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Memories of Kennington & Bourlet

"Does anyone remember Kennington & Bourlet Ltd, a photographic equipment manufacturer? They were a subsidiary of Ilford Ltd and their address was 231, High Street, Brentford in 1954. They moved around 1961 to Thanet House, High Street, Brentford." Paul Godfrey asked.

Dave BAKER wrote in August 2010

I remember when I was working with Reg KENNINGTON at Thanet House late 1960, we had one floor the rest of the building was used by Sperry Gyro.

I first went to visit a work mate Reg MANT in 1955 at K & Bís in 231 High Street Brentford, this was a shop which had the prototype workshop at rear, Reg Mant was the first Instrument Maker who went to K & Bís, Jim SMITH was next in 1956, he also worked in Brentford before they went to Bolton Road Grove Park Chiswick, and I joined them in January 1958.

We all went as Prototype Instrument Makers, Reg Mant became assembly Foreman, Jim and I worked together on the Glazing Machines and Development tanks. Jim left in early 1959. We installed these prototype machines in the Butlinís holiday camps in 1958, as I have said I developed with Reg Kennington the Trimmer and started on a colour printer.

Bolton Road was a building at the rear of large old houses turned into flats, the building was aprox 100ft long by 40ft wide, 6 car garages on front for the flats, we gradually took these over, it must have been mid 1960 K & Bís took on office space in Thanet House. (Thanet House was built on the site of 191-195 High Street). I worked there for a few months with Reg Kennington before leaving in the May 1961, found the journey up from Sandhurst Berks too much.

From Bolton Road and Thanet House they moved to the Ilford Photo Finishing Building, Kew Road, Richmond. I visited them there in October 1962, that was the last time I saw all the people I knew, I would like to know what happened to them all.

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I would love to know what happened to the people I still remember their name, the only one I managed to trace about 5 years ago had died and his family did not want to help me. (Please write if you can help Dave.)

I seem to remember there were a couple of chaps Reg Kennington knew who were at the High Street shop when you state about 1961, he may have rented it to them?

Reg Kennington owned a house in Ealing up Hanger Lane turning on right.

One other tit bit which I remember from Reg Kennington: he told me that he did a Tannoy System for Brentford Football club Griffin Park prior to Kennington & Bourlet, he told me this as I as a lad supported Brentford, it was the nearest club to my birth place Kneller Gardens, Isleworth.

Reg Kennington had a Daimler Dart sports car in a dark colour. They were made 1959 to 1962 with a Fibre Glass body and V8 Auto engine (127 mph). He used to have it serviced and tuned up by a couple of chaps who had their works in the railway arches in a road on the right as you entered Brentford from Isleworth (The Ham), on the opposite side of the Main road was Elizabeth Shaw's Chocolate Factory (I remember My Father supplied Time Recorder Clocks to Elizabeth Shaw in the 40ís/50/s).

I started work with Evershed and Vignoles in Acton Lane, Chiswick Jan 5rd 1950 and used to ride my bike from Isleworth thro Brentford each AM and PM past the Gas Works and Market, stopping just past the Pawnbrokers to buy my paper each morning, a long time ago now. When working for K & Bís I used to go to the Timber Yard on the right hand side just before Kew Bridge.

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Published October 2010; updated December 2010