Arlesey house Must be Demolished (extract from Biggleswade Today)

Farm manager’s home must be torn down

The owners of an Arlesey pig farm have been left facing the prospect of tearing down a farm manager’s home they have built on their land without planning consent.

They have failed in a High Court fight to keep the building, which they claim is vital for a farm manager to keep an eye on the livestock, but which the local council says was not built in compliance with obligations it had imposed.

Wheelform Properties Ltd, and its directors, Mr and Mrs David Beatham, owners of Etonbury Farm, Stotfold Road, Arlesey, had asked judge Mr Justice Cranston to quash a Government planning inspector’s decision that the farm manager’s house must go.

The Beathams began building the property without planning permission and moved into it in 2005 pending completion of their own intended home on the farm for which they had been granted planning consent.

Now the judge has ruled that the inspector’s decision should stand. This leaves the Beathams with the options of demolishing the farm manager’s house, leaving it standing and risking prosecution under a Mid Beds District Council enforcement notice or continuing with their challenge to the stance taken by the authorities by appealing to the Court of Appeal against the High Court ruling.What do you think? Post a comment below

The couple were granted planning permission in 2003 for their intended home, Lake House, which won exceptional approval as a result of the quality of its design.

A site of about three hectares with its own separate access drive, looking out over landscaped lakes, and surrounded by the 22 hectare Etonbury Farm holding was earmarked for that.

The farm has also had a mobile home on it for a resident stockman since 1993 though. And in October 2004, Mid Beds District Council indicated that it would be prepared to grant planning permission for its replacement with a farm manager’s house if Wheelform met certain obligations.

On that basis that indication, construction work started but the High Court judge was told that the obligations in question were not met and planning permission was later refused.

Nevertheless, the three-bedroom modernist house was substantially completed, apart from external cladding of the upper floor and Mr and Mrs Beatham moved into it in 2005 while Lake House continued to be built.

The company made a retrospective application for planning permission in November 2005, but this was also refused, and the Council issued an enforcement notice requiring the house to be demolished.

Wheelform appealed to the inspector, claiming it was vital to have a farm manager on site to care for the pigs.

But, rejecting the appeal, the inspector said in his findings : “In general, I am satisfied that the agricultural operations on the farm, comprising the pig unit and the arable area, and possibly including some responsibilities for the composting operation and maintenance of the landscaped areas constitute full-time employment for a stockman/manager.

“However the relatively routine work does not to my mind require workers to be readily available at most times, or on hand day and night.”

He said that, should any emergencies arise, Lake House was equally close to the pig sheds for any disturbance to be noticed. Therefore, he concluded that a farm-worker living in the village of Arlesey would be able to provide essential care for the animals at reasonably short notice.

Challenging that decision at the High Court, Wheelform argued that the inspector’s decision was unreasonable.

It claimed he had failed to appreciate the nature of the farming enterprise, and the fact that the pigs required constant vigilance.

It also argued that he had not properly directed his mind to the fact that there was a lack of available houses in the surrounding area where a farmworker could live.

However, dismissing the company’s case, the judge said that the inspector’s decision was not unreasonable, and that it was not possible to go behind any of the conclusions he had reached.

Having seen an aerial photo of Arlesey Lake taken by Steve Maddox in May 2015 I believe the house is gone.

It must b gut wrenching tho to go thro all the emotions and stress of a build , ,after having 3 extensions done myself , and extortionate expense .Always a lot more than you have budgeted for , then to have to lay out more money to have it demolished. I am not completely heartless , BUT AGREED WITH CENTRAL BEDS! It needed to come down rules are rules.

My Mum’ s Memories of Arlesey 1928-1971 (Alma Allen) Hospital rd Arlesey (featuring 47 old photos)


Arlesey Station Rd

Mum was born Hospital Road and lived there from 1928 to 1933.

Station Rd Cosy cinema opposite the Lamb Inn


OLD victorian railway bridge three counties


silver jubilee helpers

Siding Primary school

the river

Over the railway bridge then walking down a bit by the river Hiz

She attended the Arlesey Siding school next to the Three Tuns pub . She went to the Cosy Cinema for entertainment, a corrugated iron building at the end of Hospital Road .This shook when trains went passed and blocked out the sound of the film. Across the beautiful Victorian railway bridge,was a common where cows grazed and went down to the river to water and cool down in the summer. It was also a place for ball games and walks over to Henlow Camp. She also went for walks to Arlesey Pits as it was called then. There was an old Post Office in the High Street where you stepped down from the pavement to enter the dark interior , and they sold clothes upstairs.


old post office was it Howells in the sixties


goodwins the bakers


true Briton


                                                                                                                                                                                                   Most of the kids were clothed either here or at the Co-0p.There was also the baker’s where you could watch the dough being kneaded by a fascinating machine through the window. The cottage where she lived for almost 5 years had, at that time, only gas laid on, no water and no electricity. They used a combination of gas lamps and oil lamps . Water had to be drawn from a stand pipe in the back yard, one of two that served the whole terrace. All hot water was heated on the gas stove, whether for a cup of tea or a bathe in the galvanised bath in front of the fire. The toilet was across the yard and in winter continually had it’s lead pipes burst. The stand pipe also had to be thawed out in very cold weather. Next to the toilet was the wash house where a wood burning boiler was fired up to do the weekly laundry. Hard work for her mother, Polly but for Alma with no responsibilities, it was among the happiest days of her life.


