Congregational Church 1897, Luton
Memories of Congregational Church 1897, Luton
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Luton & local memories
Read and share memories of Luton and Bedfordshire inspired by Frith photos.
Good Old Days
I apprenticed at Luton Airport, having been a 'spotter' as a boy, you could stand next to a five foot fence adjacent to the taxiway and almost touch the wings as they went past! No terror worries then. I joined Court Line, who were Autair before that. The plane on the apron is a Handley Page Herald, built at Hatfield (now an industrial estate). They also flew a DC3 and Airspeed Ambassadors (of Munich aircrash, Man United infamy).
I got my first kiss from a boy called Peter Marshall at Saturday morning pictures here, we were playing kiss chase there. When I was about 6 or 7 there was a pig bin in the street where the neighbours used to put their food waste, to be collected. This was outside St. Paul's church hall, New Town Street, where I lived. My mum used to make toffee apples for all the kids. The rag man used to come round to collect any old clothes and jam jars, he'd give us a painting book in return. Early recycling. Those were the days.
Central Youth Club Waller Street
Any one remember the Central Youth Club in Waller Street oposite the indoor Baths??Had some great times there and met my husband there 55 years ago. The Freddie Arnold Seven band on Saturday night we would make the floor bounce with our ~~JIVING~~And us girls used to sneak in little bottles of Baby Cham.. Left Luton in 1965 to settle in Australia . Looking at the pics and reading the comments ibrings back good memories !!!!!
Luton Grammar School.
I lived in Luton from 1958 - 1961 and attended the Grammar School. I have spent most of the rest of my life abroad but returned for a nostalgic visit recently. Luton in those days had a definite Victorian feel about. I remember going to the jug and bottle window at a pub opposite the parish church at age 14 and putting on a deep voice to buy mild beer. 9 pence a pint. I was not a good student and headmaster Kenneth Webb had to deal with me on several occasions. Once for running a gambling club behind the bike sheds. He wanted to cane me but my mum wouldn't have it. She said her boys drank and gambled regulariy at home and she saw no evil in it. Poor old Webb. A typical Fabian of the 1920s only to have a Labour town council shut down his beloved school as "eletist". Happy days.
My First Taste of The Big Wide World.
I started work at Vauxhalls in August 1956. I was an office boy in "P" block for 13 months before going on to do a 5 year apprenticeship. There were 250 draughtsmen, about 50 engineers and me and 1 other office boy had 3 bosses. Bill Cox, John Soddy and Vic Cherry...they ran my ar$e ragged for 13 months, but on reflection they were great times...
Luton Technical College
I went to Luton Technical College in 1948. I remember the balcony surrounding the main hall. We had to march all the way to Popes Meadow for our sports afternoon, quite a hike as I remember. I spent 2 years there. My main memory was the fact that you weren't caned there, you had to write lines instead, no fewer than 500 times. I can still remember one of the lines although I am nearly eighty, it goes like this. "Individual self discipline is the basic necessity of civilised society" and you had to get all your spelling right, or do them again.
Under The Arndale.
I spent many childhood days at the corn exchange in Luton as my grandfather, Percy Brewer, was the attendant in charge of the toilets for many years. Prior to this he was the stage manager at the Grand Theatre in Waller Street opposite the Luton indoor swimming pool.
