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19 and 21 High Town Road Luton

19 High Town Road June 2011
19 High Town Road June 2011

The Scandinavia Restaurant has been at this address since at least 1968. Previous to that the property was a hardware shop, then a tailor's, draper's or outfitter's shop.

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. The valuer visiting 19 High Town Road [DV1/R59/11] found it owned and occupied by Harold Cook, who was a tailor. At that date the building was simply numbered 19 not 19 and 21 as it is today. He also had premises at 28 and 30 High Town Road (since demolished). The valuer commented: “The House premises continue over the adjoining Shop which also belongs to Cook”. Confusingly, the next door premises was numbered 25 High Town Road, numbers 21 and 23 having been missed out!

The house comprised a reception room and kitchen downstairs with five bedrooms, a reception room, a bathroom and a W. C. on the first floor. The shop measured 22 feet 6 inches by 29 feet 6 inches. A cellar was not used. The valuer commented: “Good Shop Front”.

Directories for Bedfordshire were published every few years from 1839, for example, the beginning of the 20th century has directories for 1903, 1906, 1910 and 1914. Countywide directories ceased to be published during the Second World War, the last for Bedfordshire being in 1940. Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service has directories just for Luton for 1939, 1950, 1960, 1965, 1968, 1972, 1974 and 1975. The first street numbers in High Town Road begin to appear in directories in 1885 but it looks as if there was some renumbering of properties on the odd side of the road between 1890 and 1894.

  • 1898: John Lane Bailey, hardware dealer;
  • 1903: John Lane Bailey, hardware dealer;
  • 1906: John Lane Bailey, hardware dealer;
  • 1910: John Lane Bailey, hardware dealer;
  • 1914: John Lane Bailey, hardware dealer;
  • 1920: John Lane Bailey, hardware dealer;
  • 1924: Harold Cook, tailor;
  • 1928: Harold Cook, tailor;
  • 1931: Harold Cook, tailor;
  • 1936: Harold Cook, tailor;
  • 1939: Harold Cook;
  • 1940: Harold Cook, tailor;
  • 1950: Harold Cook;
  • 1960: Harrow Stores (Watford) Limited, credit drapers;
  • 1965: Bargain Stores, outfitters;
  • 1968: Scandinavia Restaurant and Café;
  • 1972: Scandinavia Restaurant and Café;
  • 1974: Scandinavia Restaurant and Café;
  • 1975: Scandinavia Restaurant and Café; Peter Dukes;
  • 2011: Scandinavia Restaurant and Café.