Lumby’s Terrace, Water Street

Lumby's Terrace, Water Street
The first dwellings were built here in the first half of the 19th century on land acquired by Moses Lumby, a butcher of St Martins parish. His son added more, until in the 1850s there were two rows of cottages, 26 in all. In 1911 they were all fully occupied. Most had at least one member in the armed forces during WWI, many of them young boys. In the 1950s the houses on the eastern side of the yard were demolished and the opposite row modernised.
It may be significant that so many of these young boys had little to anticipate in the way of employment. In 1911, of the total of 67, 35 were still at elementary school. Of the remainder, only a handful had a job with any prospects, 5 as apprentices (2 in their father’s business), 1 as a junior clerk and 1 a GPO telegraph boy. Four had labouring jobs, 3 in a foundry and 1 in a brewery. The rest took what they could. 6 were employed in private houses as servants or stable boys, 8 worked as errand boys or delivered newspapers and 6 were unemployed. Joining the army and fighting for King and country was an attractive alternative for most of them. Those who returned home after the war must have hoped for better things.

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