Luton Peace Riots retold thanks to new book by Bedfordshire academic

A new book has been published as part of Luton’s centenary celebrations of what are known as the Peace Riots of 1919.

The University of Bedfordshire’s School of Art and Design has republished a local history book of the event called ‘Where They Burnt the Town Hall Down’.

Where They Burnt The Town Hall Down

Where They Burnt The Town Hall Down

Noel Douglas, Senior Lecturer and Communication Design at the University of Bedfordshire, assisted by some of the University’s second-year Graphic Design students, collaborated with local history organisation ‘The Cultural History CIC’ to redesign the book and produce an accompanying leaflet of stories from the local relatives of people involved in the events of 100 years ago.

Alongside this work, Noel and local historians Mike McMahon and Steve Goodman from Cultural Histories CIC, will present their research at an event at the University of Bedfordshire on Thursday, November 21, from 6pm to 8.30pm.

In 1919, returning World War One Soldiers burnt down the Town Hall in anger, Mike and Steve’s project investigates this historic occasion and the event will present archive interviews with the families, musical and protest projects made by local school children.

Speaking ahead of the event, Noel said: “It has been a privilege for us to work with the local community and redesign the book as part of the 2019 centenary commemorations of the Luton Peace Day Riots.

“It would be great to see as many people as possible come along to the event and find out more about a fascinating part of Luton’s history.”

The project has won the Luton and Bedfordshire Community Awards and is a nominee for the Luton’s Best Awards.

It was produced in collaboration with The Beds and Luton Community Foundation, London Luton Airport Community Fund and the Heritage Lottery Fund.

For more information on the new book visit: www.culturalhistories.org/home/luton-peace-riots/where-they-burnt-the-town-hall-down.