64 George Street Luton
George Street in 1901 - to see a larger version, please click on the image
64 George Street was first listed in Kelly's Directory for Bedfordshire of 1894 when it was in the occupation of Charles Robinson and Company, straw hat manufacturers, who had previously occupied 15 George Street. By the time of the next Kelly's, 1898, the occupier was F. Dockrill and Company, bicycle manufacturer and by 1903 it was T. Eldridge and Company, straw hat manufacturer. Kelly's Directory for 1910 lists Miss Louisa M. Keating, costumier. She was last listed in 1914 and by 1924 Miss Charlotte Claudia Foskett, ladies' tailor and costumier, was in occupation - she also had 68 and 70 George Street.
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.
68 (nearest the camera) to 60 George Street about 1920 [Z1306/75]
The valuer discovered that 64 George Street was owned by H. O. Williams and let to Miss Charlotte Claudia Foskett. The lease ran for seven years from 1922 at £150 per annum rent. The frontage was 18 feet 9 inches [DV1/R7/9].
The basement under the shop, with a block floor was 8 feet high and not used, measuring 17 feet 6 inches by 26 feet. The ground floor shop had areas measuring 17 feet 6 inches by 15 feet, 17 feet 6 inches by 10 feet 6 inches and 6 feet by 9 feet 6 inches. A show room on the first floor was arranged in the same way as the ground floor and the second floor was not used. The valuer commented: "Good window".
Miss Foskett was still in occupation in 1931 but by 1939 William Timpson Limited, boot dealers, were the occupiers. The firm remained at 64 George Street into the 1970s but the property is no longer listed by the time of the last Kelly's for Luton, in 1975.
Bedfordshire and Luton Archives and Records Service has a Borough of Luton Public Health Department Shops Act 1934 Section 10 inspection book [BorL/EH/14/1]. This book reveals that Timpsons were in occupation by 27th August 1937. They also occupied 66 George Street next door and the inspection dealt with both properties together. Both properties were owned by G. Williams. The premises was heated by five electric radiators in the basement and two radiators on the ground floor. A men's toilet stood on the third floor, a women's on the second floor and another toilet in the yard. The premises had fair natural lighting but also had electric lights. A dining room was provided on the second floor for the staff which comprised four men, six women, one boy and four girls under eighteen.
62 to 66 George Street June 2010