BEDFORD ARCHITECTURAL ARCHAEOLOGICAL & LOCAL HISTORY SOCIETY
BEDFORD LOCAL BOOK REVIEW
BOOK REVIEW by Bob Ricketts
A HISTORY OF LUTON FROM CONQUEROR TO CARNIVAL.
By Anne Allsopp.
Published by The History Press in 2018. 206 pages. Paperback.
Price £14.99. ISBN 978-0-7509-8598-7.
An engaging and authorative account of Lutonís past. A Lutonian, Anne wrote Crimson and Gold, Luton Modern School, Luton High School for Girls
and Luton Technical School published in 2004 and The Education and Employment of Girls in Luton 1874-1923 published by B.H.R.S. in 2005,
before embarking on her ground-breaking history of Luton in 2010. A History of Luton was first published in 2010, but has been substantially
revised and updated.
An initial chapter spans from the Neoliithic settlement at Wauludís Bank, Leagrave, through evidence for Iron Age and Roman occupation, and Anglo-Saxon settlement. This is followed by chapters on Medieval Luton, including Luton Castle; Seventeenth- to Nineteenth-Century Luton Ė very well illustrated, including contemporary maps; Country Houses Ė Luton Hoo, Someries, Stockwood Park, Putteridge Bury and Wardown; Education; Industy Ė brewing, hat making, the drive to attract new industries (Vauxhall Motors, SKF, Percival Aircraft/Hunting), Luton Airport (opened in 1938); Luton at War, from the Boer War, the First World War and the Peace Riots of 1919, Lutonís experience during the Second World War; Migration; Leisure; concludong with Luton, the Town, which draws out Lutonís special character and culture.
Throughout, this volume is richly illustrated, rigorously researched and indexed. If you want to understand Lutonís rich history, A History of Luton is a great place to start. Recommended.