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Batik Workshop
Start Date: 12th January 2024
This is a self-help group most of whom are experienced and skilled, but who very much welcome new members and offer help and encouragement.
Watercolours: Intermediate
Start Date: 12th January 2024
This course is for those with some basic knowledge who want to refresh their skills or wish to go a step further. The sessions will begin investigating paintings by well known artists. These techniques will then be applied to a guided choice of subject matter i.e., still-life, landscape and portraits. Participants will be supported throughout…
An Introduction to Chinese Brush Painting
Start Date: 9th March 2024
We will start with a brief introduction to the Chinese brush painting style. We will then look at the brush work involved and practice mark making with a Chinese brush. After lunch we will the paint a series of simple Chinese subjects including bamboo and panda. You will ned to bring a couple of saucers…
Development of Drawing Skills
Start Date: 8th January 2024
The course is for students who have some experience of drawing and want to develop their skills and experience and techniques in a wide variety of surfaces and mediums. Using graphite pencils, coloured pencil crayons, pen and ink, charcoal etc. Students will need to provide a sketchbook, A4 or A3, a range of media including…
Art & Craft Club
Start Date: 10th January 2024
Why not join like-minded people each week in this self-led group? Bring your own art or craft work; drawing, painting, collage, crayoning, knitting, cross stitch, quilting … whatever. Chat as much as you like and get inspired by others. Enjoy company and art or crafting!
Watercolours: Second Steps
Start Date: 11th January 2024
This follow-on course is suitable for those who have done a beginners’ course or who would like to gain confidence in watercolour techniques. We will cover wet-in-wet, the use of colour and saving whites while starting from a variety of subject matter. Demonstrations and examples will introduce each topic and individual help will happily be…
Printing on Fabric
Start Date: 9th January 2024
Explore ways of creating repeat patterns and cut blocks to print on fabric.  Use your skills to produce cushions, bags, wall hangings and other textile projects. Previous printing experience is not necessary, but those who have already had a go at lino-cutting will find it an interesting way to extend their range.
Art & Craft Club
Start Date: 12th January 2024
Why not join like-minded people each week in this self-led group? Bring your own art or craft work; drawing, painting, collage, crayoning, knitting, cross stitch, quilting… whatever. Chat as much as you like and get inspired by others. Enjoy company and art or crafting!
Chinese Brush Painting Landscape
Start Date: 26th February 2024
We will be looking at some of the techniques used in Chinese Xieyi (free style) landscape painting. We will be focusing on Chinese landscape composition. We will be using Chinese brush painting materials throughout. Suitable for beginners and improvers
Sew Crafty
Start Date: 10th January 2024
For all keen sewers and crafters whether beginners or more experienced. A skilled and experienced textiles tutor will be available most weeks. Enjoy the freedom to pursue your own sewing or crafting goals. Bring your own sewing machine if you wish. No machines or materials will be provided. This course is now a drop-in session.…
Drawing: Second Steps
Start Date: 11th January 2024
This follow-on course is suitable for those who have done a beginners’ course or have some experience of drawing. The topics will include movement, people, textures of the landscape, light and shade and composition. Demonstrations and examples will introduce each topic and individual help will happily be given. Click here for a list of basic…
Oil Painting: Intermediate
Start Date: 16th April 2024
This course is for those who would like to re-visit and develop their oil painting skills. It will involve canvas preparation , oil painting techniques and the use of mediums across a variety of subject matter from landscapes to portraits. Click here for a list of the materials required
Chinese Brush Painting: People Animals and Sea Life
Start Date: 15th April 2024
We will be looking at some of the techniques used in Chinese Xieyi (free style) for painting people, animal and Sea life. We will look at both Mo gu (dot style) and Lei gu  (line style) techniques. We will be using Chinese brush painting materials throughout. Suitable for beginners and improvers.
Further steps in drawing
Start Date: 18th April 2024
This course is suitable for anyone who has done a previous drawing course. Different starting points will aim to widen your repertoire while developing your drawing skills. Demonstrations and examples will introduce each topic and individual help will happily be given. Click here for a list of basic drawing materials.
Sew Crafty
Start Date: 17th April 2024
For all keen sewers and crafters whether beginners or more experienced. This course is led by a skilled and experienced textiles tutor. We will cover dress making, soft furnishings and other crafts such as knitting, crochet and even lace making. It is tutor led but with a freedom to pursue your own sewing or crafting…
Watercolours: Intermediate Level
Start Date: 19th April 2024
This course is for those with some basic knowledge who want to refresh their skills or wish to go a step further. The sessions will begin investigating paintings by well known artists. These techniques will then be applied to a guided choice of subject matter i.e., still-life, landscape and portraits. Participants will be supported throughout…
Further steps in watercolour
Start Date: 18th April 2024
This course is suitable for anyone who has some knowledge of basic watercolour skills and wishes to know more. Each project will include time for experimentation and to do a painting using what you have discovered. Demonstrations and examples will introduce each topic and individual help will happily be given. Click here for a full…
Printing on Fabric
Start Date: 16th April 2024
Explore ways of creating repeat patterns and cut blocks to print on fabric.  Use your skills to produce cushions, bags, wall hangings and other textile projects. Previous printing experience is not necessary, but those who have already had a go at lino-cutting will find it an interesting way to extend their range.
