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Not Brentford

July News

The following items have been extracted from the British Newspaper Archive, also available at Findmypast. They are in publication date order.

Notes follow some items: further research, useful links etc.

London Standard Wednesday 29 July 1829

Yesterday afternoon an inquisition was taken at the Turf Tap, Tattersall's yard, Hyde Park corner, before Mr. Higgs, coroner, on the body of George Angel, aged 30, who came by his death in the following shocking manner:-

William Gomm stated, that he lived at Brentford: about three weeks ago the deceased and another man was assisting him to lift a box of soap weighing about 6 cwt., out of a truck into a waggon, in the High Street, Brentford; they had got one end of the box into the waggon when by some means it canted round and fell on the leg of the deceased, who was severely injured. He was immediately taken to his home, and his employers, Messrs. Rowe, of Brentford, were informed of the accident, who directed their medical man to attend him. The deceased was perfectly sober at the time.

Mr George Cooper, of Brentford, surgeon, stated that he attended the deceased; his leg was very much swollen, but he went on favourably for a few days, when the symptoms became alarming, and he recommended his being taken to St. George's Hospital.

Mr John Harrison, house-surgeon of St. George's Hospital, stated that the deceased was brought in on the 9th of July; every thing was done for him, but he gradually got worse, and it was found that the only chance of saving his life was by amputating the limb, which was accordingly performed last Wednesday, but the deceased still grew worse, and died on Saturday last, from the injuries he had received.

Verdict - Accidental Death. Deodand, 1s. (Deodand: 'a thing that had caused a person's death and was forfeited to the crown for a charitable purpose: abolished 1862' from; wikipedia includes more details.)

The unfortunate man has left a wife and four children, the youngest only three months old, who were entirely dependent upon him for support.


A little research

Intrigued as to what happened to George's family I did some research and found:

George Angel was buried in the churchyard of St Mary Ealing on 28 July 1829, his residence Old Brentford and age 30 years (the burial entry includes no indication of the nature of his death nor the Coroner's involvement) (

George Angel married Maria Gurney at St Mary Ealing in 1820, she signed with a 'x' but George signed, spelling his surname Angell.

They baptised children at the same church: Fanny 1822; William 1823; Maria 1825; Richard 1827. The occupation of George Angel was labourer in 1827, residence Old Brentford. The baby of three months referred to in the article was Thomas Angell, baptised at St George's, Old Brentford in May 1829 (St George was a chapel, consecrated as a church in 1828); George's occupation and residence were as in 1827.

The article referred to four children but five children were baptised. A search in found infant burials at St Mary Ealing of George Angel, age 18 months in 1823; Jane Angel 5 months in 1824; Maria Angel 18 months in 1827. The entries do not include the names of the parents but of the three children buried, I think Maria may be a child of George and Maria.

After her husband's sudden and untimely death, with four young children to support, Maria would need help from family or to re-marry. A check of marriages from 1829 - 1839 ( showed she may have re-married: widow Maria Angel married John Noakes, a bachelor in November 1829 at St Mary, Norwood (about 3 miles from Old Brentford).

However a check of the 1841 census to help confirm the marriage was that of the same Maria failed to find a John and Maria Noakes. There was a burial at St Mary Ealing of a John Noakes from Old Brentford, age 41 in November 1833. Did Maria's second husband also die prematurely? Did she marry for a third time? There is a marriage of a William Lewis widower, to Maria 'Nockes', widow at Heston in October 1834, nearly a year after the death of John Noakes.

A search of the 1841 census for a couple called William and Mary Lewis located a couple of this name, but they had several children with the surname Lewis pre-dating the 1834 marriage.


Returning to Maria's second marriage to John Noakes, further searches of baptisms on turned up baptisms to a John and Maria Noakes at St George, Old Brentford: Helena 1831, John in August 1833 and a second John in March 1837 (no later baptisms). However the last baptism in 1837 shows John junior was born in July 1835 which is not consistent with the death of John senior in 1833. The baptisms show John senior was a labourer, residence Old Brentford.

