Dunstable Town Guides were set up in response to the overwhelming numbers who attended the walks that Vivienne Evans did at the town’s Tudor Festivals. They were so popular that on occasion the police had to escort the groups across the A5. Clearly there was enthusiasm in the town to hear more about its history so in 2003 Jean Yates, the Town Centre Manager and Vivienne got together a group of interested people and Dunstable Town Guides were created to pass on that knowledge. Our mission is to promote the town through walks and talks and enhance the image of the town. We spend our time looking back to the history of the town and sharing it with locals and visitors, but are always looking to Dunstable’s future.
Vivienne was the trainer, inspirational and infectiously enthusiastic, generously passing on knowledge she had gained over a lifetime. She devised walks and talks and became our President. Her dedication to the town and its history was recognised when, in 2012 she was awarded an MBE for services to the community.
When a lottery bid was being put together to purchase Priory House she offered to do Tea Time Tales there on a Thursday afternoon, a talk from her huge fund of local knowledge and a cup of tea or coffee and a cake. They have continued every year since then, and until her sad death, if you wanted to speak to Vivienne, you knew you would find her there on a Thursday. A plaque marks the chair she always sat in.
Dunstable Town Guides were involved in the “Dunstable at War” WW11 reminiscence project in 2004, the Medieval Dunstable project in 2013, and are currently actively involved in Historical Dunstable and the Cultural Consortium of the High Street Heritage Action Zone.