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      28.01.2009 20:00
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      What can you say about Luton?

      i lived in luton for a year when i was a student at the university, back in 2001. it wasn't the best city in the world, but it certainly wasn't the worst. i remember when we got there we were told there were 53 pubs in the town centre. i'm sure that's not the case now, with the closure of the biggest provider, the vauxhall plant, but it''s still a decent little place and i think it doesn't deserve it's bad reputation.

      it has a variety of shops and has a great student nightlife - plenty of cheap clubs and pubs for spending your student loan in. the university itself is getting better and better, and it has great links to london so if you're looking to live near the big smoke but not in it, luton is a great option. i can imagine house prices here are cheaper than most.

      [Originally posted on www.helphound.com]

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        09.01.2009 23:54
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        I won't even mention Luton Town Football club for now!!

        Although I was not actually born in Luton, I moved here when I was one years old and so think of myself as a Lutonion. I do my best to help the local community and love supporting local business's and projects.

        Most people who do not live in Luton think very lowly of the town and think it is filled with criminals and "chavs". Although this is true of certain areas I don't believe we have it any worse than most towns in the UK.

        Luton is the largest town in Bedfordshire and has a long and successful history. This includes The Arndale Centre being the largest mall in Europe when it was built, being famous for hat making, having the largest Vauxhall plant, Luton Hoo and of course the Airport. Although most of these have seen recent decline in interest (apart from the airport) I believe re generation projects like Napier Park and High Town and the Train Station will bring Luton back to the standard it once was.

        The night life is average at best but at least there is always a train to London which only takes 45 mins to central! Luton has great links to London and is easily accessible from most places through the M1, but for me the best thing about living in Luton is having an international airport on my doorstep. It means a weekend flight to Europe is always on the cards! I also think this will become fully international within the next five years so that will be fantastic!

        So it might have a bad rep now but watch out Luton is coming back!

