Bridge Street, Leighton Buzzard c.1910 [Z1306/72]
Monday 3rd April 1916: After spending much of last year as host to the members of a northern regiment, Leighton Buzzard now sees very few soldiers on its streets. In most other towns, when one set of soldiers has left another has taken their place. Leighton, however, like its neighbour Dunstable seems to have been forgotten by the authorities. The town has many advantages as a centre for military training: its large park and recreation ground provide plenty of space for drilling; the nearby woodland and undulating countryside are excellent for practicing different types of warfare; there is excellent sanitation; and the local churches and societies took a great interest in the social and religious welfare of soldiers billeted in the town. Fresh troops were expected to arrive soon after the previous visitors left. Householders were told to exercise patience but months later they are still waiting, unsure whether their houses will be wanted again or whether they should set them in order again. The empty billets have meant a loss both for their owners and for traders in the town, which is now much quieter. It is hoped that the Urban District Council will take the matter in hand and at least discover whether more troops can be expected.