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37 High Town Road Luton

37 High Town Road June 2011
37 High Town Road June 2011

37 High Town Road was a cycle dealer's shop for most of the early 20th century. It was later a dyeing and cleaning business before this ended in the mid 1970s.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. The valuer visiting 37 High Town Road found [DV1/R59/12] that it was, like 33/35 next door, owned by the trustees of Samuel Kilby, deceased. The premises was leased by Sidney John Richardson, who sold bicycles. He paid rent of £48 per annum.

The property comprised a cellar, measuring 12 feet by 15 feet, a shop, measuring 12 feet 6 inches by 15 feet, a reception room and kitchen on the ground floor with a showroom, reception room and two bedrooms above. Clearly Richardson lived on the premises. The shop measured 12 feet 6 inches by 15 feet. A washhouse measuring 6 feet by 20 feet lay outside as did two sheds.

Directories for Bedfordshire were published every few years from 1839, for example, the beginning of the 20th century has directories for 1903, 1906, 1910 and 1914. Countywide directories ceased to be published during the Second World War, the last for Bedfordshire being in 1940. Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service has directories just for Luton for 1939, 1950, 1960, 1965, 1968, 1972, 1974 and 1975. The first street numbers in High Town Road begin to appear in directories in 1885 but it looks as if there was some renumbering of properties on the odd side of the road between 1890 and 1894.

  • 1894: Samuel Kilby, hat tip and lining manufacturer;
  • 1898: Samuel Kilby, hat tip and lining manufacturer and straw hat material dealer;
  • 1903: John Jeffs, watchmaker;
  • 1906: Sidney Richardson, cycle dealer;
  • 1910: Sidney Richardson, cycle dealer;
  • 1914: Sidney Richardson, cycle dealer;
  • 1920: Sidney Richardson, cycle dealer;
  • 1924: Sidney Richardson, cycle dealer;
  • 1928: Sidney Richardson, cycle dealer;
  • 1931: Sidney Richardson, cycle dealer;
  • 1936: Sidney Richardson, cycle dealer;
  • 1939: S. J. Richardson;
  • 1940: Sidney Richardson, cycle dealer;
  • 1950: S. Richardson;
  • 1960: H. F. Scriven Limited, electrical contractors;
  • 1965: S. X. Cleaners Limited, dyers and cleaners;
  • 1968: S. X. Cleaners Limited, dyers and cleaners;
  • 1972: S. X. Cleaners Limited, dyers and cleaners; Parisienne Cleaners, dry cleaners;
  • 1974: vacant;
  • 1975: vacant.