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8 Hooper Street

A dairyman, a dressmaker, a printer, and a tobacconist

8 Hooper Street, also called 3 Belgrave Terrace, was built in the 1870s.


The first inhabitants were the Dring family, who ran a dairy business. The only family member in residence on census night in 1881 was Mary Ann Dring, the wife of retired farmer Jonathan Nunn Dring. She had a friend visiting, Susannah Laughton (and her young son Arthur), and a tenant, widow Augusta Pearson.

Her husband Jonathan – absent that night – was born in 1820 in Warboys on the edge of the Fens. He and his brothers (John and Johnson, confusingly) were tenant farmers. In 1861 he had a farm in Over, and in 1871 he was in Parson Drove near Wisbech. He and Mary Ann had a daughter Celia, born 1867. In 1881 Celia was away boarding at a school at 12 The Crescent, Wisbech.

In the Kelly’s Directory of 1883, Jonathan Dring of 8 Hooper Street was listed under the heading “Dairymen and cowkeepers”, as was his neighbour Henry Hymus.

Celia Dring became a milliner and dressmaker, and by 1901 was running a dressmaking business in Kensington with three employees.

1891 and 1901

The next inhabitants were Samuel and Jane Bavey, their children Arthur, Eva, Jessie, Percy, Florence and (in 1901) Frederick and Horace, and Samuel’s widowed sister Alice Unwin. Samuel was a printer’s machine minder, and was born in Cambridge. His father Henry had worked for a printer’s warehouse and also as a bookbinder, and at least three of Samuel’s sons later worked in the printing industry. Jane was born in Bermondsey, London, but had moved to Cambridge as a child. Alice Unwin was a shop assistant in a china shop.

1911 to the 1960s

By 1911 the inhabitants were Harold Charles Gee, his wife Jessie, and a visitor, Jemima Burn. Harold was a tobacconist and confectioner, running his own business. His father Robert was a fairly prosperous corn merchant’s agent.

Harold Missen died in 1932, but Jessie is still listed in the electoral register for 8 Hooper Street until the early 1960s.


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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