Memories of Costin’s

SAD to read in last week’s Gazette of the death of Brian Costin, a former director of the Dunstable coach company which bore his name.

Costin’s Coaches were a familiar part of the Dunstable scene until the business was sold in the 1970s.

Here’s a couple of photos which provide a link to those days.

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The Gazette took the larger photo in around 1978 when the area around the Baptist Chapel in St Mary’s Street was being cleared to create a large car park for what was then the new Sainsbury’s supermarket (now Wilkinson’s and Farmfoods).

The picture was taken on what is now St Mary’s Gate, alongside the police station in West Street.

Large numbers of houses and businesses in the area were demolished at the time, with just the chapel being spared – baptists have had a place of worship on that piece of land since 1708.

But, almost incidentally to the photo of the chapel, is the view of the doomed garages in the background.

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These were where Costin’s coaches were garaged when they were not transporting children to and from school, or taking day-trippers to the seaside.

By coincidence, Yesteryear has just been loaned a photo by Alf King, of Totternhoe, of the Costin’s mini-coach giving two little girls a special ride down Castle Hill Road during a carnival parade in the village.

The little vehicle, seen in our smaller picture, was once a familiar sight at local events, advertising one of Dunstable’s best-known businesses.

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