New Coronation Shelter will be erected in Leighton Buzzard over eight decades after the original

A special Coronation Shelter will be erected once again in Leighton Buzzard's Parson's Close Recreation Ground to mark the Queen's Platinum Jubilee.

By Jo Robinson
Tuesday, 24th May 2022, 5:42 pm

The original was opened over eight decades ago in 1937 to celebrate the coronation of King George VI and his wife Elizabeth, but was removed during the late 1990s due to its dilapidated condition.

However, to honour the Queen's 70th year as monarch, the Town Council will install a brand new shelter to serve the community.

Ian Haynes, head of grounds and environmental services at Leighton-Linslade Town Council, told the LBO: "Officers discovered the original press cutting and photos [from 1937] inside an unmarked blue notebook, with the names of all of the subscribers who contributed to the shelter fund, last year whilst looking through our records.

The shelter which was installed in 1937, and right, its new replacement for the 2022 Jubilee. Image: Leighton-Linslade Town Council

"When the discovery was shared with councillors, the idea of replicating the shelter was discussed.

"We are working with Pulford V.A. Church of England Lower School to re-create the opening and dedication of the shelter that took place on 30th September 1937, as we have a copy of the original programme."

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The 2022 shelter will be completely new, but the Town Council is "delighted" that the design will echo the original.

The new shelter. Image: Leighton-Linslade Town Council

The original ceremony took place on September 30, 1937, was attended by the Vicar (Rev A.T. Stephens), as well as the chairman of the Urban Council (Mr A.H. Smith), Miss Collings, and Messrs. W. D. Cook, E.E Digby, W.S. Higgs, V. Pool, R.A Stratton, E.F Plummer, W. J. Baker, and E. Jenkins, secretary of the appeal committee.

An LBO article from 1937 states: "The teachers and schoolchildren had raised about £28 and Mr Plummer had raised another £10 by another function, making £38 as the children's effort. What a lot of pennies went to make up that handsome sum!

"Perhaps the children had had less money to spend on sweets but the good thing was that they had been trained to think of others.

"The boys and girls of the town...hoped it would give the old people many happy hours."

The Town Council has stated online: "Seeing as the original shelter had been paid for by public subscription, please get in touch if anyone would like to contribute to the costs for the new structure."

A date for the opening ceremony will be confirmed.