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Jim Jefferies' Memories of Brentford, 1940s and 1950s

Jim Jefferies wrote in February 2018:

Ealing Road

I was born in 1943 and lived in Ealing Road until I was 25. My house backed on to the football ground. In case you ever wondered, if I stood on a box in my parent's bedroom window at the back of the house, I could just see the crossbar on the far goal post.

Opposite Ealing Road School gates was a little sweet shop with bargains to be had for a penny. He can't have made much of a profit out of us, but he seemed to survive.

If you ventured off down Layton Road you could find the soft drinks bottling factory. If their gates were open you could see all the bottles rattling around on a conveyor system to be capped and labelled. I still have one of their bottle openers. In fact I have just opened a pint with it for old time's sake. Should of course have been Fuller's but sadly it wasn't.

Next point of interest was the railway bridge, if you timed it right a train might go racing under you. A steam train at that.

On past the New Inn, one of the four pubs on the corners of the football ground. Griffin Park is well known for being the only football ground in England to have a pub on each corner. At least the team is famous for something. No, I'm not a supporter.

On the east side of the road was Davis' garage and petrol station. I remember buying petrol for my BSA motorbike at 2/6 a gallon. That's 12.5p to you!

Marsh's grocer shop came next. We never shopped there. Don't know why, there must have been a reason but Mum never explained.

Carrying on past my house (it still has the same front gate) and on past the Princess Royal (another of the four) and over Braemar Road was Grants wet fish shop. A nice clean shop, but always, predictably, smelled of fish.

Protos was next. He sold sweets, ice-cream, cigarettes and all sorts of bits and pieces. He was a pleasant quiet man and lived behind the shop.

Next to him was Emmy's greengrocers shop. All the fruit and veg on display, buy as many of anything as you liked. Nothing pre-packaged then, no plastic bag pollution. Emmy was a warm friendly lady, lived I think in South Ealing.

A little further on is a group of 3 newly built houses that have replaced The Bricklayers Arms, although the exterior of the properties still retains the shape of the pub at roof level. It carries an image of a flying swan. You will have to read Robert Rankin's 'Brentford Trilogy' to find out why. I'm sure I heard The Temperance Seven playing in there in later years.

Further on was a bookies, don't know anything about him and another greengrocer's called Umberstone's. Mum only went there, in fact I think she sent me, if Emmy's was out of what she wanted.

Albany Road is next with The Royal Horseguardsman on the corner. Down Albany Road was Hyams newsagent on the right and on the corner of Mafeking Avenue was Arthur's grocer's shop which sold flour, sugar, eggs, biscuits from open boxes, in fact most everything you could want to stock your kitchen. Another shop full of pleasant serving ladies. (Mary was best for cutting the bacon). The other side of Mafeking avenue boasted a fish and chip shop.

A little further on, on the other side of Albany Road was another shop, Jaffrates. He made and sold his own ice cream. He also recharged accumulators to power your valve radio. Big heavy glass things. You could buy almost everything you would need locally without even getting on a bus and who had a car in those days?

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Notes

Some photos of the area Jim remembers:

In March 2018 Barry Pearce added: Really enjoyed Jim's recollections of Ealing Road in the 40's and 50's. I lived in Burford Road at a similar time (1944 to 1966) but went to St George's School not Ealing Road. My mother was born in Ealing Road in 1911 and it was good to be reminded of the various small independent shops and the pubs along Ealing Road. I can confirm that the Temperance Seven did play quite regularly at the Bricklayers Arms in the early 60's. Saw them perform a number of times.

Published March 2018