57 George Street Luton
George Street in 1901 - to see a larger version, please click on the image
57 George Street is first listed in Kelly's Directory for the county of 1894 when it was in the occupation of Smith and Small, straw hat manufacturers. This company was listed at an address which is simply given as George Street in the directory for 1890. The firm is 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.
57 George Street was owned by the National Provincial Bank Limited (which had its offices at 59 George Street) in 1928 and let to Whitlocks Limited, costumiers, whose head office was at 59 Camberwell Road, London [DV1/R7/52]. The twenty one year lease ran from 1914 and rent was £170 per annum. The shop frontage was 17 feet 6 inches.
The basement measured 19 feet by 58 feet and was "good but not used". The shop was divided into three areas measuring 17 feet 6 inches by 26 feet 6 inches, 15 feet by 13 feet 6 inches and 20 feet by 19 feet 9 inches. The first floor contained a stock room measuring 17 feet 3 inches by 33 feet and the second floor contained a workroom with the same measurements as the first floor stock room.
The valuer commented: "Narrow" and "Good Window". He noted that a tea room for staff lay in the attic and was "much too big".
By the time of Kelly's Directory for the county of 1931 57 George Street was occupied by H. A. Leons and Company, costumiers. This is probably an error for L. A. Leon Limited, which occupied 49 George Street from at least 1939. In that year 57 George Street was in the occupation of Maurice Felson, tobacconist and "Maison Rachelle". By 1950 Maurice Felson has become Felson Limited and Maison rachelle has become George's Saloon. In 1960 the occupiers are listed as M. Felson LImited and George's Barber Shop. Both continued in occupation until at least 1968. Kelly's Directory for 1972 lists Greens (Newspaper Shops) Limited as occupiers, as it does in 1975, the last year of the Luton directory's existence.
57 and 59 George Street June 2010