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31 Thompson's Lane

31 Thompson’s Lane, Clerk’s House, Cambridge Tapestry Company

History of 31 Thompson's Lane

1959 Royal Commission on Historical Monuments Survey of Cambridge: on the E it has a continuation of the plinth of no.30, but a straight joint above between the two houses suggests different building phases; general stylistic similarities and the fact that the N half at least of no.31 was originally an annexe of no.30, which it still is, suggest that the lapse between the two phases was short…Inside the cellars have five parallel brick barrel vaults running E to W and a passage on the W.

1841 empty

1851 Joseph Oliver, clerk and traveller

1859 at the time of the auction of the Foster family estate, including  the brewery and nos. 30 and 29 Thompson’s Lane, no. 31 was lived in by a Mr Oliver and known as the Clerk’s House.


Sarah Mills née Parkinson, 33, college servant, b Longstanton

Alice E, 3 mos, b Cambridge

Eliza A Clark, 16, servant, b Hilbrow

In 1881 Henry E Mills was staying at St John’s College

Sarah’s sister Mary Parkinson was housemaid to the Beales family who were living at 29 Thompson’s Lane in 1871.


Henry E Mills, 43, college porter, b Sussex

Sarah, 43, b Longstanton

Alice, 10, b Cambridge

Edward P, 8, b Cambridge

Hilda E, 6, b Cambridge

Ellen M, 10 mos, b Cambridge

Clara E Greaves, 20, servant, b Cottenham


Henry E Mills, 53, college porter,


Edward P, 18, apprentice,

Hilda, 16,

Ellen M, 10,


Henry Edward Mills, 63, college porter


Edward Parkinson Mills, 28, grocers assistant

Ellen Maud Mills, 20,


Henry E Mills, college porter

Edward Parkinson Mills


Arthur and Beryl Baldry and their daughter Janet lived here. This photo was taken around 1942. Janet remembered the cellar of 31 being used as an air raid shelter for people on Thompson’s Lane. In 1944 a bomb landed nearby (3 St Clements Garden) and two people were killed.

1939 census:

Arthur B Baldry, b 1902, manager Cambridge Tapestry Company

Beryl E, b 1904


Baldry family 31 Thompson’s Lane

The Cambridge Tapestry  Company had showroom in the main house at no.30; the photo below is of the workshop immediately behind 30-31 Thompson’s Lane.

Cambridge Tapestry Company

The Cambridge Tapestry Company web site, says that ‘curiously, in 1943 part of the garage premises at the rear of Thompson’s Lane, Cambridge, with entrance to Quayside, was sublet to the ‘Secretary of State for air’ as part of the war effort.’ Janet Baldry recalls that the workshops were converted during WWII as part of the war effort; the looms were dismantled to make room for machines that made metal rivets.

Rivets manufactured at 31 Thompson’s Lane

Cambridge Tapestry Company product at Museum of Cambridge


Magdalene College Hostel


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