Bury Park

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Coordinates: 51°53′06″N 0°25′52″W / 51.885°N 0.431°W / 51.885; -0.431

Bury Park
Bury Park is located in Bedfordshire
Bury Park
Bury Park
 Bury Park shown within Bedfordshire
Population Within Biscot and Dallow wards
OS grid reference TL0821
Unitary authority Luton
Ceremonial county Bedfordshire
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town LUTON
Postcode district LU1, LU4
Dialling code 01582
Police Bedfordshire
Fire Bedfordshire and Luton
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament Luton South
List of places
UK
England
Bedfordshire

Bury Park is located one mile north west of Luton town centre on the road to Dunstable. Since the mid-1970s a large Asian community have settled.

Bury Park has a large commercial area specialising in fruit, vegetables, and Asian clothing.[1] There is a significant number of restaurants in the area, particularly serving Halal food. The main road through the area has recently undergone significant updating with new tree planting, improvements to the road layout, paving and street furniture.

The Stadium from Kenilworth Road

Kenilworth Road, the home of Luton Town F.C. is also located here.

History[edit]

Bury Park takes its name from Bury Farm, which was situated near to where Kenilworth Road is now.[2]

An estate was erected on the fields of the farm, and the first houses were occupied in 1882. Church school halls were opened in 1895, Bury Park United Reformed Church Church was built in 1903, and Luton Industrial Co-operative Society Ltd opened a general store at the junction of Dunstable Road and Leagrave Road in 1906. The Anglican church of All Saints was opened in 1907 and a new church built in 1923 in Shaftesbury Road. Before moving to the Kenilworth Road ground, Luton Town played their home games on a flat field that became the site of the Odeon cinema. Dunstable Road was lined with Victorian houses, each with a neatly fenced garden, but the character of the road altered with the coming of the trams in 1908; the houses were turned into shops, and their front gardens became paved forecourts. By 1926, the shops included a "High-Class Pastry Cook and Confectioner" at 273 Dunstable Road.[3]

Traffic has long been a problem in the area. In 1926, complaints were made that horses and carts were causing obstructions by stopping at a water trough at the junction of Dunstable Road and Leagrave Road. In the following years the junction was covered by constables on point duty.[4]

Edgar Barber established an aeroplane propeller factory during World War I at 116 Bury Park Road. This was converted into a cinema called the Empire, which opened in 1921 and which closed in 1938 when the new Odeon opened on Dunstable Road. The Odeon with 1958 seats was designed by Keith P. Roberts, and is now a listed building.[5]

During World War II the old Empire was requisitioned for "government purposes". After the war it was used as a synagogue, and then later as an Islamic centre. The Odeon was used for music concerts as well as for showing films; The Beatles played there in 1963. It eventually closed in 1983 and re-opened as a Top Rank Bingo Club. After local objections when its name changed to Mecca Bingo, it finally closed in 1999 and became a church.[6]

Selbourne Road & Leagrave Road, Bury Park

Churches and Mosques[edit]

The converted cinema in Dunstable Road is now the UK headquarters of the Calvary Church of God in Christ pastored by Jurisdictional Bishop, Rev Dr. Alvin Blake. The church is the current host of the Luton Churches Together service held on Pentecostal Sunday every year.[7]

The Luton skyline includes the Luton Central Mosque in Westbourne Road, foundations of which were laid by the late Waliat Hussain Jarral (also alternatively known as Walayat) who laid its foundations in 1982. Born in Kashmir, the founder died aged 72, on 24 June 2010 after a battle with cancer. But his legacy remains, as having founded one of the first purpose built mosques in Britain and the biggest purpose built in modern Europe in the early 1980s.

The more recent Islamic Centre in Bury Park Road, also serves the Islamic community in Luton and occupies the former synagogue.

Controversy[edit]

Luton Central Mosque was one of the first purpose-built mosques in Britain, constructed by the sizeable Kashmiri community in Luton in 1982. Nevertheless, a dispute over who should run it soon grabbed the national headlines. The dispute led to a highly publicised High Court battle, and was covered by newspapers and BBC News at the time. Soon after, the mosque changed hands to a section of the Pakistani community in Luton, and has remained so ever since.


Politics[edit]

The area north of Dunstable Road is in Biscot ward, and the area to the south is in Dallow ward.

The wards form part of the parliamentary constituency of Luton South, and the MP is Gavin Shuker (Labour). Bury Park is within the East of England (European Parliament constituency).

Local attractions[edit]

Key
AP Icon.svg Abbey/Priory/Cathedral
Accessible open space Accessible open space
Themepark uk icon.png Amusement/Theme Park
CL icon.svg Castle
Country Park Country Park
EH icon.svg English Heritage
Forestry commission logo.svg Forestry Commission
Heritage railway Heritage railway
Historic house Historic House
Museum (free)
Museum
Museum (free/not free)
National Trust National Trust
Drama-icon.svg Theatre
Zoo icon.jpg Zoo

Local newspapers[edit]

Two weekly newspapers are delivered free to all the houses in Bury Park. However, they are not specific to Bury Park. They are:

References[edit]

  1. ^ Asian Community Network, Luton Shopping Guide.
  2. ^ Ordnance Survey, Bedfordshire 33NW, surveyed circa 1879, published 1888.
  3. ^ K. Cooper, Luton Scene Again, Phillimore, 1990, ISBN 0-85033-775-5, captions to plates 43 to 46 and 58.
  4. ^ T. J. Madigan, The Men Who Wore Straw Hats: Policing Luton 1840–1974, Book Castle, 1993, ISBN 1-871199-81-6 (h/b), ISBN 1-871199-11-5 (p/b), page 46.
  5. ^ E. Grabham, From Grand to Grove: Entertaining South Bedfordshire, Book Castle, 2007, ISBN 978-1-903747-83-4, pages 76, 139 and 146.
  6. ^ E. Grabham, op. cit., pages 80, 159, 207, 236 and 254.
  7. ^ Calvary Church of God in Christ (United Kingdom).

Further reading[edit]