History of 69 Gwydir Street

Joseph Start, a hosier or linen draper, lived in 69 Gwydir St in 1883 (see Kelly directory) and possibly in 1879 as well (see Post Office directory).

Mrs Ellen Wilson, a haberdasher, lived in 69 Gwydir St in 1892 (see Kelly directory)

Walter Meadows, a confectioner, lived in 69 Gwydir St in 1913 (see Spaldings directory) and 1916 (see Kelly directory)

From Mike Petty's column "Memories" (Feb 19, 2003) in the Cambridge Evening News.

Eileen Devonport (nee Nightingale) lived at number 69 Gwydir Street from 1962-1972 in a house that had formerly been a shop; there was no bathroom and the loo was outside. She recalls: "There was no back entrance so when the coalman came he had to carry the sacks of coal right through the house to the back coal room. More than once I locked myself out and had to go round my neighbours’ and climb over the cemetery wall, which ran along the bottom of the gardens, and climb back over again into my own garden. I remember Mr Mills and Mr Cockell’s grocery shops, and sometimes if I needed quite a lot of shopping I would leave a list with Mr Cockell who would bring it down to me.

"Although it was the sixties I didn’t have a washing machine or a fridge, so in the summer the back windowsill was used to keep milk etc cool, and the washing was done by hand. Our rent was £2 a week in 1962 and rose to £4 a week in 1972. Both my children were born whilst at Gwydir Street and they often talk about how they had a bath in a tin bath in front of the fire. I remember having to boil umpteen kettles and saucepans of water to fill it.

"But once a week I would take them to the Baths (at the Bath House) where a Mrs Canham, who also lived in Gwydir Street, used to hand out the towels and soap, and I can remember having to call out ‘it’s too hot’ or ‘it’s too cold’."

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