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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 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.
  • Around 65 men, rowers and officials of the Brentford Conservative Rowing Club, were photographed outside the Conservative Club at the end of the 1913 season: thanks to Andrew Hood, grandson of Edison Whitaker Hood, for this rare photo; if you can add any names please get in touch (28 Jun 2017)
  • Thanks to Sally Douglas for suggesting a link to local listed buildings - this is from the Historic England website (28 Jun 2017)
  • The 2017 Brentford & Chiswick Local History Journal contains an artilce by Val Bott The Willow Business, which includes details of local willow growers and basket makers, including Bowden, Dawes, Goodwin, Scoggins; the occupations page has links to articles in older journals and other occupation-related information (24 June 2017)
  • Having prepared four small jars of strawberry and redcurrant jam from my allotment produce today, and with Wimbledon due to start shortly, it seems a good time to bring together some newspaper articles about local strawberry growing; I read the pieces - from 1836 to 1890 - with fascination, hope you enjoy them too (20 June 2017)
  • Janet McNamara has written an interesting piece about the Brentford Monument (TW8 website); also we have some photos on this site too (19 June 2017)
  • Hugh Hughes has sent a photo taken on Ferry Lane outside Clements Knowling, possibly Empire Day 1932; it includes Robert Gent (2 June 2017)
  • An unusual event involving a wooden leg was reported widely in 1872; includes research notes (31 May 2017)
  • Thanks to Kake for a new website link: Survey of London, which currently has histories of Whitechapel buildings but is due to expand; and if you have Croydon interests see Kake's website The Past and Present of Croydon's London Road (29 May 2017)
  • Can you help? Can someone tell me when the houses in Humes Avenue, Brentford, were first occupied, ie. Year date? 1920ís/1930ís. My family interest is the Faulkner family; please email if you can help David (28 May 2017).
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)

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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:

  • Sally Douglas has provided more links, this time focusing on Gloriana, the royal barge (May 2017)
  • 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)
  • 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 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!

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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
AUTOMATICALLY, ACCURATELY & CONFIDENTIALLY
Simply enter the relatives on your family tree who were recorded in selected US, Canadian, British, or Irish Censuses - then click the Search button.

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