterate Foes?
Start Date: 13th September 2022
How best to account for the chronic mutual hostility of these two neighbours whose pasts are intertwined, and which exploded in a War of Independence (1821), followed by a Hundred Years War, prelude to a genocide and ethnic cleansing, more recently a bitter unresolved conflict over Cyprus, and at present rumours of war over the…
Treasure Houses: History, Art, and Architecture of Museums
Start Date: 12th September 2022
Museums have been with us since ancient times. They developed into private Cabinets of Curiosities, which in turn led to the first modern public museum being formed in 1677, the Ashmolean in Oxford. All over the world museums house the most remarkable collections, which often reflect the interests of the period in which they were…
Vernon Lee (Violet Paget) and the Unconventional Ghost Story
Start Date: 12th September 2022
In this course we will examine the unique supernatural fiction of Vernon Lee which she uses as a medium to explore issues relating to the sexual politics of the late nineteenth century.
More Old News
Start Date: 13th September 2022
Old newspapers can provide a window into the past. Each week we will Access the British Library’s extensive collection of digitised old newspapers to look at the stories within to rediscover aspects of the past. These could range from small personal actions to major national events, our newspapers have covered them all. Come on a…
British Landscape
Start Date: 13th September 2022
This course is a journey through the landscape of Britain and its 6000 islands. We will look at how natural phenomena such as geology, climate and natural forces such as rivers, glaciers and the sea have shaped the land. Just as important is how people have interacted with the land and understand that what we…
5 Great World Religions
Start Date: 13th September 2022
Religion has played an important part in the lives of human beings. This course will consider 5 great world religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. It considers their origins and early historical development and it considers their key texts(s) and beliefs and some of their key practices.
Writing Your Memoirs
Start Date: 13th September 2022
Would you like to write the story of your life or that of someone else? ‘Writing your Memoirs’ tells you how to plan, begin and structure your story. You choose what to write about; the course provides some techniques on how to write effectively. Participants can read their work aloud to gain positive feedback in…
The Experience of Women in Paris and London During the Mid-Twentieth Century
Start Date: 14th September 2022
Texts: Jean Rhys, Good Morning, Midnight (1939), Muriel Spark, The Girls of Slender Means (1963). This course looks at two novels which dramatise the lives of women seeking to control their own destinies in a world that offers limited opportunities for them.
From Affluence to Turbulence: Britain in the 1960s and 1970s
Start Date: 14th September 2022
This course examines a period of both enormous change and conservatism as revolutions by stealth occur in many fields in this this new Elizabethan Age. Losing its role along with its empire, Britain drifts towards affluence and then to bankruptcy. Politics is rocked by political scandal, the ‘Troubles’ and foreign war. Industrial strife causes Britain…
Beauty & Restraint: The Remains of the Day by Kazuo Ishiguro
Start Date: 14th September 2022
This Booker Prize winning novel is described by The New York Times Book Review as “a dream of a book: a beguiling comedy of manners that evolves almost magically into a profound and heart-rending study of personality, class and culture.” First published in 1989 its story resonates as powerfully now as then, and its evocation…
Movie Mix
Start Date: 14th September 2022
Each week we will look at a film available to watch on television from any period, genre, or country, one that can be deemed Film of the Week. Full film notes will be provided before you watch the film at your leisure, and prior to class discussion via Zoom. An ideal course for film novices…
General Studies
Start Date: 15th September 2022
The perfect course for those interested in a variety of subjects. A selection of tutors will deliver a different class every week covering topics as varied as Pop Art to Quantum Physics. Once finished you will walk away with knowledge in many areas. A perfect way to find a new passion or impress your friends.
The Economics of Food
Start Date: 15th September 2022
This would possibly include sessions on the Economic impact of veganism/non-meat eating consumers, looking at the environmental costs of food (such as the impact of intensive farming and the use of chemicals etc), a rise in population size leading to possible food shortages, volatile food prices and where our food is coming from post Brexit.…
The Cold War; 45 Years of Global Geopolitical Conflict
Start Date: 15th September 2022
From the breakup of the Grand Alliance at the end of World War Two until the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Cold War touched all of our lives. Crises in Egypt, Germany and Cuba, along with conflicts in Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan all combined to ensure that tension between the world’s first…
Classical Sculpture: How to View and Enjoy It
Start Date: 15th September 2022
How did the ancient Greeks and Romans strive to show the ideal human form, and with what measure of success? What remaining fine examples of their sculpture can still be found in and around their buildings? How can variety be incorporated into the human figure? We will consider what aspects are fundamental to an appreciation…
Poets Laureate of the 20th and 21st Century'
Start Date: 15th September 2022
Each week we will look at the work of one or two poets who held the position of Poet Laureate since 1900. We will cover the poems of well known poets such as John Betjeman and Ted Hughes as well as lesser lights such as Alfred Austen.
