Drowning our sorrows as Luton pubs called time - for good

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A survey at the end of last year by the British Beer & Pub Association showed that on average pubs are closing in this country at the rate of five per week.

Up until a few decades ago, many of our towns and cities seemed to have licensed premises on nearly every street corner.

That was certainly the case in Luton town centre, which has seen more than its share of pub closures. Many of these happened in the 1960s when they were pulled down to make way for new homes and roads.

The Goat, on the corner of Park Street and Wood Street, opened in about 1853 and traded for 120 years. It closed in November 1973 and was demolished and replaced by a three-storey block of flats.

The Duke of Edinburgh, which stood at the junction of Stuart Street and Princess Street, was one of many buildings pulled down in the late 1960s so that the Stuart Street inner ring road, complete with flyover, could be constructed.

As our picture of demolition in progress shows, health and safety regulations were far less stringent in those days!

The Cardinal, on the corner of Brache Street and Wood Street, was first licensed as a public house in 1865. The site had been conveyed, along with that whole area of the town, from the executors and trustees of the Marquis of Bute to a local builder three years earlier.

It closed its doors as a pub for the last time on May 29, 1970 and was demolished two years later for the constructionof the current housing development on the site.

Standing where the White House pub – part of the Galaxy Centre – is now, the Crown & Anchor in New Bedford Road is first mentioned in 1843 when it was also conveyed by the Marquis of Bute to a Luton builder. It closed in 1975.