Today's County in the spotlight

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NewcastleFalcon
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Bedfordshire in the spotlight

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

The second "Bedfordshire" association which came to mind was Luton Town, pioneering with the "plastic pitch" in the 1980's at Kenilworth Road.

BBC back in 2012 reported a 21 year Plastic Pitch Reunion for some Luton Fans marking 21 years since the last match was played on the surface...a 2-0 win for Luton against Derby County.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-b ... s-20695347

I recall maybe incorrectly that the early plastic pitches were a bit bouncy, and gave the home team a bit of an advantage.

Regards Neil

PS I thought Luton had beaten Liverpool 3-0 in a match I remember on the plastic pitch. Just watched the 20 minute highlights of it FA Cup second replay 1987. Earlier in the season Liverpool had also come a cropper at Kenilworth Road when Luton won 4-1 in the league.
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mickthemaverick
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Re: Bedfordshire in the spotlight

Post by mickthemaverick »

NewcastleFalcon wrote:
24 Apr 2022, 10:21
The second "Bedfordshire" association which came to mind was Luton Town, pioneering with the "plastic pitch" in the 1980's at Kenilworth Road.

BBC back in 2012 reported a 21 year Plastic Pitch Reunion for some Luton Fans marking 21 years since the last match was played on the surface...a 2-0 win for Luton against Derby County.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-b ... s-20695347

I recall maybe incorrectly that the early plastic pitches were a bit bouncy, and gave the home team a bit of an advantage.

Regards Neil

PS I thought Luton had beaten Liverpool 3-0 in a match I remember on the plastic pitch. Just watched the 20 minute highlights of it FA Cup second replay 1987. Earlier in the season Liverpool had also come a cropper at Kenilworth Road when Luton won 4-1 in the league.
I remember the plastic pitch very well. In those days while still supporting Chelsea I also followed my home team Watford and our local rivalry with Luton was huge. Eric Morcambe was a director of Luton for the first half of the seventies and a life president from 75ish until he died in the mid eighties IIRC. I believe it was his success there that inspired Elton John to buy Watford, the club he had loved since a boy and following his recruitment of Graham Taylor gave Watford its best ever period climbing to the dizzy heights of runner up in the first division!! As for our derby games on the plastic pitch the less said the better!! :-D
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Re: Today's County in the spotlight

Post by mickthemaverick »

One of the more attractive of county flags for Bedfordshire in my view:
BFTW
BFTW
More information here


The location in England map:
BFTW
BFTW

and the places in Bedfordshire:
BFTW
BFTW
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mickthemaverick
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Re: Today's County in the spotlight

Post by mickthemaverick »

Bedfordshire was my county of residence for 10 years between 1996 and 2006. Following my divorce I moved out to a mobile home in Leagrave, which is a kind of suburb of Luton, where I had an exceptionally enjoyable (new found freedom :-D ) 5 years. In 2001 an opportunity to rent a huge flat above a carpet warehouse about half a mile from my mobile home arose and I grabbed it in order to move into a more substantial building.
Own creation
Own creation
The mobile home had been ok until I suffered a break-in and burglary in 2000 which put me off. The insurance paid out handsomely and I ended up with my first digital camera, a Canon Powershot Pro90is, pictured here:
BFTW
BFTW
Review of it here

which is still lurking in the wardrobe, to replace my pair of Canon AE1's and various lenses which had been stolen. They also replaced my then archaic Bush stereo system with a new Kenwood Amp, Cassette Deck, Tuner and Garrard SP25 record deck, all of which now reside in the loft!! So I didn't come out of the burglary too badly but I was left feeling less secure and began looking for somewhere more secure.

The flat as you can see in the picture was right alongside the railway line which led to some entertaining pranks during my time there. The southeast facing end of the building had a second floor window at the end of my office/library which was in full view of all North bound train passengers who happened to be looking out of the windows as they approached the building. At night I used to put odd or weird things in the window, usually underlit and watched the passengers reactions as they came buy. A skull, a tarantula, an electrostatic lamp etc were the type of things and they appeared from outside to be just hanging in the sky as the building was in total darkness!! :-D

The time I lived in the flat was mainly spent working on my car purchasing business and a couple of sidelines including website design for local companies and a certain amount of electronic security work with my main role being design and commissioning while my lads did the installation work!! Then I met SWMBO and moved to Hertford in 2006!! :-D
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NewcastleFalcon
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Re: Today's County in the spotlight

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Looking at the map of Bedfordshire, and staying with Luton, its probably the only bit of Bedfordshire I have set foot in.

March 1975 to be precise when the National Cross-Country Championships were held here.
Luton view from the slopes of Stopsley Common
Luton view from the slopes of Stopsley Common
Steve Ovett was in the Junior Men's race, won it by a couple of hundred yards, not really his course and distance, but a tremendous athlete, as he was to go on to prove. Tony Simmonds running for Luton United AC won the mens race, much more of a course and distance specialist!
A  pant in the Country got me this!
A pant in the Country got me this!
Regards Neil
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Re: Today's County in the spotlight

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

As well as Vauxhall/Bedford and their presence in the County there was also, originally based at Biscot Road Luton...

