Pocket Number 19: St George’s Square

St George’s Square is Luton’s central plaza. Stepped edges lead down to an open pedestrianized space which hosts markets and events such as East Fest, Diwali, Luton Carnival and more.

The square is bounded by the Galaxy Entertainment Centre and Wetherspoons on the northwest side, Luton Central Library and Theatre on the northeast side, Luton Mall, Costa Coffee and a Polish deli and café on the southeastern side and a row of chicken, fast food and kebab shops on the southwestern side

I stood near the square’s water feature. There is a sign labelling it and it is popular with children and bathing pigeons.

I held up my sign ‘name a person in a place in Luton for me to visit’ and waited for someone to approach me.

Before too long I met David who asked me “what is this all about then?”

I explained what I was doing, where in Luton I had already visited and asked him where I should go next.

Cresta House
Alma Theatre

David used to work as a projectionist in film theatres before movies became digitized. He told me about the Luton Film Theatre on bridge street nearby which has been demolished and of Alma Theatre on Alma Street (now ‘Cresta House’) which suffered the same fate.

He said The Mall used to be called the Arndale Centre –and that a swathe of Luton’s historic town center was demolished in the 70s to make space for its construction. He said there may still be some plaques to be found in the mall or road names which recount the old street names now covered by the mall.

He sent me to discover what existed prior to the mall’s construction and told me to also visit Luton Central Library to search for old photographs of Luton centre pre-Mall and told me to put one of those photos on the assemblage.

He was keen to talk some more so we went for coffee

We now meet for coffee on the occasional Sunday when we’re both free.

One Sunday he brought with him a copy of a picture he drew and a copy of this will go onto the assemblage.

He left it to me to approach anyone who might assist me in my research about the old, pre-Arndale Luton town centre

<< Back to [25] Pockets of [Luton]