Sunday, September 14, 2008
I hadn't realized until I tried to track back the history of some of the shops that the house-numbering system of the 19th century was somewhat different to what we were used to in the 20th. The convention, still used today, was that streets were numbered odd on the left hand side and even on the right, except for the Stratford Road which was numbered consecutively on one side, for an obvious reason. This convention is established by the 1901 census.
However, the 1891 Census numbers the Stratford Road from 1 in the west, so that house number 44, then at the edge of town, becomes number 1, moving upwards as the houses move eastwards. The system of numbering the little streets appears to date from the early days of the town where each house was assigned a number by the L&NWR regardless of which street it was on, so there is a 610 Ledsam Street and a 612 Creed Street; other houses in Ledsam Street are numbered in the 500s and 400s. If you go back to the early censuses you can find houses in the earlier Garnet and Walker Streets numbered in lower hundreds.