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53 Gwydir Street

History of 53 Gwydir Street


Herbert Watson, head, 25, book agent, b Norfolk

Sarah, wife, 25, b Norwich

Mary A Bulton, 14, domestic servant, b Bottisham


Thomas Poole, head, 42, railway porter, b Gloucs

Sophia, wife, 7, b Suffolk

Herbert, son, 10, scholar, b Cambridge

Florence K, daughter, 3, scholar, b Cambridge


Frank J Pettit, 36, carpenter and joiner, b Bottisham

Alice, 31, b Shelford

Harold F, 6, b Cambridge

Winifred A, 5, b Cambridge

Evelyn I, 2, b Cambridge


Frank Josiah Petit, 46, carpenter and joiner, b Bottisham

Alice, 41, b Little Shelford

Harold Frank, 16, clerk, b Cambridge

Winifred Alice, 15, dressmaker, b Cambridge

Ralph Earnest, 5, b Cambridge


Frank Josiah Pettitt, joiner


Mrs E A Nichols


T Brzosko

The Brzosko family had previously lived at 46 South Street. When Frank Brzosko was interviewed in 2024 he described how the family later moved, by 1965, to 53 Gwydir Street. Frank’s father Theodor Stefan had an Austin Anglia there in the 1960s. This house backed on to Mill Road cemetery. Frank and friends used to play in the cemetery, sometimes scaring people at night and annoying the warden. He remembers finding the grave of a ship’s surgeon who died in 1797. He also used to go train spotting and  play with his friends in the railway sidings in Devonshire Road. They used to throw coke lumps at the walls on the other side of the tracks and sometimes put stones on the rails to see what passing trains would do to them. Frank and his friends would play football on Parker’s Piece; the space would be full of lots of informal matches going on at the same time. Across the road from 53 Gwydir Street was Pordages the vegetable merchants; the site was ideal for the boys to play football with the wooden crates as goals.

Garden at 53 Gwydir Street facing on to cemetary

Frank, his brother and Kevin at 53 Gwydir St.

Frank and Austin Anglia c.1965, Gwydir Street

Alma Brzosko at Gwydir Street

Frank and his brother at Gwydir Street

Frank and his mother in garden, Gwydir Street

Alma Brzosko and sons

After St Bede’s Frank worked as a cost clerk for Ridgeon’s in Sturton Street. Then he moved to Ben Haywards in Kings Parade as a cycle technician for a year and a half. This was hard work and they had a deadline of 5pm each day to get all the bicycles ready for collection. He particularly remembers his hardworking colleague Sam. There then followed a time at Boots in Petty Cury, working as a porter, before he finally trained as a mental health nurse at the Ida Darwin. After his training he moved to further training in Sheffield and then worked in Birmingham, Stoke and Solihull.

Alma Brzosko

Stefan Brzosko

Frank Brzosko at 53 Gwydir Street

Frank returned to Cambridge at the time of his mother’s death in 1986. He now lives in Littleport.


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