Aylesbury ,County Town – Archive

Bucks Council considers selling Aylesbury’s infamous County Hall office tower in new money saving strategy

It is hoped that the new plan will save over £6 million – Bucks Herald Jan 26th 2023

Alternative ideas could see the well-known building renovated, while it could also be redeveloped, the local authority has revealed.

Bucks Council hopes the proposals could save £2.4 million a year in revenue savings and capital receipts savings of £4 million.

The future of the building is uncertain
The future of the building is uncertain

Also, by streamlining operations the body’s carbon footprint will improve.

Some of the thinking behind the changes, is that it will allow Bucks Council to continue with its more flexible working arrangements after the pandemic, where more staff a working from home partially.

One outcome of the project is that it further establishes The Gateway office in Aylesbury as the main headquarters of the council.

Aylesbury Bus Station June 24th 2022 Images Appledene Photographics.
Bleak, smelly and dirty Aylesbury Bus Station

February 2022

Aylesbury Bus Station February 5th 2022. Image Appledene Photographics/R J Cook
The abandoned Granada cinema in Aylesbury High St. The Rolling Stones performed here in 1965. Image Appledene Photographics/R J Cook
Two young Mormons , one U.S, the other Austrian preaching the world of God near Friars Bus Station, February 2nd 2022. Image Appledene Photo graphics / RJC.

January 15th 2022

Apple Wine Recipe – Simple & Rich Apple Wine (homebrewanswers.com)

An Afternoon In Aylesbury

Aylesbury Bus Station Local Services Rank. Image Appledene Photographics / R J Cook

Kingsbury Square Aylesbury January 15th , a cold dead space that once bustled with life, the roar of buses , the centre of a now lost world.

The Aylesbury I first knew was focused on Kingsbury Square where the buses massed along with countless passengers. The steady lazy beat of big AEC bus engines of Red Rover and City of Oxford ( COMS ) and the more silenced sleepy sluggish humming Bristols of United Counties was music to my young ears. The bus colours were bright, some green, some red. They had bus conductors to collect the fares. There were cafes for their refreshment and even pubs during breaks on the late night runs.

The site of Baker’s toy , cycle and model shop. It is surprising the shop lasted so long.
R J Cook recalls it as a miniature wonderland. Now the shop site is shops and offices, the Polish food shop a sign of multi cultural times.
Lloyds Bank at the junction of Kingsbury & Market Square looks as solid as ever, formerly the County Bank ( with Oxon ).
Hare Krsna brightening up the dead space of Kingsbury Square this afternoon , January 15th 2022.

I had a pleasant conversation with a member of the Krsna group, recalling my days working as a tax adviser for an accountant in Oxford St, London in 1977 when they sang way down below our office window, jangling tambourines all sunny day long. . He said his group were going there this evening.

Aylesbury was hot on the music scene in the 1960s , 70s, and early 80s with ‘Friars’ run by Dave Stopps, a very popular venue. This memorial is to iconic David Bowie, under the arches that once led to the long gone cattle market.


I met Angela in Morrisons this afternoon. She was fund raising for the Alzheimer’s Society. She is walking around the country fund raising and has already walked 500 miles.

Back in the bus station, I wandered around looking at this 1960s grey underworld, recalling the first day of opening in 1968. I was studying in Aylesbury and on one of the first buses going into the new concrete world of Aylesbury, under the concrete shopping centre, where Woolworths had opened their biggest shop in Europe in anticipation of London’s third airport a few miles away at Wing. stimulating town tourism.

The British may be hot on the mission to be carbon neutral but that is not very obvious here. The Aylesbury to Buckingham Road was flush with cars. Aylesbury Bus Station waiting room was very quiet as can be seen here. Schooldays are busy at peak times, but there are always plenty of seats in this stark place.

All images Appledene Photographics / R J Cook January 15th 2022

Back on board the X60 bus service to Milton Keynes, the Arriva vehicle is clean on the inside and Covid cold. Zombie style zombie music is playing quite loud. I have never heard a loud radio played by a passenger before. The sound is coming from the backseat, but I don’t dare look round. Anyone who breaks the etiquette of keeping their multi cultural musical taste to themselves could be dangerous to a fragile old person like me. The sounds playing suggest anger. The voice and rhythm sounds primitive. I don’t like confrontation

The bus windows are filthy, but I have travelled this route since the 1950s. I carry on editing my photos for this story. I can just make out that we are nearly in Winslow. Time to check all my stuff is in my bag, pockets done up. Nearly there, so I have an excuse to check out the back seat to see who’s playing that music. I see a haunted haggard face staring back at me, tangled long blondish hair. It is the face of an old young woman, world worn and sad, huddled. I can’t see her properly, but her clothes are drab, utilitarian. I get off the bus in Sheep Street, opposite grand Winslow Hall. I think about taking a sneaky picture of her through the bus’s back window because she is sitting on my side.