I then searched for Helena Noakes (findmypast: 'Ellen Noakes' allowing for name variations) in the 1851 census and turned up:

  • William Lewis, 48, bricklayer
  • Maria Lewis, 47
  • Ellen Nokes, 21, daughter-in-law, pottle basket maker
  • George Lewis, 12, scholar
  • Maria Lewis, 9, scholar
  • Joseph Lewis, 8, scholar
All born in Brentford, current address Running Horses Yard. This fits the third marriage, although Ellen was not in modern day terms a 'daughter-in-law' to William, as she was unmarried, however the term daughter-in-law was used at the time to denote a step daughter as well a a girl who had married into the family.

Returning to the 1841 census I searched this time for George Lewis age 2, finding three matches in Brentford area, of which this family, previously discounted, now looks to be the correct one:

  • William Lewis, 40, labourer
  • Maria Lewis, 40
  • Thomas Lewis, 11
  • Ellen Lewis, 9
  • John Lewis, 7
  • William Lewis, 4
  • George Lewis, 2
All were born in Middlesex and the family lived at Furness Row, Old Brentford. Next door lived an Abraham Nokes, general dealer, age 40, who may be related to Maria's second husband John.

Note that Thomas and Ellen have been recorded in 1841 with the surname Lewis. They could be children of William, but they also could be Maria's children from her first marriage in which case they should have the surname Angel. John Lewis could be the John Noakes who was born in 1835 and William, George (named after he first husband?), Maria and Joseph are presumably from Maria's third marriage and correctly shown as Lewis. In all Maria had (at least) 12 children, by three fathers.

I stopped at this point having established that Maria had managed to bring up a large family successfully, despite losing two husbands within five years, and settled with her third husband in a marriage that lasted at least 16 years.

This leaves several loose ends: I have not checked to see what happened to the family by 1861, nor have I attempted to find out what happened to Maria's older children who would have been old enough to be in service or working by 1841. I have not found the death of infant John Noakes, born in 1833 nor clarified if his father John Noakes senior was the person who died in 1834. I have not checked the circumstances of John Noakes or William Lewis prior to their marriages to Maria. If I find a spare couple of hours I may dig deeper...


London Courier and Evening Gazette 08 July 1830

This was an action of slander. Both Baker and Napper are lightermen, living at Old Brentford. In May last they quarrelled about some blocks on the wharf, which were the joint property of them both. During the quarrel, Mrs Napper came out of her house, and called out to her husband to "come away, or else the plaintiff would kill him, as he had killed his wife." She then repeated several times to the plaintiff, "You killed your wife, you old rascal; yes you w_____g old rascal, you know you killed your wife." This was the slander for which the action was brought.

Mr Sergeant WILDE having stated the plaintiff's case to the jury, and called witnesses to prove it,
Mr Sergeant TADDY addressed the Jury for the Defendant, and ridiculed the idea of a Brentford lighterman bringing such an action on such grounds, it was quite clear, he said, from one expression (beginning with a w) which had been used by Mrs Napper, that she did not mean to impute murder to the plaintiff; but merely that being a man of gallantry, he had paid Brentford attentions to other ladies (laughter), and in that way had killed his wife.
Mr Sergeant WILDE, - And, therefore, she told her own husband to come away from him, or he would kill him in the same way. (Great laughter, in which the Learned Judge heartily joined.).
Mr Sergeant TADDY concluded his address by calling on the Jury to give the paintiff a farthing damages, if they thought him entitled to a verdict at all.
The LORD CHIEF JUSTICE told the Jury they might deal with the case as they thought it deserved.
The Jury found a verdict for the plaintiff - Damages 1s.
At the rising of the Court the sittings were adjourned to the 1st of November.


This may be the Joseph Napper, lighterman and bargemaster, who lived at the east end of High Street, probably no. 4, who left a will that was proved in 1847.


