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42 and 42a High Street Greenfield

42 and 42a High Street February 2011
42 and 42a High Street February 2011

Today's 42 and 42a High Street may be somewhat older than they seem at first glance, as evidence the rather uneven roof line. They are shown on the 1st edition 25 inches to the mile Ordnance Survey map of 1881 and may date to the first part of the 19th century.

In March 1922 the cottages were sold at auction by the executors of Mary Ann Smith Osborn. They formed part of Lot 1 along with today's Rose Cottage, 40 High Street. The sale particulars relating to 42 and 42a High Street read: "The adjoining two (slated roofs) are let to Messrs Dudley (Post Office) and Weston, each as £5 17s. 0d. per annum, and each contain: - 2 bedrooms, Living Room and Scullery". The particulars note: "Common way to rear between the houses where are Good gardens, Timber and Tiled Barns and Earth Closets. Brick and Slated Wash House (Copper) and Earth Closet common to the Four Cottages … The owners and occupiers are believed to have the right of obtaining water from the pump at rear of the adjoining property known as "The Compasses Inn". The particulars are annotated to show that 40, 42 and 42a were bought by a man named Weston, almost certainly the tenant of 42a High Street, for £150 [SFM4/17].

The post office had occupied 42 High Street since at least 1901 as it is shown on the 2nd edition Ordnance Survey 25 inches to the mile map of that year. The first reference to a post office in Greenfield is in Kelly's Directory of 1898 when it was run by Mrs. Alice Vass. She was still postmistress in 1903. Directories of 1906, 1910 and 1914 show Mrs. Ruth Goodman as postmistress. Kelly's for 1920 gives Mrs. Ruth Dudley as postmistress (perhaps Ruth Goodman had remarried). This evidence ties in with the sale particulars of 1922.

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 properties [DV1/C234/137-138] found them both owned by H. R. Weston, presumably the buyer of 1922. Weston himself inhabited today's 42a. His accommodation comprised a living room and scullery downstairs with two bedrooms above. He had a weather-boarded and tiled barn ("small but good") outside. Next door was identical and still leased to F. Dudley. His interior accommodation was identical but he lacked the barn. The washhouse and earth closet was still shared between the two properties. The valuer commented: "Very good small cottages. But right on road". At this date 42 High Street was no longer the post office. Kelly's Directory for 1924 gives Mrs. Florence Clarke as the new postmistress - she lived at 20 School Lane.