London Brick and the common where the Halifax aircraft crashed


love this shot with the open gate saying come on in


london brick

Arlesey reverend-bevan

Reverend Beavan and Ralfeleo buonogorio

Arlesey reverend bevan open air service 1935 king georgre v silver jubilee

Arlesey Siding School open air service

steam-train going thro arlesey

the original Flying Scotsman

Arlesey pits

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              The Pits

Arlesey pit  50's youngAlmaEmiliaMariaClive

The Pitts

herbert and mary allen polly

Herbert and Polly Allen

Her dad Herbert worked at the nearby London Brick Company.It had several tall chimneys, none of which were illuminated during the war. One night I remember hearing a plane circling round and suddenly a terrible crash as it struck one of the chimneys. We learned later that it had been a Halifax practising dropping supplies at low level in Henlow. It was completely destroyed by fire which set off ammunition that she could hear from where it crashed in the common. Sadly all 13 crew perished. They later moved in with Herbert’s dad, Big Jim, who lived in the Gothic Farm House that was at the bottom of the yet to be built Lynton Avenue. One day her little brother George got out and was found cuddling the huge shire horse’s leg. This obviously frightened them, but she said the horse stood dead still and never moved a muscle, as if he knew it was a toddler down there. Herbert, Alma’s dad, then bluffed his way into the Foreman’s job at Arlesey London Brickyard. They the got the foreman’s house at the brickyard, handy for the pub. I remember mum telling me she always wanted to go with her older brothers and sisters, but being the smallest they used to put her in an empty clay carrying truck and start it rocking up and down. By the time it stopped and she could jump out they were gone.

clay wagons

I remember my brother and sister doing similar to me, go and get ur wellies on, they said, and when I came back out they were gone. They lived at the Brickyard until the family got a council house at St Peters Ave when Alma was 10 .


Halifax that crashed


Arlesey Common where the plane crashed

peter lombari prisoner of war

dad Peter Lombari

brickyard men1

Brickground Workers

brickground road Arlesey Arlesey Primary-School 1977

Arlesey siding primary school

That would have been 1938. The war then started and Arlesey was filled with London overspill. The classes got so large that St Peters hall was used as an extra classroom. Mum used to tell me she went here, and she never got taught much ‘cos all they did was sing songs all day long. That was her story anyway. They had a greyhound dog called Whitey who helped supplement the family of seven’s budget by catching rabbits over the fields around the lake and the sandpits. Rabbit stew was supposed to be very tasty. All the gardens were cropped to make the cost of living a bit cheaper. She used to keep chickens for eggs, that was quite common as well; then you could eat the chickens when the laying stopped. There were even gas lights at St Peters Ave in 1938, outside toilets and no washing machines. The schooling was very limited because of the very large classes, caused by the children evacuating London during the war. Alma left school at 14.

old vicarage

the old vicarage

COOP TTB033GlebeAve_Postcard tommy baines

Tommy Baines

coop butchers1

coop butchers


mum alma

lorna nan and grandad polly rocking horse1 2 st peters ave

granddad herbert allen                                                                                              and Polly Mary Mills allen

polly rocking horsea arlesey

mollie , Polly and the twins daisey and jim

3d note2 5p note pump

Primrose lane pump

hillman minx 48PUR

10 lynton ave  1963


Mum on the float brother george in the pram nan holding the pram 1933 outside chemists

nice coat clive

10 lynton ave 1954

asylum road arlesey

Hospital road

10 lynton ave arlesey

Lynton Ave 1962

young alma allen polly daisey mollie arlesey

Alma Allen aged 10  and mum Polly and her brother George and 2 sisters Mollie and Daisey and lovely Whitey the dog

young herbert allen arlesey

herbert allen died 1962

There were loads of jobs in those days, you could walk out of one job and start another the next day, as all the factories needed labour. Mum used to bike to work at Letchworth as did most people. Met dad at a dance in the W.I. hall. Dad was a prisoner of war. He had to go back after war. When dad was allowed back he lived at the vicarage with Mr Bevan the vicar. They got married and lived at 2, St Peters Ave with Herbert and her mum, Polly, her brother, George, her sister, Daisey and Daisey’s daughter, Lorna. They eventually got a council house in Lynton Ave, once mum was expecting her third child – me. Dad was doing very well at work and kept getting promoted, so he bought our own house at Davis Row. He then got transfered to Kenfig Hill in South Wales where they were building a very modern plant.

