High Street Property Details

Number 32 High Street is presently a Nail Bar.  On 27th September 1984, together with No 34 High Street, the building was given a Grade II listing by English Heritage.    They described the building as 'House and shop Mid C19 terrace.  Painted brick.  Plain tile roof with central red brick ridge chimney stack. 2 storeys, 4 1st floor glazing bar casements, 3 lights each.  Circa 1965 ground floor shop on N. Rear elevation has original weatherboarding and a lean-to addition at the N.'

Over the past 100 years and more it has been used for a range of businesses.

In 1890, William Allson, a watchmaker, his wife Hannah and son William, aged 12,  lived there: they had all been born in Wheathampstead. The 1901 census records Edwin George Worsley, 25 years old, watchmaker and jeweller, was working here. He  used it as purely a shop as he lived in Luton with his aged parents, Joseph and Ruth. By 1907 William Jackson, draper, worked and lived here as a tenant. The property was owned by George Simons, a local butcher. Sadly William had died by 1911: in the  census it records that  Amy, William’s widow, continued on with the business as milliners and drapers.  She had left, though, by 1912 as an entry in Kelly’s Directories indicates that Wheathampstead-born Arthur Matthews, aged 29, a harness maker, was working here, but living on The Hill with his parents, Alfred (born in Breachwood Green) and Ann (born in Wheathampstead).  Mr Matthews stayed working here until at least 1930. An advertisement in the Village Fair programme for 1933 indicates that the business had changed hands and the property was now a fishmonge run by Henry Stubbs.  In the advertisement Henry stated that he was a fishmonger selling ‘wet and dry’, so we can assume that fresh fish was being brought to the village on the train. 

Henry continued selling fish until 1949 when his son-in-law Reginald Field took over: he had married Henry Stubbs' daughter Connie and continued as fishmonger until 1964.   The business was then taken over by F.R. Arnold who extended it into No 34 High Street.  After he left, the premises were used by an assortment  of kitchen showrooms using both 32 and 34 High Street.

By August 1988 the premises were under new ownership as the Village Vintners. By 1989 it was Village Videos.  In 2013 it became a Nail Bar (manicures etc) run by Rebecca  Clark, a young woman who also opened another salon in the nearby village of  Welwyn.

Researcher:  Jacky Edwards

April 2020 update
The premises are now occupied by The Barbers Yard, a men's hairdresser.
Census' 1891, 1901, 1911
Kelly's Directories 1912
Village Fair programme 1933

Property Images

past & present images for this property

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