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24 to 30 Leighton Road Linslade

24 to 30 Leighton Road October 2008
24 to 30 Leighton Road October 2008

These striking three storey buildings on the north side of Leighton Road immediately west of the canal were built in the 19th century. Today they comprise a night club, kebab shop and wine bar.

In the early 20th century the row was owned by W.W.Watkin, who lived at The Elms, since demolished, on the corner of Stoke Road and Leighton Road. He also owned Whichellos Wharf. The premises were valued by Stafford, Rogers and A.W.Merry of Leighton Buzzard in 1905. The description ran as follows:

24 Leighton Road seen from the canal bank October 2008
24 Leighton Road seen from the canal bank October 2008

"A row of four brick built and tiled Dwelling Houses with Shops situate and known as Nos 24, 26, 28 and 30 Canal Road, Linslade; No. 24 contains the following accommodation:

In the Basement: Kitchen and two cellars.
On the Ground Floor; Double Shop and Living Room.
On the First Floor: Sitting Room and two Bedrooms.
On the Second Floor: Three Bedrooms.

It is in occupation of Mr.W.J.Bennett a yearly tenant at a rental of £35 per annum.

No.26 contains the following accommodation:

In the Basement: Kitchen and two cellars.
On the Ground Floor: Living Room and Shop.
On the First Floor: Sitting Room and Bedroom.
On the Second Floor: Two Bedrooms.

It is in occupation of Mr.E.Elliott a yearly tenant at a rental of £25 per annum.

24 to 30 Leighton Road from the front October 2008
24 to 30 Leighton Road from the front October 2008

Nos.28 and 30 are similar in every respect and are occupied by Messrs L.H.London and E.Rollings also yearly tenants at rentals of £25 per annum each.

At the rear are Wash-houses and W.C's for each Messuage. The property is well built, structurally in good repair and decoratively in tenantable repair".

The 1907 Kelly's Directory for Buckinghamshire reveals that Leonard Henry London was a bicycle maker, Ernest E.Rollings a hairdresser and tobacconist and William Bennett was a tobacconist who ran a Temperance Hotel (ironically, given that it is now [2008] the wine bar for The Venue night club).

The 1901 census reveals different occupants for each building, the fact that Bennett and Elliott are put at 22 and 24 respectively shows either that the census enumerator made a mistake or that the numbers changed between 1901 and 1907. Bennett, at Number 22 clearly occupies today's 24 as Number 20 is Morgan's works, now [2008] on the Tesco site on the other side of the canal. Interestingly the Ordnance Survey map of 1901 shows just four premises - one, that to the east (today's 24), having a larger frontage than the other three, in other words it contained the two sets of two upper windows, the other three premises contained one set of three windows each.

 The census entries are as follows:

22 Leighton Road:

  • William J.Bennett, 52, confectioner, born in Whaddon [Buckinghamshire];
  • Mary Bennett, wife, 49, born in Calverton [Buckinghamshire];
  • William G.Bennett, son, 18, carpenter and joiner, born in Linslade;
  • Penelope E.Bennett, daughter, 16, milliner, born in Linslade;
  • Philip Leopold Mill, boarder, 24, living on his own means, born in London;
  • Hugh Aldborough, boarder, 24, milk factor, born in India

24 Leighton Road:

  • Edward Elliott, 59, butcher, born in Cheddington [Buckinghamshire];
  • Eliza Elliott, wife, 60, born in Linslade;
  • Beatrice Elliott, daughter, 21, born in New South Wales [Australia]

26 Leighton Road:

  • George Read, 27, bicycle maker, born in Fenny Stratford [Buckinghamshire];
  • Laura Edith Read, wife, 27, born in Fenny Stratford;
  • Aubrey G.Read, son, 5, born in Linslade;
  • Olive Read, daughter, 2, born in Linslade;
  • Flossie L.Read, daughter, 10 months, born in Linslade;
  • John Gates, boarder, 20, domestic stableman, born in Cheddington [Buckinghamshire].

28 Leighton Road:

  • Henry Garland, 47, grocer, born in Penn [Buckinghamshire];
  • Minnie Garland, wife, 39, born in Cublington [Buckinghamshire];
  • Henry James Garland, son, 13, born in Leighton Buzzard;
  • Dora Adelaide Garland, daughter, 11, born in Linslade;
  • Thomas C.Garland, son, 9, born in Leighton Buzzard

30 Leighton Road:

  • James Mobley, 72, coal and timber managing clerk, born in Dunstable;
  • Alice Mobley, wife, 74, born in Buckingham;
  • Frederick Mobley, son, 38, carpenter, born in Linslade;
  • Rose B.Mobley, granddaughter, 23, domestic support to her grandmother, born in Penge [Kent]

Kelly's Directories reveal the following occupants:

  • 1911: 26 Leighton Road was occupied by George H.Griffin, butcher; 28 Leighton Road was occupied by Sydney Ballantine, fruiterer;
  • 1915: 24 Leighton Road was occupied by Avelinn & Philips, house furnishers; 28 Leighton Road was occupied by Sydney Ballantine, fruiterer; 30 Leighton road was occupied by John Weeks, tailor;
  • 1939: 26 Leighton Road was Terrace Stores, occupied by Ethel Faulkner (Leonard Frank Faulkner was scoutmaster to the 26th Bedfordshire Boy Scouts and lived at the same address); 30 Leighton Road was occupied by John Weeks, shopkeeper.