First Council Houses in Bedfordshire 1912
This black and white postcard photograph of Templars Way, Sharnbrook [Ref.Z1271/1] was recently given to the Archives Service by Mrs Debbie Townsend. The houses were the first council houses in Bedfordshire. Originally known as 1-6 Station Road, they were built on allotment ground given up to Bedford Rural District Council by Alfred Mayes and Joseph Coleman. Mr R Marriott was the building contractor and Mr E C Boyes of Sharnbrook the Clerk of Works. Although a plaque declares the buildings to be dated 1911 they were in fact completed in February 1912.
A council committee selected tenants, bearing in mind their ability to pay the rent, their present housing circumstances, and the size of their families. The first families chosen were Pettit, Wells, Surridge, Duke, Hulatt and Barker and they had all moved in by June 1912. All the original tenants to live there were given a copy of this postcard, including Mr Morris Pettit, who is the boy in the picture. The gardens were communal and included chickens and a shared pig. The houses were modernised in the 1950s with hot water supplies and connections to mains drainage.