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Brentford High Street Project  

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The site brings together information about the people and properties of Brentford, particularly the High Street, from 1840 (with some earlier material). It has around 900 web pages and over 600 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, Iíll 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. Access pages via links below.
  • Thanks to Robert Hurst for his identification of the towers visible in Peter Young's fourth Firestone photo, 1974; Robert has also sent some photos from a similar era which will be added over coming weeks (21 May 2017)
  • A 1974 view of barges at Brentford Lock, thanks to Peter Young; he has updated his biographical notes - it is some time since he sent his stunning batch of 90 photos! (16 May 2017)
  • Rowing TeamAndrew Hood, grandson of Edison Whitaker Hood, has sent this splendid photo taken in 1913 showing the Brentford Conservative Rowing Club Coxed Four including Edison Hood (16 May 2017)
  • Stephen Lyne has sent a rare undated photo of the school in the Ham, possibly from the retirement of John Lyne the school master in 1884 (24 Apr 2017)
  • Bacon's street map from 1925 shows Brentford shortly after the Great West Road opened; the image has been enlarged so it is easier to read (9 Apr 2017)
  • Updates to the Bates and Clark family pages thanks to Marion Dolamore-Bushby (8 Apr 2017)
  • Two views of Boston House, Boston Manor Road and the M4 viaduct taken in May 1973 - another piece of history from Peter Young (7 April 2017)
  • What And Where Is Paradise, Brentford, a 15 minute film from 1960, directed by Chris Owen, a student at Kingston Art School; highly recommended, thanks to Janet McNamara for the link with more information (14 Mar 2017)
  • I expect some of you remember the E1 bus? Peter Young photographed it on Boston Manor Road in 1972, dwarfed by the M4 viaduct (14 Mar 2017)
  • Lost Cousins offers a fantastic service, including an information-packed free newsletter every fortnight; recent topics include the 1642 Protestation Returns (some of which are now available free online) and the addition of Middlesex tithe maps to the Genealogist website: more details (13 Mar 2017)
  • There is a magnificent collection of Brentford postcards for sale on Ebay, seller id is ip773959 or search for 'Barley Corn Brentford' and go from there (8 Mar 2017)
  • A view of the M4 viaduct looking east towards Brentford Nylons in 1973 - thanks to Peter Young (1 March 2017)
  • A crisp September view of Clitheroe's Lock taken in 1973 by Peter Young (28 Feb 2017)
  • Thanks to Angela for a newspaper article from 1878 which describes a fatal accident when drains were being dug in The Butts; includes surnames Pizzey, Edmonds, Ball, Diplock and Powell (26 Feb 2017)
  • Ascott Martyrs projectPaul Jackson, Chair of the Ascott Martyrs Project writes: 'The Ascott Martyrs were 16 women who with two babies in arms were imprisoned in 1873 for supporting their striking husbands in the Oxfordshire village of Ascott Under Wychwood. The traumatic event led to riots and a pardon from Queen Victoria. The legacy today is that picketing is legal and local religious leaders are no longer allowed to be Magistrates. The project will raise the profile of the event to ensure a legacy for the village community and descendants. It will also provide continued awareness in the local schools as well as an online centre for information and research.'. One of the martyrs, 16 year-old Fanny Honeybone, was imprisoned for 10 days with hard labour. The Brentford Honeybones settled in Brentford by the 1820s. You can contact Paul at Yew Tree Farmhouse, 41 High Street, Ascott Under Wychwood, Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire OX7 6AW or phone +44 (0)1993 83 1967 or 07974 565618; Skype:paul.d.jackson; Facebook (21 Feb 2017)
  • Janet McNamara's transcript of part of Raleigh Trevelyan's diary from 1814 when he was a scholar at Egglesfield House in The Butts; it includes his account of Beating the Bounds: his energy and excitement shine through; however Raleigh died only months later; includes a link to download the full diary transcript (19 Feb 2017)
