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77 George Street Luton

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

77 George Street was first listed in Kelly's Directory of 1894 when it was in the occupation of Thomas Smart, straw hat manufacturer, who was first listed, at an undisclosed address in George Street, in 1885. He is last listed in Kelly's for 1898. By the Kelly's Directory for the county of 1906 the occupier was tailor William Bright, who was last listed in 1910.

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.

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

77 George Street was, like 79, owned by the trustees of Edwin Deacon in 1928. It was leased to E. Deacon & Sons, jewellers, china and glass dealers. They are first listed at the premises by Kelly's Directory for 1924. 77 George Street was the china shop, having a frontage of 14 feet to George Street.

The shop itself was divided into two areas measuring 13 feet 9 inches by 14 feet 6 inches and 11 feet by 18 feet respectively. A basement beneath had two rooms measuring 13 feet 9 inches by 36 feet at the front and 16 feet 6 inches by 17 feet 9 inches at the rear, with an further room under Wellington Street measuring 19 feet by 21 feet.

The valuer commented: "dead bit next Kershaw's". Kershaw's, in fact, leased the first and second floors for £100 a year in rent. The first floor comprised a front stock room measuring 18 feet 3 inches by 13 feet 3 inches and a back store measuring 10 feet by 20 feet. The second floor comprised front rooms measuring 9 feet 3 inches by 13 feet and 9 feet by 13 feet, a box room, a back room measuring 8 feet 9 inches by 13 feet 3 inches and a kitchen measuring 7 feet 6 inches by 8 feet  6 inches. All the second floor was annotated "Tea room for staff".

Kelly's Directory for 1936 lists Walter Carr Limited, financial agents, as sharing the property with Deacons who were themselevs last listed in 1939. By 1950 the occupier was Stones (Fashions) LImited. By 1965 they were sharing the pemises with Saxone Shoe Company which was the sole occupier from at least 1968 until the last Kelly's for Luton in 1975.

77 to 79 George Street June 2010
77 to 79 George Street June 2010