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Brentford Families - Gladys Mitchell

Brenda Bostock wrote in February 2012: ' just had a look on the BHS site to see if you had any reference to the above ... She lived in our road (Hamilton) but I can't remember her. She is an author and has written the Mrs Bradley series on BBC4 at the moment. She retired from Brentford Secondary the year before I started!

This is the internet address of her tribute page with all the info: http://www.gladysmitchell.com.

Notes from freeBMD/ancestry/findmypast

The website above includes her birth and death dates (1901 - 1983) and describesin details her teaching career in Brentford and area. Could I add to this in an hours research? Yes, a little...

FreeBMD includes a birth registration of Gladys Maude W Mitchell in Headington Registration District, Oxfordshire in April-June 1901.

The 1911 census (findymypast) shows the Mitchell family at 137 Windmill Road, Brentford:
James Mitchell, head, 37, mar, collector from automatic gas meters, Brentford Gas Co, Oxford
Annie Mitchell, wife, 33, mar, Oxford
Gladys Mitchell, dau, 10, school (added in a different hand), Oxford
Reginald Mitchell, son, 8, Oxford
Charles Mitchell, son, 4, Oxford
Ivy Mitchell, dau, 2, Oxford
Harry Kettle, bro-in-law, 50, automatic collectors assistant, Brentford Gas Co, Oxford
James and Annie had been married 14 years and all four of their children had survived, their home was larger than average with seven rooms.

The 1911 census list shows their neighbours were the WEEKS family at 135 Windmill Road (head: William Henry Weeks, furniture salesman), on the other side at 139 was a shop run by Albert VICCARS, a dairyman, and then the HICKS family (13 of them, headed by George Frederick Hicks, a woodwork instructor), at Oxford House, Windmill Road.

Findmypast also holds Teacher's Registration Council Registers 1914-1948 and I hoped there would be some information for Gladys here: but a quick check showed no matches, nor under her second name, Maude.

Electoral registers on ancestry showed:
1928, 20 South Ealing Road: Winnie Blazey and Gladys Mitchell
1933, 18 Swyncombe Avenue, Ealing: Clara Winfred Blazey and Gladys Maude Winifred Mitchell
1936: as above

So who was Winnie Blazey? There is one birth registered that matches her name in full: at Fulham in 1892. If this is the same person she was nine years older than Gladys.

Findmypast 1911 census shows Clara Winifred Blazey living in Fulham, a student with London County Council. She had two sisters and her father William Blazey was an "art iron work repairer" working for a museum. Did Clara Winifred marry? I was not able to find a marriage and there is a death registration of a Clara W Blazey, age 72, in Ealing Registration District in 1964 that fits.

Gladys Mitchell died in Dorset in 1983. (FreeBMD, Poole Reg Dist).

Some useful links

If your interest is piqued:

Brentford Dock website
A Guide to Classic Mystery and Detection website
Wikipedia

As at July 2012 BookPeople are offering a set of 8 Gladys Mitchell novels for 8.99 plus postage

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Page published April 2012; updated July 2012