Bedford is the county town of Bedfordshire in south-east England, located approximately 48 miles north of London. The village of Kempston, on the edge of Bedford, was the home of John Bunyan, while nearby Cardington was the main base of Britain's airship industry in the 1920s and 30s. The ill-fated airship R101 was built there, and the surviving airship hangar forms the largest single enclosed space in the United Kingdom. Bedford has a significant Italian population, drawn to the town after 1945 to work in the local brick-making industry.
Bedford has a population of 79,000 (town only; Bedford district: 148,000)