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Brentford Families - Gandy, scale makers

Norman Biggs sent some photos of local scale makers' weights, including one marked 'Gandy': Norman had information about George Harley Gandy which prompted further reasearch into the family.

George Gandy: parents and pre-marriage years

George Harley Gandy was born 7 May and baptised 21 August 1814 at St Leonard's Shoreditch. He was the son of Richard Gandy and Mary Harley. They married at St Andrew by the Wardrobe on 6 June 1807, according to the Latter Day Saints web site; the record was submitted by an individual and suggests Mary was 24 at the time.

Norman Biggs notes 'George Gandy's training as a scale maker is apparently a mystery, since he does not appear in the 'tree' of London masters and apprentices.'.

In the 1841 census George H Gandy was a 'j scale m' ie journeyman scale maker, aged 27, living with his parents (Richard Gandy, 58, Independent, not born in Middlesex & Mary, 57, not born Middlesex) and younger brother Thomas J, 19, solicitors clerk.

Richard & Mary Gandy were still alive in 1861 in Bethnal Green and the census shows Richard was a 'Pensioner E.I.C.', presumably East India Co. Richard Gandy was born in Wichenford, his wife Mary in Broadway, both Worcestershire.

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Marriage and family

George H Gandy married Harriet Ann Lane in the April-June quarter, 1849, in Shoreditch (FreeBMD).

In the 1851 census he was 36, a scale maker master (born Shoreditch) living at 158 Kingsland Road, Tower Hamlets, St Leonards Shoreditch with his wife Harriet A (aged 21, born Dover Kent), his daughter Frances Clara, 17, and apprentice scale makers, Richard Smith, aged 17 and James Mathews, aged 15. He shared the property with Thomas I Gandy, a 27 year old solicitors' clerk, his wife, daughter and niece. Thomas was born in Shoreditch: it seems likely they were brothers.

In the 1852 London Post Office directory George H Gandy is recorded at 158 Kingsland Road. He was still in Kingsland Road in 1855 (Kelly).

In the mid 1850s he moved from Shoreditch to 145 High Street Brentford: by 1861 he had a further five children by Harriet and one apprentice, James Buchanan, aged 15, born London was living with the Gandy family.

Norman Biggs adds 'I forgot to mention the reason Gandy moved to Brentford in the first place. It was almost surely because the office of the Inspector of Weights and Measures was in the High Street.'

'In 1853 [Mason's Court Guide] the inspector was James Gregg, who was available for stamping weights on Tuesdays. On other days he would be in other places in his district, which covered the whole of the western part of Middlesex. Gregg was still in post in 1881 [Census], but was living in Isleworth. Gregg seems to have come from the same part of London as Gandy, and it is quite possible that he persuaded him to move to Brentford.'

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Second marriage and later years

George's wife Harriet Ann died in the first quarter of 1868, aged 38. George married a second time: Frances Eliza Lane (a relative of his wife's?) in Marylebone Registration District in the Jul-Sep quarter of 1868.

In 1871 George & Frances remained at no. 145. Two of their children, George & Alice, were pupil teachers; their eldest daughter Frances was a milliner and a son, Arthur aged 17, had followed his father into the scale making business. The two youngest family members were Selina, aged 11 and Harriett aged 3, presumably named after George's first wife.

The 1881 census shows just the Gandy parents and two youngest children at home at no. 145: Selina had followed her brother and sister and become a pupil teacher. George the son married Elizabeth Charlotte Machell in 1884 in Brentford Registration District: she was a local girl. There is possibly a second Machell/Gandy marriage in Brentford in 1883: Selina Lydia Gandy and William Machell.

George Harley Gandy died in the first quarter of 1890, aged 75. His death was registered in Brentford. By the following year his widow Frances had moved in with her nieghbours the Stannetts at no. 141. Living with her were her daughter Harriet (23, a milliner) and grandson Arthur Tombs, age 4, born in the Tower of London. (Possible marriage between Alice Harriet Gandy & Henry Samuel Toombs, Brentford 1875)

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The scale makers business at no. 145 after 1890

Was there a Gandy son who could take over the scale makers business when its founder died? Apparently not: Richard Arthur Gandy (who was a 17 year old apprentice scale maker in 1871) married Mary Ann Matilda Nash in 1877, Uxbridge Registration District. He was living at Matlock Villa, New Road, Brentford and was a general scale maker. However he died in 1885. Another son Horace Andrew Gandy died in 1890 a few months after his father's decease.

The only other son, George, was established as a schoolmaster. So the business changed hands: George Hume and his family of six daughters were living at no. 145, having moved to Brentford from London in the late 1880s. A Welsh mother aged 77 completed the household. George Hume's occupation was 'managers scale makers' and his only son at home, George, was a scale makers apprentice.

Returning to the Gandy family, in 1891 son George was living at 36 Avenue Road, Old Brentford with his wife Elizabeth. George was an assistant schoolmaster. Ten years later they remained at this address, aged 48 and 45: Elizabeth Charlotte had borne him a son George William, aged 4. George senior was an instructor in woodwork; 'London School Board' is written in the space for his wife's occupation, but this may have been part of George's entry.

The business at no. 145 continued in the name of George Harley Gandy into the C20 (1913 trade directory) and the Valuation at around the same time listed the occupier of no. 145 as 'Gandy'. A 1920/21 trade directory records 'Gandy & Co, scale makers' at no. 145. By 1928 the scale making business remained at 145 but under the name of Young, Son & Marlow.

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