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Building On Cambridge St


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The current building seems to have been built in 1880 by the Smith Bros, ivory dealers, and from the outset was called the Albert Works. The Smiths originally had the ground floor and rented the rest out to the Brook Brothers who were silver platers.  The Smith Brothers partnership had been dissolved in 1864 (Thomas and Ann, his sister in law, Ivory, Pearl and Tortoise-shell Cutters and Dealers based at the Washington Works).  The Smith Brothers ivory dealing business continued at the Washington Works until late 1880 when they moved into their newly built premises on Cambridge Street.  Just over a year later it suffered from a fire, The Independent referred to the premises as the Albert Works while mysteriously the Telegraph called them the Helmet Works.

So was the inscribed keystone re-used from the building that was on the plot previously - Edward Linley, Sheep Shear Manufacturer? See the 1884 newspaper article below.

John Linley, Master Cutler in 1797 was a scissorsmith based at Spring Street, so possibly can be eliminated.

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An advert for the sale of Linley's premises in 1857. It appears that the Smith Brothers of Washington Works bought the premises, as in April 1859 they advertised that "TO LET and may be entered upon on and after the 26th day of April next, the PREMISES situated on Coalpit-lane now in the occupation of Mr Edward Linley, Sheep Shear Manufacturer - For further Particulars inquire of SMITH BROTHERS, Washington Works" :

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A letter possibly written by William Topham, who made the sketches of old Coal Pit Lane:

85134729_CambridgeStreetoldhouses1876.png.170297a13f49c08916eae3e8bb0ead91.png

Edward Linley died aged 65 at St Mary's Road on 2nd December 1879.

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The Linley family were at Coalpit Lane in 1841:

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On 15/06/2011 at 21:18, RichardB said:

 

 ... just a thought; also much before about 1852 we're looking for Coalpit Lane and not Cambridge Street ...

 

Am I correct with 1852 ?

The answer is that Coalpit lane was changed to Cambridge street in 1863 although there had been mutterings about changing it for some years previously.  Some relevant correspondence from the newspapers is below.  It appears that all the owners of property in the lane (apart from a handful who could not be contacted) were in favour of changing the name, as it gave a poor impression of their business's to outsiders.  Robert Eadon Leader (historian and publisher of the Independent) was against the change and suggested changing the name to Coalpit street as a compromise.  What also comes out of the correspondence is that although the laying of the Crimea Monument foundation stone by the Duke of Cambridge on 21st October 1857 triggered the requests for a name change, the monument was only completed six years later, in October 1863.

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Note how quickly the change in name was taken up by residents, some later street name changes took years for acceptance.

890604302_CoalPitLane1863_6.png.bf247f6d4e007b3b3687314596620a89.png

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With regard to the name “ Cambridge Street” I would love to see the old street names re-instated with their original spellings.

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The reference to "uninhabited moors" may well be connected to the former mines on the south side of the Porter Valley up near Ringinglow.

As for the mines in the city centre, I was told that when the builders were digging the foundations for Chesham House on Charter Row, they found coal and had to apply for a licence to extract it.

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