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28 George Street Luton

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

28 George Street is first listed in a directory in 1924 when it was occupied by Barclays Bank Limited. Barclays are first listed in George Street in Kelly's Directory for 1898. In 1896 the name Barclays had been chosen after a merger of nineteen small banks including the Hertfordshire and Hitchin Bank which had taken over Sharples, Exton and Company which had a bank on market Hill in Luton as early as 1839. It seems at least possible that the 28 George Street site was the original home of the Sharples, Exton and Company bank in Luton. By 1928 Barclays Bank also occupied 26 George Street.

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. The valuer discovered that the property was owned as well as occupied by Barclays Bank Limited [DV1/R7/24]. The frontage was 60 feet to George Street.

The basement comprised: store rooms measuring 20 feet by 16 feet and 10 feet 6 inches by 16 feet 6 inches, a lobby, strong rooms measuring 27 feet by 19 feet 6 inches and 14 feet 6 inches by 29 feet, a stationery store measuring 13 feet by 16 feet and a boiler room and coal store.

The ground floor comprised: a "lofty" public office in three areas measuring, respectively, 48 feet by 16 feet, 44 feet 9 inches by 38 feet 6 inches and 13 feet 9 inches by 16 feet; the manager's office measured 15 feet 3 inches by 23 feet 6 inches; three private offices measured 12 feet 6 inches by 8 feet, 12 feet 6 inches, by 7 feet 9 inches and 18 feet by 16 feet 6 inches. There was also a small sitting room.

The first floor comprised: front offices measuring 21 feet 9 inches by 16 feet, 22 feet 6 inches by 16 feet and 11 feet 3 inches by 10 feet 3 inches. Two back offices measured 22 feet 6 inches by 15 feet and 14 feet by 10 feet. The second floor comprised:  a caretaker's room; a bathroom; a front kitchen measuring 21 feet 6 inches by 13 feet 6 inches; front bedrooms measuring 13 feet by 11 feet 6 inches and 22 feet by 13 feet 6 inches; a back sitting room measuring 17 feet 6 inches by 15 feet 6 inches and a scullery measuring 11 feet by 11 feet 6 inches.

Barclays continued to be listed at 28 George Street until the last Kelly's Directory for Luton of 1975. Today the site is a very modern building and at the time of writing [June 2010] the office at Number 28 is being remodelled for Barclays.

22 to 30 George Street June 2010
22 to 30 George Street June 2010