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104 High Street Clophill

Hannah Amy Goss about 1914 [Z50/31/147]
Hannah Amy Goss about 1914 [Z50/31/147]

It is not immediately obvious today that 104 High Street used to be a shop. The photograph above shows Hannah Goss outside her establishment. Kelly's Directory for Bedfordshire of 1914 lists her as a shopkeeper. Previous editions - 1869, 1877, 1885, 1890, 1894, 1898, 1903 and 1910 listed Ebenezer Goss as shopkeeper. Hannah herself was not lised in the next Kelly's, that for 1920.

In 1919 part of the Wrest Park Estate was put up for sale by auction [X940/1/3]. The map accompanying the particulars makes it clear that 104 High Street was one of the properties for sale. It was described as a pair of cottages, gardens and a shop in an area of 35 perches in the occupation of Thomas Mathews and Miss E. Doggett at a total rent of £11/18/- per annum: "The Cottages are well built of brick with slated or tiled roofs, and contain the following ACCOMMODATION: - MR. MATHEW'S Cottage contains Shop, Small Parlour, Living Room, Kitchen and Scullery on ground Floor, and Cellar with Four Bedrooms above. Barn and Pigsty. MISS DOGGETT'S Cottage contains One Living Room down and Three Rooms up. Wash-house, Barn and Pigsty. There is one Well, earth Closet and Ashpit for both Cottages". Miss Doggett had a life tenancy, born 26th March 1851.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed as to its rateable value. Clophill was assessed in 1927. The valuer visiting 104 High Street discovered that it was still a shop, now owned and occupied by Mrs. Kate Shepherd [DV1/C288/3]. Her brick and slate semi-detached dwelling comprised a living room, kitchen and shop downstairs, with three bedrooms above. Outside stood a brick and slate washhouse and earth closet and a brick and slate pigsty. The shop measured 24 feet 6 inches by 12 feet. There was also a cellar ("damp, little used"). It thus looks as if Kate Shepherd may have bought the premises at the auction of 1919. Kelly's Directory for 1920 and 1924 lists Mrs. Thomas Matthews as shopkeeper in Clophill, she is not listed in 1914 or 1928.

Kelly's lists Kate Shepherd as shopkeeper in 1928, 1931, 1936 and 1940. The latter is the last Kelly's for Bedfordshire to be published. 

104 High Street July 2010
104 High Street July 2010