I have three photos taken in Luton of my ancestors taken around 1903, 1907 and 1910, two of weddings and one of a family group. Would you like copies of these for free? Also, I have another one of Castle street but have misplaced it at the moment. I can email them to you if you would like. I would like you to email me some copies of your photos in exchange. Thanks. Jan
Days With Gran
I remember going with my Grandma Setchel to the Corn Exchange and going and having a cup of tea in the cafe there, and also the toilets. I also remember Park St roundabout and the dentist there where I had my first tooth out. Just down the road, on the other side, was the Cock Inn and a couple buildings further was the Cattle Market. On the other side there was a fish and chip shop on the corner of the alley (through to St Marys Church) and further down, just before Crawley Green Rd was a garage and car sales room. When Malcolm McDonald (the footballer) got transfered from Newcastle to Luton for a million pounds he was given a job at this car sales room. Just round the corner was The Salvation Army Citadel where my dad went as a young boy. I used to live at the top of Crawley Green Rd in Brooms Rd just off of Hart... Read more
I don't remember any of those places...can't remember at what age we moved from Sundown Park to Luton. I know I was 9 1/2 when we left for London ...don't remember going to school in Luton either, just the one at Sundown Park when Mum said I was 3 1/2. I was 5 when I got scalded w/boiling hot greasy soup, the school went round and got mum, she rushed to the hospital, saw me in thick cotton wool and while waiting for the bus to take her home realized she was only wearing her wraparound pinafore, no underwear and Dads slippers... I remember the cafe Mum and Dad bought and we lived upstairs,- it was down the street from the football arena, on the corner next to the pet shop Oh and I remember the old market place w/lots of stands. I remember the acts from the music hall coming in the cafe...
I used to play here when I was a child of 11. We used to run and down that wonderful spiral staircase and read all the names and dates that people had scratched on the brick work over the centuries on the first floor. This was back in 1951. I used to go back every year to see the old place. The last time I saw it was in 2010. Terrible damage had been done to the building, sucj a shame, and that damn airport coming closer and closer. I must be one of the few people still alive who have been to the cellar! The owners of the building (Luton HOO) should hang their heads in shame at the condition of this wonderful building...
Near Dunstable Place
This picture looks like it was taken with Dunstable Place as the intersection on the left. It would have had the Post office on the corner closest to the photographer and housed the old police station on the right between Upper George St. and Stuart St.
This is a picture of the corner of Chapel Street and George Street showing the old Boots Chemist shop before it was taken over by Hepworths the tailors. Dewhursts butchers shop was also in the same complex between Chapel Street, the Conservative Club and the Red Lion carpark area where the taxis used to park waiting their turn to enter the taxi rank on Market Hill.
The Good Old Days
I was born in Luton in the 1940s and remember well the shops in Manchester Street with WG Durrants butchers on the corner of Manchester Street and Bridge Street. Next door in Bridge Street was a garage and further along Manchester Street towards the town hall was Wilds sports and toy store, Faiman fashions and a pub called the Horse and Jockey. On the opposite side of the road was a cafe called the Petite which served great prawn rolls. From memory there was also a jewellers and a hardware store but I can't remember the names of the stores. I remember using the side doors to the town hall which rotated and I used to go in and out several times to amuse myself. I moved to Australia in 1974 and have been back several times but each time I return the town seems to get worse. It is dirtier than I remember and George Street doesn't seem as busy. I assume... Read more
When I Was 5
I remember getting off a bus in Upper George Street with my dad and walking down towards George Street and I saw the library and said what's that pointing - my dad said "It's a library and you borrow books from there". I was amazed and wanted to borrow a book but my dad said "We're buying your shoes today" - one of several even earlier memories of how much time I spent with my dad when I was little. I had two younger sisters and my dad always took me to town or to visit his family in St Helen's by coach and then my mum would follow by train with my sisters I often wonder why it was me but think my middle sister was very naughty and I was extremely well behaved so my dad had an easy time with me!
Building The Tech
Having spent over two years at the old college on Park Square as a student, I started work in 1953 with Seaward Brothers Builders as an apprentice. After two years on the firm they won the contract to build the new Tech. Overall I was there about two years and helped lay the drains, build the walls, point the damp course on the main building and the cycle sheds and lay tiles on the window sills and staircases. Many years after the college was opened, it was renamed Barnfield College and in 1995 I ended up as a Building Lecturer at the college, albeit not on the main campus.
Technical School Park Square
I attended this school from the 8th January 1951 until the end of March 1953. Every morning all classes would attend assembly in this building and would then disperse to their classrooms which were often at other points around the town. My classroom was in the Weslyan Chapel in Chapel Street where I remember I was when the death of George VI was announced on the 6th February 1952. Other places used were the Waller Street Chapel for engineering lessons, the Indoor Pool in Waller Street for swimming lessons, and a long hike up to Popes Meadow for football, cricket and other sporting activities.
