Cuthbert Williams, 7 Alexandra Street
History of Alexandra Street
Alexandra Street used to run south east from Petty Cury and meet the junction of St Tibb’s Row and Post Office Terrace.
Josiah Chater describes in detail in his diary how the move of the Y.M.C.A. from St Edward’s Passage to Alexandra Street took place. It was decided to buy a piece of the Red Hart Inn estate behind Petty Cury. Its sale was advertised on behalf of Corpus Christi College. However, they then decided to try and buy off Richard Miller, the wine merchant, a freehold site nearby, on the corner of St Tibbs Row, the site of the old Brazen George Inn. By the end of November a price of £1,110 had been agreed and five guarantors found; by the end of December £1,400 had been raised in promises. Numerous fundraising events were organised – tea parties, lectures and excursions. In May 1869 a Rose Show was held in the garden of G E Foster’s house in Brooklands Avenue.
One controversial event was a lecture given by “Professor Huxley, [Thomas Henry Huxley] an Atheist’ on science. Josiah received a letter of complaint from the Church of England Young Men’s Society; the lecture went ahead and raised £14 18s 8d.
The was a ceremony to mark the laying of the foundations stones on 31st March 1870. On 1st January 1871 Josiah wrote: After dinner went to our New Rooms in Alexandra Street. We had a splendid meeting – an opening address to the young men by Neville Goodman. About 300 were present.
See Enid Porter’s Article: The YMCA
(2) Cambridge Reform Building Company
Josiah Chater was appointed secretary of the company when it was formed in 1877 with the purpose of purchase or rental of lands in Cambridge; in particular they were to carry out a contract for the purchase of land in Green Street.
This office was given up quickly because it was too small and moved to 5 Alexandra Street. This proprrty was occupied by J Chater and Sons until the mid 1960s.
Noah Castle, 51, custodian, b Herts
Hannah, 48, b Herts
Sarah Clarke, mother in law, widow, 85, former cook, b Essex
Jane Brown, 22, servant, b Beds
(2) Tram Office
Mary A Salman, widow, 55, college servant, b Cambridge
Emma M A Salmon, 27, home help, b Linton
Frederick William, 23, college servant, b Cambridge
Henry, 20, counting house assistant, b Cambridge
Frank Upton, lodger, 24, undergraduate, b Notts
George Upton, visitor, 18, civil service clerk, b Notts
(3) printing Office locked up at night
(4) solicitor’s office locked up at night
Henry Langford, 45, commission agent, b Cambridge
Elizabeth, 51, b Cambridge
Harry, 24, miller’s labourer, b Cambridge
Mabel, 21, parlour maid, b Cambridge
Daisy, 17, bookbinder, b Cambridge
Joshua, 13, b Cambridge
Lydia Gates, 48, lodging house keeper, b Trumpington
William Charles Anable, 22, poulterer, b Bourn
Harriett M Harvey, widow, 48, lodging house keeper, b Cambridge
Frederick E E, 24, student, b Cambridge
Alice M, dressmaker, 22, b Cambridge
Lily C Clements, 20, servant, b Cambridge
(11): Mary Ann Harvey, 39, lodging house keeper, b Waterbeach
(9) – (3): uninhabited
Alice Maud O’Brien, 26 ladies hairdresser, b Leeds
Mary Mulliner, 15, hairdesser apprentice, b Cambridge
Herbert G Grounds, 39, custodian YMCA, b Cambridge
Beatrice A, 32, b London
Lily E, 12, b Chesterton
Dorothy M, 6, b Chesterton
Ernest William Gee, boarder, 18, sorting telegraph clerk. b London
Y.M.C.A. Alexandra Street
24.10.1902: The members of the Cambridge Y.M.C.A. celebrated their jubilee with a soiree in their rooms in Alexandra Street. 50 years ago the Church of England Young Men’s Society and the Sunday School Teachers’ Institute amalgamated, forming the Association. It settled in Rose Crescent. In 1853 it moved to larger premises at 5, Sidney Street, moving to Hobson Place in 1858 and then St Edward’s Passage. In 1870 the first stone was laid of their present building; it was completed a year later. To call the soiree a success is scarcely adequate; the visitors never had a dull moment from the time they entered the door until the National Anthem brought the evening to a close. (Cam. News)
1908: National Telephone Company exchange moved here from 12 Market Hill.
West Side, from south
YMCA c. 1925
Post Office Telephone Service
(4) C J Smart, solicitor
J Chater accountants
A B Chater, secretary Steam Laundry
Betram Chater, secretary First Cambs. Peers Economic Building Society
Miss Bishop, shorthand and typewriting offices
(6) Webb & Co, general printers
(7) Harry Slater, accountant
(7) R W Clarke, rent and debt collector
(7a) Alexandra Toilet Saloon
George Albert Wootten, solicitor
East Side, from north
Eastman’s butchers, side entrance
(8) Frederick Dale, brewer, wine and spirit merchant, Brewery, Gwydir Street
(9) Alexandra Chambers
(10) Jonathan Palmer, printer
(11) Miss M Harvey, University lodging house keeper
Messrs Chalk, auctioneers and estate agents
(12) Indian Tea Stores
C & P Hudson’s Breweries
Mrs L H Harvey, lodging house keeper
(13) Harry Colman, coachman
J Gillings, tailor
Mail Cart Entrance to Post Office
(14) Mrs M A Eaden, University lodging house keeper
Cambridge & District Bill Posting Co.
G W Goody, general shipping office
(15) Frank Searle, tailor and robe maker
There were premises numbered 1 – 7a on the west side, 8 – 15 on the east side.
8 Alexandra Street
1 YMCA / Post office writing room
3. Cambridge & Huntingdon Hospital Service Ass.
5. J Chater, accountants; R Chater Blows accountant; Walter Parr accountant; Cambs Peers Economic Building Society; Sturton Town Liberal Hall; Grove Trust Ltd.
6. F & Piggott, printers
7. W E pain, opticians; Boligkunst furniture dealers
7a. Hunt Dress Shops Ltd, costumier
8. Hang Chow restaurant; Henekeys Ltd wine merchants; Cambridge Chamber of Commerce; probation office for City and County
9. D B Cook, fruiterer
10. Robert Bell, auctioneer
11. City of Cambridge Rent Rebate Office; Edgar Hammond MA
12. E S Summers, poster writer: Summers was an heraldic artists business from 1926-1976. His Oliver typewriter no.5 was a high end product first produced in 1908.
Oliver No.5 typewriter (MoC)
12a. Bernard G Rose
12b. Mrs I McKechnie
13a. George Peck
14. Mrs A S R Riseley; Cambridge Central Aid Society; Citizen’s Advice Bureau; Cambs Old People’s Welfare Council
15. Burrows Sterndale solicitors
Nos. 2 and 5 with adjoining property demolished.