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32 George Street Luton

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

This attractive property is not listed in a directory until 1910 when it was occupied by W. and E. Turner Limited, boot makers. By 1914 it was occupied by the British Shoe Company.

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.

32 George Street June 2010
32 George Street June 2010

The valuer discovered that 32 George Street was owned by the trustees of H. Jordan and let to the British Shoe Company, the headquarters of which were at Freeschool Street, Northampton, for twenty one years from 1924 at £450 per annum rent. The frontage was 19 feet 6 inches to George Street with a 20 feet return frontage to Cheapside.

The basement store had two areas measuring 10 feet square and 16 feet 6 inches by 14 feet. The ground floor lock-up shop comprised two areas measuring 19 feet by15 feet and 16 feet by 23 feet 3 inches respectively. The valuer commented: "good window".

The British Shoe Company were last listed at the address in Kelly's Directory of 1931, by 1939 the occupiers are listed as J. Sear and Company Limited (Trueform Boot Company), which remained in occupation until the last Kelly's for Luton of 1975. The return frontage along Cheapside remains as the entrance to the Arndale Centre respects the south-westernmost course of this road.

Cheapside return frontage of 32 George Street June 2010
Cheapside return frontage of 32 George Street June 2010

32 George Street was listed by the former Department of Environment in Ferbruary 1981 as Grade II, of special interest. the description is thus: Late 19th century office building. Stucco, Welsh slate roof. Three window bays to George Street, seven bays to Cheapside, rounded corner in between. Three storeys. Heavy moulded modillion cornice. Second floor double-hung sashes deep set in architrave surrounds. Much taller first floor windows have modern frames deep set within similar surround but with cornice heads on two side brackets. Continuous cill band survives for 5 bays in Cheapside. First and second floors have stucco quoins at each end of both elevations. Ground floor modern shopfronts.