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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"On the Sands."-Wardown Park, Luton ..

Photoaranhed :mr' . ~Iished bv A. L A:-;OERSO:" & Co .. Luton and Leisbron Buzzard

69. Originally the river ran through the estate in two separate streams one of which supplied power to a watermill. When it was taken over as a public park, work began on dam ming the flow to form a boating lake. This photograph was taken when only the lower half of the lake had been completed. The rustic bridge was the predecesser of the suspension bridge which exists today.



70. As the lake was extended it became necessary to build a larger bridge and the design chosen was a wrought iron suspension bridge which has been a feature of the Park ever since. This photograph, taken about 1921, shows a scene similar to the present day except that the safety fen ces had not yet been found to be necessary.

71. The lower bridge was of a different design, but matched the upper one in that it was built of wrought iron. Here the lake was narrow enough to use a girder bridge. During the Second World War this bridge received a near miss by a bomb during the same raid by a German aircraft which damaged a house in Wardown Crescent. However it survived until about 1970 when it was replaced by the present bridge.

Drinking Fountain, Wardown, Luton.

72. A feature of the Park which also no longer exists in its original form was a stone drinking-fountain situated near to the lower bridge. Note the bandstand on the left hand side of the picture, which was regularly in use by the Red Cross Band and others. Large audiences were a feature of the Park until the Second World War.

73. When Wardown House was acquired by the council in 1904, it was put to a number of uses. For a time there was a tea room on the ground fioor and during the First Wor1d War it became a hospital for officers. It was not until 1931 that house became the home of the Luton Museum and Art Gallery, which had its origin in a room in the Carnegie Library in Williamson Street.

74. At first the Museum occupied two rooms near the entrance. Bedfordshire, at that time, was undergoing rapid change from its previously rural nature and the collection rapidly expanded as material flooded in from the surrounding villages. One by one the other rooms in the mansion were filled with displays until all the main rooms were occupied and the cellars and attic spaces were fuil of exhibits and pictures for which there was no room on display.

75. The kitehen of the mansion was used to display a range of eooking and other items to show how domestic life has ehanged over the years and to illustrate obsolete eooking methods. The werking equipment shown in this view ean be used to eook a range of animals varying in size from a whole sheep down to a tiny sky lark, a loeal speeiality in days gone by,

76. An early idea was to install an open-air museum in the park on similar lines to the ones which were being established in Scandinavia between the wars. In order to do this, large exhibits were collected and the complete contents of such workshops as blacksmith's, wheelwright's and cooper's were acquired as well as a number of horse-drawn vehicles. This donkey wheel was transferred from a farm at Kensworth by the Friends of the Museum and re-erected in the park, where it can still be seen today.

77. This view shows how the donkey was required to walk round and round inside the wheel in order to raise water from a depth of about three hundred feet. Because much of south Bedfordshire is on the Chalk which does not support rivers or streams, this methad of obtaining water was used on many farms befare the introduetion of mains supplies in the nineteenth century.

78. In the villages of north Bedfordshire lace making had been an important domestic craft and the families of many farm labourers were heavily dependant on it as an extra souree of income. As the Luton Museum was the only museum in the county, it ca me to acquire what is probably the large st collection of lace making items outside London. This reconstructed lacemaker's cottage display is familiar to many Luton children.

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