  • Thanks to Janet McNamara for a link to an interview with James Marshall, Local Studies Librarian for Hounslow Library Service, where he picks out some gems held at Chiswick Library dating from the 18th to 20th century; under 10 minutes and fascinating, includes examples of the young Turner's work, records of the first V2 rocket which landed locally in September 1944, pub licences and more; put that kettle on! (18 Feb 2017)
  • Alan Maskell has written about his Maskell family history; the family (twelve children, most of whom survived into adulthood) lived at Back Lane in the mid-19th century; 'if any readers ... have any connections then I would be very pleased to hear from them' (15 Feb 2017)
  • The Kings Arms pub, Orchard Road, in 1972 from Brentford Central Station (as it was known then) - thanks to Peter Young (10 Feb 2017)
  • Peter Young's photo of Brentford Library dates from 1973; does anyone recognise the couple passing by? Thanks to Sandra Graves, who has contributed much to the site; within hours of publishing the new page she has come up with possible names! (5 Feb 2017)
  • Diane Elphick's two photos are from 1921 or 1922 and show a May queen party, complete with maypole; her mother Peggy Butcher attended, can you recognise any of the other girls (30 Jan 2017)
  • Tony and Viv have spotted their grandfather in a mystery photo of seven men, probably 1930s - we now have two names, Henry Porter and Tom Grant, can anyone add others? (28 Jan 2017)
  • Studio family portrait  Can You Help Jean in her quest regarding Herbert Dorrington (1886-1917) - more (15 Jan 2017)
  • Perhaps you will recognise the bargee or lock keeper at Brentford Lock, 1973? Thanks to Peter Young for two more fine photos. (13 Jan 2017)
  • Elaine Owen sent a carte de visite by Wakefield showing a handsome young man; the photo is inscribed D Weathers at an Isleworth address; was it possible to find out more...? (6 Jan 2017)
  • Peter Young's view of the M4 from 1973 includes Brentford Nylons (5 Jan 2017)
  • If you are in your mid-70s or older you may feature in Diane Elphick's VE Day party photo, 1945; this took place by The Princess Royal" near the junction of Braemar Road with Ealing Road (5 Jan 2017)
  • The AGA works by the river is the subject of Peter Young's photo from 1973 (1 Jan 2017)
  • Two more Peter Young pub photos, The White Horse in Market Place, 1973 and The Windmill, Orchard Road, 1974 (31 Dec 2016)
  • A Peter Young photo, The Regents, passing under the railway bridge over the canal, also a view of The Griffin, both taken in 1974 (27 Dec 2016)
  • If you were in the 3rd Brentford Guides in the early 1950s you may find yourself in the photos provided by Diane Elphick (Gardner); perhaps you can add some names? (27 Dec 2016)
  • Vin Miles has sent scans of an early 1900s postcard showing the back of St Lawrence's church, published by Wakefield's and taken from their back garden (22 Dec 2016)
  • Early 1974, Peter Young's photos of the Algor narrowboat passing through Brentford Lock; does anyone remember the lock keeper? (19 Dec 2016)
  • Terry Burke remembers his Christmases in Brentford (19 Dec 2016)
  • Spring 1973, two more of Peter Young's photos: the Helford barge at Thames Locks and The Boatmen's Institute (18 Dec 2016)
  • Terry Burke's clear as a bell memories of growing up in Brentford from the 1930s through to the postwar era - a settle-down-with-tea-and-biscuits-or-perhaps-a-mincepie read; his family lived at Brook Road and then Braemar Road and Terry attended the Bluebird School, then Ealing Road Junior and later Chiswick County Grammar School for Boys (17 Dec 2016)
  • Did anyone in your family attend St George's School in 1947? If so take a look at the class photo provided by Diane Elphick (Gardner); Diane has included several names, perhaps you can add some more? (17 Dec 2016)
  • The former Brentford Cottage Hospital has been a popular subject for photos and postcards since the early 1900s; Peter Young's photo captures it in January 1973 (6 Dec 2016)
  • St George's School class 5 photo thought to date from 1930 - 44 children, ages ranging from 10 to 13; thanks to Diane Elphick (Gardner) (5 Dec 2016)
  • Another summer's day photo, this time 1973 and a view of Glan Helen, a charming house on the corner of Somerset Road and Upper Butts - thanks to Peter Young (3 Dec 2016)