Arlesey Town Football Club History Part2


Relative Mark Dear signalman and former arlesey player born 1892-1966

Went on and played for  Luton.

mark's team

Mark Dear second left

early team

Mark Dear middle front row approx 1902

Hi Clive,
I Saw your post about Arlesey football club, and thought you might be interested in two of the attached photos which I believe are both of Arlesey teams. The one that looks like a boys team must have been taken in the early years of last century as my grandfather (Mark Emanuel Dear) is sitting in the middle of the front row and he was born in 1891. Not many around who could recognise the other players!
I believe the other is also an Arlesey team photo, probably from the 1920’s (Grandad is seated second from left) although there were rumours that he trialled and may have actually played for Luton Town but the only evidence I have for this is a newspaper cutting – more on this in a minute.
Mark was an avid football fan all his life and he moved from Arlesey to 74 Beech Road, Luton where he lived just 20 yards from the Bobbers Supporters Club entrance at the back of the football ground. I have some newspaper cuttings from the Luton News in the mid 1930’s of a lively correspondence he maintained with “Crusader” who I believe was the sports editor. In one of these, Crusader speaks of his enjoyment watching Mark play but unfortunately does not reveal who he was playing for.
Mark worked on the railways all his working life (52 years!) much of it as a signalman in Luton West signal box. He died in 1966 aged 75.

untitled-1All the games were local derbies so losing was NOT AN OPTION . All the players were Arlesey men and you at least knew them or were  related . If you saw one getting hurt , the situation sometimes got explosive.
On Arlesey’s first game the opposition Biggleswade complained that the cow dung had not been removed from the pitch in 1892 ,even though they won 4-1 .I believe Long meadow was the Brickyard meadow

The games were played in Long Meadow , Lamb Meadow , and the Common . Bowskill who was playing well forward , scored a goal ,one of our own players shouted “handball” and the referee disallowed it.
Playing on a Common means you are unable to charge a gate.
The first win was a 5-0 victory over Shefford.
Archie Williams was appointed headmaster of Arlesey School in 1897 and was heavy involved in the club . He coached his school boys into very successful local schoolboy teams.
ATFC team played in long trousers and their working boots , a few of the wealthier players bought themselves a proper football shirt. There were no proper pitch markings , these weren’t introduced until 1904.
I see City Field farmer’s boy Rawlings played , and scored a goal.
4 good old Arlesey names in the team as well a Kitchener , Page , Devereux and Fossey.
The next season Arlesey’s stroppiness started coming out. A penalty was awarded against them , and the whole team walked off the pitch. , but they were already losing 6-0 to St Neots away.
In 1894 The Bury Meadow became the main location for Arlesey Teams until after the World War ii . The owners Mr Waterton’s and  then Mr H Goodwin’s sons later played for the Arlesey.  The teams changed in Bury Hall and the team meeting were at the White Horse.
After the War London Brick owned Bury Meadow and wanted it for their own Social Recreation activities. A bowling green was created. I remember George Crawley , Mick Murphy and Alec Whyte played there. Tea served in the White Horse after the games.
In 1900 the Asylum Football club was more established and better than Arlesey. Some of the Asylum players would play for Arlesey as well if they were free. If they worked at the Asylum that is where their loyalties lay  after all , they paid their wages.Some got good jobs at the asylum just because they were good at Football , Cricket , or played an instrument.
In one match the referee had to stop the game to caution one of the Arlesey spectators.The beginning of Football Hooligans. Arlesey was known as a rough place to visit , maybe due to all the heavy industry , and the associated heavy drinking. After all there were a lot more jobs than people living in Arlesey.
In 1902/3 season the first motor car arrived at Lamb Meadow Arlesey bringing MP Lord Alwyne Compton ,but he came to support fierce rivals Biggleswade. In another game against Potton in 1904 , Albon of Arlesey walked off with the ball ,after a penalty being awarded against us . They scored then the linesmen was ordered off, but he refused to go and carried on officiating.
Arlesey won the Biggleswade and District league in 1906/7. They used to travel by train , and Arlesey Brass Band played and met them at The Three Counties Station on their return.
In 1910 away to Potton , one of their players was sent off , the ball was kicked into the river and their fans invaded the pitch .The referee had no option but to abandon the game.
Arlesey were getting good gates 500 recorded for a Good Friday game against Kempston.A player from each side was sent off , the crowd invaded the pitch and the game was abandoned again.
One of Arlesey players was suspended to the end of the year and another for 2 months . So you can see aggressive behaviour from players caused rival supporters to start fighting again.
Players from the Asylum team played to strengthened Arlesey when they didn’t have a game for the Asylum.
1912 the landlord of the Lamb Inn told the football club they could no longer play on Lamb Meadow due to crowd trouble and the players preferring True Briton Ale to his .Mr Waterton had moved into the Bury and he allowed Arlesey to use his Meadow for games. Mr Waterton also allowed the players use of The Bury Hall to change , and the servants provided a healthy tea after the game for players and officials. Arlesey were due meet Biggleswade in the final of North Beds Charity Cup , but after protests from the other teams for fielding Asylum and Hitchin players in important games they were disqualified. They was an enquiry , and it was decided no rules had been broken. The team ended up League Champions anyway in the last season before World War 1
After the war Arlesey Bury was still the home of the football team. Even though two of Mr Waterton’s sons had fallen John and Jos Waterton. The village had lost 87 young men in total.
I liked some of the players nicknames “Cuddler Worbey” , “ToT” Templeman and Frank “Jammy” Rainbow.
Crowd trouble reared its ugly head again and Arlesey were banned from playing any games at home at THE BURY for the rest of the 1920-21 season.

