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3 Dunstable Road Studham

Studham post office marked on the 1880 map
Studham post office marked on the 1880 map

3 Dunstable Road is an attractive old 19th century property. The 2nd edition Ordnance Survey map of 1901 shows that it was then the village post office. It is unclear on the 1st edition map of 1880 which house is being denoted as the post office but it may be the same property or Number 1 next door. An Ordnance Survey map of 1970 still shows the property as a post office. Directories provide a list of postmasters and mistresses going back to 1885. Directories were not published each year so the dates below are simply those of the first and last appearance of each name in the directory. Thomas Nicoll [senior] was shown as a shopkeeper in Studham from 1847 to 1877.

  • 1885 to 1903: Thomas Nicoll junior;
  • 1906-1910: Sarah Ann Nicoll;
  • 1914: Albert George Hillier;
  • 1920-1924: Edward Henry Curtis;
  • 1928-1931: Henry William Price;
  • 1936-1940: Percy Frederick Matthews.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every piece of land and building in the country was to be assessed to determine the rates to be paid on it. Studham was assessed at the end of 1926 and the valuer visiting 3 Dunstable Road [DV1/C21/58] noted that it was owned by a Mrs. Speary and occupied by H. W. Price who had paid £25 per annum rent since 1925.

The brick and slate detached building comprised a reception room ("window used for show"), living room, scullery and three bedrooms. The post office and shop measured 13 feet by 11 feet. Outside stood a brick and tile garage and loose box ("used for bicycles"). "All at back" were a weather-boarded and corrugated iron earth closet and two store sheds and a brick and corrugated iron large lean-to store with a loft over measuring 22 feet by 8 feet 6 inches.

The post office was also an off-licence selling three dozen bottles per week. Price asserted: "Can't separate takings from rest of Trade but very small". Under a dozen bottles of minerals per week were also sold. Another hand has written: "1/1/27-22/10/27 Rent Return: 92 dozen pint bottles and 25 dozen half pint bottles". The off-licence was still in operation as late as 1984 when the licence was transferred Charles Derek Brammer and Joyce Brammer to June North [PCStudham30/1].

3 Dunstable Road January 2010
3 Dunstable Road January 2010