  • Were you walking along Windmill Road in the summer of 1972, a sunny Thursday? Perhaps you are in Peter Young's photo, which shows the old and the new - a well-worn Royal Brewery sign and young mothers with their children; Sandra Graves was very quick off the mark with the exact location - Windmill Road Bridge - thanks Sandra! (2 Dec 2016)
  • Were your parents or grandparents born around 1915-1917? If so they may be in the St George's School class photos of 1925 (boys) or 1926 (girls): thanks to Diane Elphick (Gardner) who has sent two more class photos, from 1930 and 1947 - to follow (1 Dec 2016)
  • Photos of Rantons and in particular one showing part of the workforce in 1949 have been very popular - several people have offered names and memories; Chris Mundell (nee Lewry) is the latest contributor: her father, Frank Lewry, was Technical Director; a names' list of people remembered has been added, greatly helped by Chris's key; Sam Fox has recently provided several more names, also Patsy Langley (30 Nov 2016)
  • In August 1838 rafts of property in Brentford were advertised for sale, the estate of William Crighton Esquire deceased; it included much of The Butts, The Three Pigeons Inn and also The Market-place, with all its rights and privileges; details are in the newspaper selection (26 Nov 2016)
  • Was your ancestor an almswoman (or man)? A closer look at the occupants of one of Brentford's two almshouses: the St George or Salutation Almshouses, which provided eight (small) homes from 1794 until WW2 (21 Nov 2016)
  • Joseph Napper was a lighterman and bargemaster of Old Brentford who died in 1847 leaving a will; more interestingly he was a defendant in a slander case brought to the Court of Common Pleas in 1830; the last link also includes an account of a dramatic storm that hit London on a hot July evening 1839; lightning strikes killed a child and injured two adults in Brentford; the journalist had to convey the intensity of the storm using words, no images... (14 Nov 2016)
  • Did you got to a Gillette children's Christmas party around 1940? If so you may spot yourself in this photo from Diane Elphick (Gardner) (13 Nov 2016)
  • A larger size of this rare New Brentford postcard from Wendy Tagg allows more detail to be made out; notes added about the baker 'Nevill' (9 Nov 2016)
  • Janet McNamara researched the History of St Paul's Recreation Ground using newspapers and meeting minutes; the site has a photo which may show a glimpse of the grounds back in the late 19th or early 20th century (8 Nov 2016)
  • Tony Harbor writes: I lived at 21 Distillery Road from 1951 to the late 60's with the Simeoni family my Gran Grandad and 2 Uncles Mario and Peter. My cousins lived one the other side of the road Richard and Paul Williams we all went to St George's school I would love to find Charlie Woodley; please get in touch if you can help Tony (7 Nov 2016)
  • The blue and white-striped Sheraton Heathrow Hotel bus must have been a familiar sight in the 1970s; Peter Young has captured it as it passes the Rank (formerly Maclean's) building in 1973 (6 Nov 2016)
  • Four photos of the Gillette factory from Peter Young, taken in the spring of 1973 and summer of 1974 (6 Nov 2016)
  • If you have a copy of Fred Turner's History and Antiquities of Brentford or perused the back of an old postcard you may have noticed they were printed by Walter Pearce & Co, St Georges Press, The Butts; a little research has uncovered some of the life of this printer and publisher (5 November 2016)
  • Some additions to the occupations page, including miller - thanks to Sally Dougas for more links (27 Oct 2016)
  • Another postcard from Vin Miles: Brentford Market and Chiswick High Road, postmarked 1906 (21 Oct 2016)
  • More interesting links from Sally Douglas - try 1829 Panorama of the Thames, Brentford; use the right arrow to glide east;or select a different part of the Thames - Richmond to Westminster - from the dropdown menu at the top (20 Oct 2016)
  • Geograph aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of Great Britain and Ireland; the website has over 5.1 million images including nearly 2,500 for Brentford and area (18 Oct 2016)
  • Further links from Sally Douglas including the 1783 Road Bill for repairing the Highways from ... Counters Bridge ... leading through the Towns of Brentford and Hounslow (18 Oct 2016)
