The building at the end of Middle Row, facing The Square, appears to be quite modern, but in fact it dates back to the reign of King Charles II.
It was a well-known branch of Baxter's, the butchers, in recent times. But before that, the deeds list an enormous number of different businesses. For instance, a flax dresser was here in 1685. Daniel Fossey, a grocer, owned it in 1697. There was a shoemaker in 1775 and a wool merchant in 1851.
In that year, a German watch and clock maker named Joseph Kimich was living next door, at number 36. His premises became a public Dining Room run by James Bareham after the First World War and then a family restaurant run by Harry Menear. When war broke out again in 1939 the premises were taken over by the army as an office and a billet for soldiers.
Number 34 Middle Row was being used in the late 1800s for work connected with the hat industry, such as bonnet sewing or dying.
There was a fishmonger's at Number 32 Middle Row in the mid-1800s but by 1881 it was being used by a bootmaker named Thompson Smallwood.
The Singer Sewing Machine Company had a branch at number 30 from the early 1900s until the Second World War. The Singer logo remained visible on the walls of the building, both front and rear, for many years afterwards.
Text: John Buckledee of Dunstable and District Local History Society. ©
Design: David Turner.
Narration: Julie Foster of Dunstable Repertory Company.
Recording: David Hornsey.
Website developer: Joshua Buckledee.