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Archive for February, 2013

Brooklands Road development

With the recent interest shown in Brooklands Road, Bletchley, it was felt that some readers may be interested in the following newspaper snippets from the late 19th century.

The accompanying map dated c. 1930 shows how little had been built in Brooklands Road up to that period in time, where it can be located on the map just above the letter ‘B’ for Bletchley.

THE BROOKLANDS ESTATE (from the BCHI Archive)

Extracts from the North Bucks Flying Post, September 1886

The local authorities at Fenny rejected an offer by Rowland Bros. to allow a drain to be run across their property on the Bletchley Road to the brook, for the better drainage of the neighbourhood. This was even though the Surveyor said it was the best scheme.

A report was submitted about an alleged nuisance, in the form of a ditch, in Bletchley Road. The best means to permanently improve the drainage in the neighbourhood was to carry a deep sewer down Brooklands Road, under an arrangement with Messrs Rowland Bros., the owners of the estate through which the road runs. The only other remedy was to clean the ditch regularly.

Mr Rowland suggested that trees should be planted along Bletchley Road but the Surveyor replied that the Board had no authority to do this.

Extracts from the North Bucks Flying Post, December 1886

The Fenny Stratford Parochial Sanitary Committee held their usual monthly meeting in the Bull Inn last Monday evening. The Surveyor submitted plans for cottages proposed to be erected in Brooklands Road, by Messrs Hassock & Green of Brackley. The plans were not complete as regards the byelaws and it was also stated that before they were passed, the question as to whether the byelaws applied to the Brooklands Building Estate should be resolved.

At the Fenny Stratford Sanitary Authority meeting, at the Bull Inn, it was stated that some time before November 1885, Rowland Bros. were the owners of certain property in the parish, which they had designated ‘The Brooklands Estate’, with a view to laying out the land in building plots for sale. Plans were prepared including a road of 30 feet width, leading from Bletchley Road to Water Eaton Road. Rowlands had started laying out the road at the Bletchley Road end and buildings were erected either side. They had complied with the byelaws in operation before November 1885 but since then new byelaws had been introduced. The road was now officially classed as a street and so needed to be 36 feet in width. However, Rowlands were allowed to keep it at 30 feet, subject to the Surveyor’s approval.

Extracts from the North Bucks Flying Post, May 1887

Rowland Brothers submitted plans for the cottages in Brooklands Road but they were found to be incomplete.

Extracts from the North Bucks Flying Post, May 1892

‘The Brooklands’ Building Estate, Bletchley. Five minutes’ walk from Bletchley Station. Four new semi-detached houses, brick and slate, ‘Freehold and Land Tax redeemed’. Twenty-five plots of building land, some facing the main road to Bletchley. The rest are in Brooklands Road and Westfield Road. To be sold by Geo. Wigley on Thursday, June 16th at the Bull.

Brooklands Rd map

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Bradshaw’s view!

For those of you who have been watching Michael Portillo’s recent railway travel series will be only too familiar with the words, Bradshaw’s Guide! Bradshaw not only gave the times of trains but also accompanied these with a brief description of where the train was going and places to see en route.

So I thought that I would check to see what he thought of Bletchley at the time, bearing in mind this was the mid-1800s.

  • The population at the time being 426
  • The distance from the station was ¼ mile
  • Also it had a telegraph station

He mentions to the right of the Station and standing on a hill was the small town of Fenny Stratford, also the village of Water Eaton was in the same direction; views of the wooded hills of the Brickhills were also visible.

By the way it’s interesting to see Fenny Stratford at the time was a larger settlement:

  • The population being 1,199
  • Market day was on a Monday
  • Also, fairs were held in April, July, October and November

I wonder what Bradshaw would have thought of the Bletchley of today?, however that’s not possible! What would be more interesting is, ‘How would you like to see Bletchley evolve making it a place to be proud of’? This is a difficult one because of nearby Milton Keynes and the attractions it holds. However, please give it some (positive) thoughts; we would love to hear from you!

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I have to say those of you that have tried to guess our ‘mystery’ picture have been pretty good in general. So this time I’m not giving too much away, only to say the picture was taken in 1925; the very best of luck!

Februarymysterypic

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Bletchley People

Our next display in the library will be a feature on people who have had an impact in Bletchley, either contributing to its development; informing, educating or employing its people; or just being an inspiration to those around them.  We know there are many examples. From the de Grey family who were Lords of the Manor for centuries through Browne Willis to  Sir Herbert Leon and local government officials. From entrepreneurs like the Cooks, Bob Maxwell and Jim Marshall to people who have excelled in sport and the arts.  And then there are the school teachers and volunteers who have committed so much to the community over the years.

Our display will only be a representative sample but – have a think.  If you were putting this exhibit together, who would you choose to include – and why?

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