19 George Street Luton
George Street in 1901 - to see a larger version, please click on the image
19 George Street is first listed in a directory in 1885 when it ws occupied by auctioneer, surveyor and valuer John Canon Conder. By the time of the next directory, 1894, he had moved next-door to 17 George Street. The next directory to list the premises is that of 1939! The property faces south-east onto Market Hill.
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 Streettook place in 1928.
Read & Horn's hat factory lay at 17 George Street, their offices next door at 19 George Street [DV1/R7/36]. They leased this building from Meadow Dairy Company Limited (who also had 21 George Street) on a seven year lease from 1925 at a rent of £55 per annum. The ground floor contained a store measuring 13 feet 6 inches by 9 feet. A store measuring 15 feet square, a showroom measuring 13 feet by 16 feet 6 inches and an office measuring 13 feet 6 inches by 9 feet lay on the first floor and on the floor above store rooms measuring 13 feet by 16 feet 6 inches and 15 feet square. The valuer commented: "poor premises".
Directories show that Read and Horn still had the premises as late as 1950. By 1960 the occupier is builder J. Bryce. No further directories list the property. Clearly at some stage the building has lost its top storey, as one is described in the 1928 valuation and the property next door, 21 George Street still has one.
19 to 21 George Street June 2010