2 Bedford Road Clophill
2 Bedford Road July 2010
To look at the premises today there is little to indicate that it was once a shop, mainly because the shop itself seems to have been a separate structure. The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 specified that every building and piece of land in the country was to be assessed as to its rateable value. Clophill was assessed in 1927. The valuer visiting 2 Bedford Road [DV1/C46/4] discovering that it was owned, like Sunnyside Cottages on the north side of The Green adjoining, by the Misses Hyde.
The occupier was John Henry Smith who paid £1/2/6 per quarter in rent. The rent at the outbreak of the Great War had been £1/15/6 per quarter. Kelly's Directories for Bedfordshire list Smith as shopkeeper in their editions of 1914, 1920, 1924, 1928, 1931 and 1936. John Smith was listed as shopkeeper in 1910. Interestingly, a John Henry Smith was listed as an insurance agent in Kelly's for 1898.
The brick and slate end of terrace property comprised a living room, kitchen and scullery downstairs, with two bedrooms ("good") above. The shop measured 9 feet by 13 feet with a small bay measuring 2 feet by 4 feet - it was constructed of weather-boarded and corrugated iron. Outside stood a brick and tile earth closet, a weather-boarded and corrugated iron open shed used for lumber and a coal barn. The valuer commented: "Very good modern cottage - rent very low".