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37 High Street Shafford

37 High Street January 2012
37 High Street January 2012

37 High Street is a handsome, double-fronted property standing on the south side of the High Street. It was listed by the former Department of Environment in January 1985 as Grade II, of special interest. The department dated the property to the early 19th century. The property has a shop on the ground floor and is built of red brick with a slate roof.

Today [2012] the property is a purveyor of pizzas and kebabs. It has a history of food preparation. The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed to determine its rateable value. Shefford, like most of the county was assessed in 1927 and the valuer visiting the property [DV1/C289/62] found that it was a bakery.

The owner/occupier is given as T. & J. Hyde. Private accommodation comprised a living room, a kitchen, three bedrooms and a room "over archway 10 feet by 14 feet". The bakehouse measured 12 feet 6 inches by 15 feet and the oven could accommodate four bushels. The baker's shop measured 11 feet by 13 feet.

Directories for Bedfordshire were not published every year but every few years and show that the Hyde family were an established concern. A directory of 1877 lists Charles Hyde as a baker in the town, as does a directory of 1885. The next directory, 1890, lists Mrs. Ann Hyde who is also listed in 1894, 1898, 1903, 1906 and 1910. By 1914 Misses Ann, Margaret, Mary and Florence Hyde, presumably the daughters of Charles and Ann, are listed as bakers though the address is given as Ampthill Road which is a forgivable mistake seeing how close the property is to being in that road, which is just a continuation of the High Street. These women are then listed in every directory until the last one for the county in 1940.