Memories of Houghton Regis lower school

Houghton Regis Lower School, known locally as “the top school”, is seen in this view of the High Street/Dunstable Road corner, with St Michael’s Avenue in the background.

The picture must have been taken precariously from the very top of the steeplejack’s ladder which went up the side of one of the chimney’s at the old cement works.

The smaller chimney was demolished in 1976 and the picture was probably taken at around that date.

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The school originally stood quite close to the road but was rebuilt in 1964-65 much further away from the traffic and there’s still a large grassy space on its original site.

In the foreground is Townsend Farm, after which the present Townsend Farm Road was named.

The farm, run from 1930 to 1950 by Ted Huckstepp, raised cows and sheep as well as crops on the surrounding land, now an industrial estate.

Mill Road stretches off to the left of the photo. As the name suggests, it once led to the village windmill.

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The modern building on the right today houses the Netto supermarket. It has recently been taken over by the Morrison’s chain, whose temporary signs went up last week.

Morrison’s plan to demolish the present building and built a very much larger store. This will include a petrol filling station almost directly opposite the filling station seen in the photo.

>> Yesteryear is compiled by John Buckledee, chairman of Dunstable and District Local History Society.