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15 Milford Street

A railway fireman, a bricklayer, and a grocer

15 Milford Street is one of a terrace of four houses on the north side of the street, and built in the 1870s. In trade directories up to 1935 it is referred to as Tacolnestone Terrace. There was no entry for 15 Milford Street in the 1881 census, but there were entries for its three neighbours.

1891 census

Walter Sussum, head, 28, engine fireman, b. Cambridge
Cora Sussum, wife, 21, b. Ely, Cambridgeshire

Walter Sussum later became an engine driver for Great Eastern Railway.  He and Cora were to have six children.

1901 census

William Nichols, head, 70, bricklayer, b. Norwich, Norfolk
Sarah Nichols, wife, 69, b. Norwich, Norfolk
Charlotte Nichols, daughter, 34, dressmaker, b. Norwich, Norfolk

At least three of the Nichols family’s sons, Walter, Alfred and Arthur, had moved from Norfolk to Cambridge to find work as bricklayers. In 1901 they were living in Sedgwick Street (Walter), Ross Street (Alfred) and at 160 Sturton Street (Arthur). In 1911 William Nichols, now a widower, and Charlotte were living with Arthur and his family at 19 Milford Street.

Charlotte Nichols lived in Milford Street for about four decades. In 1918 she married neighbour and widower Jehu (John) Patten of 1 & 2 Milford Street, and they set up home at 8 Milford Street; Charlotte was still living there in 1939. The Patten and Nichols families were linked by marriage twice: Charlotte’s nephew Edward Nichols (Walter’s son) married Jehu Patten’s daughter Mary.

1911 census

Phillip Pettit, head, 58, private means, b. Greensted near Ongar, Essex
Mary Ann Pettit, wife, 53, b. Sutton, Surrey, deaf since age 40
Married 20 years

1921 census

Mary Ann Pettit, widow, 63, home duties, b. Sutton, Surrey
Catherine Mary Curtis, widow, 51, dress maker, own account, b. Cambridge

1939 England and Wales register

Fred Stone, 27 Jan 1914, married, grocer’s assistant
Elsie M Stone, 6 Feb 1916, married, unpaid domestic duties


UK census records (1841 to 1921), General Register Office birth, marriage and death indexes (1837 onwards), the 1939 England and Wales Register, and electoral registers.


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