Nostalgia: The life and times of a historic street

Shoulder of Mutton, Stratton Street (now High Street) THE Shoulder of Mutton common lodging house and public house site at 58 Stratton Street dates back to 1664. Matchmaking with brimstone (sulphur) was carried out there during the 19th century. The t

Shoulder of Mutton,

Stratton Street (now High Street)

THE Shoulder of Mutton common lodging house and public house site at 58 Stratton Street dates back to 1664.

Matchmaking with brimstone (sulphur) was carried out there during the 19th century.

The timber-framed thatched building was damaged by fire in 1828 and surprisingly rebuilt with a thatched roof.

The Great Northern Railway cut right through the larger site in 1850 and there must have been some reconstruction at that time.

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The present building dates back to after a fire in 1893.

In 1901 Frederick Rand, 40, was the licensee and was also a wheelwright.

His wife Ellen was 31 and they had a daughter Flora, aged five.

They employed a general labourer and a domestic servant and there were 15 boarders.

It was known locally as the Café de Mutton and in the 1930s Good Beds was chalked on the front wall.

When the pub finally closed in 1956, a ladies' hairdresser soon opened, possibly Annette's.

Robson's Machine Tools and Rostron Insurance Services both started there in 1970.

Sherry's Heath Foods opened there in 1981 and are still trading from the side and rear.

J and C Windows and Makin Waves hairdressers were there in 1985. Pizza Town fast food takeaway opened at least three years ago. Headmasters hairdressers moved from Caldecote in 1998 but have relocated to number 48 leaving the shop vacant.

Garages for private cars occupied the large rear yard. These are now demolished ready for rebuilding.

Numbers 54/56 were ancient thatched cottages, occupied by Joseph Brown, wheelwright, and James Millard who opened a short-lived beershop in 1851.

They were rebuilt as two semi detached houses after burning down in 1893, when the fire spread from the Shoulder of Mutton.

Charles Cook opened Cooksway Travel in 1959, moving to number 59 opposite in 1978.

The business continued under new ownership as Cooksway Travel Service until about 2000 when it became Homes and Mortgages estate agents.

It is now Clear Vision Direct opticians.

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