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Welcome to the Sands of Time Virtual Museum, a sand history archive.


Welcome to the Sands of Time Virtual Museum, a sand history archive. Leighton Buzzard sand is famous all over the world for its versatility and its usage; locally it has contributed to development of the town through a number of industries from extraction, processing, brick-making, tiles, glass and others as well as to the development of the canals and the local railway.

Sand has been quarried from the area for over 150 years but supplies are finite and won’t last forever. Eventually some of the quarries will be filled in and covered up. As the quarries disappear, Leighton Buzzard and Heath and Reach are at risk of losing an important part of their industrial heritage.

The Sands of Time Project has supported the creation of resources and legacies for future generations through the memories of the people who have lived and worked in the area.

Our website presents a taster of information for you, as visual and auditory experiences, to discover more about the industry and its impact on the local communities. Please note the site is still under development so keep checking for future updates.

We hope you enjoy it.


We are grateful to the following for their help with the project:






Interviewees for their wonderful stories
Land owners and hosts of the Trail plaques
Volunteers for the hundreds of hours dedicated to the project
RIGs, Leighton Buzzard Society, Leighton Buzzard Railway, Leighton Buzzard, Archaeological Society, Leighton Linslade Town Council, Heath and Reach Parish Council, The Sand Martin Trust
Contributors of all photographic material
Local mineral companies, Garside Sands, Leighton Buzzard Silica Sand, Sibelco
Carmela Semeraro for her commitment and project coordination



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