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Dunstable Road Ground

The Dunstable Road Ground

Most Luton Town fans are familiar with the photo below of the Dunstable Road ground (1897 to 1905).  What has been a mystery is who was playing and where was the photograph taken from.

Luton Town ground 1897-1905

There was a theory that it was taken from the top of the Dallow Road school.  This theory came from the 1931 Pictorial (see below).  I was not convinced because the angle and height were wrong.  A visit to the Dallow Road area with the Club Historian resulted in viewing the site from the pedestrian walkway over Hatters Way.  The angle did indeed prove to be wrong so the photo was not taken from the school.  We agreed it must have been taken from the top of a chimney.  When I got home I found the following clip in the Luton Times dated 17th September 1897.

Luton Times 17th September 1897

The chimney at Henry Brown’s Timber yard was being constructed on the site of the Dallow Lane ground.  There must have been scaffolding up and some fans and an intrepid cameraman scaled the heights for a better view. 

It is therefore highly likely that the game in the photograph is Luton Town v Gainsborough Trinity which the Straw Plaiters won 4 0.  It was the first home game in the Football League Second Division played on the 11th September 1897.  The attendance was 4,000.

Here is the 1931 Pictorial clip which wrongly says that the photo was taken from the top of the school in Dallow Lane.

The 1901 OS map below shows the points marked in the Pictorial article – 

A  – Biscot Mill.

B – Durlers Dye Works

C- Mr C.A. Slatters House in Biscot Road (which in 1931 was next to Commer cars).  

D – Bury Park Congregational Church

E – Two House facing the top of Studley Road

F – The cottages at the corner of Cromwell and Biscot Roads.