Bury Park


Bury Park

infobox UK place
country= England
latitude= 51.885
longitude= -0.431
official_name= Bury Park
population= Within Biscot and Dallow wards
os_grid_reference= TL0821
unitary_england= Luton
lieutenancy_england= Bedfordshire
region= East of England
post_town= LUTON
postcode_area= LU
postcode_district= LU1, LU4
dial_code= 01582
constituency_westminster= Luton South

Bury Park is located one mile due east of Luton town centre on the road to Dunstable. Since the mid 1970s a Bangladeshi and Pakistani community has grown and Bury Park is now the home of a purpose-built mosque.

Bury Park has a large commercial area specialising in fruit, vegetables and clothing, mainly for the local community. There is a significant number of restaurants in the area, particularly serving Asian food. The main road through the area has recently undergone significant updating with new tree planting, improvements to the road layout, paving and street furniture.

Kenilworth Road, the home of Luton Town F.C. is also located here.

History

Bury Park takes its name from Bury Farm, which was situated near to where Kenilworth Road is now. [Ordnance Survey, [http://www.british-history.ac.uk/mapsheet.asp?compid=55106&sheetid=680&ox=0&oy=0&zm=1&czm=10&x=128&y=227 "Bedfordshire 33NW"] , surveyed circa 1879, published 1888.]

An estate was erected on the fields of the farm, and the first houses were occupied in 1882. Church school halls were opened in 1895, Bury Park Congregational Church was built in 1903, and Luton Industrial Co-operative Society Ltd opened a general store at the junction of Dunstable Road and Leagrave Road in 1906. Before moving to the Kenilworth Road ground, Luton Town played their home games on a flat field that became the site of the Odeon cinema. Dunstable Road was lined with Victorian houses, each with a neatly-fenced garden, but the character of the road altered with the coming of the trams in 1908; the houses were turned into shops, and their front gardens became paved forecourts. By 1926, the shops included a "High-Class Pastry Cook and Confectioner" at 273 Dunstable Road. [K. Cooper, "Luton Scene Again", Phillimore, 1990, ISBN 0-85033-775-5, captions to plates 43 to 46 and 58.]

Traffic has long been a problem in the area. In 1926, complaints were made that horses and carts were causing obstructions by stopping at a water trough at the junction of Dunstable Road and Leagrave Road. In the following years the junction was covered by constables on point duty. [T. J. Madigan, "The Men Who Wore Straw Hats: Policing Luton 1840-1974", Book Castle, 1993, ISBN 1-871199-81-6 (h/b), ISBN 1-871199-11-5 (p/b), page 46.]

Edgar Barber established an aeroplane propeller factory during World War I at 116 Bury Park Road. This was converted into a cinema called the Empire, which opened in 1921 and which closed in 1938 when the new Odeon opened on Dunstable Road. The Odeon with 1958 seats was designed by Keith P. Roberts, and is now a listed building. [E. Grabham, "From Grand to Grove: Entertaining South Bedfordshire", Book Castle, 2007, ISBN 978-1-903747-83-4, pages 76, 139 and 146.]

During World War II the old Empire was requisitioned for "government purposes". After the war it was used as a synagogue, and before becoming an Islamic centre. The Odeon was used for concerts as well as for showing films; The Beatles played there in 1963. It closed in 1983 and became a Top Rank Bingo Club. After local objections when its name was changed to Mecca Bingo, it closed in 1999 and became a church. [E. Grabham, "op. cit.", pages 80, 159, 207, 236 and 254.]

Mosques and churches

The Luton skyline includes the impressive large complex of Luton Central Mosque in Westbourne Road, built in 1982 and serving the community through providing seminars on Muslim life, exhibitions and open days, and working closely with establishments of other faiths to develop and harbour intercommunity understanding.

The Islamic centre in Bury Park Road serves a vibrant and diverse community.

The converted cinema in Dunstable Road is now the UK headquarters of the Calvary Church of God in Christ pastored by Jurisdictional Bishop, Rev Dr. Alvin Blake. The church was this year's host of the Luton Churches Together service in May. [ [http://www.cogichq.co.uk/ Calvary Church of God in Christ (United Kingdom)] .]

Politics

The area north of Dunstable Road is in Biscot ward, and the area to the south is in Dallow ward.

The wards form part of the parliamentary constituency of Luton South, and the MP is Margaret Moran (Labour). Bury Park is within the East of England (European Parliament constituency).

Local attractions

Local newspapers

Two weekly newspapers are delivered free to all the houses in Bury Park. However they are not specific to Bury Park. They are:
* [http://www.lutontoday.co.uk Herald and Post] - Delivered every Thursday
* [http://www.lutononsunday.com/ Luton on Sunday] - Delivered every Sunday

References

* [http://www.luton.gov.uk/ Luton Borough Council]

Further reading

* Sarfraz Manzoor, "Greetings from Bury Park: Race, Religion and Rock 'n' Roll", Bloomsbury, 2007, ISBN 978-0-7475-7711-9.


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