CHANGES, RENOVATION AND UPDATING OF HOUSES
Houses were updated throughout their history to meet the needs and wishes of those who lived in them.
We know that in 1907, building work was done on no. 2. The plans were submitted on behalf of Mrs Armstrong, the owner, for a bay window in the front room, a new kitchen and a sash window in the living or back room. Interestingly this is the only sash window still remaining in Crow Lane.
We don't yet know when the sewers were put in, but it is likely that originally these houses may have had ash-pit closets with night soil workers to take away the contents. Plans for teh new outsid toilets at 17/19 Crow lane refers to the new sewer, but it is not known if this ws the first, or a replacement sewer. Tippler closets were common as the first flushing toilets and these were then replaced by the WCs with a tank above the toilet itself. (click here for description of 'tipplers')
As slop stone sinks were common in the victorian period we can assume that they must have been found in Crow Lane. None of the surveys in the 1950s & 1960s included a slop stone but we know that they were found in no. 27 in the 1940s and 1950s and a large slop stone was in room behind the shop of no.43/45 during a recent renovation
The bungalow ranges found in many houses must have been put in during the 1920s to 1940s to replace original the black cast iron cooking ranges
The style of coloured glass windows in no. 20 shows that these were put in around the 1930s. Also in there house there is an attic and as none of the other houses had one it is unlikely to be original.. In a more recent renovation a new stairs had to be constructed to the attic. This is because a bathroom has been put in where the first stairs were, so that the bottom steps are now underneath the bath and the rest go up through the airing cupboard, behind the hot water tank.
During the second world war the iron railings from the front of the houses were taken away. Unfortunately instead of the metal being used for the war effort as intended, they were eventually scrapped. There is a picture of these railings (click here)
The valuation surveys in the 1950s & 60S show that every house had a sewer and electricity (although it was stated that no. 22 had lighting and 5 amp plugs, it is not certain how usual it was to have such low amperage plugs)). However not all houses had electricity as no33 did not have this put in until after it changed hands in 1965.(click here for further description)
Over recent year there have been major refurbishment of nearly all the houses and so there are now very few original features to be seen.
Presumably all the houses now have bathrooms including an inside toilet and most must have central heating. Many of the front rooms and living rooms have been knocked through to give a much bigger and lighter room. Most of the houses have been double glazed so that now the only sash window is one which was installed in 1907.
Some of the current owners are very interested in discovering and in some ways returning their houses more to there original state. In one house a fireplace 6ft high by 4ft wide gave evidence of the large cooking ranges which originally stood in the front rooms of nos. 33- 43 (click here) . The fireplaces in no.2 Crow Lane are very interesting, particularly the one discovered behind the plaster in the hall (click here)