Kensworth Village Stores - 36 Common Road Kensworth
Kensworth Village Stores - 36 Common Road January 2013
36 Common Road is  Kensworth Village Stores. 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. Kensworth, like most of the county, was largely assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting 36 Common Road found that it was, then as now, a general shop, owned and occupied by Joseph Andrews. He conformed to a stereotype of the tradesman-Methodist as he was also treasurer of the Kensworth Methodist Society.
The shop itself measured 17 feet 6 inches by 12 feet and private accommodation comprised a reception room, a kitchen and scullery with three bedrooms above. Outside stood a brick, weather-boarded and corrugated iron cart shed with a loft over, a weather-boarded and slated single stall stable, a weather-boarded and corrugated iron straw shed and a weather-boarded and corrugated iron barn. There was also a “small glass house in poor condition” and a brick and slate earth closet. Overall the valuer commented: “Good”.
Directories for Bedfordshire were not published every year but every few years from the early to mid 19th century until 1940. Kensworth is first listed in a Bedfordshire directory in 1898 as it was only transferred to Bedfordshire from Hertfordshire in 1897. Joseph Andrews is identified as a shopkeeper in the directories of 1898 to 1931.
In the earliest directory he is identified as Joseph Andrews junior indicating that another Joseph Andrews, probably his father, had been shopkeeper before him. In the directories of 1920 and 1924 he is also listed as Assistant Overseer of the Poor in the parish. He was a relatively wealthy man as he owned a number of properties in Kensworth including Holly Trees. He was succeeded as shopkeeper by John Andrews, listed in 1936 and Horace Arthur Andrews, listed in 1940.