66 George Street Luton
George Street in 1901 - to see a larger version, please click on the image
66 George Street was occupied for over forty years by straw hat manufacturers George Dimmock and Company. They were first listed at the address in a directory of 1885; they also had premises at 14 and 16 Melson 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 66 George Street was owned by Herbert Owen Williams and occupied by George Dimmock & Company. The property was leased for seven years from 1922 for £160 per annum and had a frontage of 19 feet 3 inches [DV1/R7/9].
The basement was 7 feet high and had a wood block floor; it measured 17 feet 6 inches by 34 feet. The ground floor had rooms measuring 17 feet 6 inches by 15 feet an, 17 feet 6 inches by 5 feet and 10 feet by 11 feet, respectively, with a telephone room measuring 7 feet 6 inches by 10 feet and a rear room measuring 16 feet 6 inches by 36 feet.
The first floor had a front store measuring 17 feet 6 inches by 13 feet and a back office measuring 10 feet 6 inches by 11 feet 6 inches. A further rear room measured 7 feet 6 inches by 10 feet. The second floor accommodation mirrored that on the first floor. The valuer commented: "old" and "good position".
By the time of the nexy Kelly's Directory for Bedfordshire, 1931, Dimmocks had gone and had been replaced by William Timpson Limited, boot dealers, who were also next door at 64 George Street. The company continued at the premises into the 1970s but by the time of the last Kelly's for Luton, 1975, the property is no longer listed.
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 64 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