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25 George Street Luton

George Street in 1901
George Street in 1901 - to see a larger version, please click on the image

The first mention of 25 George Street in any directory is in 1894 when the building was occupied by William Flitton, fishmonger, who was still there in 1898. By the time of Kelly's Directory in 1903 Arthur Edmund Fisher, butcher, was in occupation; there would be a butcher's shop on the premises for the next sixty years and more.

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.

Arthur Edmund Fisher was owner as well as occupier of this property in 1928 [DV1/R7/38] which stood next door to a competing butcher at Number 23 (Eastmans, later Dewhursts). Fisher also had a shop at 52 High Town Road. The basement measured 17 feet by 19 feet and contained a one horsepower motor.

The shop frontage was 19 feet 6 inches with a 9 feet return frontage facing the Corn Exchange. The shop measured 28 feet by 15 feet 3 inches. Behind this was a sitting room measuring 20 feet by 12 feet 9 inches, a kitchen measuring 9 feet by 10 feet and a scullery measuring 15 feet by 9 feet 9 inches.

On the first floor lay a store room measuring 28 feet by 15 feet 3 inches, a bathroom measuring 9 feet by 11 feet 6 inches, a sitting room measuring 9 feet 6 inches by 17 feet and a lobby. The second floor contained three bedrooms measuring 9 feet by 11 feet 6 inches, 9 feet 6 inches by 17 feet and 28 feet by 15 feet 3 inches as well as a lobby. A slaughterhouse stood at the rear measuring 15 feet 6 inches by 20 feet with a pen measuring 20 feet by 6 feet. There were also two cold stores measuring 20 feet by 10 feet 6 inches each, together with a motor of eight horsepower and a general yard. The valuer commented: "Stands out well".

Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service has a Borough of Luton Public Health Department Shops Act 1934 Section 10 inspection book [BorL/EH/14/1]. This book reveals that in November 1936 the occupier was butcher A. E. Fisher. Ventilation came from a shop front permanently open during the hours of business. Heating was provided by two electric radiators in the shop's cashier's office. A men's toilet was situated in the yard and a women's toilet in an upstairs bathroom. natural lighting was "very good" and electric lighting was provided. The inspector noted: "Males have all meals off premises. Females live in house behind and over shop and have their meals in the dining room of the house". Staff comprised five men and three women. The inspector in November 1936 noted: "Visited and found no means of heating provided for shop". A letter was sent but it was decided: "Heating arrangements not to be demanded in butchers' shops".

By 1939 the occupier is listed as A. E. Fisher (Luton) Limited. The firm was still in occupation in1950, when, Kelly's Directory for Luton noted, a Ministry of Food slaughterhouse stood at the rear. The last mention of the firm in a directory is in 1960, by 1965 the property was vacany and was not listed at all in 1972, though in the last Kelly's for Luton, 1975, the occupier is listed as Luton Consumer Advice Centre. Today [2010] although the building is a rather startling colour it remains, one of the few 19th century survivals in the street and has, as well as a frontage to George Street a frontage south-east onto Market Hill.

25 George Street June 2010
25 George Street June 2010