40 High Street Eaton Bray
40 to 44 High Street about 1930 [Z50/39/34]
At the beginning of the 20th century five houses in a row in Eaton Bray – 40 to 48 High Street were all businesses. Today's 40 High Street is a more modern building standing a little further back from the road than its predecessor, to judge by the photograph above. 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.
Eaton Bray, like most of the county was valued in 1927, and the valuer visiting 40 High Street [DV1/C235/82] found it owned by W. A. Wallace of Poplar Farm and occupied by Mrs. A. J. Roe who paid rent of £25 per annum, the same as before World War One.
40 High Street was a butcher’s shop, which measured 12 feet by 12 feet 6 inches. The rest of the property comprised two living rooms, a kitchen, a scullery and four bedrooms upstairs. Outside stood: a weather-boarded and corrugated iron open trap shed; a brick and corrugated iron cycle shed; a W. C.; a weather-boarded and corrugated iron loose box; a meal house and stable with a loft over; a weather-boarded and tiled fasting pen; a weather-boarded, tiled and corrugated iron slaughter house and a weather-boarded and corrugated iron stable and open trap shed.
Directories for Bedfordshire were not published every year, but every few years. Albert Roe is listed as a butcher in Eaton Bray in directories of 1914, 1920 and 1924, with Mrs. Roe, presumably his widow, listed in 1928 and 1931. Directories show the Thorn family were also butchers. In 1854 and 1862: Nathaniel Thorn is listed as butcher and in those of 1869, 1871, 1877, 1885, 1890, 1894 and 1898 it is George Thorn. Charles Thorn is also listed in 1890, 1894 and 1898 as well as 1903. He seems to have been succeeded by Mrs. Emma Thorn, again probably his widow, who is listed in 1906 and 1910. Nathaniel was probably succeeded by Jabez who is listed in 1903, 1906, 1910, 1914, 1920, 1924, 1928, 2931, 1936 and the last directory for Bedfordshire, 1940.
40 to 44 High Street July 1912