This month we are looking back at local events during the 96-year reign of Queen Elizabeth II.

In 1926, St Neots was a small market town with a population of around 4,000, the town's fire engine was horse-drawn and local people were scandalised by mixed bathing in the river.

After World War One, the need for better housing led to slum clearance in St Neots. Picturesque, but insanitary, thatched cottages were demolished and new council houses were built in Cambridge Gardens, and Ferrars Avenue, and, at last, residents had indoor toilets and running water.

Wisbech Standard: Building work on new homes started to take place in the 193os. Building work on new homes started to take place in the 193os. (Image: ST NEOTS MUSEUM)

The 1930s brought hard times for many people, but the birth of the St Neots quadruplets in November, 1935, captured the heart of the nation. The 1940s were dominated by the Second World War and the opening of Little Barford power station helped to bring electricity to homes.

In 1947, the country experienced terrible flooding and many locals had to be rescued from their homes, the clear-up took months but the first town carnival in 1948 cheered people up.

During the 1950s house building resumed and television sets began to appear in homes; ownership was given a huge boost when the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II was broadcast live on June 2, 1953.

The pace of change quickened during the 1960s beginning with the opening of Longsands Secondary School. An outdoor swimming pool opened in Huntingdon Street, a new bridge was constructed over the River Great Ouse and Eaton Socon and Eaton Ford became part of the St Neots Urban District Council area.

In the 1970s, London overspill planning brought new industry and new families to the town. The new Eaton Socon bypass re-routed the Great North Road.

In the 1980s, the Livestock Market in New Street and Paines Brewery on the Market Square closed. The decade ended with the spectacular demolition of the Little Barford power station cooling towers in 1989.

During the 1990s, the town continued to grow and the refurbishment of the Market Square and Brook Street brought new life to the town centre and in 1995 the museum opened in the old Police Station and Magistrates Court. 

From the early 2000s, St Neots has experienced a housing boom with over 1,400 new homes built at Loves Farm and 2,800 in development at Wintringham. Now the small market town of the 1920s has more than 30,000 residents.

You can read a longer version of this article on the museum website