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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79. Few views of old Luton contrast past with present quite so sharply as this photograph, which shows the ford at the bottom of Stockingstone Road looking towards Biscot. Champkins Lane was the name given to the section where the present roundabout is situated on New Bedford Road. Horse-drawn vehicles crossed the river Lea by the ford while pedestrians used the footbridge.


Cold Harbour, near Luton.

80. The River Lea was crossed by a number of wooden footbridges. This view was taken up-stream of the town. The downland seen in the background is typical of chalk areas which have been grazed by sheep for hundreds of years. With the sheep now gone and rabbits greatly reduced the hawthom scrub which covers the hills today makes the view very different.

81. This view taken in about 1935 shows that sheep were kept on the area to the north of Luton until fairly recent times and were only displaced as the town expanded prior to the Second World War. Biscot Mill is seen here in a disused state and was demolished shortly afterwards.

82. This skilfully-taken photograph of about 1906 emphasises the isolation which Biscot enjoyed before the expansion of Luton. A windmill stood at Biscot since at least Elizabethan times and a deed dated 1711 bound the miller Isaac Freeman and his successors to rebuild and maintain it for five hundred years. Like many mills it suffered from the danger of fire and had to be rebuilt again in 1844.

83. When the railway was built across the Moor, the northern part was left as it is today. On the south side, isolated by a high embankment, was a triangle of land which was taken by J.S. Crawley and developed for housing. He built Crawley Road, Moor Street and Francis Street on it and, in return, he gave to the town the land which is now known as Pope's Meadow and Beli's Close. This view shows Crawley Road in about 1900.

84. The crossing of the Moor by the Midland Railway was an event of considerable local significanee. Thirty-four years earlier even the great railway engineer George Stephenson failed to persuade the townspeople to sacrifice part of it for his planned railway link with Leighton Buzzard. This annoyed hirn to the extent that he is said to have vowed that the town would not have a railway line as long as he lived. This prophesy carne true and for a nurnber of years Luton was the largest town in the country without a railway station.

85. The town's earliest rail link is now disused. It opened in 1858, ten years after Stephenson died. It connected Luton with Dunstabie and was later extended to Welwyn, eventually it formed part of the Great Northern Railway. The station was in Bute Street and an enormous warehouse was built to store boxes of newly-made hats prior to dispatching to London. Later the Bute Street Station was used to load Vauxhall cars for distribution.

86. This photograph shows the pumping station and he ad office of the Luton Water Company in Crescent Road. The Company was founded in 1865 and chose this site for its wells which were driven three hundred and thirty feet into the Chalk to provide a reliable souree of clean water. Their two water towers with their conieal roofs are still familiar features on each side of the valley and can be seen from many parts of the town. They provided enough mains pressure to make it unnecessary for the fire brigade to use a steam driven fire engine. Constant water pressure was also used to drive at least one church organ in the town.

87. Dunstable Road was the least hiliy of the main roads out of the town and houses were developed along it as far as Beech Hili during the nineteenth century. This view shows the junction of Moor Street in about 1900 and it is clear that, at this time, it was a quiet residential area. The empty site on the left was later filied by the Odeon cinema.

88. As a shopping centre and main route westwards Dunstabie Road became a busy, bustling place in marked contrast to the impression given in the previous view. This photograph shows the Cooperative Society Store which occupied the prominent site at the junction of Leagrave Road.

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