Era between the wars features in Queens Park Lives illustrated talk

The R101 from Ford End Road bridge, Bedford
The R101 from Ford End Road bridge, Bedford

The next Queen’s Park Lives talk will be the 40th event and will look at life in the area between the First and Second World Wars.

The illustrated talk takes place on Thursday, November 5, at The Parish Room, All Saints’ Church, in Westbourne Road, with doors opening at 7pm, and the talk starting at 7.30pm.

Admission is £2 and refreshments and a raffle will be available on the night.

The illustrated talk begins with the influenza epidemic, which raged across the world in November 1918 and finishes with the preparations for the next war in September 1939, as the population feared air raids and gas attacks.

Most Bedfordians will know something about the building and the fate of the R101 airship, as many local people were involved in its construction and would have seen it on its testing flights. One of its victims was a crewman who lived in St Paul’s Road. Few people, however, will have heard of a fatal aircrash in Honey Hills some 10 years earlier, or the extent of the aero engine industry at W H Allen’s Biddenham Works.

The era also saw better news, with the building of the bathing huts on The Slipe, the opening of a billiards salon, the West End Club and the Co-Partners Hall meant that sporting and leisure activities were greatly enhanced in the area. Bedford Town football team started having successful seasons, winning trophies and reaching the 1st Round of the FA Cup for the first time, also holding well attended boxing tournaments and summer fetes.