Art & Craft Club
Start Date: 19th April 2024
Why not join like-minded people each week in this self-led group? Bring your own art or craft work; drawing, painting, collage, crayoning, knitting, cross stitch, quilting … whatever. Chat as much as you like and get inspired by others. Enjoy company and art or crafting!
Development of Drawing Skills
Start Date: 3rd June 2024
The course is for those students who have some experience of drawing and want to develop their skills, experience and techniques in a wide variety of surfaces and mediums. That includes graphite pencils, crayons, Charcoal, Pen and Ink on different papers or surfaces. Students will need to provide a sketchbook, A4 or A3 and a…
Landscape painting using pastels
Start Date: 3rd June 2024
Participants need not have experience of using pastels, as all will be fully supported by the tutor. The course will cover the creation of landscape paintings using chalk pastels. We will begin by investigating landscape paintings by well known artists such as Camille Pissarro, Claude Monet, Paul Cezanne. Although they did not use pastels, their…
Intermediate: Watercolour
Start Date: 27th February 2024
Each week we will focus on themes to explore techniques to support and progress individual levels of learning and experience in watercolour painting. We will experiment with technical and creative applications of paint using both observational and critical reference material.   Week 1: Perspective: Linear and aerial perspective in landscape and exterior spaces Week 2:…
Winter birdwatching in Bedfordshire
Start Date: 9th March 2024
An introduction to local birdwatching including how to birdwatch and the species most likely to be seen at this time of the year. In the afternoon we will visit Priory Country Park to put the theory into practice.
Birds and nature: Up close and Poles apart
Start Date: 8th February 2024
This six-week course explores the wonder of migration, identification challenges, birdwatching gear from books to binoculars, and an introduction to butterflies and moths. We will also include a film compiled by Richard of local natural history and also, in stark contrast, an exploration of the wildlife of the North and South Pole. One of the…
A Beginner's Guide to Classical Physics and Quantum Physics
Start Date: 15th February 2024
A Beginner’s Guide to Classical Physics and Quantum Physics. Most of the great discoveries in Quantum Physics were made in the 1920s in Europe. Eminent physicists could scarcely believe that the phenomena before them were actually happening. What fascinates us amateurs to this day is that whilst the mathematics is unambiguous, little else is. (This…
Brewing: Science and Art
Start Date: 9th March 2024
Did you know: • The first beer brewers were all women, of noble birth or extremely beautiful. • Beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in the world, third overall after water and tea. We will explore the science and art of brewing beer, when it started, how it’s evolved and the importance of water,…
Windows on Psychology
Start Date: 18th April 2024
This course will explore key concepts and issues in Psychology. No prior knowledge of Psychology is required but all will be welcomed as we explore this ever-evolving discipline. We will dip our toes into the waters of Positive and Cognitive Psychology and investigate pertinent topics including mental health through that lens of Psychology. We will…
Energy from the River Great Ouse and beyond (Evening)
Start Date: 23rd April 2024
This course presents the science of energy starting from the Archimedes screw hydro-power generator on the River Great Ouse in Bedford. The physics and principles of hydro and other sustainable energy sources is taught, starting from almost the beginning and then to how we can respond to the issues we face today in the 2020’s.
A Journey from Order to Chaos and Beauty
Start Date: 16th April 2024
This course is about geometry: circles and squares. We start with the order of Euclidean geometry of the ancient Greeks and journey through the classical physics that came from Newton’s laws to modern chaos theory of the 20th century which produces incredibly rich and beautiful patterns from start to finish. A reasonably in depth look…
Gardens of the Riviera: Planting in Paradise
Start Date: 9th March 2024
With its unique climate and stunning views, from the mid 19th century onwards the French and Italian Riviera became a honeypot for ‘social horticulturalists’. Steep  terraces once lined with olive trees gave way to lush exotics and horticultural havens. From the fantasy island gardens of Ephrussi Rothschild, to the botanical collection of the Hanbury family, we will…
Rothsay Ramblers
Start Date: 8th January 2024
The Ramblers offer a programme of walks on Monday mornings all year around including during the REC holiday periods. Every Monday there is a choice of 3, 4 and 5 mile walks with occasional longer walks or special interest walks. Walks usually start and end at a pub, café, garden centre or village hall within…
Pilates Intermediate
Start Date: 12th January 2024
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. Please bring a mat and head cushion. This class is not suitable for beginners. Termly…
Pilates Improver
Start Date: 12th January 2024
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 it is not suitable for beginners. Please bring a mat and head cushion. Termly payment option available. Classes take place…
Improvers Bridge
Start Date: 9th January 2024
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.
