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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.
  • Lynn Hayter sent a great photo of the Crown and Jersey Laundry employees, 1933 several years ago; a larger version has now been loaded - can you add any names? (17 Oct 2017)
  • Peter Timms has sent an atmospheric photo of the Gas Works, mid to late 1950s (14 Oct 2017)
  • There are a few references on this site to the York Mineral Water Company, including the following piece about the Robinson family: a good time to add a photo of a York bottle dating from 1905 to 1937 (11 Oct 2017)
  • There has been a lull in family contributions so it was good to get an email from Nick about his Robinson and Thomas families; addresses include the Lindens on Boston Road; the family has links with the York Mineral Water Company (8 Oct 2017)
  • Robert Hurst has added some information about the architects of the Firestone Building which features in Peter Young's photos of the 1970s; on a different tack, a postcard showing Market Place and a little of County Parade in the 1960s which was omitted from the list of postcards and therefore unlikely to be found (5 Oct 2017)
  • Thanks to Tess for details of her mother's memories of Cornelius Ryan, one of Brentford's characters! (3 Oct 2017)
  • October's news items include extracts from Brentford Petty Sessions and County Court of 1863 and a 1927 item concerning an unregistered canal boat (3 Oct 2017)
  • View across Kew BridgeTwo vivid photos taken from the southern end of Kew Bridge dating to the mid to late 1950s, sent by Peter Timms, possibly catching the aftermath of the Oxford & Cambridge Boat Race; he has also provided a similar view taken in March 2017: a rather special 'Then and now' (22 Sep 2017)
  • Brentford was also famous for its many pubs; Vic Rosewarne has found a third version of the Brentford pub's poem, rather different to those prevously published; he also speculates about when the poems were written... (21 Sep 2017)
  • Brentford was once famous for its apples ; Dr Beverley Ronalds has provided a timely link to a review of apple varieties grown in 1818; local references now available in September's news (19 Sep 2017)
  • Memories of Spanton's wood yard from Jack Iason, this was on the south side of High Street just east of St Lawrence's vicarage (14 Sep 2017)
  • Around 1918 an actor and actress moved into Brent Cottage and their second daughter was born here; their connection with Brentford was relatively brief but their story provides glimpses into a different world; thanks to Dr James Whetter, who lives in the couple's former home in Cornwall, for the book inscriptions, garden plans, photos, personal memories and documents that help us visualise two colourful individuals: Arthur Phillips and Isabella Christie Laws (6 Sep 2017)
  • Thanks to Sally Douglas for information about the Royal Rowbarge Gloriana, built in Brentford in 2011/12: official website, BBC news item covering the launch on the Thames and campaign to moor the Gloriana in Brentford; she featured in the Thames Diamond Jubilee Pageant, June 2012; Pam Vernon-Roberts forwarded photos showing other pageant craft, incuding locally-built Bantam Tugs (29 Aug 2017)
  • Peter Young captured the repainting of Brentford's gasometer 44 years ago, August 1973. Does anyone know who the painter was? If so please get in touch (27 Aug 2017)
  • September's news items span 1824 to 1901, topics: rebuilding Brentford Bridge; a fire in New Brentford; and one titled 'Under the widow's bed'... (25 Aug 2017)
  • Dr Beverley Ronalds has a new website about the Ronalds family of seedsmen who lived near St Lawrence's church; the Ronalds page now has a link to her website and from there you can view, via another link, some beautiful illustrations by Elizabeth Ronalds and discover Irish Peach, Kentish Fillbasket, Cornish Gilliflower, Nonsuch and many more ... (23 Aug 2017)
  • Some readers may have waited for a bus outside the Honeywell building in the 1970s? If so the view taken by Peter Young will be familiar to you! (21 Aug 2017)
  • Arrangements for accessing local studies records at two local libraries have altered, see details (17 August 2017)
  • No. 231 High Street was the home of De Za Lux Developments who manufactured model aeroplane engines in the mid-1960s: thanks to Peter Scott MBE for this information; a few other snippets for no. 230 have been added too (10 Aug 2017)
  • Thanks to Dr Selby Whittingham for some further information about a more recent generation of the Henrey family (Reverend Thomas Selby Henrey was the vicar of St George's from 1895 to 1930); also some updated links relating to Turner the artist whose life and Brentford associations have been researched by Janet McNamara (10 Aug 2017)
  • If you are a railway signal buff then Peter Young's 1970s' photos of three signals will be of interest (5 Aug 2017)
  • As the new football season approaches, a rare photo of Griffin Park gates, 1972, taken by Peter Young (4 Aug 2017)
  • A soothing view of barges on the Thames at Brentford, 1973: thanks once more to Peter Young (30 July 2017)
  • Eamonn Welch has sent information about his grandfather's uncle, Private James Welch, who is commemorated on Brentford's war memorial (29 July 2017)
  • Brentford items from August newspapers spanning 200 years: 1727 to 1926 (29 July 2017)
  • Can you help?'I am after details of a bomb that dropped on Brent Meadow Wharf Oil Depot Brentford towards the end of WWII. Unfortunately I do not have an exact date.' If you can help David please get in touch; see links to bomb maps - unfortunately there appears to be no record for this exact location (23 Jul 2017)
  • The Huntley Archives have 1950s footage of canal transport on YouTube; in all nearly 36 minutes; about 8 minutes in are views of Brentford, including loading of aluminium ingots at Brent Meadow Wharf; steerer - Bill Beresford (23 Jul 2017)
  • The National Archives includes a searchable divorce index - scroll down to point 3. to enter the person's name; however the survival rate of files varies:
    • 1858-1927: almost 100%
    • 1928-1937: 80%
    • After 1937: less than 0.2%
    (11 July 2017)
  • Robert Hurst has sent some unusual photos from his time of working in Brentford: the 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 (8 July 2017)
  • A plethora of Brentford job advertisements from July 1957, many at Great West Road factories (5 July 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) recorded in three newspaper articles - an inquest mentions several local names; Paul is also hoping to identify the newspaper in which a photo of Cornelius was published, probably in 1932/3 (4 July 2017)
  • School teamA splendid photo from Andrew Hood: a group of boys at the Rothschild School, 1906 - rowers? (30 Jun 2017)
  • Around 65 men, rowers and officials of the Brentford Conservative Rowing Club, were photographed outside Brentford Conservative Club at the end of the very successful 1913 season: thanks to Andrew Hood, grandson of Edison Whitaker Hood, for this photo and another showing a smaller group of men and boys; if you can add any names please get in touch (29 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)
  • 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)
  • 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).
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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:

  • Trevor and Margaret, distant friends of the Brentford project, have sent scans taken from Souvenir Of a Quarter of a Century in the Hay and Straw Trade, sent to customers by Edwin Underwood & Son, Ltd. at Christmas, 1897; it includes photos showing their Brentford premises and locations abroad too - a great find! (September 2017)
  • Vic Rosewarne is generously sharing his meticulous research into Brentford pubs, starting with the Junction Arms and Magpie and Stump; (July 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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