Dylan Thomas: Man and Myth
Start Date: 15th September 2022
Keats said poetry should come as naturally as leaves to a tree but Thomas could spend an entire afternoon agonising over a word. The result is a few tortuous poems and some stellar ones. This course will look at Thomas’ life, the importance of the Welsh bardic tradition and the range of his verse. Is…
The Soviet Union
Start Date: 16th September 2022
This ten week course will look at the origins, development and fall of the Soviet Union from the Bolshevik Revolution to its collapse in 1991. The role of key individuals such as Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev and Gorbachev as well as its ideology and Tsarist inheritance will be analysed. . Why did a seemingly invincible superpower…
UK Policing, Criminology and Crime
Start Date: 16th September 2022
This course allows you to gain an understanding of how criminologists and the UK Police Force make sense of the diverse and often complex issues around crime and criminal behaviours. You will be taught by Criminologists (active researchers) and retired Police officers. The course will explore issues related to crime, offending behaviours and the policing…
Poetry Appreciation – Autumn
Start Date: 16th September 2022
On we go! The Poetry Appreciation Class is now in its tenth year, and there are still a few poems we haven’t read! The format is very simple: I bring along some poems and we talk about them. We avoid writers who expect us to assemble our own poem from a box of parts. Equally…
British Government - Beyond Yes Minister. What it is and how it works (or doesn't)
Start Date: 16th September 2022
British Government is big. And over the past couple of years it got considerably bigger, on several dimensions. But ordinary citizens often have only a vague idea of what government actually is, and what it can and cannot do, or how it works. This course aims to provide an overview of contemporary British government –…
James Boswell: Journal-keeper Extraordinaire
Start Date: 1st November 2022
James Boswell, 18th Century Scotsman, is best known for his journals and for his outstanding biography of Dr Samuel Johnson. Using Boswell’s London Journal and The Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides, we learn all about Boswell and Johnson because Boswell documented everything he experienced. We get a wonderful first-hand account of fascinating people…
Scenes from Provincial Life: Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
Start Date: 2nd November 2022
Elizabeth Strout won the Pulitzer Prize for this 2008 novel about her eponymous and indomitable heroine, a teacher in a small coastal town in Maine, who is sometimes at the centre and sometimes on the periphery of the collection of thirteen short stories which forms the novel. “As perfect a novel as you will ever…
The Art of Matisse
Start Date: 3rd November 2022
Matisse was a friend of Picasso and both played a big part in the revolutionary developments of modern art. Matisse was multi-talented; he was a draughtsman, printmaker and sculptor, but this course will focus on his paintings. He began as a Fauvist, producing pictures noted for the expressive power of colour and ended making stunning…
Film Studies: Animation for Adults
Start Date: 9th August 2022
Over the three days we will look at the moving Grave of the Fireflies (1989) from the Studio Ghibli; the experimental animation on the life on Vincent van Gogh, Loving Vincent (2017), and the stop-motion comedy Isle of Dogs (2018) directed by Wes Anderson. A full introduction and notes will be given for each film,…
Shinrin Yoku – Forest Bathing
Start Date: 2nd August 2022
Shrin in Japanese means “forest,” and yoku means “bath.” So Shinrin Yoku means bathing in the forest atmosphere, or taking in the forest through our senses. Creating our own Shinrin Yoku experience in the REC garden, we will gain an understanding of how nature has a positive effect on us. We will explore the garden…
Chiltern Valley Hills and Vineyard
Start Date: 6th July 2022
We have one final trip planned for you before the end of term and it will be on Wednesday 6th of July to Chiltern Valley Hills and Vineyard in Oxfordshire.  Set in an area of outstanding natural beauty, with plenty to see and take in, the day will be sure to provide a fun and…
Spanish Advanced Conversation
Start Date: 13th September 2022
Is your Spanish a bit rusty? Ven a nuestra clase a practicarlo. No importa que lo hallas olvidado un poco, pronto lo recordaras.
Italian Absolute Beginners 12.30-1.30
Start Date: 13th September 2022
The aim of this course is to present the basics of spoken and written Italian. During the course students will learn how to communicate in simple, everyday situations and will be introduced to some aspects of Italian culture. Prerequisites: The course is aimed at English-speaking students with no previous knowledge of Italian.