But the team was still very successful , maybe another reason why the opposition were always putting in complaints against Arlesey.
Arlesey defeated a much fancied Chatteris side and the local supporters gave the referee an early bath by throwing him in a nearby ditch. The Arlesey supporters mad a quick exit to the nearby railway station.,before they got thrown in. Who would want to be a referee??
A record gate of 2,679 saw Arlesey saw the Blues defeat Meppershall in the North Beds Charity Cup .In 1923 Arlesey defeated Biggleswade 1-0 and they complained we played a Fulham professional Reg Albon
In 1928 at a home game against Luton Amateurs we got into serious trouble after an incident which resulted in the Chairman C King , secretary Joe Sharp (of Sharps High St Shop)and captain Jimmy Sell being banned from the rest of the season. That is how seriously we took our Football in Arlesey.
Despite warning notices being put up around the pitch , sixteen year old Gwen Monk asked a Kempston player to play the game after some rough play .He then offered Gwen some advice of a sexual nature which offended her older sister Dora. Gwen and Dora approached the player after the game and he hit Dora. Dora grabbed a nearby horse whip and struck him across the face. Dora was then banned from all Bedfordshire grounds for a year , and Arlesey were banned from playing any more games in Arlesey for 3 months!!!

photos and info courtesy  ARLESEY TOWN FOOTBALL CLUB


Donald Jordan was the sponge man in the Steve Evans era and H.Goodwin the owner of the Bury.



The end of the line for Lamb Meadow now Howberry Estate


Arlesey Town F.C. Gallery and the Pontoon Club PART 1

The Pontoon club was very important in the history of Arlesey Football Club. They purchased  Lamb Meadow  ground from the brewery.
I understand why the Pontoon club wanted some say in the running of the club cos they funded nearly everything. The coach travel , the kit , player expenses ,(nearly all players were amateur then) , tea for spectators and players etc. When there was only one player in the team who lived in Arlesey even tho we had a very good youth team.The ground was shut for a year and lambs returned to graze on the pitch.
Eventually Mr Cheshire got the Fund money off the supporters club Pontoon Fund.The money from the Supporters Club (£1,410)  transferred to the Football Club. The ground transfer not going so smooth The lease to Lamb Meadow was a much harder task tho.
Dr Davis was in the Pontoon Club commitee so it was quite respectible. Even tho there were mumblings of fiddle and fraud.Henry Wood was fined £11 with £3 costs and J Hughes Snr fined £4 with 3 guineas costs, for infringing …. Small Lotteries and Gaming Act 1956.
Mr. Culpin prosecuting stated that rumours of a fiddle were false. Police had every co-operation and reasonable books and ­accounts were kept. In the last two and half years the Supporters Club have given the Football Club two and a half thousand pounds in hard cash, also paid for transport, kit, ground improvements, laundry etc. Magnificent assistance for any amateur club to receive.
They purchased the premises and became landlords for the princely sum of just £500 in 1948. Four years later, in 1952, an adjoining area was bought in view of building a clubhouse on it. The area lay unused for a number of years until the arrival of ‘Biggs Wall’ who negotiated with the club to build temporary offices and canteen facilities – which the Football Club then bought back, turning them into what was then, the clubhouse. Mr Cheshire then heavily morgaged the new clubhouse , by remorgaging his own property etc , cos there was no more money coming in from the Pontoon Club. Mr Cheshire then had to run up large solicitor bills over the dispute.When they eventually sold lamb meadow for housing development , and only had to buy agricultural land for the new ground ,it must have been very very good business.

Youth Team

youth team2

ro legate tim charles mich young stear gear ted saunders pat kruse topper martin emery ? King

tony blythe,jon hughes ? barry reynolds mick owen( 7 from stotfold 4 arlesey) arlesey youth?

stotfold must have been pissed as it was a great team.


W Ansell in a suit Louie Allens husband my great aunt and nobby allen sitting on white chair on ur left


old @ugger Cheshire used to play.Bury owner in this one and his son.


