Our lives in Leighton Buzzard

We have lived in the town for more than thirty years. We made our home here in 1974, at that time the town was a lot smaller but still much the same as it is now, a small Bedfordshire market town. The towns of Leighton and Linslade made famous by the great train robbery which took place on the 8th of August 1963 just after three in the morning, one of the towns other claims to fame is its sand quarries. A map of the area shows Leighton to be situated in the heart of the Chilterns hills. Leighton Buzzard has grown over the years from a small market town into a large thriving community offering a pleasant home to the hundreds of commuters who flock daily to London.


Leighton Buzzard and Linslade with a population of over 30,000 is situated in the south-west corner of Bedfordshire, England, covering nearly 7 square miles. The town consists of the larger town of Leighton Buzzard on the east of the river Ouzel and the smaller town of Linslade which lies on the west with Old Linslade located on a bend of the river further north. 


London is 39 miles away and trains stop at the station (situated in Linslade) approximately every quarter of an hour as they travel the electrified line from London (Euston) to Milton Keynes, Rugby and Birmingham (New Street). The A5 Watling Street is 3.5 miles away and the M1 some 6 miles, Aylesbury  lies 11 miles south-west and Bedford 20 miles north-east. Leighton-Linslade is linked with Coulommiers, France; Titisee-Neustadt, Germany and Marondera, Zimbabwe. A deed of friendship with Coulommiers was signed in 1958 and renewed in 1982. The first historical evidence about the town was in 906 when it was recorded that the Danes made a peace treaty at Yttingaford, on the Ouzel. This is better known today as Tiddenfoot. Today Tiddenfoot contains a modern leisure complex and parkland built around a lake formed from a flooded sandpit. 


In 1086 Leighton Buzzard is recorded as Lestone. It is believed to have derived from the Saxon word "leahton" meaning woodland. Over the years there have been 60 different spellings of the name Leighton. Until the printing press was invented and even for a time after, spelling largely depended on the fancy of the writer. The name Buzzard of which there have been 40 different spellings, was added later and is derived from the name of Theobold de Busar, an early Prebendary (or cathedral officer) of the town. 


Today, Leighton Buzzard has managed to keep its market town character despite the changes that have occurred. Regular Street Markets take place every Tuesday and Saturday. As well as good road and rail links and in latter times the canal played its part in the prosperity of the town..