BRCC’s Warden Abbey Vineyard featured on BBC Look East

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Latest News, Volunteering, Warden Abbey Vineyard

Our Warden Abbey Community Vineyard project had a visit from a BBC crew yesterday in the glorious sunshine.

A two and a half minute snippet shown on BBC Look East that evening included short interviews with volunteers, Vineyard Manager Jane Markham and Master of Wine Derek Smedley, as well as footage of caring for the vines and a tasting of the ‘dosage’ for our 2014 sparkling wine, due to come out before Christmas.

You can still watch on the BBC iplayer until 7pm today at

ACoRP Community Rail Awards 2016

Written by Stephen Sleight on . Posted in Community Transport, Latest News, MVCRP, Ridgmont Station

BRCC has learnt that its Contemplation Seats project, with artist Sally Annett, has been shortlisted for the ACoRP Community Rail Awards 2016 (under Category 2B ‘Community Art Schemes: Renewable & Smaller Projects’).

We are also delighted to have been shortlisted for a second award; a photographic competition – ‘The Essence of Community Rail’.  The shortlisted photograph was taken by staff from Elstow School and features a young student proudly displaying a hand crafted railway ticket, which was used during a visit to Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre.

Winners will be announced at the gala dinner and presentation evening in Southport on Thursday 29th September, 2016.

Visit the project website here:
You can learn more about ACoRP here: (

Seeking a new Officer for the Abbey Line Community Rail Partnership

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Latest News

BRCC recently bid successfully to take over the hosting of the Abbey Line Community Rail Partnership from Hertfordshire County Council, to add to our existing hosting of the Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership.

We are now seeking a part-time Officer (21 hours/week)  to provide day to day management and delivery of the Community Rail Partnership’s work programme.

You can find further information and the application form below:

Abbey Line CRP ad July 2016

Abbey Line CRP Officer recruitment information Jul 2016

Abbey Line CRP Officer Application Form


Putting the Green Wheel into the Biggleswade Green Wheel

Written by Cliff Andrews on . Posted in Biggleswade Green Wheel, Green Infrastructure, Latest News, Supporting Communities

BRCC staff among the first to walk through Green Wheel

BRCC staff among the first to walk through Green Wheel

Users of the Green Wheel, including Dan Albone on his bike

Users of the Green Wheel, including Dan Albone on his bike









The latest addition to the Biggleswade Green Wheel was installed this week – a Green Wheel!

Commissioned by BRCC and designed by artist Martin Heron, the installation is on the route of the Biggleswade Green Wheel as it passes through CBC’s Saxon Drive Linear Woods.

Various figures are depicted along the top of the wheel, with the cyclist being local legend Dan Albone, the image being taken from a photo of him riding the Ivel Cycle which he invented.

Cliff Andrews, BRCC’s Supporting Communities Manager said “We hope that this feature, along with the recently installed carved benches will be enjoyed by all users of the Biggleswade Green Wheel.  It has been great to work with Martin Heron who also designed the ‘tractor’ sculpture we installed at the Dan Albone Car Park in March.”



We’re recruiting – could you be our Community Agent for Biggleswade?

Written by Justine Hunt on . Posted in Just Ask Village Agents, Latest News, Supporting Communities

Community Agent Biggleswade

15 hours/week for 12 month contract
£10,156 p.a. (£23,698 pro rata)

Are you committed to supporting vulnerable and isolated people living in Biggleswade? Are you interested in a flexible local employment opportunity that you can fit around your other commitments?

BRCC is seeking to recruit a ‘Community Agent’ for Biggleswade.  The ‘Community Agent’ will work to connect people in Biggleswade to the services and support that they need, reporting to a steering group of local stakeholders.

The post requires an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.

We are grateful to Biggleswade Town Council for being the principal funder of this position.


Application deadline:     Friday June 3rd at 9.00am
Interviews to be held:    Tuesday 14th June

Vote by 2nd May for Warden Abbey Vineyard in the Bedfordshire Food & Drink Awards 2016

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Latest News

Warden Abbey Community Vineyard (managed by BRCC) is up for the Independent Producer of the Year award in the Bedfordshire Food & Drink Awards 2016.

Wines from Warden Abbey have previously won awards in national and international wine competitions, but success in the BFDA would provide fantastic local recognition of the achievements of our numerous volunteers and Friends!  So please take a moment to vote for us before 5pm on 2nd May, and please share this link:

Where Will Your Journey of Contemplation Begin?

