Made in Queen’s Park – Community Café

15th October 2021

For one week only – Saturday 23rd October to Friday 29thOctober –  residents of Queen’s Park benefited from a free pop up café offering fun activities for half term.

The free event, at the community centre, gave residents the chance to try out arts and crafts while enjoying some tea and cake. The café continued to serve food into the evenings, giving it much more of a festival feast feel.

The fun activities kicked off on Saturday 23rd October at 1.30pm, with resident artist Caroline Wendling leading an allotment walk called “Alloted.” It was a slow walk around Queen’s Park allotment, a welcoming and safe place where people and plants forge connections and learn from each other. An ice cream van was also on hand distributing ‘flavours of Queen’s Park’, while residents were invited to populate a map of the area with their own stories.

On Sunday, local artists Andy Holden and Mira Calix continued to invite people to share their ideas for a ‘Community Communications’ themed mural in the community centre.

During the week, Andy and Mira continued to share ideas and collect stories. Families got creative with lego enabling attendees to make Queen’s Park buildings. Illustrator Katie Allen was on hand to create screen prints. There was also crochet and decorating glass lanterns. Plus, the talented Mishbah Mehmood hosted a cooking session.  Friday rounded the week off with an evening feast of food accompanied by live music.

Ami Aubrey, Programme Producer for BCA said: “We couldn’t wait to see what the community would create in these activities that are proudly, ‘Made in Queen’s Park’.  Over the next six months we’ll be working with artists on a couple of projects including a new community mural and so the community café was a great way for us to spend more time in the community, get to know local people and what they’d like to share with us about Queen’s Park and enjoy some feasting fun.”

The Made in Queen’s Park Community Café is part of the Take Part Queen’s Park project.  Take Part Queen’s Park is an art project both inspired by and created with the community of Queen’s Park in Bedford. Through engaging residents of all ages with the creative arts and exploring Queens Park’s cultural diversity, the project seeks to celebrate and strengthen residents’ sense of place and community and share that with the wider residents of Bedford.  It is delivered in partnership with The Higgins Bedford and funded by Paul Hamlyn Foundation, The Harpur Trust and housing association bpha.