Nostalgia: Our ancient High Street properties

PUBLISHED: 10:46 23 November 2006 | UPDATED: 11:14 06 May 2010

The premises in 1900

The premises in 1900

67-69 High Street W FISHER, veterinary surgeon, and John Kirby, watchmaker, occupied these substantial premises in 1841. Then in 1861 John Francis Hunt came from Lincolnshire. He traded as a printer, stationer, bookseller, bookbinder and newsagent, and

In 1974

67-69 High Street

W FISHER, veterinary surgeon, and John Kirby, watchmaker, occupied these substantial premises in 1841.

Then in 1861 John Francis Hunt came from Lincolnshire.

...and today

He traded as a printer, stationer, bookseller, bookbinder and newsagent, and also as a register office for servants, up to his death in 1906.

John had preserved two mammoth's teeth found in a gravel pit at Caldecote in 1881.

When Frederick W Wilson, ironmonger, first took over the premises next door and then the whole premises in 1906, he displayed the mammoth's teeth in his window. No one seems to know what happened to these!

Next we look at 53 to 57 High Street.

These buildings were originally four timber-framed dwellings which were enclosed in brick early in the 19th century.

All had yards and premises backing on to Church Street.

At number 53, George Webb the jeweller was advertising electroplating in the 1890s.

Mrs Clara Ferguson moved there from the New Inn in 1912.

Her son Charles took over the livery stables two years later, also running a riding school and taxi service.

The House of Rouse moved there in 1975, selling sweets and tobacco plus haberdashery and dressmaking items.

Pat Rouse retired in August 1995, but the shop continued until 1999 when Gills Mini Market opened.

At number 55, in 1850 Joshua Malden had a drapers shop.

In 1885 George Lant, furniture cabinet maker, paperhanger and upholsterer moved in and stayed for 20 years.

Helena Frayling, draper, moved from St Andrews Street in 1905, followed in 1930 by F and M Cannon.

Ted and Mrs Johnson ran a ladies' and children's shop and a Bible shop from 1954 to 1974, when the Job Centre moved from Shortmead Street.

Mid Beds Locksmiths moved from number 65 to number 55 in 1996.

At number 57, James Howe followed James Huffer as a stonemason in 1853.

Then in 1896, Walter Pallant Denny headed a succession of boot and shoe dealers. Firstly it was Jeakins and Denny, then in 1910, F M Denny and Co followed by Frederick Harvey.

From 1969, it was Brian Coupland and then in 1996 Rostron Insurance Services.

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