Bodyaware
Start Date: 12th January 2024
Bodyaware is a great way to start an exercise programme or as a development to other forms of exercise and helps with body posture, function, movement and balance. We go through lots of variations of exercise to improve mobility (range of motion) and stability (control of motion). This course is for beginners and advanced students alike.…
Tai Chi
Start Date: 12th January 2024
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. It is a walking exercise where we learn a set sequence of body postures called a form. This course is for beginners and advanced students alike. Classes held at…
Chess Club
Start Date: 8th January 2024
Would you like to try your hand at chess? Whether or not you’re just starting and would like some practice or a bit rusty from a lack of it, David Cox will be happy to help. This is not a course but an informal, drop-in and try opportunity. Drop in sessions £3 pay as you…
Beginners Bridge
Start Date: 9th January 2024
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 jave never touched a pack of cards, a desire to want to play is all that is needed. The class will be small (a maximum of 20 people) we will…
Tai Chi (Evening)
Start Date: 9th January 2024
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. It is a walking exercise where we learn a set sequence of body postures called a form. This course is for beginners and advanced students alike. This course…
Yoga (Evening)
Start Date: 9th January 2024
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 10 weeks, we will explore breath work, physical movement and meditative relaxation techniques. We look forward to you joining us!…
Yoga
Start Date: 10th January 2024
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 10 weeks, we will explore breath work, physical movement and meditative relaxation techniques. We look forward to you joining us!…
Introducing Psychology and Sleep
Start Date: 9th March 2024
This workshop will introduce Psychology as a scientific discipline and profession looking briefly at its development over time but with a focus on how Psychology permeates our current world. Is an understanding of Psychology relevant to our everyday lives? We will then look through this lens of Psychology at one important feature of our lives,…
Laughter Yoga
Start Date: 7th March 2024
Laughter is the best medicine; it really is good for our health. This course looks at the health and wellbeing benefits of laughter and how it improves our lives. It will explore how to cultivate joy in our lives and let go of daily stressors. We will practise Laughter Yoga, a gentle cardiovascular exercise which…
Boxercise
Start Date: 3rd February 2024
A boxing-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 the…
Mindfulness
Start Date: 3rd February 2024
Mindfulness means “paying attention” in a particular way, on purpose, in the present moment and non judgmentally. There is much research supporting the benefits of Mindfulness and Meditation, among them: encouraging deep relaxation and feelings of peace, focuses the mind and encourages sleep, Increased concentration, enhances creativity and opens the mind to new ideas, a reduction…
Boxercise
Start Date: 11th January 2024
A boxing-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 the…
Tai Chi (Evening)
Start Date: 23rd April 2024
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. It is a walking exercise where we learn a set sequence of body postures called a form. This course is for beginners and advanced students alike. This course…
Yoga (Evening)
Start Date: 4th June 2024
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 10 weeks, we will explore breath work, physical movement and meditative relaxation techniques. We look forward to you joining us!…
Boxercise
Start Date: 6th June 2024
Boxercise is a boxing-fitness class for all abilities. Using boxing gloves and pads and working through a sequence of punches with a partner we aim to increase heart rate and muscle strength by incorporating exercise-based movements alongside the boxing such as squats, jogging and press ups. You need to be able to confidently participate in…
Nature and Our Wellbeing
Start Date: 7th June 2024
Over the course of five weeks we will be exploring the benefits that we get from nature and how we can use nature to help our physical and mental wellbeing. Topics include understanding how trees network and support each other and Shinrin-Yoku (forest bathing) a Japanese concept meaning ‘bathing’ all the senses, whilst walking slowly…
Yoga
Start Date: 5th June 2024
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!…
In the News
Start Date: 11th January 2024
Interested in current news? Enjoy lively debate? Then this is the class for you. Current news forms the basis of spirited discussion with participants encouraged to contribute to the topics covered. 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…
The English Novel from Bunyan to Burney (1678 - 1814)
Start Date: 8th January 2024
Few of us now read novels earlier than those of Jane Austen, dating from 1811 onwards. But John Bunyan and Aphra Behn, not to mention Defoe, Swift, Richardson, Fielding, Smollett, Sterne, Goldsmith and then Frances Burney should not be ignored. You won’t have to read all or any of their novels, but all these developed…
Enlightenment and Romance: Stendhal and Sontag
Start Date: 10th January 2024
Stendhal’s The Charterhouse of Parma (1839) and Sontag’s The Volcano Lover (1992) explore the Napoleonic wars, when the ideals of the Enlightenment and the following age of the Romantics were tested by the realism of conflict. The Charterhouse of Parma (1839) arguably Stendhal’s greatest work, draws upon his experience in Napoleon’s army and love of…
Rave On John Donne
Start Date: 3rd February 2024
Just in time for Valentine’s Day please join us to consider the rich tradition of love poetry in the English language, from the exquisite metaphysical verse of John Donne [1572-1631] through the canon of romantic, Victorian and modern poets to the simple but poignant lyrics of Leonard Cohen, and much else along the way. Close…
Writing your Memoirs
Start Date: 9th January 2024
This course has been running since September but welcomes new participants to what is a lively, and supportive group. Beginning and advanced writers are most welcome.
