5 George Street Woburn
5 George Street March 2012
5 George Street was, for many years, the offices of Woburn solicitor Frederic Thomas Tanqueray and then Robert Holborn. Their extensive archive [HN] is now held by Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service. Tanqueray is first recorded as having his office (he lived at 4-7 Market Place) at the premises in a directory of 1885, by 1931 he was no longer in practice. He had been in practice with his cousin John Thomas Green, son of John Green who was a solicitor in Woburn in the mid 19th century. The Greens also practised in George Street, possibly also from this property.
Robert Holborn is first recorded at the premises in a directory of 1914, the same year as Tanqueray’s son Frederick Baron Tanqueray. Sadly, Tanqueray junior was killed on 1st July 1916 taking part in the First Day of the Battle of the Somme and is buried at Beaumont-Hamel British Cemetery, he was just 24. Holborn is last recorded in the final directory for the county, that of 1940.
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. Woburn, like much of the county was valued in 1927 and the valuer visiting 5 George Street [DV1/C137/135] found it owned as well as occupied by Frederic Tanqueray and was entirely used for business purposes with no living accommodation.
The ground floor accommodation comprised: an “office adjoining Mr. Tanqueray’s” measuring 14 feet 3 inches by 11 feet; “Mr. Tanqueray’s Room” measuring 14 feet 3 inches by 17 feet; a signing room; “Miss Tanqueray’s Room” measuring 14 feet 3 inches by 15 feet 3 inches; a general office measuring 14 feet by 12 feet and “Mr. Holborn’s Office” (Robert Holborn who lived at 12 Bedford Street) measuring 15 feet by 17 feet. Upstairs was a map room measuring 13 feet by 11 feet 3 inches; “Mr. Herbert’s Room” (perhaps the articled clerk) measuring 13 feet by 11 feet 3 inches; a store room measuring 10 feet by 10 feet 6 inches and two drafting rooms.
A store room, a washhouse and W. C. lay outside along with a stable and coal shed. The valuer noted: “Owner pays £2 a year to Duke of Bedford for use of sewage and water”.