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28 October 2014
Legacies - Beds, Herts and Bucks

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Immigration and Emigration
Group of Italians outside a hostel
© Hidden Voices, Carmela Semeraro and Bedford Creative Arts
Bedford's Italian question

In the 1950s, post-war Bedford was brought to life by a little bit of Italian colour and passion, as thousands arrived from impoverished villages in southern Italy to work for the brick companies. For those used to a life on the land, English culture was often difficult to adjust to, and many Italians returned home, some within the year.

But others stayed on, and today Bedford still has a thriving Italian community. There are about 14,000 people of Italian origin living in Bedfordshire, most of these in Bedford itself. The town even boasts an Italian Vice-Consulate, and the local radio station has a weekly programme, called Mondo Italiano, dedicated to its Italian community. More...

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Your comments

1 Mark Jowett from Manchester - 20 January 2004
"There are at least two Italian churches in Bedford,including a Protestant (Pentecostal) church near Midland Road station."

2 sab from bedford - 2 January 2004
"Not only does Bedford offer an Italian Vice-Consulate, it also has it's own Italian Church. Also, at the time of WW2, soldiers from Bedfordshire found the Anzio bell which was returned to the town of Anzio by the veteran soldiers just a few weeks ago. "

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