Rambling and learning on festival walk

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Another successful Bedfordshire Walking Festival has just ended, with hundreds of people taking part in a variety of walks.

For people interested in learning more about what they see when they walk there was a Reading the Landscape Around Us Walk from Leighton Buzzard.

The walkers met at Mentmore Road Memorial Park before going to the Memorial Garden and the Linslade Cenotaph.

They then walked to the White Bridge where they were given a talk about the history of the Grand Union Canal.

The next point of interest was the Peace Meadow where they learned about King Edward the Elder, Aetheleflaeda, The Lady of the Mercians, and the Treaty of Yttangaford, before going to Tiddenfoot Waterside Park and on to the Black Bridge.

Here they learned about the history of the branch railway from Leighton Buzzard to Dunstable, Luton and Welwyn before walking along the disused railway track to Grovebury Road.

Ramblers were also given a talk about the railway line, its link with the local sand, the light railway, and its economic significance in peace and in war, and the gasworks.

Next up was a talk about famous (and infamous) factories - Gossards, famous for underwear, dinghies, parachutes and barrage balloons, the anti-torpedo net factory, and Lancer Boss.

In Lake Street they found out more about George Brown and Sons and the Victoria Ironworks, the Oriel Cinema, the Corn Exchange, and the Temperance Hall. From there they went to the Market Square where they heard about the story of the High Street and ‘Tiddly Tuesday.’

In Church Square they learned about its history, that of All Saints Church, and the various war memorials.

The Cedars, where Mary Norton, creator of The Borrowers lived and which is now a school, was also pointed out.

Other points of interest on the walk were The Albion Hotel (a Temperance establishment), the Flypast Display, the site of the Grand Cinema, the canal wharves and Morgan’s Carriageworks.

Festival organiser Barry Ingram said: “This was our best year ever. The numbers of walkers per walk was way up, not just on interest walks like the one in Leighton, but also for the serious walks like the Greensand Challenge.”