The Carnegie Library
I spent many hours in this library until its closure in the early 1960s. Immediately inside was the section where books were handed in on return and new loans were issued. No bar codes and scanning in those days, each book had a card inside which was retained by the librarian after stamping the book. When the new library was opened in1962 I visited this building regularly too. In particular during the very cold winter of 1963 I remember visiting several times a week for the warmth whilst browsing the shelves.
The basement, or I suppose crypt, of this building was used by the Technical College as an engineering workshop. We would traipse from the main building on Park Square along Waller Street to enter the workshop which was kitted out with all types of machinery. The teacher was Mr Dual, nicknamed 'Jimmy Jewel' after the popular radio comedian.
Youth Club Days
When I was about 13 or 14 I would visit this building which was next to the Grand Theatre on Waller Street. By this date the building was used as a Youth Club. I think there was a nominal charge to enter and soft drinks and snacks were available. On one occasion the main hall was blacked out for a film show and I saw Paul Robeson in Sanders of the River, an event which stirred my musical interests as his massive bass voice filled the room.
Conservative Club on Market Hill
My father was a member of the Conservative Club pictured here, and I fondly remember going down to the club to have a bag of crisps and an orange juice while waiting for him to finish meetings inside. I used to sit in the hallway (you can see the entrance to it as the arch) and remember there was a beautiful grandfather clock on the first floor landing which I used to go and admire. I have now inherited a grandfather clock, and it always reminds me of when I fell in love with the one in the club. In the late 1960s, I was photographed by the Luton News pulling a cracker with my best friend at a Christmas party held here. The parties used to be a regular event with us all sitting at long tables with conservative club ladies serving us food.
On the left of the picture is the Red Lion, where myself and two other schoolfriends celebrated our 21st birthdays... Read more
My Grandad Thomas Poole owned a wallpaper & paint shop in Wellington Street, my Mum who is now 82 can remember the day the war was announced, my Grandad threw open the windows and turned up the radio so everyone in the street could hear it. Does anybody remember the shop or have any photos of it?
Swiming Outdoors And Wardown Park
I have fond memories of Luton, I came with my mates from Markyate village on the 364 London transport bus to Park Sq. we would then board a red corporation bus for the swimming pool off the New Bedford road at Leaside, after a swim we would go on the paddle boats in Wardown Park. We all became Luton Town supporters as boys, KO at 2pm due to lack of floodlights, but what a great team. We always ended up in the café at Park Square where a lady from our village worked called Mable Impey, she would always inform our mothers if we misbehaved. happy days
I was in Alexander Hospital as a boy of 8 years old with medical problems. I can recall a Mr Hammonds came every week to take some of us to the local church service. I also remember the teacher Miss Latter who came to teach us, she had an old Austin car. A man came each week on his motorbike and ran a boys cubs group. On one occasion we were taken somewhere along a road to watch a lot of men running. I later learnt it was the marathon in the 1948 Olympic games. I recall being disgusted at some of the runners spitting on the road to clear their throats. I understand the hospital that was situated in the Alexander Park was demolished. Whereas I didn't enjoy being so far away from my home at BigginHill Kent, the grounds were large and beautiful. Ray Marks.