The Evening Chronicle 10 July 1839

On Sunday night between nine and twelve o'clock, the neighbourhood of the metropolis was visited with one of the severest thunder-storms that has occurred for many years. The sky looked dark and threatening for some hours previously, especially towards the west and north, where the horizon was of a uniform dull yellow, as if charged with electric matter; the heat was also most oppressive, and there was not wind enough to stir a leaf. About eight o'clock a few heavy drops of rain fell, and shortly afterwards the storm commenced, The lightning, which was chiefly in the west, was remarkable, not only for its duration and intense brilliancy, but for its being almost wholly unaccompanied by thunder. With the exception of one terrific peal, which seemed crashing right overhead, there was scarcely any thunder, and what little there was evidently, from its faint muttering sounds, at a great distance. The storm was at its height at half past nine o'clock, at which hour the blue ghastly sheet lighning, followed momentarily by forked flashes of a bright glowing red, like red-hot steel, and which darted, not as usually the case, in a zig zag manner, but perpendicularly down from the clouds, presented a spectacle of sublimity quite tropical in its character. We knew not indeed that we ever beheld such lightning. Flash followed flash, with scarcely a minute's interval, for upwards of two hours, when the storm gradually died away.

About New Brentford much damage was done. A child belonging to a fisherman named Clark, in that town, was about half-past six o'clock struck by the electric fluid, and instantly killed. Nearly at the same moment the house of Mr Cooper, surgeon, adjoining to the Castle Tavern, was struck by lightning, which entered the window on the second floor, demolishing the glass, and passing down the house, escaped at the front door. Fortunately none of the children were in the room at the time. Within a few minutes afterwards a man named John Bolton, an inhabitant of Brentford, while walking by the Castle, was struck by the electric fluid. Several persons ran to his assistance, and finding him in a state of insensibility, conveyed him to the surgery of Mr. Cooper, by whom he was attended. On examination it was found that he had received injuries of a nature to render his ultimate recovery extremely doubtful. Mr Coburn, a lighterman of Brentford End, while attending a barge on the cut near his residence, was likewise struck by the lightning, and nearly deprived of his sight.


Mr Cooper, surgeon, lived at 209/210 High Street, next to the Castle at 208.


Gloucestershire Chronicle 10 July 1920

The first proceedings in Middlesex under the Rats' Order, at Brentford, on Tuesday, resulted in John Howe, a Southall farmer, being fined 40s for not taking sufficient steps to clear his premises of vermin.


Not having heard of the Rats' Order I checked further.

The National Archives has correspondence about the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries 'Rats and Mice (Destruction) Act 1919, and Infestation Order 1940' (MAF 130/6). The earlier Act, under which John Howe was fined, came into force on 1 January 1920. The Act resulted in occupiers of land, who failed to prevent their land becoming infested with rats or mice, being fined up to 5 or, if previously served notice under the Act, up to 20.

Presumably the aim of the 1919 Act was to support crop production following WWI as there was a greater reliance on home-grown cereals when imports reduced.

A second Act followed in 1940, when there were also concerns about urban areas: 'Lieut.-Colonel Heneage asked the Minister of Agriculture, what action is being taken to prevent the increase of rats in urban districts owing to war-time conditions and especially in cases where sewage drains have been damaged'.

Returning to 1920, George L. Moore, County Organising Officer under Rats and Mice (Destruction) Act, 1919, to Kent County Council, wrote about the administrative difficulties. He recommended the employment of a permanent staff of skilled Rat Exterminators under the control of the Local Authority and also Rat Clubs:

'The payments of rewards by Local Authorities for rats killed is, under proper supervision in rural areas, a means of keeping their numbers in check. A reward of 2d. per tail has proved, in Kent, a sufficient incentive to the desired end.'

'Properly organised Rat Clubs were formed, whose funds were augmented by Local Authorities paying 2d. per tail for each rat killed, subject to a proper scheme of supervision. Considerable success has been achieved, the number of Rat Clubs within the County had increased from thirteen, in August, 1919, to seventy, in the following April. Thirteen Clubs for the year ending 31st March, 1920, had acounted for 35,664 rats, besides a large number of mice, sparrows, queen wasps, and other destructive agricultural pests.'
SAGE Journals

I could find no evidence in the British Newspaper Archive of a Brentford Rat Club.


Middlesex Chronicle 27 July 1940

Decisions Ar Emergency Meetign
The expenditure on the air raid shelters at Brentford Market was the subject of a discussion at the monthly meeting of the Emergency Committee of the Brentford and Chiswick Council on Tuesday evening.