Poetry Appreciation
Start Date: 12th January 2024
This class is now in its twelfth year, and we haven’t changed our simple format. Essentially, Mark brings along some poems and we talk about them. They tend to be short, accessible, but not so obvious that there is nothing to say. Mark tries to ensure everyone gets to chip in. Sometimes a poem shuts…
To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf
Start Date: 28th February 2024
First published in 1927 this is one of Woolf’s most beloved novels, a close study of the Ramsay family and their friends holidaying at the family’s summer house on the Isle of Skye. Taking place almost entirely inside the minds of various members of the group, Woolf plays with perspective and perception to present her…
All That Jazz: The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
Start Date: 9th March 2024
The quintessential Great American Novel published in 1925 captures perfectly the Jazz Age of the Roaring Twenties in New York at a time when a national newspaper noted “gin was the national drink and sex the national obsession.” The story of the mysterious, fabulously wealthy Jay Gatsby and his own obsession with sad, beautiful Daisy…
Movie Mix
Start Date: 10th January 2024
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…
Great Moral Issues in Contemporary Society
Start Date: 9th January 2024
There are some issues which are of great moral concern today. This course is an introduction to some of these issues: the family; (experiments on) animals; abortion; euthanasia; immigration; multiculturalism; freedom of speech and religion; capital punishment; war; and world hunger. In each case, we’ll arrive at an understanding of the issue and then in…
The History of France 1770-1815
Start Date: 12th January 2024
This courses focuses on a key period of history which was to change the relationship between the ruler and the governed, not only in France but throughout Europe and, in time, the wider world. The contentious origins of the French Revolution will be explored and why the experiment in constitutional monarchy failed leading to the…
Wish You Were Here
Start Date: 10th January 2024
The world of buckets and spades, golden beaches and donkeys on the beach evoke vivid memories of seaside holidays. This course examines railway excursions, the rise and fall of seaside resorts, and some of the organisations which catered for holiday makers from youth hostels and boarding houses to Butlins. The resulting mixing of classes and…
Design Icon VI
Start Date: 11th January 2024
We will look at 10 icons of design, from buildings to fashion, from the mundane to the sublime. Discover the extraordinary stories behind seemingly every-day objects, such as Ercol, Post-It notes, and Dr Martens Boots. N.B. Attendance on previous course is not necessary, as each course and session are stand alone.
Sahara-Sahel: Twilight of the West?
Start Date: 27th February 2024
A volatile region, crucial to Western security, has recently been de-stabilised by military coups in Mali, Burkina Faso and 3 other countries. Islamic jihadists have been joined by Russian-backed Wagner forces on the battlefield. In the background China, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey advance their interests; all seek an end to Western ideological supremacy. Is…
Russia against the World
Start Date: 9th March 2024
Putin, in his boyhood once cornered a rat, but it turned on him. Always prepare for danger became his motto. Centuries of invasions, ‘encroachments’ and ideological ‘encirclement’ have led Russia to see itself in continuous battle for survival. This talk helps us understand the story of Russia and its relationship with the world.
Harpur, Howard, and other Local Legends
Start Date: 3rd February 2024
You can learn a lot in one day about our ‘local heroes.’ Whether they are athletes or writers, from Barker, Branson and Bunyan, through Harpur, Howard and Huddleston and beyond, we’ll explore ten or so good and great worthies; Bertha, Carol, Gail, Paula anyone?
