Map

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As can be seen from the Map above, the Arches Local is an area which stretches across two local wards; it is an area which is does not form a natural neighbourhood or community and could be described as a corridor shape.

The name Arches Local was decided by a range of local residents as the area roughly in the centre of the geographical map is the Luton Arches Railway Arch.

This historical site is easily and readily identified by all in the area both residents and visitors.

It is an imposing structure which currently in in need of some TLC but is an iconic structure and locally linked to tales of secret tunnels where children played in the 1960s undiscovered by the Ministry of Defence who managed them.

Luton Arch Edwardian small

Historically Luton Arches was a meeting place for local people, there was a large fountain situated in the middle of the major road junction at the Luton railway arches. When it was opened, a grass enclosure and a row of poplars were planted behind it. The Luton Arches themselves towered above the scene.

The Driver Fountain, intended for both people and horses, was paid for by the then Mayor of Chatham, Councillor William Dawes Driver, and donated by him to the Borough Council in 1899. Driver dedicated the fountain to his father, a former councillor who had died the previous year. The fountain was unveiled by the then MP Sir Horatio Davies before a large crowd. It was removed by the council in 1961, and now languishes in a local cemetery. We would like to see the driver fountain as one of Chatham few monuments reinstalled at Luton Arches, and that it could be the key to getting major improvement in this area underway.