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Leighton Buzzard

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Arms of the Leighton-Linslade Town Council

Leighton Buzzard is a town near the Chiltern Hills in Bedfordshire, and is between Luton and Milton Keynes. It has a population of 32,417 (2001 census), and is part of the South Bedfordshire district.

For local government purposes, the town is administered jointly with Linslade as Leighton-Linslade.

Contents

History

There are a number of theories about its curious name but the most likely is that "Leighton" is a Saxon term meaning a clearing in the woods. The "Buzzard" was added by the Dean of Lincoln in whose diocese the town was in the 12th century. He had two communities called "Leighton" and in order to differentiate them he added the name of his local Prebendary or representative to that of the town. At that time it was a Theobald de Busar and so over the years the town became known as Leighton Buzzard. The other Leighton became Leighton Bromswold.


Amenities

It boasts a fine Early English parish church dedicated to All Saints (http://www.allsaintslb.org.uk/) with a 190ft spire and some outstanding medieval ironwork, graffiti and roofs "aflutter" with carved angels gifted in the mid 15th century. It has been described as the cathedral of South Bedfordshire and is probably the finest church in the county. Dating from 1277 it is the second church on the site. Such an old structure requires constant attention through its Preservation Trust (http://www.pres.appeal.ukgateway.net).

The town is known for the Leighton Buzzard Railway, a narrow gauge heritage railway.

Leighton Buzzard is well represented in terms of sporting teams. Leighton Town F.C. play football in the Southern League Division One East, whilst Leighton Buzzard R.F.C. play Rugby Union in Midlands East Division 3.

Infrastructure

It is close to the M1 motorway and A5 road, and is served by the West Coast Main Line railway at Leighton Buzzard railway station (in Linslade). The Grand Union Canal runs through the town, alongside the River Ouzel (known locally as the River Lovat).

In popular culture

The town was where the 1960s band The Barron Knights first formed, also formed in Leighton Buzzard is the 80's supergroup Kajagoogoo who had an international superhit with Too Shy.

Other famous residents of Leighton Buzzard include the late Bob Monkhouse, Kriss Akabussi, Darren Gough and James Davis .

Industry

The town is, or has at one time, been the home to various industries: Lipton Tea, Gossard clothing, Lancer Boss (forklifts, etc.).

The town has a sizeable sand quarrying industry.

References


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