Archive for the ‘West Bletchley’ Category

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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Our heritage isn’t just about what’s past.  Current events and experiences will go on to become part of the local heritage too and one notable initiative currently underway is the West Bletchley Public Art Project.  You can follow the project’s progress (and perhaps take part) with artist David Appleyard on the dedicated blog: www.westbletchleypublicart.co.uk. 

Graphic of key elements in the project timeline

Graphic of key elements in timeline

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BCHI has recieved a new digital collection of sporting photos from one of our local West Bletchley residents.

Bob and Jenny negotiate a corner at the TT


Back in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Bob and Jenny Beales were speeding around the motor racing tracks of Britain.   From Brands Hatch to Mallory Park and The isle of Man, they competed in sidecar racing events on their highly polished Triumph.  They even made the national press.   But we have photos of them playing badminton at Bletchley Leisure Centre, too.  And being a multi-sportsman, Bob went on to coach for MK Athletic Club for many years and can still be seen cycling near and far.

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I’m amazed to find so many local people haven’t been to Bletchley Park.  They know it’s there, they know how important it was in WWII but they don’t see that it’s a great value day out close to home.  People travel across the world to visit but many locals haven’t been inside the grounds.

Gone to lunch

I’ve been to Bletchley Park a few times and each time I’ve found something new or interesting.  It’s not just code breakers and spies.   There’s so much to see, more than enough different activities and exhibitions to occupy most families for a whole day, from wartime toys to working computers.  There’s a wartime mini cinema and an outstanding Churchill collection.  And not forgetting the mansion, the lake and a restaurant in one of the wartime huts.

What can you get for £12 these days?  At Bletchley Park, you get a whole year’s admission (£6 for teenagers – children under 12 go free with an adult).  So why not give it a go.  You could enjoy yourself.

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The clubs and societies that operate in the local area can be a valuable source of social history – if they keep an archive of their activities.

Whether it’s a sports club or  a gardening club, a youth organisation or a Mothers Union, the photos, records and memories of their activities form part of the local heritage.  We have two examples of this with collections from Freeman Memorial Church and Bletchley Swimming Club.

Games evening at Freeman Memorial c.1950s

We’d like to know if any current groups maintain an archive – perhaps we could help to arrange a display of images at Melrose Avenue Resource Centre (MARC).  Old photos always generate a lot of interest and can help to raise the profile of an organisation.

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