George Coburn and Sons



Coburn Collection

Photo:58 Cowper Road

58 Cowper Road

Coburn Collection

Photo:Arthur Herbert Ralph sons of George and Elizabeth Coburn c1902

Arthur Herbert Ralph sons of George and Elizabeth Coburn c1902

Coburn Collection

Photo:George Coburn

George Coburn

Coburn Collection

Photo:Advert  for George Coburn Harpenden Parish Magazine Oct 1913

Advert for George Coburn Harpenden Parish Magazine Oct 1913

Coburn Collection

Photo:Newspaper report of death of George Coburn

Newspaper report of death of George Coburn

Coburn Collection

Joiners, Builders and Contractors, 58, Cowper Road

By Amy Coburn

George Coburn was born in 1858, in Woburn, Beds. He served his apprenticeship in Carpentry and Joinery with a local builder.

Family Life

He married Elizabeth Fleet, and had three sons, Herbert, Arthur and Ralph. George Coburn and his family moved into 58 Cowper Road, the weekend in May when the 1891 Census was taken, and became an established builder and joiner in Harpenden.

Good class Edwardian houses

He built or was involved in the building of good class Edwardian houses – for example those in Ox Lane. His three sons eventually joined him in the business. A number of local boys served their apprenticeship in his workshops. 

A note book records that at one time he had at least twelve men working for him. He made and gave the Bishops Chair to St. John’s Church when the new church was opened in 1908. His firm also built an extension to St.Nicholas School. 

George died in 1916.

On completion of their war service his three sons carried on with the business through the difficult years that followed. His widow, Elizabeth, continued to live on the premises, until her death in 1951, after which the business was sold. Herbert also died in 1951, Ralph in 1952, and Arthur in 1958.

No doubt George would have been pleased to have  known that his two grandsons continued in building trade, one (Gordon) becoming an architect the other (Leslie) a senior lecturer in Carpentry and Joinery.

This page was added by David Hinton on 16/09/2010.