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Smoking ban at hat factories

[The Luton News: Thursday, June 26th, 1919]

A serious situation has arisen locally with regard to fire insurance owing to the attitude adopted by the offices concerned. In consequence of several big fires – one at St Albans and others at Luton – the claims made by the staple industry have been out of all proportion to the premiums paid, and the official view is taken that the risks have been immensely increased by the smoking habit which has largely developed since the war.

Fighting the Bolsheviks in Russia

[The Luton News: Thursday, June 26th, 1919]

Just two days before the armistice would be signed, a letter from Lutonian L-Cpl A. C. Payne (Royal Marines on HMS Serie) with the naval force in Russia told how his war had not ended and he had been sent to battle the Bolsheviks. He wrote:

“Having written an account to you of my experiences on a monitor at Constantinople and the Dardanelles in January last, I must let you know I have lefts that theatre. After some time in the Black Sea, we returned to Constantinople, and the ship paid off her commission.

Luton's post-war housing crisis

Housing scandal advert


[The Luton Reporter: Tuesday, June 24th, 1919]

Six months have elapsed since Luton Corporation were persuaded to give approval for the erection of 1,000 municipal houses – less than half the number, it was stated at the time, required to meet the deficiency which has arisen through the war and its after-effects.

Pleas for work and demobilisation

Unemployment was one of the major grievances of demobilised soldiers on their return from war service. One unidentified discharged man who had served throughout the war wrote the following distressing letter to The Luton News (June 19th, 1919) which gave an insight into problems experienced locally:

“I am an ex-serviceman, having served since August 4th, 1914. I am writing these few lines, hoping it will catch the eyes of the employers of labour in Luton. I think it is time something was done for us in the matter of employment.

Biscot Road area church planned

All Saints Church drawing

[The Luton Reporter: Tuesday, June 17th, 1919]

Now that All Saints (illustrated above) has become a separate entity in the church life of Luton and is well on the way to the achievement of its ambition of a new church and parish, the way has been made clear for a practical move to be made with the project for a new church for the St Andrew's district of Christ Church parish.

Wednesday night is concert night at Wardown

Concert parties at Wardown have not been invariably successful in the past, at any rate when they were seeking to make daily performances a commercial success, said an editorial comment in the Beds & Herts Tuesday Telegraph (June 10th, 1919). This year they are to be tried again, but on different lines, an occasional Wednesday evening performance being what we understand is proposed.

Wardown opportunity to provide work?

[Beds & Herts Tuesday Telegraph: June 10th, 1919]

An extension of unemployment pay to demobilised soldiers is announced. No one grudges the £1 per week while out of work, but we cannot help thinking of the 'splash' made by Mr G. H. Roberts MP when, in his position as Labour Minister, he told a Luton audience that men would be released only when there were jobs for them.

Mons Stars for Bedfords

Mons Star presentations

The Luton Reporter: Tuesday, June 10th, 1919]

These photographs reproduced by courtesy of the Bedfordshire Standard were taken at the first presentation of Mons Stars to men at present serving at the depot of the Bedfordshire Regiment who formed part of the first British Expeditionary Force to France and were with the Bedfords in the memorable retreat from Mons.

Record Whitsun for railway travel

[Beds & Herts Tuesday Telegraph: June 10th, 1919]

No previous figures of Whitsuntide passengers have approached those of this year. The bookings were abnormally high.

Queues 100 to 200 yards long were waiting for every train, but the special facilities which the companies had arranged enabled them to cope with the crowds of travellers in a surprisingly speedy manner.

Young soldier dies after horse stampede

Whilst exercising horses this morning at the Luton Remount Depot, Pte Harold Clarkson (Royal Field Artillery), aged 19, of Preston, Lancs, was seized with an attack of faintness and expired before medical assistance could reach him.

The brief account in the Beds & Herts Saturday Telegraph (June 7th, 1919) was followed by a report of the following Tuesday's inquest in The Luton News (June 12th). That revealed that the young soldier, who had no experience of horses until he joined the Army 12 months previously, died during a horse stampede at the Beech Hill Remount Depot.


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