Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.Created with Sketch.

Third Angel & The Place present

The Desire Paths: Bedford


The Desire Paths: Bedford
presented by Third Angel
in collaboration with The Place Theatre.

Performed by
Zishan Afsar
Nisha Anil
Marta Beccatini
Sara-Jayne Berrill
Alexander Kelly
Gillian Lees
Adie Mueller

Photography by
Chiara Mac Call

For Third Angel:
Co-Artistic Directors
Alexander Kelly
Rachael Walton

Executive Producer
Hilary Foster

Acting Executive Director
Laura Holmes

Samantha Turner

Digital Marketing Manager
Helen Varley

For The Place:
Alex Levene
Lissy Malt
Emily Alleyne
Jo Robertson
Simao Vaz
Rae Levene
Matt Baker
Harri Mardlin
Shiela Ngila
Aaron Garlick
Georgia Royston-Hayes
+ all the awesome volunteers

Supported by
1 Degree East
Arts Council England
Bedford Borough Council
Bedford Creative Arts
Bedford Players Trust
Harpur Trust
Heritage Enterprise Hub

Third Angel is a National Portfolio Organisation of Arts Council England and an Associate Company of Sheffield Theatres.

Bedford Stories

From Friday 3 to Sunday 5 September 2021, we chalked a giant map of Bedford onto the stone of Harpur Square, and we asked the people of Bedford to rename a street after a hope, dream or ambition for the future.

Evelyn, aged 4, got us started. She had just been bought her first pair of school shoes and got them out to show us all. She was very excited about starting school and had been promised pizza for dinner that evening, if their shopping trip was successful. That was what she wanted to talk about. So she changed the name of Tavistock Road to PIZZA ROAD.

Tami renamed Hartwell Drive as ELEPHANT DRIVE, because she wants to see lots of elephants.

Ava renamed Goldington Road as RABBIT ROAD, because she wants there to be lots of rabbits.

Ava’s mum Jacquie renamed Newnham Road as TEA & CAKE CLOSE as it’s on her walk to work and she’d like to ensure she always has access to tea and cake.

Caroline wanted to name a street KNOWLEDGE AVENUE. She chose Cauldwell Street because it joins two roundabouts and knowledge is always better if it connects lots of things.

Joanna goes down Mill Street every fortnight to visit the library, so she called it LIBRARY GATEWAY. She enjoys getting new books each visit. Her father was also an avid reader and library user in Bedford and once won a prize for having borrowed the most books.

Arthur renamed Mendip Crescent to HAPPY HEDGEHOG HILL. Arthur loves wildlife. As well as the hedgehogs in his garden, he’s got two bird tables and at least four squirrels. This year he decided to let the garden overgrow a bit more and was amazed to find a lot more birds in it.

Keith and Penny renamed Hartington Street to A QUIET PLACE. It’s quiet now and they would like it to stay that way.

CALYPSO AVENUE was named by a woman who had lived in Bedford for over twenty years, because she wanted to celebrate the large number of people in Bedford from Trinidad and Tobago.

A married couple renamed Newnham Street to SANTANIELLO STREET. Santaniello is a well-known Pizzeria, where they went on their first date. They had met on skiing holidays in Les Arcs. She lived in Ipswich at the time. The date went really well and the rest is history. She moved to Bedford, they got married and their daughter is now 21 years old.

Monica is 6 and sang Billie Eilish to us. She named BOOK AVENUE. She had just been to the library, and thought that as everyone in Bedford should read and deserves to have free books.

Mike named YOU’LL NEVER WALK ALONE – partly after his football team, but also because he has lived in Bedford all his life and, despite the face of Bedford changing from when he was a kid, to having his own kids, when you are out and about in Bedford, he said, you truly feel as if you never walk alone.

Alex renamed The Embankment as FAIR DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH WAY because he wanted a really long name and to see what he could get away with.

Talia renamed Cutcliffe Grove, the first street she lived on when she moved to Bedford. Queen’s Park is a great community she thinks, and Cutcliffe Grove is the street everyone who lives there has to use on their way home – it’s not a through route. So its new name is HOMING PIGEON AVENUE.

Florencia changed the name of Harpur Street to be DREAM LIBRARY STREET. She’s just published a book about dreams, and would love the library to hold copies of it.

Elizabeth renamed Beaconsfield Street as NEW LIFE STREET. It’s where they own their first house together, and they’re having a baby.

Meerah called Stanley Street, SMILEY CLOUD LANE.