First photo of Arlesey footballers

les allen and bill goode

Headmaster Williams played for Arlesey 1st 11

nobby allen 1920 premier cup final reg everitt

Reg Everitt roger dilley mick fisher spud murphy george crouch donald  jordan


Marcus Baines Ro legate


RON BLOWS1 rough neck5 sheddie 8

clive albon sheddie king reg rushbridge george lemmon

sheddie 9

john albone paul newbury

sheddie 10

steve evans des jeeves ian randall
sheddie john albon paul newbury ian randall


athol street carl houghton sonny albon

steve gear4 w.ansell 1920 in suit

w ansell great uncle .aunt louies husband

wilf albon

Wilf albon les gentle mick murphy (aunt Jean Murphys husband) mr nichols derek albone athol street Mr Goodwin



F.A. VASE 1994-95

BEDS SENIOR CUP 1965-66 1978-79 1996-97 2003-2004 2009-2010

BEDS PREMIER CUP 1983-84, 2001-02


1951-52, 1952-53, 1994-95, 1995-96






HINCHINGBROOKE CUP 1977-78, 1979-80, 1981-82, 1996-97

My Canadian Mills family Migrants (From Grandmother Mary “Polly” Mills side of the family)

cowboys aunt daisey

Great Grandparent Jim and Elisa Mills and Great Aunt Daisey

tom and charles mills

Polly’s 3 brothers and dad Jim Mills

ellen mills and mum great aunt daise mills

Great grandmother Elisa Mills and daughter                                                                                                                                      daisey mills

great aunt daisey and husband great uncle tom mills

Daisey Mills and husband Theissen                                                                                                                       Polly’s brother Tom Mills

Greatgrandad James Mills greatgrandad james millsi

Great Grandparents Jim Mills and Daisey Mills

Jim Mills pollysmum

Jim Mills                                                                                                                                                                                Elisa Mills

tom millsW

a Young Tom Mills

While I have been researching and writing the Canadian chapter of my book , I have been stabbed in the arm by an Mochan Indian , speared in the side by a Blackfoot , clawed to the bone by a Grizzly bear , tipped out of my canoe , and bitten on the legs by a pack of wolves , and almost frozen and starved to death …IN MY DREAMS.
Charles and Thomas Mills , Homesteaders from Mere to Calgary in 1910
In 1910 my great uncles Charles and Thomas Mills from Mere in Wiltshire had seen the fantastic posters offering them their own 160 Acre farms in Western Canada.
It said the land and the climate was the best in the World.So they booked their passage on the SS Canada and set sail for Canada.They sailed to Halifax in Nova Scotia and docked on 10th April 1911.They then had the long trip overland from East to West Canada.The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) was completed in November 1885. That meant that immigrants could travel west easier and faster and that their produce could do the same traveling to eastern markets. The federal government had concluded a number of signed treaties with the aboriginal peoples. Mohicans , Crow , BlackFoot , Hurons , and Iroquois .
By creating reservations for them, it opened up land for the incoming settlers. In the early 1870s, Ottawa had created the Royal North West Mounted Police which established law and order on the Prairies .They travelled by railway from Quebec to Calgary and their first address was given in the 1911 Census as Calgary the brothers had 2 lodgers living with them at this address , Charles Wadman aged 21 and Martha H Gorrie aged 25.           Charles & Tom
A year later on April 17th 1912 their dad James Mills aged 46 (he had knocked a five years off his age on the passenger list)arrived in St John , New Brunswick . He sailed from Liverpool on SS Montrose. He then had the railway journey to make to Alberta.
The land was nothing like it was described though , it was wild overgrown Scrub and bush land with trees and rocks. The climate was different to how it was described as well . It was like Italy in the summer and like Russia in the winter .Very hot summers and very cold Winters .The land needed clearing before it could be farmed and a dwelling to live in , needed building before winter set in.
James did Well digging in the early days with Lloyd Leslie , they could possibly have travelled over together from Mere.
In the 1916 Census of Manitoba , Saskatchewan ,and Alberta their address was listed as 29 , 1 , 4 Berlawan , 31 Medicine Hat , Alberta. Thomas 28 was listed as the Head , then brother Charles 29 then dad James 55. Later in 1916 during the War that young brother James 13 came out with Sid Hooper who farmed north of Charles’s farm in Sibbald.

James 1866 -1948 and Elisa Mills 1866 – 1946
It wasn’t until 1923 that is was thought safe and civilised enough for mother Eliza Jane 57 and Daisy 18 to come out and join them. Eliza and Daisy sailed from Liverpool to Quebec on the SS Doric which was by far and away more luxurious than the rough early immigrant ships .It would have only have taken them 2 weeks or so.

James and Elisa celebrated Golden Wedding Anniversary in April 1936 and had a big party with 75 guests even though it was extremely cold with lots of snow drifts on the roads.
They were presented with a four tier cake.
Also present were Mr & Mrs Charles Mills and Family , Mr & Mrs James Mills Jnr and family , and Miss Daisy Mills.
In 1946 they celebrated their Diamond Wedding Anniversary and had a party which was also held at Vernon School.
Mrs Elisa Jane Mills passed away 2 weeks later , and James Mills passed away in 1948.

