British railways board
Material from the former British Railways Board has now been catalogued [Ref. Z1032]. Within this collection are plans of stations around the county. Not only will they be of interest to railway enthusiasts but also to students of geographical history. The collection has plans of some of the smaller stations in the county such as Aspley Guise Halt on the former London Midland & Scottish railway, and the now closed Dunstable North Station.
Today Dunstable, with a population of roughly 33,000, has the unfortunate honour of being one of the largest towns in the South East not to have a railway station. This is in marked contrast to 1944 when the town was served by two stations. Any visitor passing through Dunstable today along High Street North would find no trace of Dunstable North Station, as the site is now home to South Bedfordshire District Council offices.
The British Railways Board collection includes a plan for Dunstable North Station [Ref. Z1032/Dun/2/1], showing the location of the long gone station buildings, timber sheds, signal box, weighbridge, goods sheds etc. The other station was located off Station Road and was known as Dunstable Town formally Dunstable Church Street, which is shown in the illustration [Ref. Z50/36/23].
Located at the foot of Blows Downs close to Dunstable was the Luton Lime Company Works, Blows Down siding on the Luton, Dunstable & Welwyn Junction railway. The plan [Ref. Z1032/Dun/3/1] dating from 1908 shows the settling tanks, drying sheds and kilns.
Luton Station, now served by Thameslink and Midland Mainline services, is covered by a plan dating from 1942 [Ref. Z1032/Lut/7/1]. Clearly shown are the public air raid shelters just off Midland Road, the station masters house, booking office and parcels office. Also located on the plan are the location of Swift & Co Butchers, Powdrills Builders Merchants and Luton Co-operative Society Ltd.
Among other plans in this collection are Ampthill Station [Ref. Z1032/Amp/1/1-2] and Leighton Buzzard Station [Ref Z1032/LB/3/1-3]. All the plans are now available for consultation in the searchroom.