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Gordon Welch's Memories of 1940s/50s Brentford

I have just been looking at your information about Brentford. I used to live at 55 Mafeking Avenue in 1948-54 with my grandparents, Harold James BEESON and his wife Florence. They had two children, Lillian Cicely Beeson (b 1916 at 55 Mafeking Ave) and her brother Arthur James Beeson. They moved from Battersea sometime between 1913 and 1916 to Mafeking Ave.

I was wondering if there is any information about my family and/or a midwife that my mother used to talk about - Granny PADDLE, as she delivered me. A family called YOUNGS lived upstairs. My wife used to live at 353 High Street and was there with her family from 1949ish -1963 when the houses were demolished to make room for the new developments in Pottery Road/Distillery Road/North Road. Her father used to play at the Gas Board socials - he was a trumpeter. They came from Ireland and originally lived in one room at the top of the house, before the old lady died downstairs and her father took over the whole house. They were called SWEENEY - Harold and Bridget Josephine, Sean and Marion. They were relocated to Charlton House. My wife attended St John's School on the corner of Clifden Road.

I can remember the Eel and Pie shop and a newsagents run by two women on the other side of Distillery Road towards Ealing Road. Would you be able to tell me the name of the Pie shop?

Reply from Celia Cotton

Regarding the eel and pie shop – could this be Pink’s?

Harold James BEESON was recorded in electoral registers from 1918 to 1937 at 55 Mafeking Avenue, Brentford. In 1918 other occupants were Florence Beeson and Jane TAYLOR. In 1938 as well as these three were Arthur James Beeson and the YOUNG family you remembered: those able to vote were William John and May Young.

Regarding Granny PADDLE: a 1946 electoral register shows a Fanny Paddle living at 42 Windsor Road, Ealing, just over a mile north of Brentford; I wonder if Fanny was Granny Paddle? Her death was registered at Surrey North West Registration District in 1956; her will gives her full name: Fanny Clemence Eliza Paddle, and she was of The Marie Louise Club, Sunninghill, Berks. She was a widow, aged 87 when she died, so born around 1869. The probate index mentions Eileen Constance Winifred Paddle, spinster and the 1931 electoral register shows them at 2 Burlington Gardens, Turnham Green. Eileen C W Paddle died in 1980, her death was registered in Surrey NW Reg Dist, she was born around 1889 (so could be a daughter of Fanny?). She appears to have been at the Newington Institution in the 1940s, this may be the former workhouse for the area, and she cannot therefore have been Granny Paddle.

There were other Paddles in the Brentford area as far back as 1911, possible earlier:
The following two families lived in Brentford in 1911:
Name Relation Condition /Yrs married Sex Age Birth Year Occupation Where born
47 Brook Road Brentford
PADDLE, Henry Head Married M 49 1862 Painter Maidenhead Kent
PADDLE, Jane Annitte Wife Married 25 years F 49 1862 Bucks
PADDLE, Violet Mary Daughter Single F 17 1894 Domestic Brentford
PADDLE, Clara Ethel Daughter Single F 16 1895 Brentford
PADDLE, Marion Victoria Daughter F 14 1897 Brentford
MAYO, George Boder Single M 34 1877 Market Garden Labourer Brentford
A marriage of Harry Paddle to Janet Annette Mayo took place in the Brenford Reg Dist in 1886.

50 High Street Brentford
MUMFORD, Catherine Head Widow F 53 1858 Licensed Victualler Strand London
PADDLE, May Servant Single F 29 1882 Barmaid Brentford
PADDLE, Jessie Servant Single F 18 1893 House Servant Brentford

You also asked about the SWEENEY family:
The 1951 electoral registers shows the following people living at 353 High Street:
Maud E. O'Keeffe
Cornelius Power
Eileen J. Power
William G. Shaw
Harold Sweeney
Joan Sweeney
Thomas Waites

In 1950 Harold J. and Bridget Sweeney were recorded at this address, and in 1952 Harold and Joan Sweeney (in each case along with other people).

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Published September 2013