Luton Nostalgia: Did you once do the famous Park Street pub crawl?

The Moulders Arms building first began operating as an unnamed beer house in 1845

Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 2:25 pm
Updated Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 2:26 pm

For over a century, Lutonians popped into the Moulders Arms on the corner of Chobham Street while completing the famous Park Street pub crawl. Pictured below in 1991, the building first began operating as an unnamed beer house in 1845.

It is first recorded as being named the Moulders Arms in 1882, and news reports of the time suggest it had six different landlords in the succeeding six years.

By the 1950s, the premises found more stable custodians in Mary Ann Keaney, known locally a ‘Mary of the Moulders’, and her husband James.

Moulders Arms, Luton

The pub gained a reputation as the heart of the Irish community in Luton, and in 1982, local legend Mary won the Luton News’s Publican of the Year award.

The building on the right of the image was once the retail premises of Luton-based electronics firm Decimo. Founded in 1968, the company produced some of the earliest digital watches, as well as the Vatman and Timemachine calculators, the latter of which gained cult status after featuring regularly in 70s sci-fi show Space: 1999.

While Decimo continued operating from its headquarters in Chobham Street into the 1990s, by the time this picture was snapped, its former shop had been hosting punk and alternative club nights for several years.

The venue became the Edge nightclub in 1998 and, for over two decades, Lutonians, students and visitors to the town could be found making friends and dancing the night away on the club’s sticky dancefloors. The Edge played host to big name acts, including Mike Skinner and the Artful Dodger, but is probably better remembered among regulars for its Intergalactic Tuesdays, where £12 on the door covered drinks at the bar all night.

Like the adjoining pub, which became Bar Eireann in 2017, the Edge never reopened its doors after closing for lockdown in March 2020.

Planning permission has recently been sought to demolish both addresses pictured and replace them with a block of 17 flats.

After serving the local community for over 170 years, it seems that soon only memories of these two culturally important buildings may remain.