Pictures of Studham past and present

STUDHAM’S war memorial is one of the most striking changes to the village common since this early photo was taken.

The picture was sent through the post on August 16, 1910 which gives some idea of its date.

The colour view was taken last month, although it is not possible now to photograph the scene from exactly the same position as trees obscure the view.

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The memorial, seen in the foreground of the newer photo, was unveiled by Earl Brownlow on December 20, 1919.

The buildings on the left in the older photo were the blacksmith’s workshops. The shafts of a wagon can be seen in the yard and another stands in front. Houses now stand on the workshops site.

The Red Lion pub with its white sign and forecourt was smaller then. It has since been extended and painted white as it is in the modern photograph.

It is said that the house with the tall chimneys to the right of the Red Lion forecourt was so damp that nothing could be left against the walls inside.

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It was demolished around 1970 to make space for vehicle access to the Red Lion cottages behind.

The white house (to the left of the memorial in the modern photograph) was not present when the main photograph was taken. It was built in the 1920s and at one time housed the village post office.

The white bungalow on the right has become the village hall. In the 1930s there was a petrol pump in front.

The old photograph shows just a corner of Studham Common. Sheep and other animals would have grazed among the gorse bushes.

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The gorse was a valuable commodity for the villagers who gathered it to heat the bread ovens.

The area in the foreground was part of the allotments until the late 1800s when the allotments were moved to their present site to the right of the village hall.

The deeper colour of the grass shows the area of the old site in aerial photographs taken 100 years later!

A large part of the common was ploughed during The Second World War.

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Information for this caption has been provided by Charles Baker, of the Friends of Studham Common.

The Friends are holding a History Drop-in at the Methodist Church Hall on Saturday, July 7, 10am to 12noon.

There is a great deal that is still not known about the common and it is hoped that some of the gaps can be filled with help from the lottery-funded Chiltern Commons Project.

The main photograph is from the collection of the Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Record Service and is published here with permission.

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

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