I came across your website as I am researching the history of the road I was born in and still live in, Cranbrook Road W4 2LH.
So far my research consists of a few visits to the local library and searching the censuses.
What I have found out so far is that Gurr builders were refused planning permission to build the road in 1897, but by 1902 the offices of Gurr builders was at 30 Cranbrook Road.
In 1895, the first year Cranbrook Road appears in the Kellys directory and the local rate books, a Mr Charles Gurr is listed as living at no.38 (probably a numbering error as the other houses finished at no.14) and when the road was extended in 1904 Charles Gurr moved to number 120.
Houses 30 and 120 are unique to the road. Cranbrook road is a terraced road of 3 bedroom houses with small gardens. No. 30 is a 7 bed house on the corner and has a much larger garden. No. 120 was built with a large yard next to it and recently the yard was converted into 3 houses.
Although I have yet to check the building control records to find out who was granted planning permission, I am fairly certain Mr Charles Gurr built the road as he picked the best houses for himself. I also think he named the road.
Having checked the census in 1901 I found Mr C Gurr living at 30 Cranbrook Road. From that census I found he was born in Rye in 1845, going back through the censuses, I eventually found Mr Charles Gurr in 1861 listed as an Agricultural Labourer aged 16 living in Cranbrook, Kent.
I would now like to try and find out a bit more about Mr Charles Gurr. So far I have found his wife Martha’s date of birth changes between censuses. Their children were all born locally to Cranbrook, by 1881 they had moved to Canterbury St Pauls with their 7 children, by 1891 they had moved to Hampstead. In September 1892 Mr C Gurr is listed in the London Gazette as having a Creditors Petition in the High Court of Justice in Bankruptcy. There was a hearing for Debtors Discharge in January 1893. I also found a reference to him in a deception case at the Old Bailey in 1901 where he was one of a number of people who had lost money, and he said “I had my election on for the Urban District Council of Chiswick” He also mentioned he was importing timber.
I haven’t yet done any more research into him being a Councillor, but Gurr C. R. builders and sons were listed at 120 Cranbrook Road in 1906 and 1908. In 1910 no. 120 had become a site for selling motor cars and in the 1911 census Mr C Gurr is listed as a Rubber and Motor car Dealer.
Did you know the name of your town and my road are probably linked by Mr Charles Gurr, do you know anything else about him?