Wembley, 5 Hooper Street
A house with a workshop used by a dairyman, a furniture dealer, a fish merchant and a master plumber
Wembley, 5 Hooper Street, is a large detached house built around 1881, and now divided into flats. Its immediate neighbours are #3 (Jubilee House) and #6. Behind the house there was once a workshop, now replaced by modern houses.
It first appears as #5 in the 1901 census, but it may be the house listed as #3 in the 1891 census: see notes below. NB We are currently in lockdown, and I hope to be able to resolve some of these mysteries once libraries re-open!
3 Hooper Street, 1883 and 1891
In the Kelly’s Directory of 1883, under the heading “Dairymen and cowkeepers”, Henry Hymus was listed as living at 3 Hooper Street. Just two years earlier, in the 1881 census, he lived at 6 Hooper Street. The 1881 census indicates that the plot between #6 and #2 (the number then used for Jubilee House) was a building site: it is marked “1B”, where B = “building”. It’s possible that the newly finished house was initially called #3 but later became #5.
In the 1891 census, Henry’s son George Himus lived at #3, with his wife Sarah, their two young children Henry and Jessie, and Sarah’s brother William Banyard, a draper’s assistant. George was a carpenter and joiner by training, but in 1891 he was also working as a dairy man like his father. The workshops behind the house may have been built for the dairy business.
By 1901 the house was called #5, and the inhabitants were Charles Sharpe, his wife Mary, and nine children, including twins May and Ethel; they were to have twelve children in total. Charles was a furniture dealer running his business from home, and he probably used the workshops behind the house.
In 1891 the family had been living in Ely. All the children attended school except for 11 year-old Jessie: by her name in the census record are the words “school mistress refused to have her”.
By 1911 Charles Sharpe had moved his family to Newmarket Road, but Kelly’s Directory of 1916 still lists the business at 5 Hooper Street, possibly indicating that he retained some use of the premises behind the house.
The inhabitants were John Parkes, his wife Mabel, their young son Leonard, and a lodger, Thomas Hague. John Parkes was a fish merchant, and Thomas Hague – a fish hawker – was presumably his employee.
John was from Sleaford but brought up in Boston, Lincolnshire, where he met Mabel. His father was a trawlerman, and had been away at sea during the 1901 census.
The inhabitants were Arthur Allebone, his wife Kate, and five sons and daughters. Arthur was a master plumber, and two of his adult sons worked in the family business. He may have let out part of the business premises, as the 1935 Spalding’s Directory lists J. P. Harper as also using the workshop.
Arthur, Kate and two of their sons were still living at the house in the 1950s, and an Arthur Allebone (possibly the elder son) was living there in 1966. Arthur Allebone senior died in 1973.
UK census records (1841 to 1911), General Register Office birth, marriage and death indexes (1837 onwards), the 1939 England and Wales Register, and electoral registers.