Bedford bus station, joseph clough mural
The more observant of Bedford’s residents will have notice the emergence of some exciting new street art recently. The Council has commissioned a series of murals to celebrate Bedford’s rich and interesting history and these installations have been managed by Bedford Creative Arts. My mural is in Bedford bus station and celebrates the life of Joseph Clough. Born in Jamaica, he came to the UK at the beginning of the 20th century, where, having learnt to drive as a chauffeur, he became London’s first black bus driver. After driving an ambulance in the Great War, he then moved to Bedford with his wife and daughters. After earning the same honour in Bedford, he bought himself a taxi and worked as a taxi driver in the town for many years. He was a real character about town, playing cricket for the local team and trailblazing mixed marriages at a time when this was not at all common. It’s been a real privilege to have talked to so many people who knew ‘Jamaica Joe’ as he called himself.
The reaction to the mural has been amazing, people have really enjoyed watching it appear and have been popping back frequently to see how I am doing. The choice of subject matter seems to have gone down well with the residents of Bedford and I am looking forward to seeing the final mural in the series finished next week. “It’s been great to work with you on site this week and the Mural looks fantastic.” said Bex Foskett of Bedford Creative Arts. “I certainly hope that we have the opportunity of working together again.”
Bedford now has a number of murals throughout the town centre, and judging by the comments I have received this week, the people of Bedford love it and want more.
If you would like to read more about Joseph Clough, click here
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