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          24.06.2004 17:49
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          Luton? To be honest I?m surprised that it didn?t beat Hull in that ?worst towns in England? book. I don?t know if it even appeared in the book, but I?d be surprised if it didn?t. Luton has a terrible reputation. When you think of Luton (even if you?ve never been there) most people ?of a certain age? probably think of Lorraine Chase, Campari, and the phrase ?Nah, Luton Airport!?? Or perhaps you remember the truly dreadful song ?Luton Airport?, sung not by Lorraine Chase herself (though this is a popular misconception) but by the lamentable Cats UK? Strange that this was their only real hit record? Luton itself radiates out from the town Centre, which holds the massive Arndale Centre at it?s heart. Filled with the usual mix of high-street chains that you can find in any town, anywhere, where the Arndale Centre really comes into it?s own is in the Market, where you can find almost anything from martial arts dvd?s with dodgy voiceovers to exotic foodstuffs that you just can?t buy in the supermarkets. And on the subject of supermarkets, there?s a small Tesco actually in the Arndale Centre, much beloved by Students ? and an Iceland just a short walk away, which also has a free shoppers car park. Not that parking is much of a problem in Luton anyway. There is a huge multi-storey car park adjoined to the Arndale centre, which never seems to get filled up, and is not only reasonably priced, but also houses the Arndale Centres motobility service. Alternatively there?s another multi-storey that can be reached from Castle Street, and a very large car park on Vicarage street, which is absolutely ideal for the University? Ah yes, the University. I?m a student there, and I absolutely love it, but even I have to admit that the main Luton U
          ;niversity building in Park Square (right next to the Arndale Centre) leaves something to be desired. I imagine that Prince Charles would definitely refer to it as a ?Monstrous Carbuncle? built, as it is, mostly from concrete. There were plans when I first arrived at the University two years ago to transform the outward appearance of the building by adding a huge, glass arboretum to the main entrance. This really would have made an enormous difference to the exterior appeal of the University, but these plans appear to have been shelved, as nothing has been heard about them for some time. Unfortunately, Luton University has a reputation that?s about as bad as that of the town it calls home. However, personally I feel that this reputation is undeserved. For example, my creative writing lecturer is an Oxford graduate, and he?s excellent at his job. What more can you expect from a University that supplying excellence in their teaching staff??? To be honest, I believe that some of the prejudice against Luton and it?s inhabitants is because of the Luton accent, which even I have to admit doesn?t make Lutonians sound like the most intelligent people in the country. I know that the people of Dudley have a similar problem! However, I?ve always found this to be an utter misconception, Luton people in general tend to be not just intelligent and articulate, but friendly too, which is very unusual for residents of the South East of England! However, the town itself is largely urban, with many buildings in the town centre especially, built from concrete - which somehow always seems to look not just dirty, but also depressing and ugly. The area of Luton between the train station is not just ugly and dirty, but also run down and badly neglected. As this is, for many people, their gateway to Luton
          I can?t help but think that the council could make a huge difference here. At the moment, to get to the town centre from the train station it is necessary to walk across a main road using a covered walkway that leaks horrendously in wet weather, and is not only covered in fly posters and dropped litter, but gives a glorious view into the kitchens and bedrooms of the University Halls of Residence, which are lonely a few feet away. Leaving the walkway by the filthy steps (that generally smell strongly of urine) it is necessary to walk along a dingy back street to get to a side entrance of the Arndale centre ? and this isn?t even welcoming ? just a couple of glass doors leading to a set of escalators. No, there is most definitely room for improvement here. And that, unfortunately, is the story of Luton, there?s just so much unrealised potential in the place that you wouldn?t believe it! For instance, housing in Luton is generally cheap for the South East of England, especially considering the towns excellent transport links. Located practically on top of the M1, only a short drive from the A1 and the M25 ? with two train stations offering regular, fast trains to the heart of London ? not to mention Luton Airport, Luton really couldn?t hope for better transport. Employment in the town is also good ? main employers including the airport, NTL and the shops in the Arndale Centre. Vauxhall used to be a major employer in Luton, but unfortunately stopped manufacturing cars in the town in 2002. However, the airport ? the home of Easyjet ? brings plenty of tourists and business people into the town to fly to destinations all over Europe. Although the town can, probably quite rightly, be classed as relatively ugly - there are still beautifully green parks and open areas to be found, including a park that?s very close to t
          he University with an excellent children?s play area. There?s also a statue park somewhere in the town, though I?ve never been able to discover which park it?s in! Dunstable Downs, just outside of Luton, are set on a beautiful hillside and are the perfect place for a picnic, whilst watching the gliders and kites that both fly regularly on the downs. It?s true that Luton has its fair share of violence, crime and muggings ? a friend at University moved back to London after she was almost mugged (a passer by saved her) then had her car stolen in the same week. However, I honestly believe that she was very unlucky and that crime in Luton is no worse than in any other large town in the Country. On the positive side, Luton Hoo, on the outskirts of Luton, is one of Britain?s greatest treasures, even though it is now a privately owned hotel, so no longer open to the public (unless you book a room!) You might have seen the great house in an episode of Inspector Morse, or in the film ?Enigma?. It was even used as the site for the second wedding in Four Weddings and a Funeral ? hey, if it?s good enough for Hugh Grant? OK, I?ll stop right there! Seriously, though, famous children of Luton include such luminaries as David Arnold ? What? You don?t recognise the name? Well, perhaps if I told you he?s the composer who wrote the theme tune to Stargate SG1, in addition to composing music for Godzilla, a Life Less Ordinary, The World is Not Enough, Independence Day, Shaft, Changing Lanes and 2 Fast 2 Furious? Impressed yet? OK, Ok, you?re a hard bunch to please. Then what about John Badham, director of Short Circuit, Blue Thunder, Stakeout, Bird on a Wire and Another &
          #83;takeout? No? David Renwick, then. He?s written material for the true greats of British comedy such as Ben Elton, Kenny Everett and the two Ronnies ? not to mention the fact that he had a hand in writing Wilt, Whoops Apocalypse, Not the 9 O?clock News, One Foot in the Grave and Jonathan Creek. OK, then, my final shot ? Clive Bunker. Heard of him? Not even if I tell you he was the drummer in Jethro Tull? Still not impressed? I don?t know, there?s just no satisfying some people! Seriously though, Luton doesn?t have a great reputation, and to some extent I can see why. It?s not the most beautiful, the cleanest, or even the nicest town you?ll ever come across. But it isn?t as bad as it?s sometimes made out to be, either. Personally, I really rather like Luton. The town in general has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere that?s unusual in the South East. If you can overlook the ugly concrete parts, there are some real hidden gems to be found in Luton, the view of the trees on the hillside, which can be seen from the Arndale Centres car park is absolutely lovely! Luton doesn?t put on the airs and graces that some of the other towns in the local area does ? this is an industrious town. A town of industry and education, not tourism and leisure. A good, honest, working class town that deserves more credit than it gets. I?d live in Luton, perfectly happily. I can?t think of a better recommendation than that!