Daisy stayed with her mother the rest of her life on the farm until she died in 1946 aged 80 years old.
Daisy then married Harry Braman and moved to his nearby Sibbald Farm .When Harry retired they sold their farm to Dick Woods and moved to the Montgomery District of Calgary.
Harry died in the sixties and Daisy carried on living in Montgomery Calgary.
In 1973 Daisy came to visit her sister Mary “Polly” Allen in Arlesey , Beds and brought her niece Marlene Thiesen with her .Polly was absolutely thrilled to see her younger sister again and they had kept in contact , regularly writing to each other.
Thomas Mills 1890-1951
In late autumn 1928 Thomas returned to Mere England to get a wife. He met and married Hettie Rabbley and returned in March 1929 . He started up another Farm 8 miles North of Sibbald called Glovers Lake .They had 3 children called Iris May , Thomas Edmond , Rita Irene while living on the farm . In the early Thirties the moved to another nearby farm called the Hannam Farm. Two years later they moved again closer to Highland Park School , but there weren’t many pupils so it eventually closed .The children then had to commute to Fairdale School in Sibbald by bus.
There were many storms and floods and quite often they couldn’t get home from school so they had to spend the night in town with friends . It was quite a worrying time for their parents because they couldn’t let them know they weren’t coming home .In the 30’s either their friends didn’t have a phone or the storm had brought the telephone lines down . Iris and Rita liked playing netball , but in order to go to the practices the had to ride the five miles back to school on horseback. Because of this they missed a lot of the practises . Iris used to work on a neighbour Harold Shantz’s farm in the summer and Autumn and Iris and Rita Irene used to work at Banff hospital in the Winter and Spring , until 1951.Thomas died in 1951 , and Thomas Jnr carried on running the family farm.
Then Iris married Henry Thiessen in June 1951 and moved to Calgary.They had 4 children bryan douglas , w.marlene , Rita Irene married in November 1951 as well to Albert Nightingdale , they had 5 children Brenda , Sharon , Albert , Reginald and Lorraine . In 1960 they moved to Coquillan B.C
Rita passed away in February 1971

1918 Charles ,Jim ,Jim jnr , and a very strong looking Tom

Arlesey and Henlow Station (Arlesey and Shefford Road Station) 14 OLD PHOTOS

arlesey station arlesey station1 arlesey station 4 ArleseyHenlowStation    ATI-A4a-011  ATI-A4a-013      ATI-A4a-018    ATI-A4a-002   ATI-A4a-014     arlesey station gates shut signal box Deltic-06

Original station

The first section of the Great Northern Railway (GNR) (from Louth to a junction with the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway at Grimsby) opened on 1 March 1848; but the southern section of the main line (from Maiden Lane to Peterborough) was not opened until 7 August 1850. One of the 1850 stations was Arlesey and Shefford Road. It was renamed Arlesey and Shefford Road in March 1860, but the shorter name of Arlesey was used between July 1893 and July 1895.

The GNR became part of the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER) during the Grouping of 1923. On 1 March 1933 the LNER renamed the station Arlesey and Henlow. The station passed to the Eastern Region of British Railways on nationalisation in 1948.

The station and the adjacent Three Counties railway station were closed to passengers on 5 January 1959 and to goods on 28 November 1960 and demolished soon after due to declining receipts.

Present station

The line, however, remained open; and the present station built by Network SouthEast opened on 3 October 1988 on the site of the original station in the Church End area of Arlesey. The rebuilt station was designed to be fully accessible to wheelchairs but was initially unusable by those who couldn’t leave their chair as there were no facilities for ‘loading and unloading’. First Capital Connect provided the station with ramps in 2006, and users now simply have to ring 24 hours in advance for assistance.

In 2006 Her Majesty The Queen visited the station.

The station’s platforms are currently being lengthened to accommodate 12 car trains scheduled to serve the station upon completion of the Thameslink Programme.

Railway Accidents at Arlesey

Although the Railway Archive lists most UK railway accidents, it does not include the one you mention, Ian.
However, I have found the following in the Steam World archive:
“Crawley, John. Accident at Arlesey. 42-7.
On the evening of 4 July 1954 express freight train No. 1266 for Leeds from King’s Cross hauled by A3 No. 60058 Blair Atholl was derailed in the sand drag at the end of the four track section due to the failure to observe the signals. The footplate crew, Driver T.W. Mayhew and fireman H. Holroyd, were fortunate not be killed. The Aberdonian was following on the fast line, but the rapid response of the signalmen at Arlesey and Three Counties and the alertness of the footplate crew on the sleeping car express brought it to a stand. Black & white photographs of wreckage taken on 6 July 1954 (days in captions do not mesh), of King’s Cross breakdown crane and of breakdown gang with GNR clerestory support vehicle at Three Counties on Sunday 11 July, and of damaged A3 and its tender (probably still in livery other than Brunswick green).”

