Capturing Cambridge
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6 Hooper Street

A house with a workshop used by a dairyman, blacksmiths and car mechanics

6 Hooper Street, also called 1 Belgrave Terrace, was built in the 1870s. Behind the house there was once a workshop and yard, now  converted into a house. Within recent decades it was used by a car mechanic for bodywork and welding.


Henry Hymus, 61, dairy man, b. Horseheath, Cambridgeshire
Elizabeth Hymus, 56, b. Hundon, Suffolk
Rachel Hymus, 22, dressmaker, b. Balsham, Cambridgeshire
Lucy Hymus, 18, dressmaker, b. Needham Market, Suffolk

Henry Hymus had previously been a miller, and the family’s address in 1871 had been the Old Mill, Hitcham, Suffolk.

In the Kelly’s Directory of 1883, Henry Hymus was listed under the heading “Dairymen and cowkeepers”, as was his neighbour at no. 8, Jonathan Dring. Henry’s address in 1883 was given as 3 Hooper Street; this is presumably the house next door (now no. 5), which was under construction in 1881.


F [Frederick] J Smith, 25, blacksmith, b. Cottenham, Cambridgeshire
Mary A Smith, 23, b. Haddenham, Cambridgeshire
Elsie Smith, 4 months, b. Walthamstow, London

Appropriately, Frederick Smith was a blacksmith, and it is possible he used the workshop space behind the house.


Jabez Cornwell, 46, coal merchant’s manager, b. Horseheath, Cambridgeshire
Elizabeth Cornwell, 48, b. West Wratting, Cambridgeshire
Florence Cornwell, 16, mantle maker and tailor, b. Cambridge

Jabez was a coal merchant’s manager, and it is likely he worked at Coote & Warren’s coalyard in Hooper Street. In 1891 the family had lived at 125 Hills Road, where Jabez worked at Beale’s coalyard.


David Moden, 45, farrier and general smith, b. Cherry Hinton, Cambridgeshire
Laura Moden, 44, b. Whittlesford, Cambridgeshire
Sidney Moden, 24, farrier and general smith, b. Cherry Hinton, Cambridgeshire
Jane Moden, 19, domestic servant, b. Cherry Hinton, Cambridgeshire
Agnes Moden, 11, at school, b. Cherry Hinton, Cambridgeshire
Matilda Moden, 8, at school, b. Cherry Hinton, Cambridgeshire
25 years married, 6 children

David and Sidney Moden were farriers/blacksmiths running their own business, and again it is likely they used the workshop behind the house. David and Laura retired to Cherry Hinton and were still living there in 1939.


In 1939 the inhabitants were motor mechanic Herbert Charles Finbow and his wife Connie and their children. Herbert was born in 1906 and probably lived at 6 Hooper Street as early as 1920, when his parents William and Annie were listed there in the electoral register. In 1911 the family lived at 41 Kingston Street, and William was working as a cab driver. At that time ‘cab’ might still have meant a horse-drawn cab, but the workshop at 6 Hooper Street made it possible to experiment with the new technology of motor cars. The workshop remained a motor mechanic’s workshop until recent decades.


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.


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