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53 - 55 Fitzroy Street (north side) 1970 (MoC 34/92/70)

Fitzroy Street (North Side) (East)

History of Fitzroy Street North Side (East)


1864: Fitzroy Street committee (MoC)


104 Fitzroy Street, 1876

This was William Heffer’s first shop. The stock was initially very mixed: needles and cotton, envelopes, labels.


24 November 1877 Cambridge Chronicle: PROSTITUTION: Sarah Buttress of Compasses Passage was charged by William Heffer, Fitzroy Street, with importuning him for the purpose of prostituion in Regent Street at about quarter to eleven on Friday evening. Defendant was sentenced to 14 days hard labour.



William Heffer, 36, stationer, b Exning Suffolk

Mary, 44, b Balsham

Kate A, 14, assistant, b Cambridge

George H, 12, b Cambridge

Ernest W, 9, b Cambridge

Lucy, 7, b Cambridge

Emma L, 6, b Cambridge

Frank, 5, b Cambridge

Sidney, 3, b Cambridge

William Heffer had been living in 1871 at 10 Clement Place working as a groom. In 1861 he had been a groom, aged 19, at Paxton House, Little Paxton. Official records, including censuses state his birth place (1843) as Exning and the 1841 census lists his family, father Charles and mother Phoebe, living in Exning with their five children. Family tradition elsewhere considers the family came from Burwell.

After Clement Place, the Heffers moved to Ram Yard. He then became licensee of a pub in Burleigh Street. In his biography this is described as a pub opposite 104 Fitzroy Street, but that could only have been the Cherry Tree at 15 Fitzroy Street. In Burleigh Street the most likely pub would have been no.75, The Foresters. But in neither case can William Heffer’s name be found on any list of licensees.

William Heffer 1843 – 1928 by Sidney Heffer (1952)


The Vicar of St Andrew the Less had befriended William and arranged for him to take over 104 Fitzroy Street as a shop. The first few years were difficult but William’s work as a temperance campaigner and his work in Sunday School would have brought more clients. He also became a bulldog, a University policeman, walking the streets to ensure the University regulations were kept.

He managed to build the shop up into a centre for supplies not only to schools in Cambridge but also those in surrounding villages.


William Heffer opens a sub-postoffice.

Working Men’s Club

The Master of Peterhouse hosts a suffragist speaker at Cambridge Working Mens Club



William Heffer, 47, bookseller and stationer,

Mary, 55,

Kate A, 14, bookseller’s assistant,

George H, 22, banker’s clerk,

Ernest W, 19, bookseller’s assistant,

Lucy M, 17, bookseller’s assistant,

Emma L, 16,

Frank, 15,

Sidney, 13,


29.1.1892 Camb. Chronicle: STEALING A PACK OF PLAYING CARDS – Thomas Allen, 15, labourer, of 129 Lower York Street was charged with having stolen a pack of playing cards of the value 1s from the shop of Mr William Heffer, Fitzroy Street, on Saturday evening. The complainant said on Saturday night last he missed two packs of cards. He saw the prisoner in the shop and at the same time another boy came in for a half-penny stamp, for which purposes he had to go into another part of the shop. His suspicion being arouses by the other boy turning back for a second stamp, he looked towards the door and saw the prisoner’s hand come down from a shelf to his pocket. The boy denied having taken anything and the witness let him go, but went out immediately and brought the boy back. Whilst walking towards the shop the prisoner dropped a pack of cards on the pavement. PC Symonds gave evidence as to arresting the prisoner. The prisoner elected to be dealt with summarily and pleaded guilty. He was sentenced to 14 days imprisonment.

William Heffer

Mary Heffer


(103 – 104)

William Heffer, 57, bookseller and postmaster,

Mary, 65,

Kate A, 34, bookseller

George H, 32, bank clerk

Lucy M, 27, bookseller

Emma L, 26, hospital nurse

Frank, 25, bookseller

Sidney, 23, bookseller

Florrie West, servant, 21, b Cambridge

In 1896 William Heffer moved his shop to Petty Cury.

