The Story of Legless Lal

The story of Legless Lal is recounted in a local history society's Newsletter this month.

In a fascinating three page account, author John Buckledee retells how Legless Lal used to race stagecoaches along the Watling Street (A5), and more often than not, won. It was no mean feat because the man was legless, although he did get around on a low slung cart pulled along by a team of three dogs. Lal apparently had no fixed abode, but at times would sleep in the hay at the Sugar Loaf in Dunstable. Lal finally met his demise when his cart came to grief at a now lost location known as 'Pine Bottom'.

Back then, Watling Street, from Chiltern Road northward, was in Houghton Regis parish.

The story is largely recounted from "Road Scrapings: Coaches and Coaching" by Capt. M.F. Haworth, publ 1882: