Early years of retirement home

14-30 Shortmead Street before Millers Court (Part One) MILLERS Court retirement flats cover an extensive site in Shortmead Street extending back into Chapel Fields. At 26 Shortmead Street, James Weston opened a brewery and maltings in 1834, built on the

14-30 Shortmead Street before Millers Court

(Part One)

MILLERS Court retirement flats cover an extensive site in Shortmead Street extending back into Chapel Fields.

At 26 Shortmead Street, James Weston opened a brewery and maltings in 1834, built on the site of his wool warehouse, and owned the Henlow Brewery for a short time.

He died in 1850, and as his son James Joseph Weston was only five years old, his wife Elizabeth continued to run the business.

She soon formed a partnership with her son-in-law and miller George Powers and the business became known as Weston & Powers.

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James Joseph came into the business when he was 21. He mortgaged the property to Edmund Powers, George Race and Thomas James Hooper in 1874.

In 1875 James Joseph Weston was the sole owner of a newly built brewery capable of producing 20 barrels of beer a day. When the whole business was put up for sale by auction in May, 1875, it comprised the brewery on three floors, counting house and offices, and two maltings capable of producing 200 barrels of beer daily.

The property also included billiard and reading rooms let to the Biggleswade Club (for gentlemen) who remained there until 1903.

Also included were 17 freehold and five leased pubs in Biggleswade and the surrounding area plus six cottages between 14 and 24 Shortmead Street.

Wells & Co, whose brewery was close by in Brewery Lane (now Church Street), purchased the brewery, maltings and cottages, plus four pubs in the town, the Bridge House, Cross Keys, Golden Lion and Greyhound. The other 13 freehold pubs went to other breweries.

James Joseph Weston had a new house he named Glenfield built by 1871 next to the vicarage at number 10 Shortmead Street. In 1881 it was also occupied by Ann Francis, 64, his housekeeper and his valet Edward Arnold aged 15. His mother Elizabeth sold all her properties in 1883 and moved in with her son at Glenfield. James died in December, 1888, at the early age of 43 and his mother Elizabeth passed away in December, 1890, aged 85.

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