Added by Peter Langsdale on 24 April 2012
blair athol
blair athol 1958 train crashHi,
Statement from Ian Bowskill
The picture of the derailed train is not of A3 ‘Blair Athol’ but of a 9F 2-10-0 heavy freight locomotive. I can’t recall the exact date but it was when a freight train came to grief at Arlesey.(Ian Bowskill)
        Blair Athol no fatalities due to a derailment.Unfortunately the photo is nor Blair Athol but a freight train accident in Arlesey.
       The engines on freight trains were not kept clean and shiney like passenger engines were.
Statement from Robert Sunderland
The photo is wrong, but the loco was Blair Atholl.
The express was Northbound’The Elizabethan’. Hauled by an A4. Stopped by emergency detonators after it had passed through Three Counties. It was seconds away form going into the wreck.
I WAS THE ONLY WITNESS. But was never asked for statement.
Standing on the footbridge train-spotting. I thought the Northbound goods would plough along the platform and hit the bridge.
It never braked although the Slow Line signals were against it. Track goes 2-1 through Arlesey Station and it didn’t brake but jumped the points doing about 50 MPH. Fortunately it went down the embankment into a ditch and didn’t plough along the platform to hit the bridge on which I was standing. I, a 13 year-old, was scared s**tless.
Signalman leaned out of the window, swore because all his lines were cut. Then dashed to the station to use the phone there to stop the trains.
Driver uninjured. Fireman broke his arm.
Perishable goods, fruit and veg. spilled out of the trucks which went across all 4 tracks.
The memory is as clear today as it was 61 years ago.
The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh began their tour of Mid Beds when they arrived in Arlesey on the Royal Train on Friday.

A royal welcome

They royal party were greeted by a group of wellwishers and Her Majesty received posies from Ellen Dart, 8 and Martha Trendell, 5 before a police escort led the way to Samuel Whitbread Community College.

H.R. the Queen at Arlesey station

Arlesey Three Counties Station

TTB059ThreeCSt_26Jan1975 arlesey station steam train      Railway Station 12     three counties STATION three counties station 1959 three couties station TTB041ThreeCountiesSignalBox_90_675 TTB042ThreeCountiesStation_90_678 TTB043ThreeCountiesStation_90_678 TTB044ThreeCountiesStation_90_678 TTB045aThreeCountiesStation_90_678 TTB045bThreeCountiesStation TTB046ThreeCountiesSignalB_90_678 TTB047ThreeCountiesStation_90_678  TTB050ThreeCountiesStation_90_678 TTB051ThreeCountiesStation_90_678 TTB052RailwayBridge_90_678Arlesey shunting train

tornado at arlesey   Arlesey victorian bridge arlesey tailsman    arlesey beautiful victorian bridge   streamline train  ATI-A4a-007  ATI-A4a-005   CCAW-C1b-002 lambi inni fairfield gate

Three Counties railway station is a disused railway station in Arlesey in BedfordshireEngland. It served the southern environs of Arlesey. These included the Three Counties Lunatic Asylum, which was finally subsequently known as the Fairfield Hospital. The station was north of  Hitchin on the “London-Peterborough” line. It opened in 1866, and closed to passengers in 1959.

The station was opened by the Great Northern Railway (GNR) on 1 April 1866, originally being named Arlesey Siding taking the name of the nearby Brtickworks. On 1 July 1886, the station was renamed Three Counties, taking its new name from the nearby Three Counties Asylum, which itself was so named because it was a joint project of three counties – Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Huntingdonshire.

The GNR became part of the London and North Eastern Railway during the Grouping of 1923. The station then passed on to the Eastern Region of British Railways on nationalisation in 1948.

The station was closed to passengers, together with the adjacent Arlesey station, on 5 January 1959 and goods on 28 November 1960. This was due to declining receipts. Arlesey, however, later re-opened.

I remember going on a day trip to Skegness from here , I could have been no more than 7 , I remember being scared crossing the slats of wood on the footbridge as there were gaps between them and you could see the ground.We we went in the ticket office that was built on legs my brother Roger Lombari jumped up and down on the wooden floorboards making them move.We we got on the train a neighbour and family from Lynton Ave was also going to Skegness.Len Houghton.I remember all the scenes out of the window flashing by as the steam train hit top speed.This could have been my first time on steam train.