The American Election Explained
Start Date: 29th February 2024
The American election is a long and complex affair which will be on our TV screens almost daily over the coming months. This course helps you to make sense of its various stages and processes. The six-month nomination process with its primaries, caucuses and conventions. The ten-week presidential campaign and its debates which famously began…
Raw and Honest: Brutalism and the Kitchen Sink School
Start Date: 18th April 2024
The Brutalist style of architecture was, for a long time, vilified in Britain. Recently it has become appreciated with more mid-century buildings listed. At the same time the “Kitchen Sink” School of artists sought to capture the real world in all its brutal honesty, and for many years their work was overlooked. There are parallels…
Discussion Group
Start Date: 18th April 2024
Our discussions cover a wide range of social, political and moral issues with plenty of time for all to participate. Mostly they are based around Radio 4’s Moral Maze programmes, although sometimes we use other suitable material as the basis for discussion. £3 per session payable on attendance
The Rise and Fall of Social Housing
Start Date: 6th June 2024
Social housing in Britain has its roots in the early 19th century, although the earliest social housing scheme dates to the 16th century and is still inhabited today in Augsburg. The introduction of comprehensive public housing schemes coincided with the march of the Industrial Revolution requiring the rapid development of homes for workers, which became…
Poetic tour of the UK
Start Date: 18th April 2024
We will continue our tour of the United Kingdom (and Northern Ireland), looking at the poetry of a variety of regions. We will cover old and new poetry as well as both the familiar and the unfamiliar. The precise route is yet to be decided!
Sacred & Profane: Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh
Start Date: 5th June 2024
An opportunity to study closely one of the great novels of the last century: nostalgic, reflective, provocative, best enjoyed in the golden light of an Arcadian summer day. Please join us, teddy bears optional!
Russian Literature and the Ukraine
Start Date: 17th April 2024
Nikolai Leskov was described by Tolstoy as having ‘an excess of talent’, but unlike his contemporaries he tended to concentrate his genius in his short fiction. ‘The Lady Macbeth of the Mtsensk District’ is a novella, written in Kyiv and made into an opera by Shostakovich in 1934. Mikhail Bulgakov’s The Master and Margarita, written…
Great Medieval Christian and Islamic Philosophers
Start Date: 23rd April 2024
Western philosophy is traditionally divided into three periods: ancient Greek; medieval; modern. The medieval period includes some highly influential Christian and Islamic philosophers. This course considers some of the key elements in the thought of some of these Christian and Islamic philosophers: Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, al Kindi, al Farabi, and al Ghazali.
Albert Camus: A man of many parts
Start Date: 16th April 2024
Novelist, Journalist, Resister, Philosopher and Nobel Laureate, Camus, in his lifetime, was both admired (‘The conscience of Europe’) and derided ( by J-P Sartre),and after his death was largely ignored. Now he is acclaimed on both Left and Right as clairvoyant, alert to the dangers of dogmas and ideologies, which he opposed in the name…
Writing your Memoirs
Start Date: 16th April 2024
This course has been running since September but welcomes new participants to what is a lively, and supportive group. Beginning and advanced writers are most welcome
British General Elections
Start Date: 19th April 2024
With a General Election highly likely in 2024, this course will examine some key General Elections in the past which marked a change of direction in British Politics. The campaign and impact of elections in 1906, 1945, 1964, 1979 and 1997 will be analysed and discussed on a week-by-week basis.
Six Great Rivers of the World
Start Date: 16th April 2024
An exploration of 6 Great Rivers looking at their impact on not just the people who live and work on them but also their impact globally. We will look at the physical attributes of each river, the history of people along each one, the economics and the geopolitical amongst other things. The Rivers we will…
Film Studies: Kitchen Sink Films
Start Date: 17th April 2024
From the 1950s a number of films changed the face and course of British cinema. Synonymous with, but not confined to the British new wave, these ‘kitchen sink’ dramas with their unvarnished, provocative glory presented cinemagoers with an authentic realism largely missing from British films. This course will focus on: Look Back in Anger (1959),…
Provincial Manners: Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert
Start Date: 17th April 2024
An opportunity to study closely in English translation the debut novel of this French writer whose eponymous, imperfect heroine is one of the great characters in world literature. When the novel was first serialised in 1856 public prosecutors in Paris attacked it for obscenity, but notoriety only made the novel more popular. Critics now consider…
Poetry Appreciation
Start Date: 19th April 2024
This class is now in its twelfth year, and we haven’t changed our simple format. Essentially, Mark brings along some poems and we talk about them. They tend to be short, accessible, but not so obvious that there is nothing to say. Mark tries to ensure everyone gets to chip in. Sometimes a poem shuts…
Auction Insight Day-4th July
Start Date: 4th July 2023
Our second Auction Insight Day Trip at W & H Peacock Auctioneers & Valuers in Bedford will be on the 4th of July 2023. The trip will commence at 11am and finish around 2.30pm. It will include: Tea and coffee on arrival with a short introduction. Tour, talk, valuation, and fun quiz Delicious homemade hot…
Quiz Night
