Monday, August 15, 2011

A Historical Tour along the Stratford Road 3

The houses between Radcliffe Street and the back lane of Cambridge Street were also built in 1860. They were all residential and vary from quite modest houses to more substantial ones. The relative speed of construction suggest that there was pent-up demand in 1860 as no new houses had been built in Wolverton since 1847. The houses number from 23 to 44; the presbytery, number 22, was added in the 1870s.

22 Stratford Road - The Presbytery

23 Stratford Road
This is still an elegant and well-cared-for house after almost 150 years and from the looks of it has preserved its slate roof and the sash windows. It was may not have been the first house built on this section of the Stratford Road and it is only in the 1871 census that there is an obvious resident. This was George Applin and his family. George Applin was not a railwayman and he appears as a shopkeeper in St Pancras in the 1861 Census. It was possibly this new building boom which brough him to Wolverton where he set himself up as a painter. His grandson, William Applin, entered the motor age as a garage mechanic, operating from the back of 53 Stratford Road.

George Applin died within a few years and his widow moved to a house in Radcliffe Street. The next occupant was Joseph Parker, retired Station Master, who lived here until his death. George Claxton, a foreman in the Carriage Works lived here from 1890 and later set himself up as a builder.

24 Stratford Road
This rather modest house has been modified beyond recognition. It was built for William Harvey and his family. Harvey was one of Wolverton's original workers in 1838 and he came down from Derbyshire. He at first shared lodgings with Hugh Stowell Brown in Old Wolverton and then lived in Young Street after he married. I would guess that he had been saving for a house for 20 years before he was able to buy this one and he lived here until his death in 1904.

It was then occupied by Lloyds Bank for about 15 years until they moved to larger premises at 46-7 Stratford Road. This may explain how the house acquired this particular frontage. Subsequently it was an office for Pearl Assurance.

25 Stratford Road
In the same way the house at 25 has been modified out of all recognition. In the last 20 years of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th it was inhabited by Robert King and his family. King was manager of the Gas Works which might suggest that it was not a mean residence.
In the early years of the 20th century electricity came to Wolverton and the Northampton Electric Light Company set up an office here in 1907. This may explain why the frontage extended over No 24. After the war an nationalisation this became the offices and showroom for the East Midland Electricity Board. 

26 Stratford Road
For the firt fifty years of its life this house was a residence, occupied by various people. In 1911 it experienced its first shop conversion - at first a shop for samuel Hull, a boot and shoe maker, and the Arthur Watts, a furniture dealer. In 1935 it was taken over by Chamberlain and Norman, who were there for over 20 years. In my memory they also sold prams, and were probably the only shop in Wolverton to do so.

27 Stratford Road
This remained in private hands until 1930 when Arthur Watts expanded to include this house. After Chamberlain and Norman took over the business from Watts, No. 27 became a drapery shop.

28 Stratford Road
I have written about the famous Lakes elsewhere, but this house did not become a shop until 1931 when Lewis barwood, who had bought the ironmongery from Samuel Coop & Son at 6 Stratford Road, decided to move to this location. The Lake Brothers

29  and 30 Stratford Road
Number 29 remained a private residence until 1903 when the front room was converted to Refreshment Rooms. This enterprise did not last long and in 1911 it was a cycle shop. In the 1920s the Ministry of Labour was using it for an office (or labour exchange, as it was called in those days) and in 1930 Barclays Bank moved their branch office here. It remained a barclay's Branch until quite recent times.

Number 30 was the home of Arthur Scovell, an electrician, at the turn of the 20th century and by 1911, frederick Clarke, the printer was based here. he later moved to larger premises on Church Street.


31 Stratford Road
This was for a time one of the grander houses in Wolverton and was the home to John Williams, Assistant Superintendent of the Carriage works and in 1901 home for John Appleton, the Manager of Mcorquodales. 
It is unclear to me at the moment when the shop frontage was added unless Stobies expanded here. There is no business using this address, even in the 1950s.

32 and 33 Stratford Road
During the WW Frederick Stobie established a furniture dealership at Number 32 and it remained in the family for at least two generations. Number 32 was always a residence although there are signs in this recent photo of a shop conversion.

34 and 35 Stratford Road
Number 34 has been much modified from the original with a new shop frontage and new windows. Number 34 has retained its original frontage, although slate tiles have been replaced

36 and 37 Stratford Road
The house at Number 36 was residential until 1911 when William Airlie, and artificial teeth maker appears in 1911. Since then, and now for 100 years, it has been a dental surgery. The bay window, and the porch over the door may have been added in the 1950s. the wheel chair ramp is recent.

Number 37 became a branch practice for the Stony Stratford physician Arthur Habgood and continued under various partnerships - Habgood and Gooch, Bull, Habgood and Lawrence, Lawrence, Douglas and Witheridge until more modern clinics evolved. It has now reverted to a private hoise.

38 and 39 Stratford Road
These two have stayed as private houses since they were built in 1860. Number 38 concludes the terrace of four with a round arch doorway, although this house has replaced the original sash window with a bow window.
Number 39 begins another series with rounded arch upper windows and faux stone facing. Note how steps appear as the Stratford Road dips and the level of the terrace is maintained.

40 Stratford Road
This larger, double-fronted house, built in the same style and probably by the same builder as No. 39 was a private residence for some years and then became a coffee house. Later he converted it into a "Temperance Hotel", providing accommodation for travellers who did not wish to stay at the licensed hotels - the Royal Engineer, the North Western and the Vic.

41 Stratford Road
This is the last of the three houses with arched upper windows. Like No. 39 it has retained its status as a  family residence and the facing on the front wall is presumably original.

42 and 43 Stratford Road
There is no evidence for shop conversions here until 1939, when Archie Day opened his ironmongery at No. 42. As you can see the frontages are a later design from some of the earlier conversions to the east.

44 Stratford Road
This substantial house was, until the development of Cambridge Street in the 1890s, on the western edge of Wolverton. It was Number 1 Stratford Road until 1900, when the local authorities decided on a more logical numbering system for Wolverton house and businesses, and after almost 40 years of being 1, Stratford Road, it was re-numbered as 44.
Each house now has a long history. Some, like the rather fine looking house at Number 23, have maintained their residential status throughout, while others have been converted into commercial premises.

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