38 George Street Luton
George Street in 1901 - to see a larger version, please click on the image
38 George Street was first listed in a directory in 1894 when it was occupied by Freeman, Hardy and Willis Limited, "boot and show warehouse". The company was listed in 1890 as being in George Street and may well have been in the same property.
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 Street took place in 1928.
34 (nearest the camera) to 48 George Street about 1910 [Z1306/75]
The valuer discovered that 38 George Street was owned by H. G. Brandon and leased to Freeman, Hardy & Willis, boot and shoe warehouse, whose head office was at 57 Rutland Street, Leicester [DV1/R7/20]. The lease ran for twenty five years from 1915 at £150 per annum rent. The store frontage was 22 feet 6 inches ("good arcade front").
The basement ("not used much") had two areas measuring 17 feet by 19 feet and 15 feet by 12 feet respectively. The ground floor shop ("10¾ ' high") comprised two area measuring 20 feet 9 inches by 20 feet 3 inches and 15 feet by 13 feet 6 inches. A lean-to with a glass roof measured 16 feet square.
Managers' rooms ("still occupied") lay on the first floor and comprised a sitting room measuring 11 feet by 18 feet 6 inches, a bedroom measuring 10 feet by 18 feet 6 inches and a kitchen measuring 10 feet 6 inches by 11 feet 6 inches. The second floor contained a sitting room measuring 10 feet by 14 feet 6 inches, a bedroom measuring 10 feet 6 inches by 14 feet 6 inches, a bathroom and w. c. and "Big landing, attic (Back) not used" which was "no good".
Freeman, Hardy and Willis were listed at the property until the last Kelly's Directory for Luton of 1975.
38 George Street June 2010