|End of terrace in quiet side street, suit Messiah?|
We've spent a couple of days wandering around Bedford and found this and more than a few other interesting things out about a town that I can't recall ever having visited or, more to the point, even wanting to visit. Yet it's home to more than 100,000 people.
|The old park boat ramp is now a hydro-electric plant|
|Glenn Miller was a wartime regular here|
|The independent school buildings are now entrance to a mall|
|Victorian house and brewery with modern addition form town museum|
Sadly we couldn't visit the Panacea Society's museum as it only opens on Thursdays and Saturday mornings but Wikipedia as ever comes to the rescue. It all begins with the 18th century 'prophet' Joanna Southcott who left a mysterious box with instructions that it should only be opened in times of national crisis and in the presence of all 24 bishops. Needless to say, the bishops have never felt the need to get together for this purpose.
|Home of Mabel Barltrop and her apostles|
Bonkers as all this might seem to you and me, the Society had some wealthy supporters and by 2001 was worth a reported £14million. Yes that's £14m! The last member died in 2012 and the Society has now become a charitable trust supporting various religious and anti-poverty projects in the area.
I reckon that museum could well be worth a return trip to Bedford!
And finally...what would the town's famous son John Bunyan, firebrand preacher and author of 'Pilgrim's Progress' make of this....