42 High Town Road Luton
40 and 42 High Town Road June 2011
40 and 42 High Town Road are impressive buildings. Number 42 was first listed as a provision dealer in 1885. The shop was later a hairdresser's, a draper's and a do-it-yourself store. At the time of writing  the wheel has come full circle and it is once more a provision dealer called Dolly Afrique.
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 42 High Town Road found it owned by James Brothers Limited, a firm of sewing machine repairers who also owned 40 and 38 High Town Road. The premises was occupied by Arthur Henry Phillips, who also occupied 40 High Town Road. He paid rent of £78 per annum of a 21 year lease from 1910. The valuer noted: “This rent includes Living premises over No. 40 which is sublet to Weston at 10/6 per week”. Phillips occupied the shop at Number 40.
Phillips’ accommodation comprised two shops measuring 13 feet 6 inches by 15 feet 6 inches and 13 feet by 15 feet 6 inches respectively. His living accommodation comprised a living room and a kitchen on the ground floor, a reception room and a bedroom on the first floor and two bedrooms on the second floor.
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.
- 1885: George Sibley, provision dealer;
- 1890: Isaac Martin, provision dealer;
- 1894: George Blackabey, hairdresser;
- 1898: Frank T. Blackabey, hairdresser;
- 1903: Burbidge & Company, drapers;
- 1906: Burbidge & Company, drapers;
- 1910: Burbidge & Company, drapers;
- 1914: Arthur Henry Phillips, draper;
- 1920: Arthur Henry Phillips, draper;
- 1924: Arthur Henry Phillips, draper;
- 1928: Arthur Henry Phillips, draper;
- 1931: Arthur Henry Phillips, draper;
- 1936: Arthur Henry Phillips, draper;
- 1939: A. H. Phillips;
- 1940: Arthur Henry Phillips, draper;
- 1950: Luton Leather Craft;
- 1960: Swift, watch repairers;
- 1965: D. I. Y. & Handyman Centre do-it-yourself supplies;
- 1968: D. I. Y. & Handyman Centre do-it-yourself supplies;
- 1972: not listed;
- 1974: not listed;
- 1975: M. & A. Chinaware & Glassware;
- 2011: Dolly Afrique, food and drink