24 George Street Luton
George Street in 1901 - to see a larger version, please click on the image
The first mention of 24 George Street in a directory is in 1877 when Joseph Thomas Sunman, homeopathic chemist, was in occupation. By 1894 Edwin Deacon "jeweller and fancy repository" ran his business from the premises, by 1903 this had become E. Deacon and Sons. The last mention of this business is in Kelly's Directory for 1914.
A trade catalogue of about 1890 states that E. Deacon, jeweller, draper, glass, china and fancy goods merchant had premises at 3-9 Wellington Street and 24 George Street. It described the business thus: "While reviewing the leading commercial enterprises of Luton, special mention must be made of the extensive business carried on by Mr. E. Deacon ... whose trade embraces Watches, Clocks and Jewellery, Fancy Drapery, Berlin Wool, Crewel Silk etc., Wools, Glass, China and Fancy Goods, and in each of which lines he is known to give maximum value at minimum prices, hence the popularity of his establishments among all classes of the community. It may be stated that Mr. Deacon commenced in business about say twenty-four years ago, and that his success has only been commensurate with the energy and ability he has displayed in its management. His premises in Wellington Street possess an attractive three-storied frontage about thirty yards in length, and extend a good distance to the rear. They are of spacious dimensions, and are fitted up and arranged in a most convenient manner. The various departments are kept as distinct as possible, and customers need not experience the elast difficulty in finding just what they want. The drapery and wool department is replete with the best and most fashionable goods, and the same may be said of the china, glass, fancy goods and jewellery departments. Mr. Deacon is a practical watch and clockmaker, gold and silversmith, and he is prepared to execute all kinds of repairs on the shortest notice. His stock in his branch embraces every description of gold and silver watches, clocks, timepieces, electro-plate cutlery, spoons, forks, teapots, weather glasses, thermometers, and a great variety of fine gold and sterling silver jewellery for both ladies and gentlemen. The proprietor is evidently intimate with the best sources of supply for the almost endless variety of goods it is necessary for him to stock; and it can be safely asserted that no one in Luton can offer more substantial advantages in respect to price. He employs an adequate staff of assistants, who at all times afford immediate and polite attention. The branch shop at 24 George Street is alike admirably managed. By all with whom he has dealings, and by his fellow-townsmen generally, Mr. Deacon is held in high regard for his integrity, courtesy and ability".
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. Oddly, the plan used by the valuer does not show any 24 George Street, suggesting that it had either been demolished after 1914 or that one of the properties neighbouring it had simply expanded into that premises, causing the number to disappear.
The address is not mentioned again until 1939 when it was occupied by Foster Brothers Limited, tailors, who also occupied 22 George Street. They remained in occupation until at least 1972. The last Kelly's for Luton, 1975, does not list the property at all and it now  lies beneath a modern building.
22 to 30 George Street June 2010