Burning questions after old marriage certificate found

Oxford Terrace, West Street, Dunstable
Oxford Terrace, West Street, Dunstable

Work last month on replacing a fireplace in Mayfield Road, Dunstable, has led to a link with this vanished row of cottages in West Street.

At the back of the old fireplace Chris and Anne Ashcroft found the remnants of a marriage certificate, which had probably slipped down behind their mantelpiece many years ago.

It recorded the wedding of Frederick King, a limeburner from Totternhoe, and Lizzie Cook, a bonnet sewer of Dunstable, who were married at the Wesleyan Chapel in Luton on April 20 1876.

The 1881 census shows them living at 4 Oxford Terrace in Dunstable.

The terrace, which was demolished in May 1973, once stood in West Street close to what is now the entrance to the Roman Catholic Church.

Significantly, a couple named Bert and Annie King were members of the congregation at St Augustine’s Church on Downside in 1969 and the town street directory for 1970 records an A.I. King living at the Mayfield Road bungalow, just a short distance from the church.

It seems likely that he was a descendant of Frederick and Lizzie King.

The discovery has created huge interest on a Facebook site, Dunstable past and present, run by Sue Gray, who researched the census details.

> Yesteryear is compiled by John Buckledee, chairman of Dunstable and District Local History Society.