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Brentford High Street Project  

Web bhsproject

The site brings together information about the people and properties of Brentford, particularly the High Street, from the 19th century onwards, with some earlier material. It has around 2000 web pages and over 700 images.

If you are a new user take a look at the site guide.

New additions, also see Coming Soon: recently received contributions; perhaps you can help someone with a Brentford enquiry - it could be about a person, place or business, see Can You Help. More recent news follows.

I hope you find something of interest and if you have any memories or stories about Brentford please get in touch, I’ll be delighted to include them.

*** Tip To make text larger press (at the same time) your Control (’Ctrl’) and ’+’ keys. To shrink text use Ctrl and ’-’. This will work on many other websites. ***

Recent Additions

Thank you to all contributors for providing a wealth of diverse material. During 2021 50 new pages were added to the site and another 75 were updated. Access pages via links below.

  • Janet McNamarahas sent two photos taken from the Half Acre junction, showing the early stages of Phase 2 of the Ballymore development; what is thought to be the old grinding workshop of Wilson and Kyle features (15 May 2022)
  • Thanks to Sally Douglas for sending this link to an Old Bailey case from 1822 that mentions Brentford men Thomas Lambert and William Braby; worth reading for the incidental details - a reference to badger baiting, the price of a pair of breeches and more! (15 May 2022)
  • The latest Ballymore newsletter (thanks Janet) refers, I think for the first time, to a new apartment block by name - Carville; not a familiar name to me, but I found an item on the London Borough of Hounslow website about the planned names, as at March 2021: read more (11 May 2022)
  • Wesleyan Chapel 234a High StreetMay is Local History Month: to mark this, histories of around 180 properties, industries and local people have been prepared and have been posted at many sites around the town: see examples for the Wesleyan Chapel and Police Section 5 May 2022
  • Windmill RoadHoward Webb sent this 1913 postcard view of Windmill Road and its shops, a change from the High Street views (28 Apr 2022)
  • Photos from Janet McNamara charting progress on the Ballymore development, March, now with first views of Phase 2 starting, across the road from Half Acre (26 Apr 2022)
  • When the website was started space was at a premium. Now this is not an issue and more images will be included, two recent examples are notes for numbers 70 to 78 and numbers 209 to 224 (24 Apr 2022)
  • Details of a divorce from 1907 now include more about the 'other woman' in the case, Charlotte Ethel Morrell, thanks to Chris Williams, a Morrell descendant (22 Apr 2022)
  • Two 'new' news items for May, one from 1833 - fake news concerning a stagecoach incident in Brentford; and a 'bold experiment' in Brentford road construction reported 100 years ago (20 Apr 2022)
  • Notes on the stretch between 209 and 225 High Street, more or less the centre of the Georgian and Victorian town, have been updated using newspaper and other sources; an opportunity to add details from 1792 and post-WW2 too (19 Apr 2022)
  • The Ghost story part 3 - more about the life of Stephen Ghost (29 March 2022)
  • Notes on the eastern end of High Street, south side, have been updated with more information about St George's Vicarage to Smith Hill (19 Mar 2022)
  • My thanks to David Whitelam for sending a superb photo of the gravestone of my great great grandparents, Thomas and Matilda Anthony, taken at South Ealing Cemetery recently. I have added it to the Anthony family page (18 Mar 2022)
  • Ballymore's February newsletter includes an aerial view of the site and a plan showing the two development phases - see more (12 Mar 2022)
  • Thanks again to Janet McNamara, who has provided her February photographic update: the Ballymore development viewed from the corner of High Street and Catherine Wheel Road, and Waterman's Park, where improvements will be completed shortly (11 Mar 2022)
  • The Brentford Monument was constructed in 1909 but by WW2 was buried in a pile of coal: newspaper accounts provide more details of its history (9 Mar 2022)
  • The British Newspaper Archive has been a great resource and continues to grow, read more about it; a familiar name caught my eye when searching for a piece from 100 years ago (6 Feb 2022)
  • Part 2of the Ghost story: where in Brentford did Stephen Ghost live and did he stay? (1 Feb 2022)
  • Ted has shared his research into Sumner, Bevan, Ryall and Harman families (6 Jan 2022)
  • A Ghost story for the new year, part 1 (1 Jan 2022)
  • Update from Ballymore regarding 129-134 High Street - thanks to Janet McNamara for the link; earlier photos and Dave Stoneleigh's 2008 photo (7 Dec 2021)
  • Count Otto Black (decd) writes 'Did you know that the 1951 movie The African Queen ... although entirely set in Africa, was actually shot partly in Brentford?'; this may show Lot's Ait. Does anyone remember the filming? If so please get in touch (9 Oct 2021)
