49 George Street Luton
George Street in 1901 - to see a larger version, please click on the image
49 George Street was first listed in Kelly's Directory for the county of 1894 when it was in the occupation of George Ordish and Company, "straw good manufacturer". By 1898 William Lee Gates, who also occupied 51 George Street, was in residence and remained so until at least 1910. By 1920 R. Chambers Limited, jewellers (later at 45 George Street) were occupiers. They are last listed at this address in Kelly's Directory for the county of 1936.
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.
49 George Street was still owned by William Lee Gates in 1928 and let to R. Chambers Limited. The lease was dated 1915 and was for 21 years at a rent of £180 ("very low"). The frontage was 22 feet.
The basement was used as a store and measured 22 feet by 25 feet. The shop ("Good Front") measured 21 feet 9 inches by 28 feet 9 inches. Two back offices measured 8 feet 3 inches by 11 feet and 7 feet by 11 feet respectively. Two workrooms measured 8 feet 6 inches by 12 feet 3 inches and 15 feet 3 inches by 6 feet 9 inches. A lavatory completed the ground floor accommodation.
The first floor contained a front store measuring 21 feet by 11 feet, a back store measuring 12 feet 6 inches by 16 feet and a back office measuring 8 feet by 9 feet. Second floor accommodation comprised four rooms but was "not used" despite a "Good Window".
The Luton Directory of 1939 lists L. A. Leon Limited, costumier at 49 George Street. The former building may, like numbers 41 to 47, have been demolished in 1937 as it is certainly part of the same construction. Leon is last listed in Kelly's for Luton of 1960; by 1965 the occupier was another costumier, Ford Martin. This firm remained in occupation until at least the year of the last Kelly's for Luton, 1975.
49 George Street June 2010