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Clyde House, 15A Milford Street

A master builder, a retired publican, and a radio coil assembler

Clyde House is an ‘infill’ house on the north side of Milford Street, built in the early 1900s. It is in a very different style to the terraces on each side, built with red brick, a bay window and a gable facing the street.

1911 census

Arthur Eliot Bennett, head, 29, builder, b. Cambridge
Lily Bennett, wife, 29, b. Petworth, Sussex
Audrey Kathleen Bennett, daughter, 2, b. Cambridge
Ronald Arthur Bennett, son, 10 months, b. Cambridge
Blanche Johnson, servant, 15, general servant (domestic), b. Cambridge
Married 3 years, 2 children

Arthur Bennett was a son of master builder John Robert Bennett, who lived at 3 Gwydir Street and ran his business from 97 Catharine Street (listed in Kelly’s directories). At least four of Arthur’s siblings became school teachers, and his wife Lily, daughter of a teacher, had also worked as an art teacher.

Arthur and his youngest brother Harry trained as carpenters/joiners, and became master builders like their father. The electoral register for Cambridge shows that by 1913 – when Harry was still living with his parents in Gwydir Street – they and an elder brother, John, were speculating in property in Cambridge, buying undeveloped house plots in Romsey Town and building houses on them. This may be the origin of Clyde House itself.

By 1921 Arthur and his family were living at 55 St Barnabas Road, and by 1930 at 297 Hills Road. His son Ronald also joined the firm, working as an architectural draughtsman in 1939.

1921 census

David Leonard Harris, head, 36, shop manager, Maypole Dairy, Petty Cury, b. Broomfield, Chelmsford
Matilda Beatrice Harris, wife, 32, home duties, b. Pimlico, London
Leonard David Harris, son, 7, b. Cambridge
Rita Joye Harris, daughter, 3, b. Cambridge

1939 England and Wales register

Harvey Halls, 22 Aug 1883, married, retired publican
Mary Halls, 3 Nov 1884, married, unpaid domestic duties
Harvey A Halls, 7 Jun 1910, married, electrician general
Leonard D Northfield, 1 Oct 1912, single, electric-plater metal finisher
Leonard Northfield, 8 Jul 1915, single, hardware salesman driver
Emily D Northfield, 27 Aug 1915, single, radio coil assembler

Harvey Halls had been publican of the Wheelwright’s Arms (a.k.a. the Smiths’ and Wheelwrights’ Arms) on East Road. He had moved into the pub on marriage to his first wife Edith in 1909, when her mother Athelinda Loker was the publican. Before and after serving in the Border Regiment in the First World War, Harvey managed the pub on Athelinda’s behalf until 1920, when she transferred the licence to him shortly before her death aged 70 (Cambridge Daily News, 6 March 1920, page 3, and 27 August 1920, page 3).

Harvey A Halls was his son by his first marriage, and Leonard D Northfield and Emily D Northfield were children of Mary Halls by her first marriage. The younger Leonard is something of a mystery; on his birth certificate his mother’s maiden name was registered as Northfield, suggesting that he was an illegitimate relative (a nephew?) of Mary’s first husband.

Harvey Halls senior died in 1955, but his son Harvey was living at 15A Milford Street until 1962.


UK census records (1841 to 1921), General Register Office birth, marriage and death indexes (1837 onwards), the 1939 England and Wales Register, electoral registers, Kelly’s and Spalding’s street directories, and local newspapers available via


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