43 George Street Luton
George Street in 1901 - to see a larger version, please click on the image
43 George Street was first listed in a directory in 1869 when it was in the occupation of Mrs. George Cooper Butler, printer, stationer and bookseller, she was also publisher of the Luton Times and Dunstable Herald. By 1871 the occupier is listed as the executors of the late S. H. Butler. By 1894 the occupier was Thomas George Roberts, tea merchant; he was described as grocer and provision merchant from 1898. He also occupied 45 George Street; he was last listed in 1914.
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.
43 and 45 George Street were then owned by Arthur Day, pianoforte dealer [DV1/R7/43-44]. The frontage was 31 feet to George Street. The basement contained two rooms, one 21 feet by 23 feet and the other, "not used", 21 feet by 12 feet. The show room had a frontage of 23 feet 6 inches to George Street and a return frontage of 8 feet 6 inches to Adelaide Terrace. The shop measured 21 feet by 51 feet and had a lobby and lift. Two back rooms, measuring 17 feet by 11 feet 6 inches and 17 feet by 12 feet, were used for selling gramophone records and two further back showrooms measured 17 feet by 12 feet 3 inches and 11 feet 6 inches by 10 feet 6 inches respectively.
There was also a back store room measuring 13 feet by 8 feet and two "old cottages as workshops" each measuring 10 feet square (not surprisingly these are annotated "very poor"), the upper parts of which were unused. A further workshop measuring 15 feet by 36 feet stood in the yard.
The first floor was "ordinarily used to store pianos" and had room at the front measuring 11 feet 6 inches by 20 feet, 9 feet 6 inches by 15 feet, 8 feet 6 inches by 10 feet and 10 feet by 20 feet. A back room was "used for public worship" and measured 11 feet by 20 feet. No place of public worship in George Street is noted in the 1928 Kelly's Directory pages for Luton. A back store room measured 11 feet by 21 feet. There were also: a corridor store measuring 8 feet 6 inches by 26 feet; a lift; a cloakroom; a back room measuring 11 feet by 12 feet; a lavatory; back rooms measuring 10 feet by 9 feet, 7 feet 6 inches by 12 feet and 22 feet by 13 feet and a rear kitchen measuring 13 feet by 11 feet.
The second floor contained two stores at the front measuring 11 feet by 21 feet and 9 feet 6 inches by 11 feet respectively as well as an office measuring 8 feet 9 inches by 10 feet 9 inches. A studio measured 10 feet by 20 feet 6 inches and was "nice". Like 41 George Street the buildings were demolished in September 1937.
Arthur Day is last listed in a directory in Kelly's Directory for the county of 1931. The new 43 George Street was, like Number 41, occupied by BUtton Brothers, outfitters until the last Kelly's Directory for Luton of 1975.
41 to 43 George Street June 2010