Stopsley War Memorial
Stopsley shown within Bedfordshire
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Stopsley is a ward in the north-east of Luton. Originally a hill-top village settlement, most of the urbanised part of the civil parish of Stopsley became part of Luton when the boundaries were extended in 1933, with the rural areas going to Hyde and Streatley.
After the Second World War, there was a severe shortage of accommodation and to save both time and money new building materials were employed. The majority were BISF Houses, which used sheetmetal for the upper parts of the construction, hence the local name for part of Stopsley being 'Tintown'. Most of these houses still stand today, although in recent years the local council (or private owners) of these houses have covered the original metal with cladding, and only a few of these properties still show the original characteristic painted metal.
The centre of Stopsley is made up of a series of local shops around a village church. From a distance the skyline is dominated by Jansel House, an office block built in 1961 which houses the Luton VAT office over a parade of shops at street level including a Greengrocer, Chemist, Charity Shop. Estate Agent, hairdresser and cafe. One of Luton's two cemeteries, The Vale, is located nearby on the Hitchin Road.
The centre of Stopsley Village contains many shops on either side of the road with two banks, Barclays and HSBC, Co-Operative supermarket, Henderson newsagents, Chemist, Hardware, charity shops and Sandwich stores and Off licences/Wine stores. There are also several takeaways and restaurant including, Ashuka, Stopsley Surma, May Sek Oriental, Jay Raj Indian Cuisine, Pankaj Sor.
Also many estate and lettings agents are situated in the Stopsley Village and Jansel House area, Connors, Haart, Taylors and Acorn Residential Lettings.
There are two high schools in Stopsley, Stopsley High School and Putteridge High School.
Frederick Davis, writing in 1855, believed the name of Stospley to come from Scrobbale, (in Saxon;) Scrapes or Scroppeslie, (in Norman;) Shrubsley, (in English.;) meaning a hill covered with scrobbes, (shrubs or underwood.) Most modern etymologists consider the name to be made up of two elements 'Stopp' and 'ley'. dating between AD 750 and AD 950. The ending comes from the Old English 'leah' meaning a wood or clearing in a wood. 'Stopp' was a personal name and indicated ownership of the wood or clearing. It appears as 'Stopeslegh in Soca de Luton' in a (Latin) law record, dated 1440.
Stopsley is represented by Cllr Jenny Davies (Liberal Democrats) and Cllr Michael Dolling (Liberal Democrats). The ward forms part of the parliamentary constituency of Luton South, and the MP is Gavin Shuker (Labour). Stopsley is situated within the East of England.
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Stopsley includes the specialist Sports College, Stopsley High School. Notable alumni include Monty Panesar, "the Python", cricketer. In the 1960s Stopsley Infant and Junior School pupils included Alec Jeffreys, who went on to discover the DNA genetic fingerprint. He is now Professor of Genetics at Leicester University and was Knighted in 1994. Another pupil, David Renwick, created the television series 'One Foot in the Grave', and 'Jonathan Creek'. Both went on to study at Luton Grammar School and Luton Sixth Form College. The singer Paul Young and actor Colin Salmon were educated at Ashcroft High School.
Two weekly newspapers are delivered free to all houses in Stospley, with news about Luton and the surrounding area.
- Luton Borough Council, Population Estimates and Forecasts, estimate for Stopsley ward in 2007. The count in the 2001 Census was 7,105.
- Plea Rolls of the Court of Common Pleas; National Archives; CP 40/717; http://aalt.law.uh.edu/AALT1/H6/CP40no717/bCP40no717dorses/IMG_1635.htm
- James Dyer, The Stopsley Book, Book Castle, 2nd Edn. 2005, ISBN 1-903747-65-1.
- James Dyer, The Stopsley Picture Book, Book Castle. 2002, ISBN 1-871199-94-8.
- Keith T. Norcott, Chalk on my Shoes, Book Castle, 2006, ISBN 1-903747-68-6