The family and friends of DJ and music promoter Rhino Selekta were gathering for his wake in The Harpur Suite, just across from our map. They came over to rename streets in his memory. Rhino had died just two weeks earlier, and his new music festival had gone ahead the following week, as it was his wish for the festival to continue in the future. His friends and family will make that happen, and they renamed Tyne Crescent as RHINO SELEKTA FESTIVAL WAY, and Marlow Way as HAPPY STREET.

Paul renamed Dunville Road to ALWAYS STREET. He has always lived there, pretty much. There are about 50 houses on the street, and last time he counted, 19 different nationalities among his neighbours. He remembers the parties they’ve had. He loves it when the streets are closed off and the children can play in the street the same way he used to play as a child.

Howard Place was renamed as SUNLIGHT ROAD. It’s a very short road and there is only one building on it. The locals only ever refer to it as Sunlight Road, because there’s a large advert for Sunlight Soap painted on the building.

Francois named SWIM LANE. It was great to have the lido - Robinson Pool - after Covid, because it enabled him to see people again, as his family is in France. Whenever he is there and around that part of Bedford it reminds him of swimming - and everyone should be able to swim.

Evelyn and her mother returned on the second day to see how we had progressed (and to tell us that the pizza they had for dinner the previous evening was lovely!)

Chiara chose Bedford as a refuge for herself, and would like Bedford to be a refuge for more people who need it. She hopes people can feel as welcome and at home as she felt when she moved here. She renamed Shakespeare Road as REFUGEE ROAD.

Two friends moved from Canada to Bedford two years ago to work. They renamed Allhallows as NEW ADVENTURES.

Marion renamed The Crescent for AMY WALMSLEY, who had a significant teaching influence in Bedford based on learning through games and more freedom. Marion believes that people of Bedford should know more about the big difference this woman made.

GEORGIA renamed Clapham Road after her own name – because who is a bigger inspiration than yourself?

Stuart renamed Wellington Street, home of the Charles Wells Brewery, as REAL ALE LANE, to make sure he can always get a cold pint.

Jenna renamed Morland Way as MAGICAL LANE. Her sister Kayla renamed Gainsborough Rise as HOGWARTS RISE.

Putnow Heights was renamed by Millie as CARNIVAL DRIVE to make sure the future holds plenty of singing and dancing.

Cathy changed the name of St Paul’s Square to be MUSIC SQUARE. It’s where her choir sings. They’ve just started meeting in person again, and it feels like a sign of normality returning.

Urban had been filming and interviewing us all. He changed the name of Harpur Square, where we were standing, to YOUTH TV SQUARE, to make sure his channel continues.

Margot likes to look out for small moments of pleasure, and she found a LITTLE JOY LANE in Riverside Close.

Lizzie changed Edward Road into COMMUNITY VILLAGE. “That would be nice.”

Rose came with three generations of her family. They all live near Irwin Road, which she renamed as FAMILY PLACE.

Ava’s estate is not on our map – which, published in 2003, is the most recent Bedford street atlas in print we could find. So she renamed Hawk Drive as LOVE BEDFORD WAY.

Lucy renamed Rossamond Road as BLOSSOM AVENUE.


Lissy was looking at the map and we were talking about hashtags. There was a pause. “I love coffee,” she said, taking a hit. “Is there a Coffee Street?” “No! How about Fountain of Coffee?” “No. ESPRESSO ROAD?” “Yes!”

Rachel renamed Midland Road to HAPPINESS STREET, to give Bedford something uplifting.

Bill is a huge fan of Eagle Bookshop. It has recently relocated to St Peter’s Street and by way of a Public Service Announcement Bill decided to rename it EAGLE BOOKSHOP STREET.

Emma works for The University of Bedfordshire in Luton and Bedford and is a firm believer in lowering the barriers to access for education. So Polhill Road became THE ROUTE TO HIGHER EDUCATION.

Fiza, Mehak, Urooj and Insharrah, became friends at school on Biddenham Turn, so they renamed it FRIENDSHIP LANE.

Lauren is a yoga teacher, and the half circle shape of Tyne Crescent reminded her of one of her favourite poses, so she called it HALF MOON LANE.

A family asked to rename Shaftsbury Avenue. The kids’ grandparents lived there for 30 years, and now they are all going to live in their dream house there next year. So they called it FOREVER ROAD.


Be the first to hear the news! Join our mailing list today and we will send you (infrequent) emails about Third Angel’s work, including shows, events, employment and educational opportunities, fundraising and news.

You can view our privacy and data policy here.

And you can support us here too!


Sign up

If you cannot find the content you are looking for please visit our archived blog.