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37 George Street Luton

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

37 George Street is one of the older remaining properties in George Street. It was first listed in a directory in 1885 as "Exchange Coffee House (Samuel Heath, man") and also occupied by Robert Melvin Fleming, dentist. By 1894 Fleming was no longer listed and Samuel Heath had been promoted from man to proprietor of the Exchange Cafe. The last mention of the cafe is in 1898 and by 1903 the property was occupied by The Domestic Bazaar Company, china and glass dealer.

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.

29 (nearest the camera) to 41 George Street about 1900 [Z1306/75]
29 (nearest the camera) to 41 George Street about 1900 [Z1306/75]

The Domestic Bazaar Company Limited, head office 77 Great Eastern Street, London, still occupied 37 George Street, having a seven year lease from 1922 from the owner Henry Brown; the firm paid £196 per annum in rent [DV1/R7/41]. The shop had a frontage of 21 feet.

The basement contained a store measuring 20 feet 3 inches by 18 feet 9 inches with a block floor. The ground floor shop measured 20 feet by 36 feet wit ha ceiling height of 8 feet 3 inches in front and 12 feet at the back. A back store measuring 8 feet by 7 feet and a lavatory also stood on the ground floor. The first floor contained stores measuring 16 feet by 12 feet 6 inches and 3 feet 6 inches by 5 feet 6 inches. The valuer commented: "Poor front".

The Domestic Bazaar Company was last listed in a directory in 1931. By 1939 the occupier was simply listed as "Sybil". Whoever she was she was still in occupation in 1950 but by 1960 the occupier was Lotus and Delta Limited, "footwear specialists", who remained at the premises at least until the final Kelly's Directory for Luton, that of 1975.

37 George Street June 2010
37 George Street June 2010