Thursday, June 3, 2010

Stratford Road Numbering


Andrew Bore, a descendant of Richard Bore, the first Superintendent of the Wolverton Carriage Works, has written to tell me that his great great grandfather owned three houses on the Stratford Road, which he bequeathed to his children. They were identified in his will of 1893 as numbers 13, 14 and 15.
One problem in identifying Stratford Road houses is that the numbering system changed around 1900. Up to that time the house numbers started at number 1 at the western end and then worked their way sequentially to the east. What is now 44, on the corner of the back lane, was originally Number 1, and was then on the western extremity of the town. At the back of this house (a separate residence in fact) was a hole in the wall off licence which came to be known as the Drum and Monkey. I have no idea how this name originated.
In 1891, Number 13 (now 32) is the Dixy outlet on the right. In 1891 it was occupied by Benjamin and Mary Tomlin and Charles and Sophia Foster. Neither had any children. Number 14 (Now 31), with the upper bay window, was the home of the John B Williams and his family. Williams was Assistant Superintendent at the time. And in Number 15 (Now 30) lived James King, a coach trimmer, and his wife and father. King's father, Robert, was a retired foreman, and at one time was a neighbour of Richard Bore in one of the villas.
The house at number 30 (as far as I know) has always been a private residence. The roof has been replaced, but the wooden sash windows remain.
The house at 31 probably had a two storey bay window, but this has obviously been replaced by a 20th century shop frontage. The roof tiles and roof decoration seems to be original.
Number 32 (previously 13) has been modernized.
Before and after the war Number 32 was a furniture shop - F.W. Stobie, although looking at the buildings now I would have said that Stobies was number 31. Obviously the shop conversion for 31 is an early 20th century adaptation, but I cannot quite recall what it was in the mid-century. There was a shop called Chamberlain and Norman along here somewhere that sold prams. Perhaps this was it.

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