Thursday, August 20, 2015

a bit of history

Recently I discovered our house is part of one of Luton's conservation areas, being one of the town's earliest suburbs. That means there's historical interest in the area and we'll need to apply for permission for external work on the house if we want to do any.

We don't have much information but the Bedfordshire community archives do list our house and a bit of it's story.
The north side of Havelock Road between High Town Road and Wenlock Street was demolished during the redevelopment of HighTown in the mid 20th century. The buildings on the south side remain and give a good idea of the way the area must have looked during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, particularly numbers 11 to 21 with their distinctive arched windows.
The archive also lists, where known, the owner and occupier of the houses. The earliest known occupier of our house is George Newton Barton in 1890. The records don't include his occupation but his neighbours were James Wooding, a grocer, and Thomas & Emma Palmer who lived at 7 & 9 and are both listed as straw hat manufacturers - Luton's biggest trade.

In 1925 the property is listed as being owned by Joseph John Coleman, who owned 11-19. Ours was occupied by Elizabeth Fenn who stayed until at least 1950. We don't know anything about these two but it's likely Joseph Coleman was in the hat trade and Ms Fenn was one of his workers. The records in 1960 show that a Mrs M Lucas occupied it until 1972 and M Mallen was here until 1975 when the property was recorded as vacant.

I love finding these little glimpses of what life was like round here before our time. It'd be nice to know more of the story, but for now we'll just have to make it up to fill the gaps!

1 comment:

  1. That's very cool to know who lived there before! A hat trader eh?

    Ha, oh no, you've been reading my blog posts all this time! Ahrgh!!!!
    Nice to have you back here, esp since it's your fault I have a blog!x



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