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From 1920 for about 20 years the hayloft in my stable block was used as a dancing school. In 1923 Margraet’s son in law applied for planning permission to build two timber framed sheds in my garden. In October 1934 I was broken into. Intruders entered by the pantry window and let Barn & Hayloft themselves out by the (modern day) back door. My rooms were left in disorder with contents of cupboards all over the floor. Margaret Clark died in April 1938 at the age of 70 while she was at the home of her daughter, Violet, in London. Her funeral took place on May 1st at St Peters in Arlesey. Later that year the family put me up for auction. I was described as “a particularly attractive detached freehold residence, with 4 bedrooms, a bathroom, a WC, 2 reception rooms and usual offices. Services included gas, electricity, water and mains drainage. Outside is brick and tiles range, comprising garage, 3 loose boxes and harness room with loft over, good flower and kitchen gardens and tennis lawn. The whole comprising ¾ acre”. I was bought by Mr Lewis Goodin Spire Hebbs, a consulting Chemist and his wife, Helen Adelaide Hebbs. They also had a daughter called Patricia. Mr Hebbs trained as a laboratory technician under Charles Cross above the Inns of Court in London. Mr Cross and his friend Mr Bevan are famous worldwide for inventing viscose, rayon and cellophane. Sadly they had both died by the time Mr Hebbs came to live in me, but Mr Hebbs and Mr Cross’s son, Charles, continued to run the business, Cross and Bevan. died suddenly and the company of Cross and Bevan was continued by Ted Allison who, according to Mrs Hebbs, was on the verge of being sacked. Allison, with a junior partner, Dr John Gascoigne, ran down the company for the next 20 years until it was bought by Trevor Dean in 1980. The company then employed only 4 staff (2 part-time) and was virtually bankrupt. For a short time in the 1970’s the Welwyn Hall Research Association was run from here, after being shut down by its owner, Blue Circle Cement. It was run by Dr Davidson, who experimented with using chalk instead of china clay as a filler for making paper. He retired and went to live in Cambridge with his wife, a professor of Nordic history! Everything changed when Trevor Dean took over my lease in 1981. He lived here for 10 years and completely renovated me, my stable block and my lovely gardens. Hidden away in one of my old sheds were the Cross & Bevan Archives, dating back to 1885! Also in the archives were the first skeins of viscose rayon ever made, and the first artificial silk stocking, that was exhibited at the Paris Exhibition in 1901! All of this treasure has now been transferred to the care of the Science Museum in London. In 1990 Cross & Bevan were taken over by a company called Binnie & Partners, and along with Trevor they formed a new company called Binnie Environmental Ltd. In 1995 this company merged with an American Company (Black & Veatch) and they decided to sell me. I was bought by Chemex Ltd who were based in Cambridge. When my lease ran out in 2001 Chemex moved out and I was put up for sale. My time as a place of scientific research was over after 50 years. Trevor Dean What would happen to me next??? Charles Cross Edward Bevan In 1940 Mr Cross had to go back to his position as Major in the Army and the business partnership was dissolved. Mr Hebbs took over the business on his own and moved the work in to my outbuildings! In 1948 Mr Hebbs was elected to the Biggleswade Rural District Council and Mrs Hebbs was a member of the Biggleswade Bench. Lots of local people came to work at Cross and Bevan, including Mr Bowskill who was employed as a Gardener. Everyone in Arlesey knows Mr Bowskill’s son, Jim. Jim remembers that in the autumn his father would put 2 large galvanised buckets of conkers at each entrance to the driveway for the children to share. In the years between 1945 and 1960 Mr Hebbs built up the Cross and Bevan business, which became known internationally for its wood pulp testing capabilities and no one would buy any wood pulp unless it had been issued with a Cross and Bevan quality report. Mr Hebbs had a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce and as many as 25 staff worked hard to keep me in good shape. Visitors were always amazed that such an important international business could Mr Hebbs in 1948 be run from an ordinary house! In June 1960, at the age of 55, Lewis Hebbs In 2002 I was bought by a lovely couple, called Bob & Kate. Let me tell you all about Kate first. Kate is a pianist and she has brought such lovely music in to my life. Kate has had an exciting life, joining the Royal Academy of Music at the age of 12 and travelling the world with her music. These days she still plays, but she also teaches piano and lots of the local children have learnt to play here. And as for Bob, h H