Maidenhead is a proud town.
From Carry On Doctor to Mr Bean, the Berkshire town is full of trivia.
It’s just off the M4, it’s situated only 20 minutes from London on the Great Western Railway mainline, and it’s surrounded by colourful stretches of greenbelt land as well as beautiful villages on its outskirts.
Over the years the town has given the world some amazing things, including one of the oldest Roman villas and it was also the place where King Charles I saw his children for the last time.
It has also been named one of the happiest places to live in Berkshire.
Everyone loves to shout about where they’re from, but there are some things in life that only people from Maidenhead can talk about. Here’s a few of them.
1. It’s not in Kent
We have all been there. Usually, it’s in an airport terminal or in a city on the other side of the country when we’re having the following conversation:
“Whereabouts are you from?”
“I’m from Maidenhead.”
“Oh yeah, in Kent?”
Admit it, there’s always someone who gets confused with Maidstone!
2. It’s been in many films and TV shows
This comes as no surprise considering the town’s close proximity to Pinewood Studios.
Dr Nookey worked at Borough County Hospital in Carry On Doctor, the entrance of which is actually Maidenhead Town Hall.
The school in the 1990’s TV show Forever Green? That’s Furze Platt Senior School.
And remember Mr Bean’s record score of 3427 in a game of mini-golf? The course is the one at Boulter’s Lock, with filming also taking place in Littlewick Green.
3. The bridges
Any time Isambard Kingdom Brunel is mentioned in conversation, one always feels the urge to mention one of his finest creations – the Maidenhead Railway Bridge. Finished in 1838, the bridge with a sounding arch has stood for more than 170 years and plays a vital role in keeping London connected with the rest of the country.
Another famous bridge is, ironically, Maidenhead Bridge. The bridge has stood in it’s current form since 1777, and was a toll bridge up until 1903, when legislation was introduced. The residents celebrated by throwing the barriers in the river!
4. The celebrities
In any town or village, the locals love to talk about their famous neighbours. Legendary TV host Michael Parkinson is one famous resident of the town, as well as BBC Radio 1 DJ Chris Stark. The Spice Girls used to live along the river towards Bray, and Chelsea manager Frank Lampard reportedly looked at buying a property near Cookham.
5. The river
When summertime comes, the river is one of the spots to be in Maidenhead. Almost every Maidonean has visited the duck derby at one point, and the regatta is also a popular annual tradition. On land, there is Ray Mill Island, Boulter’s Lock, the Blue River Café as well as the Bounty Bar in neighbouring Cookham.
6. The pubs and clubs
The establishments of the town may be slowly reducing in number, but there are still many good places to have a drink.
The Bear is always a popular location being the town’s sole remaining Wetherspoons, but there are many fantastic local pubs such as The Maiden’s Head, the (CAMRA-approved) Craufurd Arms and many more. Many have memories of trips to Smokey Joe’s, and Cocos, previously Heroes, being a popular place to finish the night.
7. The history
Maidenhead is an extraordinarily historic place. Home to the oldest continuously used football ground by a single club in the world, it’s a town that saw Charles I meet his children for the last time at what is now a NatWest branch.
Traditionally a coach stop, passing trade has always helped Maidenhead, particularly when coachmen would stop at an inn for the night, fearful of being held up by highwaymen in Maidenhead Thicket.
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