Start Date: 13th July 2023
We are excited to share with you the details of our much-anticipated Quiz Night!! This will be on on Thursday 13 July 2023 at the Centre. The cost to attend the Quiz will be £18 per person and will include a delicious Fish and Chips dinner. We will also have a licensed bar, selling wine, beer…
Rossetti Exhibition-Tate Britain
Start Date: 20th September 2023
Our first trip of the REC’s 2023/24 academic year will be on Wednesday 20th September 2023, and it will be to the Rossetti’s Exhibition at the Tate Britain, London. The trip will include: Entry to the Exhibition Transport to and from the Tate The cost of the trip will be £56 per person. We will…
Chanel Exhibition
Start Date: 16th November 2023
Our highly anticipated trip to the V&A for the Chanel Exhibition will be on Thursday 16th November 2023. It will cost £51.  The trip will include:  Entry to the Exhibition  Transport to and from the V&A London   We will be leaving Bedford at around 9.30am and returning by 6pm, final timings to be confirmed nearer to the day.  Pick up will be from the Centre…
Waddesdon Manor and Christmas Fair Trip
Start Date: 30th November 2023
Our Christmas trip this year will be to the Rothschild Estate of Waddesdon Manor in Buckinghamshire.   It will be on Thursday 30th November 2023, and it will cost £50.  The trip will include:  Transport to and from Waddesdon Manor  Entry to the House, Grounds and Christmas Fair  A Shuttle Bus to transport you around the…
French Advanced
Start Date: 8th January 2024
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. There will also be a regular revision of French grammar within…
French Lower Intermediate
Start Date: 11th January 2024
Bonjour à tous et à toutes, this class is aimed at broadening your confidence in speaking, reading and understanding the language. We will use extracts from magazines and / or news articles, also cover grammar points when necessary. If you have a sense of humour and this sounds like your ‘ tasse de thé ‘…
Italian Intermediate
Start Date: 10th January 2024
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. The course is strongly focused on communication: students will learn the language they need to interact with Italian speakers in real life situations. Prerequisites: the course is aimed at…
German Advanced Conversation
Start Date: 12th January 2024
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.
Spanish Advanced Conversation
Start Date: 9th January 2024
Is your Spanish a bit rusty? Ven a nuestra clase a practicarlo. No importa que lo hayas olvidado un poco, pronto lo recordarás. Conversaremos sobre temas de actualidad. Leeremos libros de autores contemporáneos. Todos los alumnos participarán activamente en presentaciones a su elección. Los puntos gramaticales y vocabulario son abordados a lo largo de toda…
Italian Advanced
Start Date: 10th January 2024
The aim of this course is to help students learn advanced structures of Italian grammar, vocabulary and to explore contemporary aspects of Italian culture. The course is strongly focused on communication: students will learn the language they need to interact with Italian speakers in real life situations. Prerequisites: the course is aimed at students who…
French Improvers
Start Date: 10th January 2024
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. This course will be delivered in class and on Zoom.
French Conversation - Intermediate
Start Date: 10th January 2024
This is an intermediate level conversation group. Not suitable for beginners. You will put into practice the theory previously learnt in order to communicate and participate in conversations. Grammar is minimal, on a necessary basis only. The first half of the lesson is group conversation on any topic of your choice. The second half consists…
German Absolute Beginners
Start Date: 12th January 2024
This class is for complete beginners with no previous knowledge of German. We will follow a course book with opportunities for listening at home. There will be lots of interaction with other students to develop basic conversational skills. Do come and try a new challenge! Termly payment option available.
Spanish Intermediate / Advanced
Start Date: 10th January 2024
This course is for students who have learned Spanish before for a few years, and wish to progress in learning the language. The course will help you to develop your speaking, understanding, reading and writing skills. Reading and talking about current issues from authentic material, culture and traditions in Spain and Latin American countries. In…
Spanish Improvers
Start Date: 10th January 2024
This course is for students who have some knowledge of Spanish and wish to progress learning the language. Vocabulary, useful phrases all to be practiced and reinforced. The course will help you to develop your speaking, understanding, reading and writing skills. Learning about Spain and Latin American countries, culture and traditions in a relaxed and…
German Upper Intermediate
Start Date: 9th January 2024
This class is for students who have a good knowledge of the language and are reasonably confident in all skills. The first part of the lesson is devoted to conversation with each student invited to contribute; we then read articles or do grammatical exercises. The main emphasis is on learning through enjoyment.
German Improvers
Start Date: 9th January 2024
Ideally you will need 3 years+ previous study for this course.  The group is friendly, relaxed and welcoming.  Currently we are working from a Coursebook and Activity book with exercises and online listening opportunities.  Extra materials are also provided.
Italian Absolute Beginners
Start Date: 9th January 2024
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. The course is strongly focused on communication: students will learn the language they need to interact with…
Spanish Absolute Beginners
Start Date: 9th January 2024
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.
