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30 George Street Luton

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

30 George Street is first listed in directories in 1877 when it was already the home of Blundell Brothers, "linen drapers, shawl, mantle and silk warehousemen, funeral furnishers, undertakers, upholsterers and house furnishers". The building was on the corner of George Street and Cheapside and today's entrance to the Arndale Centre respects the course of the latter street. Bob Norman in his 2002 volume Were You Being Served?, available on the searchroom shelves, states that Henry Blundell bought this shop in 1855. Blundell Brothers went out of business in 1977 and was replaced in the town by Debenhams.

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.

30 (nearest the camera) to 48 George Street about 1910 [Z1306/75]
30 (nearest the camera) to 48 George Street about 1910 [Z1306/75]

The valuer discovered that 30 George Street was owned as well as occupied by Blundell Brothers (Luton) Limited; the firm also had a shop at 8 to 10 and 12 to 16 George Street as well as premises at 9a Chapel Street and 14 and 16 Cheapside. The frontage extended to 42 feet 6 inches, with a return frontage measuring 78 feet to Cheapside.

The basement had a store and strong room measuring 36 feet 6 inches by 84 feet and a rear room measuring 32 feet by 28 feet. The ground floor contained two shop areas ("good front with island window") measuring 39 feet 6 inches by 15 feet and 38 feet by 71 feet 9 inches. The men's department had a frontage to Cheapside of 27 feet and two areas measuring 29 feet by 15 feet and 28 feet 6 inches by 19 feet 6 inches.

The first floor had a showroom with three areas measuring 39 feet 6 inches by 19 feet, 30 feet by 48 feet 6 inches and 36 feet by 17 feet 6 inches. The counting hall and office measured 27 feet 6 inches by 29 feet 6 inches. The second floor had a tea room measuring 30 feet by 31 feet with a separate area measuring 10 feet by 9 feet 6 inches. The kitchen measured 10 feet square and showrooms measured 29 feet 6 inches by 35 feet and 21 feet 6 inches by 11 feet. A workroom at the rear measured 27 feet 6 inches by 29 feet. The valuer's diary has the intriguing entry: "Kitchen on roof" measuring 8 feet 6 inches by 21 feet.

The valuer commented: "Fine Shop front to George Street and Cheapside" and "Large Shop". It was demolished in 1973 and replaced by the building seen below.

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