Quirky and funny stories in the Dunstable area

This image of the Market Cross landmark is featured above the entrance to the new Market Cross pub restaurant, Dunstable''. Picture by Denis O'Donoghue
This image of the Market Cross landmark is featured above the entrance to the new Market Cross pub restaurant, Dunstable''. Picture by Denis O'Donoghue

A new Dunstable landmark is paying tribute to another landmark in the town.

What am I talking about? The new Market Cross pub restaurant that’s taking shape in Luton Road.

It’s a landmark in itself, based as it is on a prominent site at the junction with Boscombe Road.

And what’s above the door? A whopping big image of the Market Cross, on The Square.

Lots of people call it the Market Clock, but the Market Cross is its proper name.

Take a look at the picture on this page to check out the image in place above the entrance to the pub restaurant.

Very nice. Construction work began in the autumn on the new venue, of course.

As you probably know, it will specialise in carvery meals and it is set to bring more than 40 new jobs to the town.

It will have a large car park with 63 spaces, a cycle park, a beer garden and a children’s play area.

And the range of drinks on offer will include cask ales from across the country.

I took a quick look at the Facebook page for the new Marston’s Inns and Taverns venue.

And a big notice on the Facebook site says it “arrives” on April 7.

It certainly will be nice to smarten up that corner, on one of the busiest roads in town.

And, going by the striking image above the door, when it comes to local knowledge, they’re already “in the picture”...

Do sheep get stretch marks?

That was the big question in one of this year’s blogs from the National Trust’s Bedfordshire Rangers.

This particular blog was talking about a group trip by mums-to-be from Whipsnade Downs.

Where did they go? To a wild and windswept “antenatal clinic” – for sheep!

The blog explained: “Our ewes get a somewhat chillier experience than expectant human mums – no cosy hospital rooms or comfortable couches here.

“Dan the grazier rounds them up from all over the hills into a holding pen.

“His collie Ned was a very enthusiastic assistant!

“After a few minutes to settle down (and chat about the latest in knitwear?) the ewes were led one at a time down a narrow corridor of fencing to an individual pen where ‘midwife’ Sam speedily scans them with an ultrasound machine.

“The ewes are then sprayed with a big blob of paint.

“The different colours and location of the paint on the sheeps’ back make a code to tell Dan how far along in their pregnancy each ewe is and how many lambs they are carrying.

“Blue for one lamb, red for twins and green for triplets.

“If the paint is near the shoulders, then the lambs are due soon, and near the tail means that the ewe has a while to go.”

After their check-up, the ewes headed back to the Whipsnade Downs slopes.

And the blog added: “We look forward to welcoming our new arrivals in spring!”

The rangers’ blogs are always an interesting read.

To check them out, just click on the Rangers’ Blog link on the National Trust’s Dunstable Downs website.

With the ultrasound scans, the grazier knows just what to expect from the ewes.

There’s no pulling the wool over his eyes!