Dunstable recreation ground created in Mr Bennett’s memory

Bennett's Rec, Dunstable
Bennett's Rec, Dunstable

When Benjamin Bennett died his widow wanted something to be established in Dunstable in his memory.

It could have been a statue, but Dunstable Council had a much better idea.

Bennett's Rec, Dunstable, today.

Bennett's Rec, Dunstable, today.

The councillors in 1920 used her substantial donation to buy some land alongside Bull Pond Lane and create what is now generally known as Bennett’s Rec. Its proper title is the Bennett Memorial Recreation Ground.

Generations of children have enjoyed the play area pictured here, in the corner of which was once a pond which gave the lane its name.

It has grown from the swings and seesaws seen in our old photo to the more elaborate facilities pictured in a chilly day last week.

Mr Bennett, who had inherited a hat factory from his dad, was an astute businessman who added beer-making to his millinery interests and made Bennett’s Brewery into one of the most familiar local names.

He died in 1911 leaving a will so complicated that it took a battalion of lawyers to sort it out.

The Elliott Court retirement apartments have now been erected on the site of what was once the brewery.

> Yesteryear is compiled by John Buckledee, chairman of Dunstable and District Local History Society.