Italian Improvers
Start Date: 9th January 2024
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. The course is strongly focused on communication: students will learn the language they need to interact with Italian speakers in…
French Beginners Plus
Start Date: 11th January 2024
Bonjour et bienvenue this course is not suitable for complete beginners as it carries on with the study of our study book ( Vite et Bien ). Newcomers are welcome but must be prepared to purchase the book and will have a fair bit of catching up to do.
Italian Beginners Plus
Start Date: 10th January 2024
The aim of this course is to introduce students to new key structures and vocabulary of Italian and to some aspects of Italian culture. The course is strongly focused on communication: students will learn the language they need to interact with Italian speakers in real life situations. Prerequisites: the course is aimed at English-speaking students,…
French Upper Intermediate
Start Date: 8th January 2024
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. This course aims to consolidate their knowledge of the French language, as well as different skills (speaking, reading, listening)…
Spanish Beginners Plus
Start Date: 9th January 2024
This course is for students who have learnt some Spanish before. The aim of the course is to reinforce what you learned previously and to help students progress with their speaking- listening – reading and writing skills. We will explore the culture of Spain and Latin American countries. Students will learn new vocabulary to interact in…
German Lower Intermediate
Start Date: 12th January 2024
A course designed for those who have a good foundation in German, through previous study. All aspects of the language are covered in a fun and lively way with lots of interaction between learners to develop all skills. Currently we are working from a Course book and accompanying Activity book, with online listening exercises available.
Ancient Greek
Start Date: 11th January 2024
We will be continuing to develop our knowledge of this most fascinating language, which has made its way into so many English words but has also made invaluable contributions via its culture to modern life. We will be reading a wide range of material, which will naturally be of increasing but accessible complexity. New members…
Latin Language
Start Date: 11th January 2024
This course continues our reading of a wide variety of texts, from the purely classical such as Pliny’s letter about the eruption of Mt Vesuvius, through the mediaeval (itself ranging from religious, historical and downright irreligious) to completely modern renderings of stories such as extracts from Alice in Wonderland. If you ever studied Latin, no…
Spanish Beginners Plus
Start Date: 9th January 2024
This course is for students who have learnt some Spanish before. The aim of the course is to reinforce what you learned previously and to help students progress with their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. We will explore the culture of Spain and Latin American countries. Students will learn new vocabulary to interact in…
Spanish Absolute Beginners
Start Date: 9th January 2024
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 Beginners to Intermediate
Start Date: 9th January 2024
Bonjour et bienvenue this course is not suitable for complete beginners as it carries on with the study of our study book (Vite et Bien). Newcomers are welcome but must be prepared to purchase the book and will have a fair bit of catching up to do.
French Beginners
Start Date: 9th January 2024
Bienvenue à vous , you may wish to rekindle the french you learnt at school or on your travels to France, or you want a new challenge . You will need to purchase a study book – which is all in french – it has illustrations and dialogues of everyday situations, as well as homework…
Lip Reading and Managing Hearing Loss
Start Date: 10th January 2024
Lipreading is something we all do to a degree, but as your hearing deteriorates you rely on it more. These classes build on this skill in a safe and supportive environment; building confidence in conversation, based on what you see and what you can hear. They offer coping tactics and reassurance while exploring communication in…
French Beginners
Start Date: 23rd April 2024
Bienvenue à vous , you may wish to rekindle the french you learnt at school or on your travels to France, or you want a new challenge . You will need to purchase a study book – which is all in french – it has illustrations and dialogues of everyday situations, as well as homework…
Spanish Beginners Plus (Evening)
Start Date: 23rd April 2024
This course is for students who have learnt some Spanish before. The aim of the course is to reinforce what you learned previously and to help students progress with their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills. We will explore the culture of Spain and Latin American countries. Students will learn new vocabulary to interact in…
British Sign Language - Part 3
Start Date: 17th April 2024
British Sign Language Part 3 (intermediate level) is for any one who has done both the 10 week introductory course plus part 2 in this beautiful language (not necessarily at REC). We will learn more vocabulary and develop our conversation in BSL. Embedding your knowledge and continuing with different topics. For anyone worried that there…
Ancient Greek
Start Date: 18th April 2024
We will be continuing to develop our knowledge of this most fascinating language, which has made its way into so many English words but has also made invaluable contributions via its culture to modern life. We will be reading a wide range of material, which will naturally be of increasing but accessible complexity. New members…
Spanish Absolute Beginners (Evening)
Start Date: 23rd April 2024
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 Beginners to Intermediate (Evening)
Start Date: 23rd April 2024
Bonjour et bienvenue this course is not suitable for complete beginners as it carries on with the study of our study book (Vite et Bien). Newcomers are welcome but must be prepared to purchase the book and will have a fair bit of catching up to do.