  • Sally Douglas has amassed links to websites which include paintings, newspaper pieces, archaeological finds etc. - all relating to Brentford and area; these are published as a separate page pending a review of the original links page, which has outgrown its original purpose (15 Oct 2016)
  • The Bees, 111 years ago - Vin Miles has sent a photo of the Brentford Football Club team, 1905/6 season, with names (12 Oct 2016)
  • Thanks to Sally Douglas who has sent a host of links to Brentford-related items, all freely available online; these include a list of unclaimed bank dividends for bonds purchased between 1752 and 1820 by Brentford people (11 Oct 2016)
  • From Peter Stuart: an article with photos from 1908 about the recently opened St Faith's church, with some interesting snippets from contemporary newspapers (4 Oct 2016)
  • The Salutation or St George's Almshouses at the eastern end of town offered accommodation to elderly women from 1794 until WW2; the names of residents from 1841 to 1939 have been recorded and further analyses will follow (21 Sep 2016)
  • Terry Burke writes My recollections of Brentford are in the context of the world when both it and I were much younger, and he has gathered comprehensive information about coinage, weights and measures, late 1930s wages, the costs of living - and much more as a back drop to his recollections of the 1930s to 1960s which will follow; he highlights the many differences between living then and now; settle down with a classic biscuit and cup of tea to enjoy (18 Sep 2016)
  • The elegant Trico factory survived 60 years, two unusual views from 1972, thanks to Peter Young (17 Sep 2016)
  • Mick Purdy has written to say he recognises himself and David Mudge in a St George's School photo, early 1950s; he adds 'Eric Christmas was my best friend, I now live in Brisbane Australia, would love so much to get in touch with some of these people'. If you write and I will forward to Mick; the site has built up a good collection of school photos thanks to many contributors (28 Aug 2016)
  • A couple of valuations made around 1910: the £5 plot of land behind 161 High Street no value for building on or agricultural purposes and, at the other end of the scale, Boston House (11 Aug 2016)
  • Keith Davis has identified the person who committed the 1958 bank robbery as Brian Donald Hume - see Scotland Yard memo sent by Peter Stuart now with some details of the perpetrator (8 Aug 2016)
  • If you have ancestors who worked on the river or canal, try this new, free resource: Spellweaver, 'for anyone interested in their canal boat ancestors'; it includes many newspaper articles; of particular interest is one from January 1841 about the flooding in Brentford; it includes a link allowing a full transcript to be downloaded and this includes much detail and names - thanks to Angela for this tip (1 Aug 2016)
  • An unusual item from Peter Stuart: a Scotland Yard memo regarding a bank robbery at the Midland Bank, Brentford, in 1958 (27 Jul 2016)
  • Sandra Graves kindly loaned me four parish magazines dating from 1971-1983; I have extracted the names from the April 1980 issue (24 Jul 2016)
  • Enid Biddle points out that it is now possible to search and view the grave register for over 66,000 burials at South Ealing Cemetery - but you will need a subscription to the ancestry website; see burial help for details of how to search and a link to the cemetery plan (20 Jul 2016)
  • Thanks to Enid Biddle for a useful tip - if you are uncertain where your Brentford ancestor was buried then the FindAGrave website may help - for example it includes nearly 1100 inscriptions and several photos of the South Ealing Cemetery; for more details and links see the burial help page (14 July 2016)
  • Dave Baker wrote in 2010 with his memories of Kennington & Bourlet, photographic equipment manufacturers. He asks if anyone remembers the people who worked there? If so please get in touch; Paul Godfrey's history of Ilford Ltd includes more details of the company (6 July 2016)
  • Thanks to Roger Williams for sending a link to Mike Paterson's London Historians' Blog - The Shocking Case of Sarah Trimmer School, Brentford.; two historic newspaper articles and links to photos of the school are brought together in a new page (15 June 2016)
  • Great views of Brentford Market in the late 1960s (Flickr) (26 March 2016)


