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15 Hooper Street

A boiler maker, a police constable and a tobacconist

15 Hooper Street is at the western end of Leeds Terrace, and was built in the 1870s.

1881 census

James Walsh, 54, assistant boiler maker, b. London
Sarah Walsh, 46, b. Biddistone, Wiltshire
Kate Walsh, 18, b. Whilley, Wiltshire
James Walsh, 15, b. Biddistone, Wiltshire
Minnie Walsh, 12, b. London

According to the Cambridge Chronicle of 30 December 1887:
‘James Walsh, an elderly man, living in Hooper Street, fell down stairs at his house on Sunday, and as he appeared to be much hurt, he was removed to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, where it was found that he had sustained a severe scalp wound.’

1891 census

Charles Brown, 38, police constable, b. Balsham, Cambridgeshire
Charlott Brown, 37, b. Horseheath, Cambridgeshire
Horace P Brown, 9, scholar, b. Cambridge
Nellie M Brown, 7, scholar, b. Cambridge
Frederick C Brown, 5, scholar, b. Cambridge

1901 census

Charles Brown, 48, retired police constable, b. Cambridge
Charlotte Brown, 47, b. Cambridge
Horace Brown, 19, tobacconist, b. Cambridge
Frederick Brown, 16, b. Cambridge

1911 census

Charles Brown, 58, police pensioner, library cleaner, b. Balsham, Cambridgeshire
Charlotte Brown, 58, b. West Wratting, Cambridgeshire
Horace Brown, 29, tobacco dealer, b. Cambridge
4 years married, 4 children, 1 died

In 1891 Charles Brown was a police constable; his brother Sampson, also a police constable, was living next door at no. 16. In 1900 Charles retired on an annual pension of £51 (Cambridge Daily News, 17 May 1900), but he was still working: in Kelly’s Directories for 1904 and 1916 he is listed as ‘Chas Brown, tobacconist’. His son Horace was also a tobacconist, and they ran the business from home. In 1911 Charles was working as a library cleaner, possibly at Mill Road Library.

1939 England and Wales register

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.

The stairs of 15 Hooper Street, where James Walsh had an accident in 1887.

When wallpaper was stripped in 1995, faint traces of an old decorative scheme were visible.

Sources

UK census records (1841 to 1911), General Register Office birth, marriage and death indexes (1837 onwards), the 1939 England and Wales Register, electoral registers, Kelly’s Directory of Cambridgeshire (from 1879), and local newspapers available via www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk.

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