History of 23/25 Gwydir Street

The house numbers 23 and 25 Gwydir Street no longer exist.

In the Spalding directory of 1904, Philip Banyard, a builder, lived in 23 Gwydir St and Zacchaeus Peel lived in 23 Gwydir St.

In the Spalding directory of 1913, Philip Banyard was still at number 23 and David Leach, hosier's assistant, was at number 25.

In the Kelly directory of 1916, Harry Edmund Ambrose, a builder, is at number 23. There is nothing for number 25 (this directory doesn't mention every house).


Jo Burns emailed me in 2017.

My nana and her mother lived at no:23 gwydir street from around 1930. My nana was called Jean Florence Thurston and her mother was called Ethel Thurston. I know the house they lived in was a 10 roomed house that housed quite a few American soldiers. My nana told us that the house belonged to someone who worked within a bank and my nana's mother rented the house from him, until he sold it, something to do with the building behind. I have a photo of my nana and grandad standing on the doorstep of what I've been told was 23 Gwydir Street. My grandad was Ivan Basil Davies and he originally grew up in Vicarage Terrace.


Albert Biggs emailed me in 2009. He lived at 29 Gwydir Street, where he was born in 1925.

One of your correspondents mentioned the factory that was behind nos 25 to probably no 35. When I first lived there  (1925-1950) the factory was Ambroses and they were manufacturing joiners producing all kinds of items for house constuction. In those days the machinery was powered by a single stroke engine powered by town gas and the thump thump thump of the engine was part of daily life. The power was conveyed to the various machines by belt and pulley. Some time at the beginning of the war the factory was taken over by the Simplex company which manufactured items for the dairy trade such as milking machines.


Leon emailed me in 2012.

I worked at Pye Spares Division for a few months in 1973. Mostly sorting Crystals for their radios located around the globe. Directly opposite the premises was a Cafe / Pub which we would religiously frequent on Friday lunchtimes; down the road not too far away another Pub .. The Dun Cow. A pint of Bitter at lunchtime was just 13 pence. The mature female staff would be predatory after only a few ales. Pye Spares Division was well known for its flirting 'lonely wives' and the place to be for a fling.. Women out numbered the few male workers. I remember the guy in charge was an ex Commander RN Sub Mariner. A strange mix of staff at that place, myself incl, 19 years of age ex RAF and happy to receive the extra attention!

The pub would be the Alexandra Arms. I'm not sure about the Dun Cow. There used to be the Durham Ox on Mill Road.


Satellite photo of Gwydir Enterprise Centre

When I first moved to Gwydir Street in 1979, the site was owned by Pye, a major Cambridge employer making radios, televisions and other electrical goods. They had premises all over Cambridge. It's now called the Gwydir Enterprise Centre, with over a dozen different organisations using the units for light industrial use and offices. There is a short road to the site, which is often used for turning vehicles as it is right by the bollards. The area which used to be numbers 23 and 25 Gwydir Street is only part of the site. It extends behind the houses on both sides and juts into the cemetery. See satellite photo from Google maps on the left.



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