Coming Soon (catch-up is underway*)

Below is a summary of items sent over the last two years, these will be added as soon as possible. * I graduated in July 2015 (MA in English Local History) and am currently still catching up with the backlog of material. Apologies for the delay in loading new pages, all material received is held safely in the meantime.

Thank you to all contributors for the wealth of images, research and puzzles:

  • Robert Hurst has sent some unusual photos from his time of working in Brentford: a 1979 xmas tree display (and his very personal story about what makes this image so important); and a view inside the Honeywell Computer Centre from the same era (May 2017)
  • Dublin-born Cornelius Ryan is a great grandfather of Paul Smith and his recent research has uncovered further details of Cornelius's life (and death) (May 2017)
  • Sally Douglas has provided a further miscellany of Brentford-related items: brick making in the Heston area; listed buildings in Brentford Ward; the origins of the royal barge Gloriana (May 2017)
  • Andrew Hood, grandson of Edison Whitaker Hood, rower with the Brentford Conservative Rowing Club (BCRC) in the early 20th century, has sent three interesting photos: a 1906 photo by Wakefield of boy pupils at the Rothschild School, presumably rowers, possibly with a youth section of the BCRC; over 60 members of the BCRC, 1913 season (also by Wakefield); and 20 club members with the Dewar Challenge Shield and other trophies, 1913 (May 2017)
  • Hugh Hughes has sent a photo showing his wife's grandfather Robert Gent taken on Ferry Lane outside Clements Knowling; also a leaflet about the move of Howard & Son from High Street in 1965 (Jan 2017)
  • Sally Douglas has sent a wonderful miscellany of Brentford finds and facts from the mid-18th century onwards (September and October 2016)
  • Annie of Appledore sent details of a grave reference and with help from the Hounslow Cemetery Team has been found to be in Islington Cemetery; they also provided plans showing the grave location (March 2016)
  • Pauline Stanhope has sent a selection of local photos taken from old calendars; views include Rattenburys 'I remember Rattenburys well. I had a second hand eternity ring from there in 1965ish'; photos include a view of the High Street opposite the Market Place around 1951 (November 2015)
  • Postcard of the Half Acre / High Street corner showing the Beehive Hotel; County Parade 1960s (thanks to my husband Richard) (November 2015)
  • Janet McNamara has provided more news cuttings: George Haley's election address, April 1st 1903 and one from 1914 about expansion of the Griffith Bros business (origins in Brentford, around 1900) into Richmond (Feb 2014)
  • Peter King provided a file of newspaper cuttings and adverts from 1913 following the Local History Day in June (June 2013)
  • Lynn Hayter has sent a slideshow showing Brentford in November 2012, over 100 photos, hope to be able to make this available to any who can access a .wmv file and some stills (March 2013)
  • Dave Stoneleigh has sent scans of Brentford Football Club programmes from 1947-1952, including adverts and team names, a trip down memory lane! (Feb 2013)
  • Janet McNamara has sent newspaper cuttings about Brentford councillors, also a charming advert for the dolls' hospital at 234 High Street (September 2012)

The above is not a complete list of all material outstanding (one of the challenges is to keep tabs on all contacts and I occasionally have a 'hot moment' when I find a mis-filed email dating back two or more years... If you write and have no reply, or I have said I'll do something and then don't a reminder will be appreciated!


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)

Please can Jim Kelleher provide his current email address: a researcher into the Twining family would like to get in touch?

Please can Pauline Chidwick provide her current email address: a researcher into Reuben Fleetwood and family would like to get in touch?

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.