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22 Hooper Street

Fancy drapery, toys and hardware

22 Hooper Street is a former shop at the corner of Ainsworth Street, at the end of Leeds Terrace. It was completed by 1881.


The first residents were Edward and Susan Baker and their nine children; Edward worked on the railways as a truck lifter. In total they had twelve children; the two eldest had left home by 1881 and one more daughter was born in 1883. Like all the houses in Leeds Terrace, number 22 had just three bedrooms and two living rooms.


In 1891 the inhabitants were Elisha and Hannah Johnson and their five children. Elisha was a railway guard, and later moved to March to work as a level crossing keeper – a job that provided a cottage, ideal for a growing family.

1901 and 1911

In 1901 and 1911 the head of household was Sarah Scarr. Sarah was born in Cambridge 1856, the youngest child and only daughter of Samuel, a barber, and his wife Hannah. Her eldest brother Samuel, a joiner, lost his wife to smallpox, and Sarah took on the role of surrogate mother to her young nieces Eleanor and Charlotte. She lived with Samuel’s family for many years and never married.

In 1901 she was running a drapery and dressmaking shop at 22 Hooper Street, with Eleanor as her boarder and co-worker. In 1911 she lived there alone, and the shop is described as selling fancy drapery, toys and hardware. She is listed as ‘Miss Sarah Scarr, draper’ in trade directories. The large window facing Ainsworth Street may have been installed for her shop.

Sarah died in 1926 and was buried in Mill Road Cemetery.


In 1939 the residents were Florence Wright (widow, retired) and Elsie Wright (married, housewife), along with a child. With currently available records, it is not clear how they were related (mother/daughter-in-law?), or whether there is a connection to John Wright who lived at the coal wharf opposite.


UK census records (1841 to 1911), General Register Office birth, marriage and death indexes (1837 onwards), the 1939 England and Wales Register, Kelly’s Directory of Cambridgeshire (1916), and Friends of Mill Road Cemetery.


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