German Improvers
Start Date: 13th September 2022
Ideally you will need 2 – 3 years previous study for this course.  The group is friendly, relaxed and welcoming. 
Italian Improvers
Start Date: 13th September 2022
The aim of this course is to consolidate the basics of spoken and written Italian and to help students acquire new structures of Italian grammar, learn new vocabulary and explore some aspects of Italian culture. Prerequisites: The course is aimed at students who already have a basic knowledge of Italian or who have successfully completed the Beginners Plus course offered by REC.
French Improvers
Start Date: 14th September 2022
This course is aimed at those who have completed about 3 years part-time study. Its aim is to develop the different skills (speaking, reading, listening....) as well as revise grammar and learn about French culture through a variety of activities and interaction between the students.
French Conversation - Intermediate
Start Date: 14th September 2022
This is an intermediate level conversation group and is not suitable for beginners. The aim is to put into practice the theory you have learnt previously in order to be able to communicate. This is not a structured class. We work as a group and have a lot of fun in a very relaxed atmosphere. A bientôt!
Italian Advanced
Start Date: 14th September 2022
The aim of this course is to help students learn advanced structures of Italian grammar, vocabulary and to explore contemporary aspects of Italian culture. Prerequisites The course is aimed at students who have a very good knowledge of Italian language or who have successfully completed the Intermediate course offered by the REC.
Spanish Improvers 12.15 to 1.45
Start Date: 14th September 2022
This course is for students who have some knowledge of Spanish and wish to progress learning the language. Learning about Spain and Latin American countries, culture and traditions in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere, as well as vocabulary and useful phrases.
Italian Beginners Plus 12.30-1.30
Start Date: 14th September 2022
The aim of this course is to introduce students to new key structures and vocabulary of Italian and to some aspects of Italian culture. Prerequisites: The course is aimed at English-speaking students.  Students who have a basic knowledge of Italian or who have successfully completed the Absolute Beginners course offered by REC.
Italian Intermediate
Start Date: 14th September 2022
The aim of this course is to help students progress in learning new structures of Italian grammar and vocabulary and to explore aspects of Italian culture. Prerequisites: The course is aimed at students who have a good knowledge of Italian language or who have successfully completed the Improvers course offered by REC.
French Beginners Plus
Start Date: 15th September 2022
Bonjour et bienvenue dans ma classe de beginners plus. If your French is a little rusty but you are keen to reconnect why not join this small group … with the support of a book that puts us in touch with everyday situations illustrated with dialogues, light grammar points and homework, you will have the opportunity to read, ask questions and have some fun too.
French Conversation – Intermediate to Advanced
Start Date: 15th September 2022
This is an intermediate to advanced level conversation group. No need to talk perfect French, but you need the confidence to hold a conversation. This is not a structured class and there is no grammar included.
German Conversation
Start Date: 16th September 2022
A good level of fluency is ideal. Emphasis is on conversation in a relaxed atmosphere. Sometimes we read articles providing a basis for discussion, or revise tricky points of grammar. Please do come along and join our friendly class.
German Lower Intermediate
Start Date: 16th September 2022
A course designed for those who have a good foundation in German through previous study and knowledge, for example of past tenses.  All aspects of the language are covered in a fun and lively way with lots of interaction between learners to develop conversational and grammatical skills.  If you are unsure of the level of this course please contact Rosemary via the REC.
Spanish Absolute Beginners
Start Date: 14th September 2022
This course will offer you the opportunity to learn a new language, with no previous knowledge. Learning through basic everyday useful conversation scenarios. At the airport, ordering food, booking a hotel, visiting museums or just walking around the city. Learning new vocabulary and basic grammar in a relaxed and welcoming environment.  
French Upper Intermediate
Start Date: 12th September 2022
Students in this class will have learnt some French before; they will for example have done 4 years or so of part-time study or will have done their O Level (or A Level) some time ago.
French Advanced (1.30-3.30)
Start Date: 12th September 2022
This course is aimed at those who have studied French previously and are able to cope fairly fluently in a variety of situations. The aim is to build your confidence and skills as well as extend your knowledge of the French language and culture.
German Upper Intermediate
Start Date: 13th September 2022
This class is for students who have a good knowledge of the language and are reasonably confident in all skills. The main emphasis is on learning through enjoyment.
