We want Talk About Bletchley to be an informal, friendly site where information, memories, views and opinions can be shared in an open and respectful  atmosphere.  So all comments will be checked before publishing – but if you do notice anything offensive, inappropriate or just plain factually incorrect, please let us know.

Bletchley photos!

Over the years Bletchley has faced criticism over the decline of Queensway, many shoppers much preferring to travel over to ‘big brother’ Milton Keynes. Unfortunately though, like many other smaller towns Bletchley has also suffered from out of town shopping precincts and this too has not helped encourage larger stores from coming to the town; having said that we must not forget the smaller traders in the town who are doing a ‘great’ job in providing goods for those not wishing to travel further afield.

Shoppers enjoying the ‘light and airy’ Brunel Centre in 2002.

The debate about the old Bletchley & District Co-operative Society site goes on, whether it would be better to pull it down, then develop an area that would be more attractive to both locals and visitors alike. Whatever the outcome it is up to the ‘powers that be’, hopefully one day we will hear some good news.

It would though be interesting to hear your views, hopefully positive rather than negative about how you would like to see Queensway develop.

Anyone remember this from the 1970s?

Information Stand in Queensway

Bletchley photos!

Now here’s a picture of a man ‘sweating over a hot stove’! Many of you will remember Mokaris cafe at the entrance to the Central Gardens, possibly even called in there for a refreshing cup of coffee after the weekly shop. I have recently found this photograph captioned Mokaris baker, Fred Kingaby, the picture was taken sometime in 1974; if anybody can confirm that the photograph is of Fred please let us know.

Fred mopping his brow!

Also, please let us know if you were a regular at Mokaris, as many of us know they certainly made a lovely cup of coffee!

These two old photographs of Fenny Stratford show just how idyllic the area was. You cannot halt progress, however, with the ‘hustle and bustle’ of everyday life perhaps a little quieter lifestyle is something we could all do with sometimes!

Looking down The Denbigh Road from Stag Bridge.

Water Eaton Lane, Fenny Stratford.



County Cinema

The Bletchley Gazette dated June 22, 1957 reported that the County Cinema in High Street, Fenny Stratford was closing down.

The building was originally High Street Methodist Chapel which was converted into the County Cinema in 1911.

The cinema had  various names over the years including King Georges,and was one of the oldest in the country outside London.

Like many children in Bletchley I went to “Saturday morning Pictures” at The County every week. The programme consisted of a serial, a cartoon and a “big picture”, usually a cowboy film (e.g. Roy Rogers)  or a comedy (Laurel and Hardy). It was good value at 6d in the stalls, or 9d in the balcony.



Wilton Hall ‘packed’ for Symphony Concert!

Five hundred and sixty people attended a Symphony Concert at the Wilton Hall, Bletchley. It was the first of its kind in the town and the organizers were very pleased and evenly astonished at its success, especially at seat prices ranging up to 12s 6d.

The London Mozart Players opened the season and it was hoped that many more well-known orchestras would come to the venue. People came from a 20-mile radius, but Bletchley’s musical enthusiasts supported the event in strength. The 35 strong orchestra filled the stage at the hall, but there was a noticeable concern for the conductor hoping he would not fall backwards off the stage as many feared.

One little girl in the audience who had only been playing the violin for three months thought the concert was ‘smashing’!

. . .

Before any of you want to know where you can buy some ‘bargain price’ tickets for the next concert, unfortunately, I have to tell you the first concert was held in 1967!

Hospital Patients

In 1957 the Bletchley Gazette reported that two-thirds of Bletchley’s hospital patients went to the Aylesbury  group of hospitals and two third go to the Northampton group.

I remember having to go to Aylesbury by train, changing at Cheddington, or to Northampton by train. This meant very often a  wait in the cold on a railway station whether an outpatient, patient or visitor.

We are very fortunate to have a new hospital, served by a regular bus service.

A similar situation applies with shopping trips, which in 1957 involved a rail journey to either Bedford or Northampton but now a simple bus or car journey to CMK.