In 1911 the Heffer family were at 7 Mortimer Road



109 Alfred Suttle, shipping, emigration and rail agent [See Victoria Avenue west]

GN and GNER receiving office

108 Starr and Rignall, photographic artists and frame makers

108 Fitzroy Street, Ralph Starr – unknown subject (MoC15.41)

Starr and Rignall, unknown subject (MoC396/85)

Photo by Starr, 108 Fitzroy Street, subject unknown (MoC)

107 Moon and Co, drapers


105 Mrs Clara Still MP, provision stores

104 W and R Fletcher Ltd, butchers

Telegraph, Money Order and Post Office

103 W Heffer and Sons, stationers, printers

101 / 102 Frederick Morley, pawnbrokers; Arthur Kirbyshire, manager

Here is James Street

100 John Walker, drapers and outfitters

99: Florence Louisa Liles, hosier

98: Benjamin Liles, leather seller and bootmaker

William Ewart Liles

Christ Church Parish Rooms

Christchurch Institute (MoC12/60/69)

[In World War One a communal kitchen was opened here. It followed the initiative of ‘national kitchens’ which were opening across the country. Meals ranged in price from 4d to 1s and were on sale every day between 12 and 2pm and from 5.30 to 7.30 in the evening. By November 1918 the kitchen was selling 2,000 portions a day. See Barnwell at War (2018).]

Here is Church Street

97: Freeman Hardy and Willis, repair depot

96: Mrs M A White

95: Henry Foulger Hayward

94: Elijah Newman, bootmaker

93: John Robert Traylen, plumber

92: Frank Potter, builder

91: William James, printer

90: Skinner and Waldock, corn dealers; Richard Ison, manager

89: Edgar Smith, general shop

Here is Albert Street

88: London Central Meat CO; Robert Read, manager

88 1/2: J K Williams, grocer and provision dealer

87: William Cooper, hardware shop

Plantation Row:

  1. Mrs Smith
  2. John Pratt, labourer
  3. W S Whitehead, carriage painter
  4. Charles Squires, painter

86: Henry Ding, shoemaker

85: Frederick Campion

84: Mrs Green

83: F G Clark, shoemaker

82: Frederick Smith, rag merchant

[82 Fitzroy Street is described as a brothel in the 1850 court case involving the theft of a coat by Charles Collis]

81: John Smith, sweet stores

Here is Wellington Street

80: Frederick A Maddison, baker and corn dealer

79: James Wing

78a: Charles Clarke, vanman

77: Charles Rowling, bricklayer’s labourer

Chivers’ chicory factory

76: Henry Miller Langley

74 – 75: J Whitehead, fruiterer

73: T Fox, slater

72: John Bishop, cement worker

71: Mrs S Edwards

70: William Hunt, carter

68 – 69: Mrs Stokes, baker

68 – 69 [old numbering] Fitzroy Street (MoC 253/70

Here is Gloucester Place (later Severn Place)

Cambridge Working Men’s Club and Institute

64 – 74 Fitzroy Street, junction with Gold Street, 1939 (photo L Cobbett) (Cambridgeshire Collection)

47 – 57 Fitzroy Street, corner of Fitzroy and James Street, 1939 (photo L Cobbett) (Cambridgeshire Collection)



Fitzroy Street 45 – 41, 1971 (MoC 59/71)

(41) Suttle, tobacconists

(43) Henry’s ladies hairdressers

(43) Denture Repair Service

(45) Pauline’s Dress Shop, ladies outfitters

(47) Mrs A Wadham, confectioner

Mrs A E Tarrant

(49) Ernest E Griggs, fruiterer

(51) –

(53) J D’Arcy Penberthy, stationer and Post Office

(55-57) Fredrick Morley, pawnbrokers

1935 Cambridge Daily News

Monday was the busiest day for pawnbrokers as people returned the suits they had retrieve to wear for church on Sunday. (Vanishing Cambridge, Mike Petty)

59 Fitzroy Street, 1972 (MoC115/72)

Here is James Street

(59) Hire and Supply Ltd

(63) William John White, boarding

Christ Church Parish Rooms

Here is Christchurch Street

(71-73) Elliott & Langford, leather

(75) Thomas Crawford

(77) Frank Finnegan

(79) Mrs S Caldecoat

(81) Mrs P Hobbs

(83) Miss Mole

(85) James Langford

(87) Mrs V Turner, wardrobe dealer

(89) John Barnes

Here is Napier Street

(95) Harry L Whitehead

(95) William Whitehead, fruiterers

Here is Wellington Street

(133) British Thomson Houston Co, electrical engineers

(135 – 151) vacant

Here is Severn Place

(155) Mrs W Cook

Cambridge Working Men’s Club and Institute

95 Fitzroy Street, 1970 (MoC 249/70) between Napier and Wellington Streets.

59 – 61 Fitzroy Street c.1980 (MoC)

89 Fitzroy Street, 1970 (MoC1970)



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