Archive for the ‘Leisure’ Category

Sixty Years ago this week the Bletchley Gazette used its whole front page to announce the opening on the previous Saturday of the new open air pool at Bletchley. ‘Just what we’ve been waiting for’ was the headline. It was the culmination of many years of campaigning and fundraising, and was in the end a joint venture between the public and Bletchley Urban District Council.

Many have memories of learning to swim in the often very cold water but also many fond memories of the fun that was to be had. The pool was covered in the late 1960s before giving way to the first Bletchley Leisure Centre in 1973.

Queens Pool before and after the construction of its 


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On 17 November 1967  The Bletchley Gazette reported on the opening of the Dolphin pub on Abbeys Estate in West Bletchley:

‘By pulling the first pint, Cllr R Fisher, Chairman of Bletchley Council formally opened the Dolphin, the town’s latest public house on the corner of Whaddon Way and Melrose Avenue. The Dolphin had taken 11 months to complete and cost £33,000. Charles Wells Ltd. were able to obtain the site in exchange for that of the Three Tuns at Fenny Stratford, which is in the High Street and will be required in due course for road widening.’

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Presentation in Studio Cinema foyer – 1984

A Royal Air Forces Association (RAFA) presentation in the foyer of The Studio. This is the only photo we have of the interior of the cinema. Does it bring back memories for you? Do you have photos taken inside the building?

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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.



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One of the highlights of the year in the town when I was a teenager was the Bletchley Show.

It was held in the Manor Fields on August Bank Holiday Monday and was a big event.

There were athletics events, Tug of war, Gymkhana, Flower, and Vegetable Shows, Cycle Races, and other events.

If you lived locally you could have the back of your hand stamped, go home for lunch, and get back in free.

It was a great day out for all the family.

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We like to help Living Archive with their projects so please have a look at this flyer and tell anyone you know who might have memories or photos. Rugby has been played in Bletchley for many years so there must be some good stories out there.

Rugby Memories Wanted

Rugby Memories Wanted

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Rugby’s coming to Bletchley was the line used for the Rugby World Cup matches at Stadium MK but we know it’s been around in this area for much longer.

Bletchley Town Rugby Club was formed in 1947 and by the January of the following year was ready to take to the field or its first competitive match.  The first point scorer was Vince Hankins, who converted a 40 yard penalty goal – no mean feat in the days of heavy, leather rugby balls! (Source:Punting The Pill About, by Colin Spence)

Other local teams in the Milton Keynes area go back even further. Wolverton Rugby club originally formed in the mid 1870s and, after a break covering the period of the two world wars, reformed in 1958. Their name was changed in 1974 to Milton Keynes Rugby Club.

The first recorded game involving Olney Rugby Club took place in 1877 on Cherry Orchard, a meadow on the banks of the River Ouse (now a cemetery).

So while we welcome the international interest, and enjoy the attention (if not the traffic), we must remember that the game has long history in the area, thanks to the enthusiasm of many volunteers and amateur players.

Bletchley Rugby Club celebrate a victory!

Bletchley Rugby Club celebrate a victory!

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