Towns of Biggleswade and Shefford
Biggleswade (population about 16,000) is a market town in Bedfordshire situated about twelve miles to the west of Bedford and some 40 miles north of Central London. Shefford (population about 5,000) is a village that lies some 6 miles to the southwest of Biggleswade.
Until 1974, Biggleswade was in the Biggleswade Urban District and Shefford was in the Biggleswade Rural District, both in the county of Bedfordshire. In 1974 both districts became part of the local government district of Mid Bedfordshire, which was merged in 2009 with the district of South Bedfordshire to form the unitary authority of Central Bedfordshire, in the ceremonial county of Bedfordshire.
An evacuee Jewish community was established in Biggleswade at the beginning of World War II, which included an organised Jewish congregation. In addition, during the war, an entire Jewish children's community of several hundred children was evacuated to close-by Shefford as part of "Operation Pied Piper". The children were primarily from an orthodox school in Stamford Hill (see below) and included many refugee children. The community was disbanded shortly following the end of hostilities in 1945.
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