60 George Street Luton
George Street in 1901 - to see a larger version, please click on the image
60 George Street was first listed in Kelly's Directory for Bedfordshire of 1894 as in the occupation of William Silvester, draper and outfitter. 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.
The valuer discovered that 60 George Street was owned by the trustees of Charles Beecroft and let to Lloyds Bank Limited, headquarters 42 Gracechurch Street, London, for fifty years from 1897 at a rent of £400 per annum [DV1/R7/11]. The valuer commented: "Whole block old premises. Upper part and side sublet to Haye, who again sublets. Bank now rebuilt on ground floor only".
The basement measured 32 feet by 33 feet containing a strong room measuring 25 feet by 16 feet 6 inches. The ground floor had a wood block mosaic floor. The general office measured 32 feet 6 inches by 38 feet 3 inches with another area measuring 13 feet 3 inches by 12 feet 9 inches. The manager's office measured 14 feet 3 inches by 12 feet 9 inches.
The valuer noted: "Cut stone front and Return. Mahogany panelled Public Office". He also commented: "The Bank rebuilt basement and Ground floor of Bank premises". The attractive building, to some extent, echoes the HSBC building almost opposite at 63 George Street. It still has a substantial return frontage to Bute Street because the entrance to the Arndale Centre respects the line of that road.
The Bute Street return frontage of 60 George Street June 2010