2 and 4 George Street Luton
George Street in 1901: to see a larger version please click the image
Directories for Luton indicate that by 1877 2 George Street was the shop of George Taylor, grocer and tea dealer. Number 4, at this date, was the office of John Robert Brown, architect and surveyor.
By 1885 Louis Schoeppler, pork butcher, was at 2 George Street. By 1894 it was Mrs. A. M. Schoeppler, who carried on her husband's business. The last reference to her at 2 George Street is in a directory of 1924. By 1894 Number 4 was the office of John Richard Eve & Son, land and house agents, architects, surveyors, rating surveyors, agents for the General Land Drainage and Improvement Company and Imperial Fire and Fire. The last reference in a directory to that firm at 4 George Street is in 1903. By 1906 the building was the Stockwood Estate Office, manned by H, Woodcock, Thomas H. Woodcock by 1920.
The 1901 Ordnance Survey Map amended by the valuer in 1928 to show how 2 to 8 George Street had changed in the interim
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 by 1928 2 and 4 George Street was owned by Montague Burton Limited, tailor [DV1/R65/20].They occupied the ground floor themselves, which comprised a shop with areas measuring 32 feet by 15 feet, 31 feet by 35 feet and 32 feet 6 inches by 36 feet. The shop had a return frontage of 34 feet overlooking Park Square. The ground floor also included two fitting rooms measuring 10 feet square and 13 feet by 10 feet and an office measuring 8 feet by 9 feet. There were also two w. c.'s and cloakrooms and a small cupboard under the stairs. The valuer commented: "Very fine shop, 12½ feet high".
The first floor was leased to Sidney Pedder on a 21 year lease from 1928 at £425 per annum. He intended to use it as a billiard hall, but, the valuer noted: "Saw Mr. Pedder -says he can't get licence for Billiard Hall till April next, in interim uses it as a dance hall. Says it will get 11 tables in next April". The space measured 34 feet by 90 feet, had two lavatories "and wash up".
It seems likely that the present 2 and 4 George Street dates to around the time that Burtons purchased the site as they have a 1920s look to them. Directories show that Burtons occupied the buildings until 1975, the date of the last Kelly's Directory for Luton - a continuous association of nearly fifty years. The present  building is occupied by Yorkshire Bank.
2 to 4 George Street June 2010