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81 George Street Luton

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

81 George Street lies at the junction with Wellington Street. It was first listed in Kelly's Directory for Bedfordshire of 1894 when it was in the occupation of John Edmunds, "chemist and surgeon dentist, proprietor of "Fonteratacine" cure for eczema". The property was to remain a chemist for thirty or more years. By 1898 Horace Edward Cocker, pharmaceutical chemist was at 81 George Street. He was last listed in 1910 and by 1914 Walter Sydney Clark was the chemist in residence. His window was broken in the infamous Peace Riot of 1919. He is last listed in 1924.

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.

In 1928 this building was owned by Sidney Farmer, who had a pianoforte warehouse next-door at 83 George Street. He leased the building to R. P. Chandler Limited, chemists on a three year tenancy from 1927 at a rent of £225 per annum. The frontage to George Street was 15 feet 9 inches and the return frontage to Wellington Street 15 feet.

The basement measured 16 feet by 11 feet, there was presumably more as the valuer commented "rest no good". The shop above measured 20 feet  6 inches by 23 feet with a telephone taking up 10 feet by 3 feet. The first floor had a front office measuring 18 feet 6 inches by 13 feet 6 inches and a back store measuring 11 feet 9 inches by 11 feet 6 inches.

By 1939 the property was occupied by A. Lewis and Company (Westminster) Limited, tobacconists. They were last listed in 1972. The last Kelly's Directory for Luton, 1975, lists Reed Employment, an employment agency, at 81 George Street.

81 George Street June 2010
81 George Street June 2010