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70 George Street Luton

George Street in 1901
George Street in 1901 - to see a larger version, please click on the image

70 George Street was first listed in Kelly's Directory for Bedfordshire of 1894 when it was in the occupation of Haye and Company, straw hat manufacturers, who were also at 68 George Street and, later, at 56 George Street. By the directory of 1906 W. A. Sale and Company were in occupation and by 1914 it was Herts Motors Limited, whose premises was broken into by a mob during the infamous Peace Riot of 1919, petrol from the motor engineers heloing to burn down the Town Hall.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every piece of land and building in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. Most of Bedfordshire was valued in 1927. Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service is lucky in having the valuer's notebook covering most of George Street. Evidence in the book shows that the survey of George Street took place in 1928.

76 to 60 George Street about 1928 [Z1306/75]
76 to 60 George Street about 1928 [Z1306/75]

The valuer discovered that 70 George Street was owned by Herbert Owen Williams and let to Miss Charlotte Claudia Foskett, who also had 64 and 68 George Street. She was a ladies' tailor and costumier. She leased 70 George Street for fourteen years from 1922 at £200 per annum for the first seven years, rising to £250 from year eight [DV1/R7/8].

The basement ("not used very poor") measured 18 feet by 39 feet. The shop with "good windows" 9 feet 6 inches high had a frontage to George Street of 18 feet 6 inches and had areas measuring 18 feet 6 inches by 15 feet, 18 feet 6 inches by 11 feet and 12 feet by 13 feet 3 inches. An office measured 6 feet 6 inches by 12 feet. A covered yard ("not used") measured 17 feet 6 inches by 52 feet.

The first floor comprised: two front rooms each measuring 9 feet 6 inches by 12 feet 9 inches; a back room measuring 12 feet by 8 feet 6 inches; three rear rooms measuring 9 feet 9 inches by 14 feet 6 inches, 9 feet by 22 feet and 8 feet 6 inches by 9 feet. Three attics measured 9 feet 6 inches by 12 feet 9 inches, 9 feet 6 inches by 12 feet 9 inches and 12 feet by 8 feet 6 inches.

The valuer commented: "Now upper part used in poor condition" and "building old". A later hand has simply written: "demolished". H. E. Neville leased a brick and slate workshop at the rear on a yearly tenancy, paying £30 per annum. This building measured 8 feet 3 inches by 21 feet and a further corrugated iron shed in the yard contained a one horsepower motor. A noted dated 31st March 1937 noted: "demolished".

Claudia Foskett was last listed in a directory of 1931 after which the building was, presumably, demolished and Leeds House Gardens built. Kelly's Directory for Luton of 1960 lists the Mayfair Salon at the premises; they also shared next door 68 George Street. They were listed at the premises in 1975, the date of the last Kelly's for Luton.

Leeds House Gardens 68 to 72 George Street June 2010
Leeds House Gardens 68 to 72 George Street June 2010