Here for Bedford since 1566


The Harpur Trust was founded over 450 years ago by Sir William Harpur, a local man born to humble beginnings who made his fortune as a merchant tailor and who became Lord Mayor of London in 1561.

Share this

2016 - celebrating 450 years

In 2016 we celebrated our 450th anniversary with a series of events and projects aimed at the different members of our community.

The year began with a Thanksgiving Service for our school community, involving pupils, staff, governors and trustees.

Other major projects included 'Recording Bedford', a children's art competition and an exhibition of their work at the Higgins Bedford. This involved over 1400 pupils from 46 schools in the borough. As part of the project, we offered free workshops to pupils using a team of 10 local artists to deliver these sessions.

We held a family run and fun day at Priory Park with a host of have a go activities including water sports provided by Priory Sailing Club and a 5k race, facilitated by the Bedford Harriers. Former pupil of Bedford Modern, and Olympic rower Tim Foster MBE, was our guest of honour.

We worked in partnership with the John Bunyan Museum to provide a writing competition for schools.

A highlight of the year for many Bedfordians was a specially commissioned play at the Quarry Theatre 'Somewhere in England' about the town's history and the people who made the town what it is

We launched Orchestra Unwrapped in Bedford. This exciting concert series for children is delivered by the Philharmonia Orchestra and was so successful that it is now run annually.

We held a summer party for the older people of Bedford, with entertainment by pupils from our schools and an afternoon tea.

Finally, we gave away 6000 copies of The Bedford Chronicles, a children's history book about the town.