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69 George Street Luton

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

69 George Street was first listed in 1885 when it was in the occupation of John Thomas Broughton, straw hat manufacturer. By 1894 the occupier was John Irving Wright, also a straw hat manufacturer and by 1898 he was sharing the premises with yet another straw hat manufacturer, George Wilcox Gilder who was sole occupier by 1906. Gilder is last listed in Kelly's Directory for 1914 and by the time of the next directory, in 1920, the occupier was John Chadwick Kershaw and Company, plait merchants. Four years later the next Kelly's for the county saw the property in the occupation of Richard Harris Marks, wine and spirit merchant.

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.

77 (nearest the camera) to 61 George Street about 1910 [Z1306/75]
77 (nearest the camera) to 61 George Street about 1910 [Z1306/75]

69 George Street was again occupied by J. C. Kershaw & Company Limited in 1928 [DV1/R7/60]. The building was owned by J. C. Kershaw himself and leased to the company of a fourteen year lease from 1922 at £1,020 per annum.

The ground floor contained the hat blocking and polishing in a room measuring 19 feet 3 inches by 51 feet 9 inches. The room contained two horsepower and a twelve horsepower motors and 72 feet of 1½ inch shafting. The first floor comprised a felt finishing area of the same size.

The company also occupied 71, 73 and 75 George Street. The rent of £1,020 was for all these premises combined. By 1931 Richard Marks was again in occupation and remained so, as R. H. Marks LImited, until at least 1936. By 1950 the occupier was listed as "Nichol, Paris House" and in 1960 as Westons (Brixton) Limited, ladies' outfitters. This firm was still in occupation in 1965 but by 1968 the premises was vacant and was not listed at all by 1972. Today the site of the building lies beneath the large British Home Stores building.

69 to 77 George Street June 2010
69 to 75 George Street June 2010