Archiving Sandy

Our Group photographer, Pete Messenger, has been photographing various parts of Sandy, in order to give us an historical view in the future, We are also in the process of compiling photographs from the 1970’s, which will give us a snapshot comparison between then and now. We hope to be able to display some of these in the near future.

Local Schools

Laburnum Road Lower School celebrated its’ 100th birthday in September 2006 and we hope at some point to have photographs and anecdotal material from this event.

There is also ‘old’ and ‘new’ St Swithun’s schools to compare and we have one or two photos of the old school from the 1970’s. The old St Swithun’s school site was redeveloped into what is now Green’s Close – named after a former headmaster of the school. One of the articles published in an earlier edition of ‘SHRUB’ gave details of a school inspection back in the early 1900’s, telling something of a grim tale about the living conditions of the time.

We have also made a presentation to Maple Tree Lower School, where we were able to establish a high degree of interest from a group of enthusiatic young students.

Sandy Then and Now

In conjunction with the ‘Biggleswade Chronicle, SHRG was able to feature some of the old views of Sandy versus the Sandy of today, with the new photos being taken by Chronicle photographers. This was published in the Chronicle on February 2nd 2007 and tied in neatly with the publication of Volume 1 of ‘Pictorial Memories of Sandy‘.

Sandy Pubs:

We used to have many more public houses in and around Sandy than we do now. Since 2007, we have lost the ‘Rose & Crown’ (to residential redevelopment) and in the Spring of 2013, the ‘Lord Roberts’ (now a hairdressing salon!). The group has collected a pub sign from the Stoneaxe in Stratford Road. The pub has long since been demolished but we are in the process of restoring the sign and will be displaying it at future exhibitions.

The ‘New Inn’, on the corner of St Neots Road and the A1 Great North Road, re-opened as an Indian Restaurant, ‘The Akbar’.in 2007 and more recently changed to ‘The Taj Mahal’ under new management.

Ken Page and John Goodlet came along to one of our Open Meetings and gave an illustrated talk on Sandy Pubs, past and present’, which filled in a lot of gaps in our knowledge. We are grateful to Ken and John for allowing us to use some of the material in our book, launched in November 2009, as well as a full article for one of our editions of SHRUB, the group’s twice-annual newsletter, available free of charge to all members.

 Local Place Names

Michael Rutt, a former member of the Group and long time Sandy resident, has researched some of the local place names and their origins. Click here to read his article.


The Group launched Volume 2 of ‘Pictorial Memories of Sandy’, which contains 40 or so new images of views and memorabilia of the Sandy of yesteryear. The book is available from Sandy Tourist Information Point, online, or directly from the group. Click here to learn about the book launch, which was held at Sandy Library in the presence of Sandy Town Mayor, Geoff White in November 2009.

Click here for more details about the book and also about our Postcard Packs – 8 views and images from Sandy’s past that will bring back memories of former times. These are also available from Sandy Information Centre, which can be found in the reception area of Sandy Town Council offices in Cambridge Road.

Other project updates will appear here as and when details come to hand.

If you want to know more about SHRG, please email the Chairman .

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