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News > Alumni News > Beautiful sketches by OBM Bernard West (1935-44)

Beautiful sketches by OBM Bernard West (1935-44)

21 Feb 2023
Alumni News
Drawing of spring flowers in Stevington, 21st February 1940.
Drawing of spring flowers in Stevington, 21st February 1940.

Bernard West was a student at BMS from 1935-44. While at school, Bernard developed a love for the Bedfordshire area, encouraged by his teacher and local history expert F W Kuhlicke. 

As well as taking part in organised school activities, Bernard cycled around the county at weekends, observing the changing seasons as he went. He produced nature diaries which included detailed sketches and observational notes about the natural world and the built environment.  

Bernard worked on several notebooks during World War 2 which also record some details about his experience of living through the conflict. For instance, in one of these notebooks held in the BMS Archive, Bernard talks about coping with disturbed sleep because of night time air bombing raids on Bedford during the Battle of Britain and the Blitz in September 1940. 

His sketches are also wonderful records of local towns and villages. In fact, these images were so highly regarded that they were regularly printed by Bedfordshire Magazine from 1947 until 1998. 

After WW2, Bernard became a professional architect with a practice based in Bedford. He remained interested in the changing face of the county and visited Manton Lane in 1983 to draw some views of the BMS buildings. 

Pictured below:

Street in Biggleswade c. 1940.

Pictured below:

Drawing of spring flowers in Stevington, 21st February 1940.

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