Heritage group celebrates past and the present

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Houghton Regis Heritage Society is a new group that was set up to celebrate the rich history and importance of the town.

The group’s aim is to “stimulate interest in the history of the area by research and fieldwork”, as well as promoting Houghton Regis in general.

Founder Alan Winter, who also writes the Houghton Regis Newsdesk blog – presents his research findings on the society’s website.

While celebrating Houghton’s history, the society does not neglect the present and the website details the argument in favour of the town hosting a market.

Featuring photographs and maps from generations ago, the expanding group will appeal to any of Houghton’s sons and daughters interested in their town’s past.

This month, the group posted a 50-year-old photograph of a scene outside the King’s Arms. Upon noticing a distinctive car in the image, resident Val Robinson got in touch with the society.

She said: “Oh my god, that could be my dad in that car – he loved the Ford Popular.”

One of the main focuses of the group is engaging with residents and learning their stories.

Mr Winter spoke with Bidwell farmer Don Green about some old photos he had found depicting Drury Lane.

He said: “I had a little chuckle when he mentioned that in the past he drove his cows up the road, along the High Street and down the side of the Village Green. I wonder what today’s folks would make of that?”

The website even features a detailed timeline of the town that goes back as early as the last ice age.

The site also features an extensive bibliography, recommending literature for those interested in learning about the history of Houghton Regis.

To find out more, or to become a member, visit www.houghtonregisheritage.blogspot.co.uk.