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Abbey End, The Square, 1939/40

Abbey End was very narrow and caused congestion until it was widened in the early 1930s. It was a major operation and involved taking the front off The Firs which was subsequently converted into two houses.

In 1939, 1 & 2 The Square was mostly occupied by Alfred Glasspool, 68, a chemist, and his wife Marie, 62, at 2 The Square, but one part of it, that nearest The Globe, 1 The Square, was occupied by hairdresser Beatrice Astle, 30, and her mother Louie, 64. They lived on-site.

Just behind at 2 Abbey End, lived William Lee, 31, a warehouseman who worked at Reeves Corn Merchant and part-time nearby at The Globe Hotel across the road, his wife Annie, 31, their son James, 7, and William’s mother, widowed Elizabeth, 69.

4 Abbey End was the place of business of Reeve and Co, corn merchants, set up in buildings that were once the stable and coach house block of The Firs. Nobody lived on the site.

In comparatively newly built 6 Abbey End, built in the grounds of The Firs, lived Avereld Redwood, 57, and his wife Lavinia, 52. Avereld was a bank cashier and also had ARP work as a telephone supervisor, Lavinia was in the WVS, helping at a hospital depot. They had previously lived at Salumin across the road. Living with them were their daughters; Isobel, 28, and Marjorie, 25, a teacher; both had ARP work as auxiliary night telephonists. Living with them also was Elsie Parsons, a bookkeeper.

8 & 10 The Square were formerly The Firs, split into two houses when Abbey End was widened in 1935. In number 8, named Llandar, lived Lilly Randall, 70, widow of former tannery owner Charles, and her grandson Charles Ward, 19, a tanner’s apprentice. In number 10, much rebuilt but which retained the name The Firs, lived Captain Geoffrey Lawton Moss, 45, of the Royal Artillery and his wife Gladys, 56, who volunteered with the Red Cross.

More or less opposite number 6 was 11 Abbey End, Bendower, given its name by Dr Thomas Bourne in the 1880s and still a doctor’s surgery; it was now Dr Colin Harper’s house and surgery. Dr Harper, 39, lived there with his wife Constance, 38.

Next door, to the south, was a pair of semi-detached houses built just before the Great War, 9 The Roseary and 7 Salumin. At The Roseary lived Alec Robertson, 52, a printer, his wife Mabel, 51, and five children including Alec jnr, a print machine operator, and Carl, 9, who was at school. Alec’s father Charles had been the publisher of the Kenilworth Advertiser in the 1880s and 1890s.
Alec ran Robertson & Sons print firm from his cellar.
Living at Salumin was Standard Motors invoice clerk John Morris, and his wife Lily, both aged 45. John was also a first aider and volunteer driver.

3 & 5 Abbey End seem to have had a combined shop front for Smith & Millar, drapers, but behind it the dwellings were quite separate. At number 5 lived George Webb, 62, and his wife Nellie, 58; George was a steel bar cutter. Isabella Smith, 60, lived at number 3, and possibly so too Annie Miller, 42.

At 1 Abbey End were Oscar and Winifred Lancellotte. Oscar, 49, worked at the Standard Motor Company as a storekeeper and progress clerk, whilst Winifred ran a tobacconist, confectionary and tea room at the front of the house.

Next came 3 The Square, The Globe Hotel.

There is a little uncertainty over the next properties, just south of The Globe Hotel. In 1939 Directories, A & F Hanson, music dealers, and Daniels, Trustam & Ward Dentists are recorded without a number for their premises. These are not listed in the 1939 register; they were probably business premises only with no residents and at least partially in the yard behind the properties.
Number 5 The Square, was Gilbert Morgan, 57, and his wife Edith, 59, who ran an off licence; Abraham Foster, 32, a stenographer was lodging with them. Number 7 was also a business premises only, A J Cooke, grocer.

Details are taken from the 1939 register, Census returns and Directories.