15 Hooper Street
A boiler maker, a police constable and a tobacconist
15 Hooper Street is at the western end of Leeds Terrace.
Its first inhabitants were boiler maker James Walsh, from London, his wife Sarah, from Wiltshire, and their three children, Kate, James and Minnie. By 1891 the family had moved three doors along to no. 18.
1891 to 1911
The next residents were Charles Brown, his wife Charlotte and their children Horace, Nellie and Frederick. Charles was from Balsham and Charlotte (née Roope) was from Horseheath. In 1891 Charles was a police constable; his brother Sampson, also a police constable, was living next door at no. 16. By 1901, aged 48, Charles had retired, but he was still working: in Kelly’s Directories for 1904 and 1916 he is listed as ‘Chas Brown, tobacconist’. In the 1911 census his official occupation was as a library cleaner, possibly at Mill Road Library. His son Horace, still at home in 1911, gave his occupation as a tobacconist.
In 1939 the house was inhabited by two elderly widows, Harriet Ivett and Emily Woollard. Harriet and Emily were cousins, both with the maiden name Roope; Harriet was the niece of Charlotte Brown, so the house stayed in the same family for about 50 years.
UK census records (1841 to 1911), General Register Office birth, marriage and death indexes (1837 onwards), the 1939 England and Wales Register, electoral registers, and Kelly’s Directory of Cambridgeshire (from 1879).
When wallpaper was stripped in 1995, faint traces of an old decorative scheme were visible.