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Brentford Councillors - Joseph Benjamin Hart
IntroductionJanet McNamara has researched details of the men who served as Brentford Local Board Members and Councillors, see intro page for more details of early local government structure.
Joseph Benjamin Hart (1881 – 1943)Mr Hart was elected to the Council in March 1924.
His address was given as 50, High Street and he was described as ‘Waterman and Lighterman’. He was nominated by Messrs F Halstead, Charles Edwin Chambers, Horace Thomas Jamieson and Thomas George Partridge. He was seconded by Harry Dear, John Hattie, William Leonard Jamieson and Joseph Clements.
His name is on the stone at Boston Manor House commemorating the opening of the park to the public in September 1924.
He was up for re-election in March 1927 and was proposed by Messrs Eli Lander, Ernest Edward Castle and Thomas Grant (a serving Councillor at the time) and seconded by W Hall, H Longhurst (of The Barge Aground) and James Foster.
The newspaper pointed out that this was important election and that everyone entitled to should vote. ‘… the day is fateful of events, for good or ill, particularly for the future of Brentford which has made the most momentous adventure in its municipal history’. It continued ‘It is, we repeat, the plain and urgent duty of every elector to repair to the polling place in the district indicated, and if this duty is performed there should be no reason for vain regrets afterwards for the vote will have been conscientiously recorded’.
There were 5 men standing for 4 seats and Mr Hart came top of the poll with 980 votes.
There is the start of a family tree on ancestry which shows his parents were Benjamin Hart (1826 – 1896) and Mary Ashby (1844 – 1920).
In 1891 they were still living in the Ham with Benjamin (65) a waterman, Mary (48), John (23) a waterman, Jane A (21) Laundry, Alfred (18) a waterman, Elizabeth (15) a general servant, JOSEPH (10) and Frances aged 6.
Benjamin died aged 70 with his death registered in the June quarter 1896 Brentford 3a 50.
In the 1901 census at 4, The Ham Mary, a widow aged 58 is the head of household, Jane is 31 and an ironer laundress, Joseph 21 is a waterman and lighterman and Frances (16) is an ironer laundress.
In 1911 the address was 4, The Ham. Mary was 68 and in the declaration said the she had had 10 children 7 of whom were still alive.
The marriage of Matilda Styles to Mr Hart is registered in October 1912 December quarter Basford (Notts) 7b 447. A few lines above in the register is a John Styles marrying Miss Tolley Brentford 3a 304.
By the time he was an Alderman his address was 14, Netley Road.
An article in the Brentford and Chiswick Times on May 29th 1942 has a report of the life of the watermen during Blitz during the War. There is an interview with Alderman Hart where he told about being caught in an air raid on September 6th 1940.
The following week they were caught in another raid and turned back by the river patrol who suspected that mines had been dropped.
Alderman Hart died in February 1943.
Other materialJanet has also provided newspaper articles from the Brentford and Chiswick Times following his death in February 1942, to be added as time permits.
Page published June 2013