The Commercial Car Company, taken over by Humber in 1926 and renamed the Commer Cars, with Humber and Commer being acquired by the Rootes Group in 1928.

https://www.gracesguide.co.uk/Commer
Image

Regards Neil
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Re: Today's County in the spotlight

Post by mickthemaverick »

Bedford was one of the sites of the middle ages Motte & Bailey castles. I have visited the site but not really much to see now. This is how it used to look:
BFTW
BFTW
225px-Bedford_Castle_labelled.png (70.06 KiB) Viewed 53 times
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Re: Today's County in the spotlight

Post by mickthemaverick »

Leighton Buzzard has a few stories to tell, one of the more famous being:

The Great Train Robbery

The Great Train Robbery took place in 1963 at Bridego Bridge just outside Leighton Buzzard. The robbers were held at the Old Police Station on Wing Road Linslade while waiting to be seen by the local magistrate after being captured a month after the robbery.

Leighton Buzzard station was the location for part of the film Robbery, which is based on the ‘Great Train Robbery’.

This information has been aquired from Wikipedia :)
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Re: Today's County in the spotlight

Post by mickthemaverick »

One place in Bedfordshire of considerable interest to many FCF members is the Millbrook Proving Ground. I have marshalled events there as well as attended fleet shows when they were held there in the 90s. In fact it was at Millbrook that my desire for an Activa was born. It was at the fleet show in 1994/5 that I had the opportunity for a test drive around a specially designed slalom circuit. The car was awesome but I didn't get to purchase my first second hand one until 2007.
Well worth a visit for a drive round the alpine circuit or even the fast oval if you are that way inclined :-D
BFTW
BFTW
The details are on their very informative website
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Re: Today's County in the spotlight

Post by mickthemaverick »

I visited RAF Henlow way back in the 1970s to play a snooker match against the RAF Pilots. I can't remember the result of the match but I did come away with a very favourable impression of the RAF Officers that we met and spent the evening with. The base itself has quite an interesting history which Wiki deals with here.
BFTW
BFTW
BFTW
BFTW
BFTW
BFTW
In recent times the site was proposed to be used for a rather more solemn purpose:
BFTW
BFTW
Details here
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Re: Today's County in the spotlight

Post by mickthemaverick »

London is not the only place to have had a Great Fire in its history. I came across this plaque (edited for obvious reasons) when visiting a friend of mine who had opened a wine bar in the town:
Edited from the web
Edited from the web
So who can tell me where it is?
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Re: Today's County in the spotlight

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

mickthemaverick wrote:
24 Apr 2022, 21:19
London is not the only place to have had a Great Fire in its history. I came across this plaque (edited for obvious reasons) when visiting a friend of mine who had opened a wine bar in the town:

Image

So who can tell me where it is?
Seems Bedfordshire has had a fair number of Great Fires.
Dates not quite tying in the Great Fire of Potton started On 14th August 1783 a hay stack in King Street burst into flames and the resulting sparks set fire to half the town in half an hour. Four hours later the fire was out and the best part of the town burnt down.

https://bedsarchives.bedford.gov.uk/Com ... n1783.aspx
Dates definitely not tying in the Great Fire of Meppershall is reported here
https://bedsarchives.bedford.gov.uk/Com ... 20homes%3A
But spot on with dates The Great Fire of Biggleswade...

https://openplaques.org/plaques/30882

REgards Neil
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Re: Today's County in the spotlight

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Biggleswade birthplace of this chap...



Regards Neil
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Re: Today's County in the spotlight

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Cranfield in Bedfordshire may be noteworthy for many things, but a red Church Clock and a nice cafe opposite were the inspiration behind it being one of CitroJim's favourite cycling haunts.

Image

REgards Neil
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Re: Today's County in the spotlight

Post by NewcastleFalcon »

Can't leave Bedfordshire without a small spotlight on Vauxhall.

Indeed they are a British Manufacturer since 1903, although from 1925 onwards they followed the acquisitions tree through becoming the first overseas acquisition by General Motors of the USA in November 1925, and 92 years later in 2017, the acquisition of Opel and Vauxhall by Groupe PSA, and the subsequent morphing of PSA into Stellantis in 2021.

Vauxpedia really has everything on Vauxhall in tremendous detail, a superb resource. History, every model, brochures, promotional material, advertising, video links
Mick mentioned the Millbrook Testing Ground, here's some moving pictures after cutting a bit of the waffle, and a screenshot from the footage of a very nice orange Ventora with a vinyl roof!


https://youtu.be/ogtV96GMLCg?t=772
https://youtu.be/ogtV96GMLCg?t=772
REgards Neil