St Albans' Own East End

Cambridge Road

 

Who developed Cambridge Road?

Two fields between Hatfield Road and Camp Lane, part of Beaumonts Farm. were purchased from the trustees of its former owner, Thomas Kinder, in 1899.  The development was known as the Camp Estate.  The partners were Francis Giffen and Arthur Ekins.

The homes of Cambridge Road

Nearly sixty years paased between the first and final houses to be completed.  The earliest are at the lower end, although the newest of the original homes only arrived with the laying of the street extension between Beresford Road and the Ashpath (now Ashley Road).  Early properties between Camp View and Ely roads have now been replaced.  There are around 120 homes in CAmbridge Road.

For a residential street there have been a surprising number of shops trading along the road – and even more just around the corner. So, how many are there today?.  Have a look further down the page for a clue.  As you walk along Cambridge Road and Camp View Road there are still tell-tale signs that a house was once a local shop.

Celebrations, and the Residents' Association

The 1970s and 80s the residents were in an especially effervescent mood, when the Cambridge Road Residents Association organised many social events.  The street was a regular entrant to the parade of floats in the St Albans Festival, and charity football matches were held at Clarence Park.

Who has lived here, and what do they remember?

With over one hundred houses, many over a century old, there have been countless arrivals and departures. Some have become well known in the city; others simply enthusiastic about telling their story.  The project has collected many stories and some are collected in a free brochure available from Fleetville Diaries.

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Right up our street: Cambridge Road

The shops of Cambridge Road

For a residential road there have been a surprising number of shops trading along the road – and even more just around the corner.  So, how many are there today?  Not as many, that is certain, and residents have to walk a little further for some products.  Today we expect to travel further and the dometic constraints over who actually shopped and the number of hours taken in daily housework, have all but disappeared.

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William Morley opened his bakery at 31 Sutton Road c1923.  It was taken over by J Bosley in the mid-sixties, but by 1970 was a window cleaner's trade. 


In 1929 arrived Tom Gray, the fish fryer, on the corner.  Number 31 Sutton Road has continuously traded as a fish shop, and is still very much open for business.

Number 27 Cambridge Road still has a recognisable shop front.  First occupied c1910, there have been several occupiers of this former general store, including Mrs Challis and Mrs Seal.  Mrs O'Dell closed the shop in 1966.  It later re-opened for various trades.

Number 64 Cambridge Road.


On the corner of Cambridge and Royston roads was the wholesale premises of A T Smith, tobacconist from c1938. Although domestic now, the angled doorway provides a clue to its former use.

Number 16 Cambridge Road.


Today there is an extension to the ground floor of the house, but when built the ground floor was a general store, seen here behind the children's party.  The shop remained until c1960

Number 14 Cambridge Roiad, on the corner of Ely Road, was one of three butchery shops within a hundred yards of each other.  It had been owned by S Hathaway pre WW2, and then Warwick's from 1960.  This view from 1980 shows the period away from foods.  The site was redeveloped into flats, Joseph Court (the building on the left of the photo on the right.

Numbers 12 and 10 Cambridge Road were also shops redeveloped as Joseph Court.  Previously, at number 12 Mr Marsh had a boot repairing business since 1927, and next door at number 10, Percy Hall opened a ladies and gents hairdressing saloon.  Although we have no photos of this pair of properties, we recall them being small and quite poor quality.  We would appreciate sight of a photograph which show these two shops.

A former yard wedged between Cambridge and Camp View roads was developed in 1939 into a pair of shops for St Albans Co-operative Society.  On the left was the the grocer (2 Cambridge Road) and on the right was its butcher (44 Camp View Road (same building though).  With the arrival of its supermarket the little Co-op shops closed.  St Albans Refrigeration came and the building is now occupied by Brampton Interiors.

Today the fascia can stil be seen on 42 Camp View Road.  It was the earliest of all the shops, dating from 1900, and a small extension on the left offered a greengrocery to add to the original general store.  Mr Haynes is seen standing outside of his shop, which is in the name of his wife, Clara.

Photographs of any of these shops or former shops would be welcomed, as would corner shops and parade shops anywhere in Fleetville, Oaklands or The Crown.

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This is also a property in Camp View Road, but it looks somewhat different from when it was a shop.  Then it was a single storeyed extension to number 45 Camp View Road.  The extension had been added in c1912 for Mr A Ausden.  The greengrocery came into the hands of Mr C F Warwick in 1928, and then Mr S E Hathaway.  From 1937 it became a butchery, just two years before the Co-op butchery just across the road.  The last known reference as a shop was in 1975, unless someone can confirm its more recent history.

St Albans' Own East End