Arlesey train crash

Serious train crash at Arlesey 1877


[From the Daily News. Dec. 25.] An accident, almost as serious in its results as that of Abbots Ripton, on tho same line, in the early part of this year, occurred at the Arlesey Siding station, four miles north of Hitchin, on the Great Northern Railway, on Saturday afternoon,December 23rd, at a quarter to 4 o’clock. It has been ascertained that five persons have been killed,and that about 25 have been more or less injured.The Great Northern Company, as usual at this busy season, increased on Saturday the numbor of their trains running north. The 2’45 p.m. express for the Manchester service was divided into three, to keep the number of carriages to 15 in each,whilst the 3 o’clock train for Leeds and that portion of the north was divided into two. The accident happened to the first portion of the 2.43 pm approx,consisting of 13 carriages and two boxes, propelled by one of the company’s powerful eight wheeled engines, fitted with vacuum breaks. The train was well filled, mostly with holiday-seekers, and its started punctually to time. It speed was that ordinarily attained by express trains, about 40 miles an hour, and nothing was amiss until it reached Arlesey, where the accident occurred. The distant signal, which could be seen for a mile on approaching the station, was at danger, as was also the home signal further on. At the Arlesey siding, on the up-line, were two up-trains-one of coal and the other of goods. It being necessary to shunt one of them out of the way, in order to allow the other to proceed, the one which it was intended to shunt had crossed the down line, and waa going into a siding on that side. In the act of shunting, two of the waggons jumped on the cross-over road, and fouled and blocked the down line. The signals were exhibited at danger during the operation of shunting, but not with standing that, the express came rattling on, and crashed into the goods train, causing a terrible accident, the death of five persons, and injury to some 25 others.It appears that when the driver and stoker saw the goods trucks across the line, they became aware of the imminent danger in which the train was, and that, instead of waiting the result, John Smith, the stoker, jumped when at a distance of 100 yards south of the signal-box, and, falling on his head,was instantly killed, his neck being dislocated in the fall. The driver remained on the engine, doing his best to decrease the velocity in which the train was travelling, when he too, became terrified, and leaping, in the same manner as tho stoker, from the footboard, fell on the near side of tho line, and was so terribly mutilated that death in his case,too, must have been instantaneous. The engine then crashed into the waggons, and several of the foremost carriages were smashed to atoms, and a scone too horrible to contemplate ensued. The engine broke away from tho tender, but did not, as is generally the case, turn over. As may be imagined, the greatest terror prevailed, and, for several minutes, nothing but shrieks and screams for help were heard, while, as if to add to the horror of the scene, the atmosphere was filled with clouds of steam and smoke from the engine. All the passengers  who were not injured, or  slightly injured , left their carriages as they remained on the rails,and many of them, with great presence of mind,made their way  to the head of the train, from where the  most heart-rending cries for help were coming. For a moment they stood appalled at the work of destruction. Tho tender had mounted the bogie wheels of the engine, and in the place of the first three or four carriages nothing but a confused heap of wood and iron remained. All the occupants of those carriages were buried in the debri, and many of thom were endeavouring to extricate themselves as best they could ; and others were passive, being too badly injured, or too firmly fixed amidst the broken mass to make any attempt to save their lives, whilst three-two women and a man-when found had breathed their last. Amongst the passengers in the train was Mr. S. Monk, one of  the company’s assistant-inspectors’, who escaped  by a miracle. Crawling from beneath the broken carnages he rescued his little son, who was travelling with him, and then proceeded to render what aid he could to the sufferers, Ho saw at once tho extent of tho danger, having been in two railway accidents previously, am i know the value of self-preservation in cases of such great emergency. A great number of the passengers had surrounded the signal-box, and were making their way into it for tho purpose of having telegraphic messages sent to their friends, when Mr. Monk courageously stood by for them, and protected the man on duty whilst he ‘telegraphed to Hitchin and London for assistance, and gave instructions for all, on-coming trains to be stopped. To his forethought the calamity, dire as it was, was confined to the wreckage of the two trains and the comparatively small amount of bodily injury that was caused.

The spot where the accident occurred is four miles from Hitchin, and five from Biggleswade .Arlesey is noted for its manufacture of perforated bricks, now so much used in building. For the purpose of giving facilities to the trade the siding was constructed ; then other businesses were established, and in course of time a number of houses have grown up around thom. Shefford road, tho station for the village of Arlesey, is distant five miles. Amongst the servants of the company the opinion prevails that the driver and stoker lost their lives through their precipitancy. Had they remained at their position the engine, their lives would not in all probability have been sacrificed, or at least they might have escaped with a severe shaking. Pepper was one of the best conducted men the company have ever had. He had been in their service for 25 years, and was a careful and experienced driver.


A thrilling story is told of Monk and his son’s escape. In his own words, his narrative is as follows ¡-” I was going down to Billingborough, accompanied by my fíttln son, a lad of 15, for the purpose of spending our Christmas holidays, Everything went well with our train until we reached Arlesey. We were in a second-class carriage in the ceuti e,and I was just beginning to doze,when I heard a smash,and almost instantly the glass in the windows cracked, and the carriage began to vibrate, There were seven passengers besides myself.and in the twinkling of an eye the floor gave way, and the seats fell from under us-in fact, the entire carriage, as though it were no stronger than a matchbox, split entirely into pieces. All of us fell through on to the ballast,over which we were dragged a few feet. Seeing an opening, I crawled out, terribly alarmed. My first impulse was to rescue my child. Happily I was able to seize him, and drag him from beneath the broken mass. Neither of us was hurt, the only injury I received being a scratch across my right wrist and hand. All the other passengers crawled out, I believe, the same way, uninjured. Seeing what had occurred,I ran to thc signal-box,and looked at the signals. Many persons followed me,and I did my utmost to prevent them entering the box, and so interfering with the man on duty. They wanted to send telegrams to their friends, but it was necessary first to stop the trains, and so prevent any further calamity. Having seen that all necessary telegrams had been despatched, I hastened to the wreck, and superintended the rescue of two bodies-that of Mr.Michael and a female whoso name I do not know.

Many of the passengers escaped from the train by getting out through the windows. Three or four carriages were piled up, and it was from this rft’Ará that the injured mostly were taken. A surgeon who was a passenger rendered early and most efficient aid,and obtaining a number of bandages, whence I do not know, he bound up broken limbs and sprains,and worked with an assiduity rarely witnessed.