Trail 1

Sands of Time Trail

The Sands of Time Trail celebrates the memories of people who have lived and worked in the area.

It comprises of 33 audio interviews, relating to 9 plaques, which are located in areas of historical significance within Leighton Buzzard and Heath & Reach.

The locations of the 9 plaques can be found on the map below and audio extracts from interviews can be heard by clicking the numbered, yellow plaques. Each plaque offers stories from generations of sand workers, providing meaningful and personal insights into a way of life that has disappeared forever.

Listen to forgotten voices from the past; men and women who lived as children with playgrounds of sand and water. They describe a very different lifestyle to the one we know today, with dangerous places of work, endless playtimes, lasting friendships and family life without screens and social media. This trail is a unique way of learning about and appreciating local heritage and tradition.


Trail 1


Location: The White House, Hockliffe Street, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 1HD

Husband‘s work

1. Husband‘s work >
by Shirley Ann Delafield (01:38)

Playing in Vandyke Road pit

3. Playing in Vandyke Road pit >
by R V Willis (00:48)

Playing in sand works on wagons

4. Playing in sand works on wagons >
by Glenys Johnston (00:27)

Death of grandfather

5. Death of grandfather in quarry >
by William Cosby (01:44)


Trail 2

Page’s Park Station

Location: Page’s Park Station, Billington Road, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 4TN

Light railway – accident

1. Light railway – accident >
by Trevor Roff (01:02)

Loco driving

2. Loco driving >
by Ronald Lansbury (03:41)

Railway line and Spinney Pool

3. Railway line and Spinney Pool >
by Glenys Johnston (01:28)


Trail 3

Tiddenfoot Waterside Park

Location: Tiddenfoot Waterside Park, Mentmore Road, Linslade, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 2AF

Working on canal boats

1. Working on canal boats >
by William Vaughan (01:43)

Jones Sands

2. Jones Sands >
by Bob Blake (01:45)

Playing at Tiddenfoot

3. Playing at Tiddenfoot >
by Trevor Wilkins (01:16)


4. Wildlife >
by Philip Harding & Kelvin Quick (00:46)

Wild weather

5. Wild weather and wild life >
by Ray Gurney (00:37)


Trail 4

St. Barnabas Church Hall

Location: St. Barnabas Church Hall, Waterloo Road, Leighton Buzzard LU7 2NS

Working in the sand pits, driving a locomotive

1. Working in the sand pits, driving a locomotive >
by Stanley Harold Skinner (01:47)

Getting a job

2. Getting a job >
by Trevor Wilkins (02:18)

Characters at Double Arches

4. Characters at Double Arches >
by David Browning (01:08)

Breakfast and lunch time

5. Breakfast and lunch time >
by Trevor Roff (00:59)


Trail 5

The Globe Inn

Location: The Globe Inn, Globe Lane, Stoke Road, Linslade, LU7 2TA

Horse and cart work

1. Horse and cart work >
by Philip Harding & Kelvin Quick (00:54)

Canal transport

3. Canal transport >
by RV Willis (01:18)

Forms of transport

5. Forms of transport >
by Richard Walpole (01:31)


Trail 6

Leighton Buzzard Golf Club

Location: Leighton Buzzard Golf Club, Plantation Road, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 3JF

Memories of quarries as a child

1. Memories of quarries as a child >
by Geoffrey Lansbury (02:44)

Playing in sand works on wagons

2. Playing in sand works on wagons >
by Glenys Johnston (00:27)

Abbey Style and Stoneleigh Abbey

3. Abbey Style and Stoneleigh Abbey >
by Geoffrey Lansbury (02:07)


4. Lunch >
by Philip Harding & Kelvin Quick (01:02)

Betting on horses

5. Betting on horses >
by Philip Harding & Kelvin Quick (01:53)


Trail 7

Birds Hill Green

Location: Birds Hill Green, Birds Hill, Heath and Reach, LU7 0AQ

Garside’s pits

2. Garside’s pits >
by Bob Blake (02:10)

Working hours

3. Working hours >
by Maureen Gurney (01:02)

Washing Day

4. Washing Day >
bby Vera Shales and Maureen Gurney (00:29)


Trail 8

Bryants Lane Quarry

Location: Bryants Lane Quarry, Reach Lane, Heath and Reach, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 0AL

Acquiring a sandpit

4. Acquiring a sandpit >
by Richard Walpole (02:48)

Keeping pigs

5. Keeping pigs >
by Vera Shales (00:40)


Trail 9

Stone Lane

Location: Stone Lane, Woburn Road, Heath and Reach

Train driving

1. Train driving >
by Michael King (04:26)

Parties, trips and sponsorship

2. Parties, trips and sponsorship >
by Ray Gurney (00:51)

Topping up

3. Topping up >
by William Cosby – (02:00)

Archaeological finds

4. Archaeological finds in Stone End Quarry >
by Bernard John Jones (02:20)


5. Poem >
by Vera Shales (02:42)

Explore the sands

Sand history


Find out how the sand industry has changed over the years
Sand history >

Sand geology


Discover more about Bedfordshire’s varied and complex geology
Sand geology >

Sand sites


View early aerial photographs depicting how quarrying has advanced across the landscape
Sandpit sites >

Working lives


The sand industry has had a major influence upon the local community
Working lives >

Sand transport


Different means of transport were vital to the development of the sand industry
Transporting sand >

Sand uses


Sand has been used widely in the construction industry for many hundreds of years
Sand uses >

Greensand Trust
Leighton Linslade Town Council
National Lottery Heritage Fund

Contact Us

The Greensand Trust,

The Working Woodlands Centre, Maulden Wood
Haynes West End, MK45 3UZ, United Kingdom
Phone: 01234 743666

Or send an enquiry below: