Houghton Regis colonel a Cheltenham Gold Cup winner

Houghton Regis hunt outside the Crown.
Houghton Regis hunt outside the Crown.

With horse racing’s most prestigious steeplechase, the Cheltenham Gold Cup, only two weeks away, here’s a reminder of a man who once brought the name of Houghton Regis into the sporting headlines.

Colonel Dealtry Part, of Houghton Hall, was a racehorse owner whose greatest success came in 1938 when his horse Morse Code, trained by Danny Morgan and ridden by Ivor Anthony, won the Gold Cup, a race contested by only the very best horses.

Col Part’s success came after the five years when the race was dominated by the legendary Golden Miller, who won the cup an amazing five times in succession, from 1932 to 1936 (the 1937 race was called off because of flooding).

Col Part, joint master of the Hertfordshire Hunt, is seen here mounted at the head of a group of hunt followers trotting past the Crown, the pub which has stood near the green at Houghton Regis since at least 1797.

Col Part kept his hunters in stables at the hall and the hounds were in kennels near the top of what is now Woodlands Avenue, just behind the Crown.

The chimney of the old cement works can be seen in the background.

Col Part bought Houghton Hall from the Brandreth family in 1913.

He was appointed Lord Lieutenant of Bedfordshire in 1943 and knighted in 1957. He died in 1961.

>Yesteryear is compiled by John Buckledee, chairman of Dunstable and District Local History Society, and the photograph is from the Pat Lovering collection.