Plans for a Tramway between Bedford and Kempston

The Bedford and Kempston Tramway Co Ltd

In the late 1800s a group of enterprising businessmen from London got together and on 17th December 1891 they incorporated ‘The Bedford & Kempston Tramway Co Ltd’, with registered offices at 9 London Street, Fenchurch Street, London EC.

The proposed nominal capital of £10,000 was to be issued in 1000 shares of £10 each. Seven men: Edward Lewis Garrett, Charles E Rancon, John Slater, G.A.Delachi, H. Frond, T. Sharp and J. Manley (or Mauley) all invested in one share each. By the end of April 1892, only these seven shares had been issued. This was not sufficient to get the company off the ground and the company was wound up on 23rd January 1894 and dissolved in August 1907.

The tramway was to have a length of two miles,four furlongs, four chains and twelve links. Had it gone ahead who knows what impact it would have had on the development of Kempston, as we know improved transport links almost always lead to increased business activity.

The maps show the proposed route from Bedford Midland Railway station (in those days at the head of Midland Road, Bedford) running to the junction of Mill Lane and the High Street, terminating conveniently outside the Three Fishes Public House.

From an article printed in Kempston Calling magazine