Work is moving along quickly now putting in place the infrastructure needed for the houses to be built in Biddenham parish, at the western end of the land north of Bromham Road.
You may have noticed on the developers’ sign boards erected on Bromham Road, and more recently on the new section of bypass, that the development has an overall name of Kings Field.
This has been chosen to remember an event that took place on Thursday, 22 October 1914 when King George V came to review the Highland Troops then stationed in Bedford and around, including Biddenham.
The review took place in Bromham Road, the Bedfordshire Times and Independent of 23 October reported ‘in the large field beyond the Midland Railway, and lying between the Golf Course and the Bromham-road, opposite the first Biddenham turn’, that is, where houses are currently being constructed as the new development takes shape.
‘As a matter of fact’ the report continued, ‘the troops occupied both this field and the Golf Course beyond, but the march past took place in the first field’. ‘The Gordon Brigade, probably owing to the proximity of their billets to the review ground, were the first on the scene. They marched up in the neighbourhood by 9 o’clock, and took up their positions on the Golf Links. The Scottish Horse, from the country, were also fairly early arrivals. The Seaforth and Cameron Brigades started to arrive about 10 a.m., and also went to the Golf Links, and the following troops arrived in the following order:- R.G.A., R.F.A. (Golf Links), Argyll Brigade, A.S.C., R.E., and R.A.M.C. Some of the units arrived with bands playing, and in some the men were singing and whistling, but generally speaking there was an air of seriousness’.
‘During the arrival of the troops the reserve regiment of the Beds. Yeomanry marched up to their training ground – a field off the Biddenham-road, and their smart appearance, despite the absence of uniform in many cases, was favourably commented upon. When the King left they were formed up down the Biddenham-road, but owing to the crowd they had no opportunity of seeing His Majesty’.
On arrival after 11.30 am ‘the royal car passed straight up the road to the second field where His Majesty was received by the general officers, and forthwith he inspected the Scottish Horse, the Artillery Regiments, the Gordons, the Camerons, the Seaforths, and other troops parading in that part of the ground’.
‘At 11.50 a.m. His Majesty and his retinue entered the first large field at the corner diagonally remote from the gate opposite the Biddenham-lane and began his inspection of the troops on that side, walking along the front ranks from west to east’. The King then moved across the field towards the gate and the march past began, each section headed by a band of pipers. Rain began to fall and fell more heavily as the King eventually left to reach the railway station by 1.30 pm.
There is much more in the newspaper report of the event which is now marked by the name given to the development taking place almost 102 years later.
The recent clearance of trees and hedges along the north of Bromham Road, between Biddenham Turn and Beverley Grove, has prompted questions about what is happening on the land north of Bromham Road.
This work is to facilitate in due course the creation of a new road junction into the eventual development from Bromham Road (going north into the development). The new junction will be to the east of the Biddenham Turn junction (which goes south into Biddenham). There will be associated changes to the footpath layout, and new planting along the revised boundary.
Changes have also been proposed to the design guidelines for the development of the land north of Bromham Road, following discussions with council departments concerned and to bring the guidelines up to date with current policy both at national and local level. There have been changes in location for the community centre and for the public playing pitches, which are now proposed to be located at the west (Biddenham) end of the site, and for the primary school for which a planning application has now been submitted (as reported in the 25 January 2015 edition of Bedfordshire on Sunday, page 28). There may be further revisions to the position and impact/style of the community centre buildings given their rural setting near to what would be more traditional style housing and a listed building.
There is a consultation period for the revision of the design guidelines which started on 6 January and runs to 8 February 2015. The relevant documents are available on the Bedford Borough Council website.
A new page Biddenham future has been added to the blog’s main menu.
It will provide a record of Biddenham as it is before developments take place that will change the village in the future. Initially, it is covering the two major planning issues currently of particular interest to the village:
- the proposed development of land north of Bromham Road; and
- the submissions for development in Biddenham put forward for inclusion in the local plan for the Borough of Bedford in the period up to 2032.
Visit the Biddenham 2032 page for more information