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39 George Street Luton

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

39 George Street is one of the older remaining properties in the street. It was first listed in directories in 1871 when Samuel Richard Rogers, grocer, was the occupier. He was listed in Wellington Street in the Post Office Directory for Bedfordshire of 1869. Rogers is last listed in 1885 and by Kelly's Directory for the county of 1894 the occupier was Elizabeth Susan Trott, milliner, last listed in 1903. By 1910 the occupier was Sidney Cashfield, clothier. He had been succeeded by William Williamson by 1920.

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.

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

In 1928 39 George Street was owned by Edward Brown and had been rented for 7 years from 1921 to William Williamson, clothier, for £190 per annum. The valuer has annotated the entry with: "Dead, receivers" and "Gibbs and Dandy".

The basement ("poor") measured 20 feet by 13 feet. The shop frontage was 22 feet to George Street and the shop itself measured 20 feet by 30 feet. A back shop measured 16 feet 3 inches by 24 feet and lay up one step. A scullery also stood on the ground floor and outside stood a w. c. The upstairs was rented from Williamson by Gibbs and Dandy for £52 per annum as a store. The front store measured 20 feet 9 inches by 13 feet, that in the middle 10 feet 6 inches by 17 feet and the two at the back 16 feet 6 inches by 12 feet 3 inches and 16 feet 6 inches by 12 feet 6 inches.

The valuer commented: "Position bad". He also noted: "Very poor front and in a corner". Another hand has amended this: "Front not poor, quite good and front must have been altered since 1928".

The annotations to the valuer's notebook are confirmed by directories which list Gibbs and Dandy, ironmongers, whose main shop was at 34 George Street, across the road at Number 39 from at least 1928 until at least 1950. By 1960 the occupant was Jefferson (Outfitters) Limited, which was still listed at the address in the last Kelly's Directory for Luton, in 1975.

39 George Street June 2010
39 George Street June 2010