Skip To Content

    23 Things People Don't Tell You About Growing Up In Luton

    The wonder of the Galaxy Complex will always stay with you.

    1. You knew the weekend had started when your mum said, "Shall we go to Blockbuster's?"

    Facebook: lutoninfo

    Picking up a VHS (or three) at the two-floor Marsh Road branch was magnificent.

    2. And if you were really lucky, you'd spend Saturdays at Toys "R" Us at Gipsy Lane. / Creative Commons

    Even though your dad always wanted to go into B&Q, and then your mum would end up in Comet and that would be that.

    3. Or having indoor football parties at Lea Manor.

    You'll never forget the smell of the rubber, or the impact of the balls as they hit you in the face.

    4. You always hoped the Black Thunder from 97.6 Chiltern FM would turn up at your school.

    And you felt so grown-up secretly listening to "Late Night Love" with Graham Torrington.

    5. School swimming lessons usually meant a trip to the slightly creepy Bath Road pool.

    Facebook: lutoninfo

    Before the shiny Olympic-sized complex that hosted Splash! there was a dingy pool with tiny changing room doors that didn't exactly hide your modesty.

    6. And school outings were often taken to the "thrilling" Wardown Park Museum.

    Because every kid needs to know how straw hats were made. Before Luton folk made cars, they made boaters.

    7. End-of-term trips were obviously to Whipsnade Zoo though. / Creative Commons

    Which is much, much better than London Zoo. Don't let anyone try to tell you otherwise.

    8. You probably had at least one parent (or knew a friend's parent) who worked here: / Creative Commons

    And your mates got Saturday jobs at the shops inside.

    9. And you knew lots of other parents who worked here: / Creative Commons

    Vauxhall still has a presence in Luton, mainly making vans, but the car division shut down in 2002 and things have never really been the same.

    10. Which meant having a Vauxhall car until the end of time. / Creative Commons

    "But Daaaad, why can't we have a cool car?"

    11. A trip into town meant only one thing...whizzing round the whirly car park.

    Twitter: @easy_luton

    You thought it was great fun, but it was probably a nightmare for your mum and dad to park in, tbh.

    12. So you could go shopping at the Arndale (not The Mall).

    Twitter: @easy_luton

    "Arndale" was such a pleasant, rural-sounding name. Why did they change it?

    13. Followed by McDonald's at the roundabout with the three horseshoes.

    What was that sign about, anyway?

    14. Going outdoors meant feeding the ducks at Wardown Park.

    Facebook: lutoninfo

    It was a fun, cheap day out for all the family.

    15. Or conkering at Stockwood Park.

    Flickr: bruvva

    Hopefully your parents wouldn't make you go to the quite dull museum.

    16. The wonder of the Galaxy complex will always stay with you.

    Cinema, bowling, and a dodgy Irish bar. Bliss.

    17. And its futuristic walkway to the car park was epic.

    Plus when Nando's opened no one talked about anything else for weeks. It's still the most exciting thing that's ever happened in Luton.

    18. Your first teenage hobby was laughing at tourists who thought Luton Airport was in London.

    The furious, despairing look on their faces when they realised they needed to get on a train was priceless.

    19. Which changed to Thirsty Thursdays at Yates as you got older.

    Emily Stevenson

    Underage drinking is a bit more fun than tourist-spotting. Plus Disco Dave's epic dance moves made your night.

    20. And you were gutted when Liquid shut down.

    Facebook: LutonOnSunday

    Because nothing would make you go to The Hat Factory.

    21. You got sick of people slagging off Luton whenever you told them where you were from.

    Sarah Hughes

    And it doesn't exactly help things when we're voted the second-ugliest town in the country. Other awards proudly on our mantlepiece: Worst Town to Live, Least Friendly Airport, and Least Safe Place for Children to Walk to School. Smh.

    22. So you'd end up telling new friends that you were from "just north of London".

    Google Maps

    Or Bedfordshire if you were posh, or could pretend to be.

    23. But these days, you know the truth. There's nothing wrong with being from Luton. / BuzzFeed

    In fact, if you're from Luton, you're pure class.

    BuzzFeed Daily

    Keep up with the latest daily buzz with the BuzzFeed Daily newsletter!

    Newsletter signup form