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            24.06.2002 02:12
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            I was born in Luton many years ago, and my parents where born and brought up in Luton. This town is one of the largest towns in Bedfordshire, and is bordered by the smaller town of Dunstable, and the Hertfordshire border Luton is famous mainly for the London Luton airport, and maybe the Luton Town Football club, nicknamed the Hatters. (currently in Division 3, but moving back to division 2!) The hatters nickname for the football team came from the old industry of making hats in the town, but this has declined. Another major business in the town was the Vauhxall plant,but this has recently been closed, leaving many people unemployed. Shopping in the town in pretty good. There is the main arndale centre with over 100 shops. It has major shops such as Wilkinsons, New Look, WH Smith, HMV, and too many jewellers, clothes shops etc to mention!! The market has a wide variety of stalls also, although due to lack of funding, it is declining also.All of the exits from the Arndale lead somewhere if you have travelled from somewhere else. There is one exit that leads to the bus and train station, very useful for people travelling into luton. The stations are a 5 minute walk up the road, and the exit is well signposted. The exit the front leads to the new leisure complex, boasting an 11 screen cinema, an arcade, Brannigans, and another bar, and some restaurants. The other exits lead to the outside shops. Here there are a lot of 'pound shops' which are always useful, there are also the banks, and heading away from the street are lots of bars and restuarants. The Galaxy centre is the new leisure complex, with an 11 screen cinema. Its shows all the new releases, has a cheap night on tuesday, has a matinee, and movies for juniors. It also shows foregin films, to keep in with the diverse ethnic groups of the town. Luton, like any other town, of course has its problems. The driving and parking in the town being 2 of the major ones. There are so
            me very confusing one way systems, and the ring road. Being an industrial town, its quite dirty, and has many concrete buildings, and not many green areas. There are many beggars in the town, which is worth keeping in mind. The train service is fairly reliable, one of the better ones in the country, and the airport is also excellent. Generally this is a nice town, there are of course areas which arent, but arent there in every town. The Arndale is definately good for shopping, and the Galaxy is good also. There is plenty to do, and there is a carnival every second bank holiday in May.

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              07.05.2002 00:30
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              I moved to Luton about 10 years ago from a village in derbyshire. Ok, the derbyshire village was much prettier than Luton centre, but that was about it. Luton has got its bad points, but so has everywhere else. And Luton does have alot to offer. We have the multi screen cinema, a good shopping mall, loads of restaurants with many different foods, a university, loads of pubs, the odd nightclub ( I know I'm pushing it now ) Then there are the 2 central parks...Stockwood and Wardown...great free fun for families, and both have good museums. The transport museam up at Stockwood is great, with loads of old coaches and cars, and again...no admission fee! Stockwood also has a golf course, and some lovely gardens, with an interesting ' olde worlde ' craft centre. Luton also has a great transport network...the airport, train station with trains all over Britain, and good road links. Need I say more?

