All change

MEADOWS on the south side of Dunstable became, in 1938, the site of a factory manufacturing a variety of rubber products.

Sunday, 23rd October 2011, 10:57 am

The Empire Rubber Company, which at one time employed around 1,000 people, was still a lonely outpost of the town when this aerial photo was taken in July 1952.

That was just about to change, with the building of the Downside housing estate which eventually almost surrounded the firm and extended to the foot of Blow’s Downs.

The factory closed in 2002 and its buildings were demolished. Now a 120-bed hotel, restaurant and conference centre is being built for Holiday Inns on part of the site alongside London Road.

It is fast taking shape, as can be seen in our colour photo, taken last week from Beech Road.

The older picture belongs to Michael Bonnar, of Southwood Road, Dunstable, who was senior planning engineer at the rubber company.

> Yesteryear is compiled by John Buckledee, chairman of Dunstable and District Local History Society