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19 Milford Street

A bricklayer and a railway guard

19 Milford Street is one of a terrace of three houses on the north side of the street, built in the early 1900s.

1911 census

Arthur Nichols, head, 39, bricklayer, b. Norwich
Nellie Nichols, wife, 35, b. Cambridge
Reggie Nichols, son, 10, school, b. Cambridge
Ida Nichols, daughter, 4, b. Cambridge
William Nichols, father, 81, widower, b. Norwich
Charlotte Nichols, sister, 44, dressmaker, b. Norwich
Married 13 years, 2 children

Several members of the Nichols family had moved from Norfolk to Cambridge by 1900 to find work as bricklayers. In 1901 Arthur and Nellie had been living at 160 Sturton Street, while Arthur’s parents and sister Charlotte were at 15 Milford Street, and his brothers Walter and Alfred were in Sedgwick Street and Ross Street.

By the time of the 1939 England and Wales Register, Arthur and Nellie [Ellen] were living at 53 Gwydir Street. Arthur, now aged 68, is described in the record as ‘incapacitated’.

1921 census

Walter James Mallows, head, 57, wagon lifter and examiner, G E Railway Co, b. Comberton
Ann Elizabeth Mallows, wife, 53, home duties, b. Cambridge
Gertrude Annie Mallows, daughter, 31, clerk, A R C Knitting Co, Abbey Walk, b. Cambridge

1939 England and Wales register

William G Reeve, 26 Jul 1880, married, railway guard
Sarah Reeve, 1 Oct 1878, married, unpaid domestic
Constance E Reeve, 3 Mar 1907, single, incapacitated
Alec G Reeve, 7 May 1924, single, junior clerk (motor engine)

Constance Emily Reeve qualified as a midwife in Lewisham in 1931, and was registered as a nurse in King’s Lynn for several years. It is unclear why she was living with her parents in 1939, ‘incapacitated’. She died in 1941, aged just 34.

Trade directories from 1953 to 1975 list the occupant as Sydney F Christian. He was a baker and pie maker who had worked at the old bakehouse around the corner at 117a Sturton Street.


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

Syd Christian recounted his memories to Andy Laing of 117a Sturton Street in the 1980s.


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