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                14.05.2001 04:24
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                • "Traffic systems a nightmare"

                Luton is a very large industrial town located in Bedfordshire on the Hertfordshire borders. Luton is quite well known for its airport, London Luton and if you werent aware - hat making, although this has been in decline for some years now. Luton is also home to Vauxhall and the skyline is almost dwarfed by a huge Vectra factory in the centre on the town. Luton, being the largest town in Bedfordshire has most things you would expect from a place this size, 2 shopping areas, 2 leisure centres, of course the airport and even its own football team - the Hatters. The main shopping centre is The Arndale Centre. This is probably Lutons best feature and is vast. There are at least 100 shops and you have the choice of places like Disney Store, Debenhams, Argos, Tesco Metro, Topshop etc. There are also loads of sport shops. During the night when closed, the centre section is left open as a cut-through for people walking into the high street but this route should be avoided unless being confronted by a mass of beggers! The high street is pedestranised and the choice of pound shops is unrivalled by any town! There is the town hall- probably one of the only half attractive buildings there, and you also have the new 11 screen cinema complex which houses an arcade, bowling alley and Brannigans nightclub - one of many nightclubs in Luton. Luton has one of Britains newest universities, University of Luton, which is a large place teaching around 15,000 full & part time students. Sadly this is where the good news ends, the town centre is not attractive, it is or should I say was an industrial town and this means lots of concrete. Concrete office blocks, concrete carparks, concrete bridges, concrete this, concrete that! Then there is this awfully, and I mean awfully confusing traffic system in the centre (Park Square) which consists of many one-way roads and huge amounts of 'bus-only' areas! The first 5 times I went there I found it a
                lmost impossible to not end up going down either a bus lane or driving up a one-way street!! Then there is the ringroad, oh the ringroad! This large concrete structure turns into a fly-over and you pass over many buildings and roads underneath. There are so many 'get in lane' junctions and they change which lane your meant to be in after each junction almost trying to trick you! The 30mph speed limit is hardly ever enforced even with the help of the fake speed cameras (yes we know there fake lol!!) which normally means you have some boy-racer in some XR2i trying to overtake you! The main leisure centre - Wardown Leisure centre is terribly embarrasing, sure it has a swimming pool big enough to stage the olympic swimming finals, but is very dated and falling apart. There is even one of those 30 metre kamikaze diving boards that surely were banned years ago?! Your much better off visiting Hemel Hempstead for a swim, the leisure centre there is like Centre-Parcs in comparison. The council have plans to build a new centre on the same site, which is surprising as the town has been starved of investment for years. The airport is one of the best things about this town - sited on the hill, if there were houses up here, it would be the posh part! Home to EasyJet, and other charter operators the terminal is brand new and features all the latest shops and a few cafes. If you have to visit Luton for any other reason than going to the airport then make sure its short and sweet! I would love to give Luton a good review, but sadly the Vauxhall factory is closing down, the place is boring and unattractive and many of the staff working in the shops are rude and dont want to be there. I sadly get the impression that the people of Luton and its companies are intent on killing the town and worsening its reputation until its too late.

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                  26.10.2000 17:26
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                  Why has nobody written anything on the whole of bedfordshire?? I don't understand why so I thought I would write a little bit about Luton. Luton has got a bit of a reputation in many peoples eyes for being a bit of a rough dump. It isn't really that bad. Ok, there are some bad parts for example Berry park, Marsh Farm. Them types of places. Actually the centre of Luton, where all the shops are isn't that bad a place. There are alot of top name shops and good places to eat. Many people come from the surrounding areas to shop in Luton or to come out for lunch. Luton was up to recently in the running to become a city. I think that it had a good case considering it has a major airport in it. London Luton (or just Luton as I like to call it) Airport is one of the three biggest airports in England. Luton Airport is one of the main homes for budget airline, Easyjet. They supply cheap flights to some holiday destinations and most major european cities. Also Luton has a university in it. The university itself hasn't got that good a reputation but in the league tables it is the rise. It has one of the best Media departments in the country. As it is the newest university in the country it isn't doing bad and it actually is in the top five for students getting jobs after they graduate. It is improving all the time as would expected of a new university, nothing is perfect straight away. Although Berry Park is a bit of a dump it is the home of the mighty Luton Town Football Club. Well actually they aren't so mighty. They lie second bottom of the second division but they are in a two game unbeaten run with one win in a row and before that a draw. Best place to eat when going to watch Luton play is at the bottom of Kenilworth Road and is called Hallal Fried Chicken. They do the best chips in there. Come back and look at this article in future as I am going to keep adding to it.

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