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4 to 22 The Lane February 2016

4 to 22 The Lane February 2016
4 to 22 The Lane February 2016

This terrace of houses was planned in 1903 [RDLP2/3] and presumably built soon afterwards. The owner was Alfred Bird, who owned nearby Ashtonville. The architect was F E Greenwood.

We know that William Charman of 8 Bird's Cottages served in 7th Battalion, Middlesex Regiment, in the First World War. He rose to be a Quartermaster Sergeant and a head wound gave him a fractured skull. He applied for a position at a training centre for wounded soldiers in Biggleswade but, happily, found a position before he began training [WW1/AC/TC4/16].

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. The valuer visiting the row [DV1/C127/65-74] found it was then known as Bird's Cottages as they were all still owned by Alfred Bird. Each dwelling comprised a parlour, living room and scullery downstairs with three bedrooms above. A brick and slate barn and earth closet stood outside each. Water for each cottage came from a single well. The valuer noted: "Very good now". The individual properties were tenanted as follows:

  • Number 1: tenant Joseph Chance, rent five shillings peer week, having been three shillings per week before the Great War;
  • Number 2: tenant William Peach, rent five shillings peer week, having been three shillings per week before the Great War;
  • Number 3: tenant George Lowe, rent five shillings peer week, having been three shillings per week before the Great War;
  • Number 4: tenant Edward Lane, rent five shillings peer week;
  • Number 5: tenant George Lane, rent five shillings peer week, having been 3/6 per week before the Great War;
  • Number 6: tenant Esau Bright, rent five shillings per week having been three shillings per week before the Great War;
  • Number 7: tenant Frederick Hull, rent five shillings peer week, having been 3/6 per week before the Great War;
  • Number 8: tenant Charles Chance, rent six shillings per week;
  • Number 9: tenant Charles Ansell, rent five shillings peer week;
  • Number 10: tenant C Finch, rent five shillings per week, having been 3/6 per week before the Great War