Then I think of the African looking Big Issue seller who freaked out when I took his picture on Aylesbury Market Square earlier that afternoon. I had to respect her privacy, but checked her out. She had drawn up her knees, a scruffy bag squeezed between her body and her trouser covered legs. The bus pulled away , with a young woman who had come from God knows where and looked as if she had no idea where she was going. I wondered what she was thinking and feeling while that music for the alienated played her on her way. She could have been so beautiful , with that tousled mane of dirty blonde hair. R J Cook

October 2021

Aylesbury a very modern up to date crime venue.
Aylesbury has a brand new council in the same old 1960s offices, the original 1888 County offices reflected in the highly polished glass doors at the top of these mighty steps of power, Image Appledene Photographics/RJC
The 1960s revamped AVDC offices having their colourful cladding removed after being tarted up as high value town centre flats. Image Appledene Photographics/ RJ Cook October 2021
Covid Rapid testing centre, Aylesbury Market Square, May 14th 2021 , lots of worried well queuing ‘safely’.
Life is cheap now. High Street Aylesbury May 14th 2021. The same homeless man is in the shop doorway , dog on his lap, where he was yesterday, when he told me his sad life story.
Robert Cook
Image Appledene Photographics/RJC
Aylesbury was a jobs boom town for London overspill in the 1950s and 60s, Times changed rapidly as Thatcher came to power, jobs were lost, marriages failed or didn’t happen and the age of feral youth was upon us. Aylesbury would become a haven for crime. Here what’s left of Aylesbury’s working class enjoying a meal out once again. Lockdown has compounded poverty . Still council officials are more than comfortable , headed by a CEO with a package in the region of £200.000 heads up the Bucks Council gravy train. Robert Cook
Still proud.
Buses enter the grim grey once ultra modern Friar’s Bus Station.
A poor man with his only friend walks away from the bus station rubbish bins and vandalised bicycles , toward the once thriving market square. The posh ‘Bell Hotel’ and old Crown Court where many low class people , including the ‘Great Train Robbers’ faced their doom. Robert Cook
The junction of High Street and Exchange Street, known by ‘old foggies’ like me as ‘Co-op Corner before the 1960s dual carriageway and office block on the right replaced the Co-op. The offices have been empty since the insurance company occupant liquidated in the 1990s. The luxury flats peeping into the left hand side of this picture were built on the old North & Randall soft drinks site. High value flats are the new face of a dreary sad dying old town centre.
This is the view heading along the High Street away from the town centre.
This is a little something I spotted as I walked along the High Street last Thursday. Aylesbury is class and racially divided. Multi culture is ‘faulty culture’ but maybe the parasites in local and national government want it that way, go0od for jobs. Across my native county of Buckinghamshire, there has always been a feudal out look and class divide.
All that’s left of once proud and major Aylesbury employer Hazell Watson & Viney print works, taken over by infamous North Bucks Labour MP, Robert Maxwell, it fell into oblivion when Maxwell fell into the sea. It is now a major Tesco store.
Across the road from the last site is where another Aylesbury stalwart employer once livd. Starting out as ‘The Aylesbury Evaporated Milk Company’ it was taken over by Nestle and closed in the mid 1990s. All that remains is the clock tower, atop mre expensive high density flats.
Misfortune , due to causes mentioned elsewhere on this site, has plunged me back down into the subterranean world of bus travel. This is Friars bus station waiting room where a screen announces arrivals and departures – a summary of life & death , perhaps.
Image appledene photographics/rjc May 13th 2021
A rosy coloured view of old Aylesbury, viewed through the window of Aylesbury’s Metro Bank , New Friar’s Square.
Image Appledene Photographics/RJC May 13th 2021.
A very different town. Rapid change and growth followed designation as an ‘expanded town’ for London overspill in 1945.
Aylesbury’s County Offices under construction in 1965. One of builder Percy Bilton’s Ford Thames vans peeps into the foreground.