  • Thank you to Jim from Leicester who spotted one of Brentford's Bantam boats on the canal at Skipton recently, now adapted for use as an ice cream parlour; see photo by Tim Green from Bradford, CC BY 2.0 , via Wikimedia Commons ; the site has more information about the Bantam boats (30 Sep 2021)
  • Thanks to Jim Storrar for sending item:'Roman Hearths and 17th Century Cellars Found at Construction Site'; Museum of London Archaeology have been excavating the development site; photos to follow from Janet McNamara (28 Aug 2021)
  • YouTube video clip (under 3 mins) describes the identification of the plasterer whose graffiti was revealed during restoration of Pitzhanger Manor, Ealing (1 Jul 2021)
  • Findmypast has recently added transcriptions of Middlesex Poor Law records, including those for the parishes of New Brentford and Ealing (covering Old Brentford); ages and circumstances are noted, for example
    Mary Ann Steptoe, 25, spinster, to be removed from New Brentford to St. Giles in the Fields, Middx, record dated 10 Aug 1810
    Lucy Collier, concerning the settlement of her brother George Mitten. George was born in Westloke. Their father's settlement was in Aston Clinton, Bucks. She is 43 years old
    In summary
    New Brentford: 234 records, mostly removals to or from the parish between 1807-1831, also 23 settlement examinations including two from 1792 and two bastardy orders: Drury 1802, Topping 1804
    Ealing: 931 records 1827-1846, comprising 141 bastardy examinations, 117 removals to or from, 673 settlement examinations (7 May 2021)
  • In April 1921 three probationery nurses were dismissed from West Middlesex Hospital; newspaper accounts give insights into life and the times, supplemented by research into Nurse Florence Mabel Slatter (6 May 2021)
  • Can You Help: Chris Scott asks if anyone has reference to a Silva Haberdashery operating 100-ish years ago; please get in touch if you can help (12 Apr 2021)
  • Brent House was built in the late 1600s at the corner of Upper Butts and Brent Road; thanks to Liz Bryant the site now has a photo showing it shortly before demolition in 1909, in addition to views of the part-demolished building and the area in 2011 (25 Mar 2021)
  • A 1974 view from under the M4 viaduct, Turriff building in the background. Not for the claustrophobic. Thanks to Peter Young (16 Mar 2021)
  • Continuing the hospital theme, Hanworth Park (like Downton Abbey) was used as a military hospital, 1915-1919; Liz Bryant has provided two photos from this era, one of which shows around 25 patients; news articles chart the planning for this hospital (26 Feb 2021)
  • Another photo from Stephen Read, showing West Middlesex University Hospital in October 1975, with links to older Brentford hospitals (23 Feb 2021)
  • Two photos of Half Acre in the late 1890s, one showing the Standard beerhouse and another the Vestry Hall under construction - thanks to Liz Bryant (20 Feb 2021)
  • Remember The Sweeney? Thanks to Count Otto Black (decd) for sending stills showing the derelict Brentford Market Building; The sweet smell of succession is on ITV4 Thursday 18 Feb, 2.40pm and repeated Friday 19 Feb, 8.15am (15 Feb 2020)
  • Memories of Brentford in the 1950s and 60s from Chris Brown, who has also written about the Princess Royal, see below (10 Feb 2021)
  • Maud ConnellCan You Help: Donna Mills seeks her great aunt, Maud Connell, thought to have worked at Ranton's some time in the 1950s to 1970s - Donna has sent a couple of contemporary photos hoping they may help jog memories; Maud Turner married William Connell in 1940, their address was Inverness Road in the early 1950s;
    in a similar vein, Chris Mundell asks 'does anyone remember Frank Lewry, plastics designer and technical director of Ranton's?' Please mail if you can help (re-issued 7 Feb 2021)
    • Thanks to Sam Fox for sending memories of Frank Lewry; these have been forwarded to Chris Mundell
  • Chris Brown spotted a page about the Princess Royal pub, where he played with Sandy Dogg, mid 1960s: read more... (4 Feb 2021)


Can You Help

Please get in touch if you can help with any of the following. Thank you!

Can you help Margaret reunite a 1920s journal with the writer’s family?; two photos show the mystery journal-writer, possibly called George, who worked at Bohee’s, the printers, 58/59 High Street, and a view outside Bohee’s (May 2013)

LostCousins - a Great Resource

Peter Calver, LostCousins founder, publishes a newsletter every fortnight or so, each edition packed with hints and tips to help family researchers.

You can freely access the latest newsletter from the LostCousins website (link is at the bottom of the page): but as Peter says, ’why not join?’.

If you join LostCousins (it is free) you will find it extremely useful in locating relatives: Peter’s website introduction explains:
Are you serious about researching your family tree? If so, you’ve come to the right place, because LostCousins is the ONLY family history website able to match you with others researching the same ancestors
Simply enter the relatives on your family tree who were recorded in selected US, Canadian, British, or Irish Censuses - then click the Search button.