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Housing & Highways 1926
Rowlands Almshouses were just one of the developments planned for Bletchley in 1926.

Sunday Citizen November 18, 2001

As an example of the information now to be gleaned from the computerised Bletchley News archive database, being completed at Bletchley Library, this article concentrates not so much on a particular theme but a particular year - the first half of 1926.

So, by courtesy of the database, let's travel back in time 75 years and find out what was happening in the town - and what the inhabitants were getting up to.

The Christmas festivities were over but for those still needing a religious fix, there were several brands on offer. Except for the Church Army which - since their headquar¬ters at St Martin's Hall had been taken over, by assorted worthies from St Martins Church - no longer had a local branch.

At the opposite end of town the faithful at old Bletchley were being rewarded by the prospect of a central heating installation in the church but the Methodists had to resort to a bazaar for the renovation of their Aylesbury Street premises.

Apart from the spiritual accommodation of the locals, for housing developments there were bursts of activity all over the place.

Plans to convert two houses into shops in Bletchley Road were approved for Mr E Weatherhead while anyone wishing to purchase a home in Bletchley district was invited to inspect 'homes in course of erection by us on the Staple hall Estate', advertised by Garner and Son of Denmark Street.


A detached property would cost between £550 and £950! Of those town properties already built and established, Mr Frank Duffield paid £460 for No 25 George Street while for those in need of council housing, at a meeting of the

Bletchley Urban District Council, it was recommended to accept a tender entered by four Bletchley builders.

A total of 68 houses were proposed - 36 in Western Road and 32 at Old Bletchley with the work to be completed within 12 months.

For private buyers, C Martins, builders, of Wolverton advertised three 'very attractive ideal labour saving homes' in Windsor Street while on the Brooklands Building Estate, frontages to Brooklands Road and Westfield Road were available at 2s 6d a yard.

More unusually two years previous, at the sale of the Bracknell House Estate, the executors of William Rowland purchased land on one side of Denmark Street, then in use as allotments and gardens.

Now that the yearly tenancies were up, they made preparations to build a memorial almshouse on the site. With all this residential growth came a need to expand and improve the recreational and highways infrastructure.

For pedestrians the footpath from Stag Bridge to Denbigh Road underwent an improvement and for motorists the county council decided to enlarge the canal bridge from 20ft to 40ft.

In a commendable community spirit, for the local school the AA had promised to supply two roadside danger signs but when these arrived the county highways committee refused to allow their use, stating only those authorised by the Ministry of Transport were suitable.

Elsewhere a new road was proposed to link Buckingham and Newton Longville roads and in Western Road the condition of the road surface was causing concern, due to the heavy traffic.