French Beginners
Start Date: 15th September 2022
Bonjour et bienvenue dans ma classe de débutants ( beginners ). If your french is a little rusty but you are keen to reconnect this class may be for you. With the support of a book that puts you in touch with everyday situations illustrated with dialogues, light grammar points and homework you will have…
Lip Reading
Start Date: 14th September 2022
Has the whole world started mumbling? Are you struggling to understand because your hearing isn’t what it used to be?  Lipreading classes may help you as they offer help and reassurance to anyone facing hearing loss. Build confidence in conversation, based on what is seen as well as what can still be heard by the…
Introduction to British Sign Language - Autumn Term
Start Date: 14th September 2022
Have you always been fascinated by Sign Language? Have you always thought it would be nice to learn? British Sign Language is the most beautiful language. It is a full language, like any other. It has its own vocabulary, grammar and structure. This course is 10 weeks, 2 hours per week. You will learn the…
Latin Language
Start Date: 15th September 2022
We will be reading a wide selection of Latin, with a variety of easy and more challenging pieces. Typical sessions might include simplified versions of fairy tales, inscriptions, mediaeval poetry and prose and of course extracts from the classical authors such as Horace, Juvenal and Pliny. A very basic understanding of Latin is all that…
Ancient Greek
Start Date: 3rd November 2022
This course will continue to develop your knowledge of ancient Greek, first explored in the Summer term. We will build on material already covered to include more demanding pieces as an understanding of the grammar and vocabulary expands. Many of the stories are designed specially for the course, and we will hopefully dip our toes…
Making Music with the Recorder
Start Date: 13th September 2022
The Recorder Ensemble is a friendly group of players who enjoy exploring works of composers from the 13th century to the present day. New members are very welcome but need to have a good standard of reading and playing on at least one instrument. Technique is studied and a home practice routine is encouraged. Music is provided. 
Singing for Pleasure
Start Date: 16th September 2022
If permitted by the government guidelines at the time, our fabulous choir is hoping to return to the REC from September with all necessary precautions in place. We will be learning a variety of songs in the first half of the term and Christmas songs/carols for the second half.  (If we are unable to meet physically, the Singing for Pleasure choir sessions will be delivered by Zoom sessions 2.00-3.00 on Friday afternoons. )
Classical Guitar
Start Date: 12th September 2022
Ensemble playing forms a large part of what we do; the combination of several relatively simple parts provides a fun way to learn, and enjoy, the classical guitar.
Mahler
Start Date: 16th September 2022
Despite writing only nine symphonies and a handful of other works, Gustav Mahler is today regarded as one of the great Romantic composers. In his day he was probably better known as one of the first global superstar conductors. Born in a Bohemian backwater, by the end of his life he internationally famous, at the…
Crossing the Menai Strait
Start Date: 27th July 2022
Two world-beating bridges were built across the Menai Strait in the 19th century, linking Anglesey to the Welsh mainland. They were a suspension bridge and a tubular railway bridge. This talk takes a look at these engineering marvels, with slides and video.
Three Domes: Rome, Florence and Istanbul
Start Date: 31st August 2022
A dome confers distinction on a building like nothing else can. We recall the dome on St Peter’s, The Dome of the Rock, The Capitol in Washington, our own St Paul’s and many more. This talk focuses on the structure of three domes, from Ancient Rome, the Byzantine Empire and the Renaissance.
History of Photography Part 1
Start Date: 4th November 2022
From the start of WW2 to the end of the 20th Century, there was an explosion in the practice of photography and the availability of diverse equipment and processes (e.g. black & white, colour, infrared). The making of images also evolved beyond just an ‘aesthetic art form’, for example; documentary, war reportage, urban/street photography, sports…
Master of the Arts & Crafts: Mackay Hugh Baillie Scott
Start Date: 3rd November 2022
Born to Scottish parents, based in the Isle of Man and Bedford, Baillie Scott (1865-1945) is probably best known today for his house Blackwell in Cumbria. Hermann Muthesius described Blackwell as “…one of the most attractive creations that the new movement in house-building has produced” and credited Baillie Scott with the “new idea of the…
The Modern Traditionalist: The Work of CFA Voysey
Start Date: 15th September 2022
Charles Francis Annesley Voysey (1857-1941) was that rare breed who worked across all disciplines from furniture to wallpapers and fabrics, as well as architecture. A proponent of the Arts and Crafts Movement, and a follower of William Morris, Voysey was able to embrace modern industrial design practices to enable his designs to be enjoyed by…
Giotto: First Painter of the Renaissance
Start Date: 2nd August 2022
Legends abound about Giotto: he was offered an apprenticeship when the painter Cimabue discovered him chalking pictures of sheep on a rock, and he once drew a perfect circle without using a compass. Vasari said he was important because he introduced ‘the technique of drawing accurately from life which had been neglected for more than…
Mobileography
Start Date: 28th July 2022
It was Chase Jarvis who said, “The best camera is the one that’s with you.” Indeed, Jarvis was talking about the popularity of mobile phones in the 21st century – with a built-in high quality camera system at your fingertips to record life as it evolves around you. This 1-day workshop will introduce Mobile Phone Photography…
Walk the Ice Age River Ivel valley
Start Date: 10th August 2022
10.30am – 12.30pm Join Bev Fowlston for a walk along a circular route around Biggleswade Common and discover the fascinating Ice Age landscape of the Ivel Gap. Also learn a bit of local folklore and history along the way. Meet at Dan Albone car park in Biggleswade (cost to park, first 2 hours free).
