Bletchley's first settlers from London under the assisted expansion scheme arrived at their new home on the Saints estate on Tuesday 2nd September 1952. Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Attwell came from Acton, having lived with Mr. Attwell's parents since their marriage the previous year. The estate was still a sea of mud when they came - although the road was in place, the pavements were yet to be laid and many more houses were still to be built. Mrs. Attwell considered the new house to be a palace as it was her own home.
Text version.
Mrs. Attwell recalls the day she moved in.
In Winter, however, the house was incredibly cold - the only heating was a coal fire in the front room and the metal window frames used to be covered in condensation. The rooms had red compositioned floors that had to be kept polished and when the Attwell's had their two sons, Mrs. Attwell would dress them in red dungarees as they frequently slipped on the polish and were covered with red. Nevertheless, the Attwells settled happily in Bletchley, enjoying the peace of the countryside that still surrounded the area at that time.
Mr. & Mrs. Attwell setting up home.
Photographs of Mr and Mrs Attwell's garden in the early years.
The Attwells garden today.
Of course, many more couples and young families were to follow the Attwells in making Bletchley their new home. Mrs. Pauline Bond and her family came from London to live on the Counties estate. Her cousin had moved to the area with her husband's employers, S.S. White and Mr. Bond stayed with them for a few weeks, getting himself a job with Terrapins and then a Council house. Lots of Londoners came to Bletchley either with their companies or to seek work. Industry was being encouraged to move to the town at that time to support the expansion. Mrs. Bond loved her new house and has fond memories of settling into Bletchley life.

The people who chose to settle in the town in the early years of 'overspill' expansion often look back and consider themselves pioneers. They were moving into a much quieter area than they were used to where in most cases they had no friends or family. Bletchley had been a small market town in a rural area and did not have the amenities that Londoners may have been used to. Shopping, sports centres, public transport etc. were expanding along with the town, so incomers had to wait for these facilities.

Bletchley Urban District Council was keen to make all the London newcomers feel at home, though. Councillor E.J.Fryer, Chairman of the Council, sent a personal letter of welcome to each family and Bletchley District Gazette played its part by featuring a 'Welcome to Bletchley' column that listed the names and addresses of all new arrivals. In August 1953 it said 'Hello Twins!' to the first twins to move from London - two and a half year old Marilyn and Christine Coombes.

Some Londoners, however, found it impossible to settle and returned to the bright lights, but the majority loved their spacious new houses and stayed to raise families in what was now 'home.'

Queensway circa 1960's - too quiet for some!
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