I used to work in Dewhursts butchers on Whipperly Ring, Farley Hill Est. Mr Brookes, the Area Manager, had his office over the butcher shop on Market Hill about 50 yards from the Red Lion Hotel. I have very fond memories of Luton from that period. The old 28 bus service used to go to Round Green from Whipperly Ring , run by United Counties Omnibus Co, Mr Rumbold was the garage Supt then. The Vine Pub, run by Dick and Dora, was across the road from the bus garage on Castle St, as was the Luton News office; Archie and Joyce were the tenants of The Phoenix pub, My friends, John King, Bernard Harris (RIP)and Bill Warburton used to jar in The Vine, Dick had a little Jack Russell terrier that would jump up to look across the counter when someone entered the pub. I later went on to work as a conductor with the 'Counties', I will remember those years with fondnes - they were amongst the... Read more
The Good Old Days Continued
I also recall the days when the old tramp used to go around the bins in the old market hall looking for food, and old Les the deaf mute who used to hang around the taxi rank on Market Hill, he used to go to Warwicks fish shop on Park Square for the taxi drivers and get fish and chips for them. The good old days when Billy Bingham, Ron Baynham, Gordon Turner and Wally Shanks used to play for the then 1st division Hatters (Luton Town) football team. The cattle market just off Park Square on Mondays. Bute Street with Booths china shop and the Bute Milk Bar where I used to go upstairs to be taught ballroom dancing. Cheapside was another place where the character of old Luton was but is no more with Home & Colonial, Blundells, the Reed Garden Chinese restaurant above the Chemists and the jewellers next door, Costins the stationers opposite. The Gaumont, Odeon, Ritz and Savoy picture theatres now all gone.... Read more
My Youth in Stopsley And Luton, Bedfordshire
When I was a very young man and I lived in Luton in Bedforshire. I remember my who my Godparents were but only by their surename of Ingham. My fathers name was E dward Shotten Stuart and my mother's was Dorris Stuart. Dad worked for Vauxhall all his life. Mum left there when I was a teenager and then Mum went and worked for Sketchley cleaners. My sister married and became a Lynne in Stopsley and then she moved away she had two children, a girl and a boy, and after she married I joined the Royal Green Jackets and I still keep in touch with my ex Colonel sometimes. I am also married, to a lovely woman who was Polish before we married and I lived in Norfolk up until we were married and I bought a house in Scotland where we live now and Maria has a lovely garden now and home. We go back to Kracow sometimes to see her brother Tadeusz and her family.... Read more
My Youth in Stopsley
I was brought to Luton, 219 Ashcroft Rd when I was four years old. the cottage we lived in was part of Farmer Holdstocks farm, it was origanally the Cowmans cottage. It was here that my Dad , Fred Chater and Mum Violet, raised their family, there was myself, Sandra and my sister Linda and brothers Ian and Robert. I attended Stopsely Infants and then Juniors and finally Stopsley high School for Girls, we were sperated from the boys in those days. My Dad worked for the brewery as a cellerman all of his working life for what started as Flowers brewery, then finished as Whitbreads. My Mum is very well known in the town. As Rambridge School was built Mum used to feed the builders in her little canteen, then she went on to be the Lollipop lady for 45 years outside of our house, she also used to help in the school reading with the children and teaching them sewing etc. Mum... Read more
My father, Edmund Harris Biggs, visited Luton in 1918 when he was in England during World War I. He visited what was supposed to be the Biggs family home. It was a large house with a circular driveway and possibly a covered portico. He met an elderly lady, possibly unmarried, knoiwn as Aunt Dyer. I would love to find out whatever I can about this house, the lady and any other Biggs family history. My Grandfather was Edmund Harris Biggs (Senior) and was born in Luton in 1858. His father was James Biggs who was born in Redbourn in 1835.
I was late for the cutting of the first turf when Luton Technical College was being moved from Park Square to what became Barnfield College. It was a cold morning and I had overslept!
The University was to expand onto the Park Square site of the 'Tech' and while the initial works were going on we had no playground and very few facilities. Indeed our last form photograph (1956) had to be squeezed into an odd corner near the bike shed! Our lessons were spreadover 3 sites - Chapel Street, Park Square and Waller Street Youth Club. At lunch times there were facilities in the Park Square hall for table tennis and in Waller Street hall dancing several times a week.
The headmaster at the time was Dr Charlesworth - a very innovative and lovely man. The teachers that I remember are Mr Hopkins, Mr Collins, Mr Jenkins, Mr Wainwright, Mrs Clarke, Mrs Whittaker, Mr Whalley, Mr Shaw, Mr Richardson and of course that great character, Mr Tolley... Read more