The Wonder of Moths!
Start Date: 28th July 2022
Are they all brown? Do they eat your clothes? What’s the difference between butterflies and moths? All these and many more questions answered in this summer session starting with a practical hands-on delve into a moth trap set up in the REC garden the night before. After examining the catch, there will be an illustrated…
Bridge for Beginners
Start Date: 8th August 2022
This taster course is designed for those who have played little or no bridge before. We will start with learning about tricks and partners and dummy and progress to bidding using the Standard English system while practising techniques for playing. We will learn practically by having fun playing the cards with support and guidance backed…
Spotlight on Kempston
Start Date: 12th September 2022
Kempston is often thought of as part of Bedford, but is in fact a town in its own right, with its own mayor, its own non-league football team, and a population of 19,330 in 2011. It is ‘on the bend’ of what? Why is the first Kempston church so far from Kempston?! What is the…
Lip Reading Taster
Start Date: 27th July 2022
Lipreading is something we all do a bit of, throughout our lives, but when your hearing starts to go you begin to rely on it. Hearig loss can be devastating, it can lead to isolation as communicatino becomes difficult. This 4-week Lipreading taster course, gives you a sttart in your lipreading journey, allowing you to…
House History
Start Date: 26th July 2022
House history is fascinating. This course is designed to equip you will the research skills you need to find out about the history of a house or building that you are interested in. This course will help you find out when your house was built, by whom, if any original architectural drawings exist and where…
Dunstable Downs, Landpark Wood and Quarry
Start Date: 27th July 2022
Join Bev Fowlston for a walk around Dunstable Downs to explore the chalk landscape of this National Trust area. We will then drive down to Landpark Wood where an exposure of the chalk is revealed in a disused quarry. There may be an opportunity to find some Cretaceous fossils amongst the scree deposits. Return to…
Introduction to and using a Windows Computer
Start Date: 26th July 2022
During this course we will learn to: Identify Different Types of Personal Computers Know the differences between a PC and Apple Computer Identify the common parts of a Personal Computer Know how a PC Works Setting up and starting your computer Logging into your computer Your Login Account and files Customising the look of your…
Mobileography
Start Date: 11th August 2022
It was Chase Jarvis who said, “The best camera is the one that’s with you.” Indeed, Jarvis was talking about the popularity of mobile phones in the 21st century – with a built-in high quality camera system at your fingertips to record life as it evolves around you. This 1-day workshop will introduce Mobile Phone Photography…
In the News
Start Date: 15th September 2022
Interested in current news? Enjoy lively debate? Then this is the class for you. There is no fixed syllabus; whatever is current in the news each week dictates the discussions of the day and we cover a wide spectrum of topics. Class limited to 16, early enrolment is advised.
Decluttering Workshop
Start Date: 9th August 2022
In this workshop we will cover the what and why of de-cluttering, along with the where, when and how to get started… whether it’s decluttering the drawer or cupboard you can no longer find things in or close! Or dealing with more emotive items that you just don’t know what to do with. The workshop…
2 Brunel bridges: Clifton and the Royal Albert
Start Date: 7th September 2022
Two of the best-loved bridges in the UK were Brunel’s first and last enterprises. When Brunel died, the Clifton Bridge was nothing more than a pair of towers. The Royal Albert at Saltash remains a unique monument to his genius.
Wreath Making
Start Date: 19th November 2022
Each client will be able to take home a beautiful Christmas door wreath made with fresh, locally sourced foliage and decorated in their own individual style. They will start with a mossed wreath frame, roll of wire and a beautiful selection of festive foliage. We will then make our wreaths together with step by step…