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Latest News, MVCRP, Public Art

An exciting new arts trail was launched on the Marston Vale Line (Bedford – Bletchley) on Thursday 24th March 2016 at Ridgmont Station Heritage Centre, in partnership with BRCC’s arts development initiative, HAPPEN, and the Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership.

Contemplation Seats is a series of new interactive artworks designed by local artist Sally Annett, which have been installed at every platform on the Marston Vale Line as part of the build up to the 170th birthday of the Line in November this year. Inside the train carriage further artworks and weblinks will highlight a selected ‘contemplation seat’ on each train.

Every art panel has a QR code that enables the passenger to access a bespoke website (designed by BRCC) that provides more detailed information about each artwork as well as links to information about each locality, its history and current cultural and community offers.

The images on each panel combine digital photography and etchings, the photographs have been taken by Sally Annett, and are  true depictions of the landscape & natural features, which are also referenced by or inspired by John Bunyan’s work, for example,  ‘House Beautiful (Houghton House), Mount Sinai, The Village of Morality (Ridgmont), the Wicket Gate, House of the Interpreter (St.John’s) and the Hill of Difficulty (Ampthill Hill), all of which can be seen from the train or are within a mile of their named station. These images are paired with etchings of chairs, some of which have a personal meaning to the artist and others including John Bunyan’s own chair.

Passengers are invited to send photographs of their favourite places of contemplation to the artist for posting on the Contemplation Seats website.

You can read what the Friends of Lidlington Station made of the launch event here

The Contemplation Seats have been funded by Arts Council England, the Designated Community Rail Development Fund and the Bedford & Luton Community Foundation with support from London Midland, Marston Vale Community Rail Partnership and Bedfordshire Rural Communities Charity.

For further information please contact Sally Annett, tel. 07918 030445, e-mail

New gardening service launched by the Bridge project

Written by Jon Boswell on . Posted in Latest News, Rural Development, The Bridge

The Bridge project in Luton, managed by BRCC, has launched Stockwood Gardening Services to offer high-quality gardening in the Luton area.

The Bridge was set up by BRCC with Luton Borough Council and others to provide volunteering, training and employment opportunities for people facing multiple barriers to employment. Stockwood Gardening Services will employ people who have developed gardening skills and experience within the project.

For more information visit the website or contact Chris Fox on 07801 233567 or at

Could you be a Door to Door driver?

Written by Neville Jephcote on . Posted in Community Transport, Door to Door, Latest News

Are you interested in working either full or part time as a Door to Door driver?

BRCC can provide either a full 35 hour week, or just a few days (8 hour days), and are also looking for relief staff who may want to work on an ad-hoc basis, to cover leave or sickness, at their convenience.

The rate of pay is £8.25 per hour, a D1 licence is necessary (which you will have if you passed your test before 1997) and the ability to drive safely, interact with often fragile individuals, and secure wheelchairs or otherwise assist as necessary. A reasonable geographical knowledge of the Bedford area would be an advantage but is not essential. Full MiDAS (Minibus Driver Awareness) and PATS (Passenger Assistant Training) will be given along with a period of familiarisation.

This is a wonderful role for someone who enjoys being out and about with no two days the same, and likes meeting people. Consistently our staff say this is one of, if not the, most enjoyable job they’ve ever had.

For more information, please email: or call: 01234 834933.


Neville Jephcote
Community Transport Manager

Dan Albone rides into Biggleswade

Written by Cliff Andrews on . Posted in Biggleswade Green Wheel, Green Infrastructure, Latest News

We are very pleased to announce the installation of a sculpture on the Biggleswade Green Wheel. The project, led by BRCC and working with artist Martin Heron, means Dan Albone can now be viewed driving his original ‘Ivel Agricultural Motor’ in the Dan Albone Picnic Area beside the River Ivel.  Dan, who was born just over 100m from the sculpture’s location invented the machine which is the father of all modern tractors.  He also manufactured the Ivel Safety Cycle, riding to many victories at national and international races.

installing small group small
The image of the tractor plays tricks with the mind as you walk around and view it from different angles and in different light. Is it 2D or 3D? Perhaps 2 1/2 ?!
With thanks to project partners: The Fen Reeves of Biggleswade Common, Biggleswade TC, Biggleswade History Society and CBC. Photo: Andy Buckley

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