Lip Reading and Managing Hearing Loss
Start Date: 17th April 2024
Lipreading is something we all do to a degree, but as your hearing deteriorates you rely on it more. These classes build on this skill in a safe and supportive environment; building confidence in conversation, based on what you see and what you can hear. They offer coping tactics and reassurance while exploring communication in…
Recorder for Beginners
Start Date: 9th January 2024
Have you wondered about joining the Recorder Ensemble class on Tuesday morning but haven’t played the recorder before, or played it at school but not since? Worry not, we are a friendly lot but if you would like to start playing or get back into playing gently, then do try the Beginner’s class. You just…
Recorder Ensemble
Start Date: 9th January 2024
The Recorder Ensemble is a friendly group of players who enjoy exploring works of composers from the 13th century to the present day. The Consort plays in parts Descant, Treble, Tenor and Bass, and individuals are encouraged to develop their skills to allow playing independently one-to-a-part at times. New members are very welcome but need…
Classical Guitar
Start Date: 8th January 2024
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. Prospective new members should have a very rudimentary acquaintance with classical guitar technique together with some music reading ability (approaching grade one). This course will be delivered…
Singing for Pleasure
Start Date: 12th January 2024
If you are looking to join a choir that is friendly and enthusiastic then Singing for Pleasure is the group for you! The sessions consist of vocal warm-ups, some easy songs to sing along to and songs in parts which will be taught in a call and response format. We will be learning a variety…
Music and Dance
Start Date: 12th January 2024
Drawing on a 25 year career as a Dance Repetiteur, John will examine the music used over the ages for dance, from the Court of Louis XIV at Versailles to the explosion of dance of all types in the 20th Century. Several major composers – Lully, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky – even Wagner when provoked – have…
Singing for Pleasure
Start Date: 19th April 2024
If you are looking to join a choir that is friendly and enthusiastic then Singing for Pleasure is the group for you! The sessions consist of vocal warm-ups, some easy songs to sing along to and songs in parts which will be taught in a call and response format. We will be learning a variety…
Thinking About Music
Start Date: 19th April 2024
Is music something that should wash over us while enjoying a glass of wine? Or do we need to try to understand what’s going on? What can listeners do to help composers? Music can be a frighteningly technical subject: what aspect of the science of music will it benefit the listener to understand? Through a…
Music to Your Ears
Start Date: 17th April 2024
If you have ever wanted to delve deeper into the world of Classical music and gain a better understanding but feel a little overwhelmed, then this course may be for you. Lorraine will take you on a guided listening journey with opportunities for discussion around the form and context of the writing, and the artists…
Changing Places: Émigré Artists in Britain
Start Date: 8th January 2024
For hundreds of years artists have migrated to Britain bringing with them new visions of the world, which in turn revolutionized and invigorated British art, design and architecture. Starting with artists who helped to create an English Renaissance and coming up to the present day, we will look at the political, social and economic climates…
Is it worth it? The most expensive paintings ever sold
Start Date: 15th April 2024
In 2017 a record price for an artwork was set when Salvator Mundi by Leonardo da Vinci sold for $450.3 million at Christie’s in New York. In the past 10 years prices for paintings have been increasing, despite, and sometimes due to economic downturns and political turmoil. Why has art become such an expensive commodity?…
Buckingham Palace & Holbein Trip
Start Date: 1st March 2024
Our first trip of 2024 will be on Friday 1st March, and it will be to Buckingham Palace.  The cost of the trip will be £65.  It will include  Transport to and from Buckingham Palace  A visit to the Royal Mews  Entrance to the Holbein Exhibition at Tudor Court    We will be leaving Bedford…
Quiz Night 25th January 2024
Start Date: 25th January 2024
Our much-anticipated Quiz Night will be on Thursday the 25th of January 2024 at 7 pm. It will cost £18 and will include our famous delicious Fish and Chips dinner or Cheese and Onion Pie as the Vegetarian option. You do not need to have a team to book on, as teams of 6 can…
Art & Craft Club
Start Date: 17th April 2024
Why not join like-minded people each week in this self-led group? Bring your own art or craft work; drawing, painting, collage, crayoning, knitting, cross stitch, quilting … whatever. Chat as much as you like and get inspired by others. Enjoy company and art or crafting!
British Sign Language - Part 2
Start Date: 10th January 2024
British Sign Language Beginners Plus is for any one who has done a 10 week introductory course to this beautiful language (not necessarily at REC) or wants to polish up on previous learning. We will learn more vocabulary and develop our conversation in BSL. For anyone worried that there has been a gap in your…
French Conversation – Intermediate to Advanced
Start Date: 11th January 2024
This is an intermediate to advanced level conversation group. No need to talk perfect French, but you need the confidence to hold a substantial conversation. This is not a structured class and there is no grammar included. Conversations can be on any topic of your choice. We also include activities such as translations, crosswords, reading…