Luton in old picture postcards

Luton in old picture postcards

:   F. Hackett
:   Bedfordshire
:   United Kingdom
:   978-90-288-2132-3
:   144
:   EUR 16.95 Incl BTW *

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Fragmenten uit het boek 'Luton in old picture postcards'

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89. Luton occupies the gap formed by the River Lea in the eastern part of the Chiltern Ridge. The steep valley side is clearly seen at Hart Hili where a particularly hard band of rock called the Chalk Rock forms a scarp-edge overlooking the town. Because this prevented houses from being built there is still a refreshing area of greenery quite close to the town centre.

Photograpbcd & Published by

" LCT0N'S FIRST TRAM. Feb. 21 st :08, "

A. J. Andersen & Co.

90. The town benefitted in the earIy years of the twentieth century by having a souree of cheap electricity and in 1900 an electric tram system was proposed despite the fact that many of the streets were steep and had sharp bends. The system, which co st f.63,000 and had five and a quarter miles of route, was inaugurated in 1908 with due ceremony at the Bailey Street Depot just off Park Street.

91. The tracks were laid along the four major roads out of the town. They passed along the New Bedford Road as far as Bath Road, along Dunstabie Road to Kingsway, along Hitching Road to Round Green and along London Road to the junction of Cutenhoe Road. All the tram routes passed along George Street making it very crowded as can be seen in this view.

92. At first there were twelve four-wheel double-deck open tram cars with a single decker being added later on. In 1930 four were fitted with tops to give the upstairs passengers some proteetion from the weather. This photograph shows a scale model of one of the four modified types. The livery chosen for the cars was green and cream.

93. The hilly roads with many sharp bends were a continuing souree of trouble as illustrated by this accident in Old Bedford Road. In 1931 the tramway was also proving to he inadequate for the transport needs of the town and was holding up the traffic in the busy central area. The Council decided to sell it, but were prevented from doing so because of a ruling by the Minister of Transport that the public transport rights must be retained by the local authority. The result was that the tracks were taken up in 1932 and a bus service replaced it.

94. The existence of two large estates, Luton Hoo and Stockwood, on the south of Luton not only prevented the town frorn developing in that direction, it caused the road to London to climb the steep slope of the valley side as a continuation of CastIe Street and pass along the boundary separating the two areas of private parkland. This photograph shows London Road looking towards the town with Tennyson Road on the right and the Stockwood Estate boundary wall on the left.

95. This photograph, taken in about 1905, shows the steepest part of London Road before the tramway was laid down. The entrance on the right led into the grounds of 'Whitehills', the residence of Henry Durler, one of the best known and most wealthyof the straw plait dealers in Luton. From this point also there was an ancient footpath leading to Slip End, known as Lawn Path.

96. Stoekwood House was built in 1740 at a eost said to be f.60,000 by John Crawley. It remained the residenee of the Crawley family for about two hundred and fifty years, during whieh time they played an important part in the life of the town. The mansion, which was used as a hospital in its later days, was demolished in 1964 and the grounds now form Stockwood Park. Only the stable block and nurseries survive.

97. Because Luton was prevented from spreading southwards by the estates of Luton Hoo and Stockwood, its expansion northwards was all the more rapid. The boundaries were extended in stages taking in the hamlets of Leagrave, Limbury and Stopsley. Of these Leagrave, which originally stood some two and a half miles north of Luton, was the largest. In 1861 it had a population of 418 and in 1895 became a separate parish within the Luton Rural area. However it consisted mainly of agricultural cottages and was heavily dependent on Luton for its services.

98. The assimilation of Leagrave within its larger neighbour did not take place without protest by the villagers who valued their independence. However among the first benefits of the 'take over' was the paving of the High Street which, as seen here, was in dire need of it. The building on the left is the Sugar Loaf Inn while the cottages on the corner site beyond it were demolished in 1932 and are now replaced by a garage.

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