The Administrative Committee reported that a deputation representing the Brentford Wholesale Market Tenants' Association had made certain representations to civil defence protection within the market and made submissions on the undermentioned matters; improvements to the existing three shelters; removal of glass roof in the Arcade; voluntary wardens' protection; first-aid equipment; fire fighting facilities and alternative market accommodation.

The committee resolved that with the exception of the proposed use of the accommodation road and bridge leading to the Great West Road, which the Town Clerk had suggested might be used in case of emergency if the necessary arrangements could be made with the Middlesex County Council and the London Midland and Scottish Railway Company, the recommendations raised by the deputation be approved in principle; that the work of removing the glass roof be commenced forthwith; and that reports be submitted to the Emergency Committee by the Borough Treasurer upon the financial aspoects of the matters in question and by the Borough Surveyor upon the proposed provision of a fire pump and equipment at the market.

Cllr G Grogan contended that it was not playing the game to ask the ratepayers to foot the bill for this work/

The Mayor (Ald. George Jenkin, JP) said it was a public shelter.

Cllr. Grogan continued that in his opinion the market employers should contribute something in connection with the protection of their employees in this matter. The Town Clerk (Mr J Skinner) said he would deal with that position in committee at a later stage.

Cllr ET Penny asked if the market would be open to the public at night, and the Borough Surveyor (Mr LA Cooper) replied that the market was closed at a certain hour.

Cllr Penny: Then it cannot be regarded as a public shelter. Another member suggested that it might be worked on the same principle as the shelter at Brentford Police Court. The question was referred to committee.


West London Observer 12 July 1957

Firestone job advertThis mid-summer issue of the West London Observer included a range of Brentford-based job opportunities in the small ads columns, also a larger advert for Firestone.

ACCOUNTING Machine Operator, female, required for Wages Dept. of Reed Corrugated Cases Ltd., Great West Road, Brentford. Experience of National Machines an advantage, though not essential, as training will be given. 5-day week, non-contributory pension scheme, canteen facilities. - Applications to Office Manager (EALing 4555).

BONUS Clerk, female, aged 17/30, required by Reed Corrugated Cases Ltd., Great West Road, Brentford. Experience of figure work an advantage. 5-day week, non-contributory pension scheme, canteen facilities. - Applications to Office Manager (EALing 4555).

DRAUGHTSMAN, required for Factory situated Great West Road, Brentford; experience necessary on plant and machinery installations and conveyorisation. Applicants should have a recognised Engineering apprenticeship and be qualified to H.N.C. Standard or equivalent. High salary paid to suitable man 5-day week and Staff contributory pension and Insurance scheme. - Write stating age, qualifications and positions held to Box B8, "West London Observer," Hammersmith, W.6.

EXPERIENCED Correspondence Typist (Dictaphone experience an advantage; also Male or Female Junior Clerk; also Warehousemen & Drivers. Superannuation scheme. - Crane Ltd., Great West Road, Brentford.

FEMALE Press & Machine Operators, Viewers, Assemblers required for light engineering. Age 18-40 years. Will train suitable applicants. Hours 8am-6pm Monday to Thursday, 5pm Fridays. Canteen and Social amenities. - Apply: Personnel Manager, Trico-Folberth Ltd., Great West Road, Brentford, Middx. (Opposite Dome Garage).

FITTER, First-class, Mechanical reqd. Adaptable and hardworking. Preference given to man over 30. Interesting work, Sports Cars, no Commercials. Good rates and incentive bonus. - Performance Cars Ltd., Gt. West Road, Brentford, EALing 8841.

PATONS & BALDWINS Ltd., Gt. West Rd., Brentford, require good needlewomen to make up hand knitted garments at home. One month full-time training with pay. - Apply by letter only Dept. "N".

TYPIST for Company Secretary urgently required, Interesting varied work. Good salary. - Gerrard Industries Limited, Great West Road, Brentford. Phone Mr. King, EALing 1844 for appointment.

YOUNG Man required for export sales office, age between 21 and 25 years. With previous experience of export sales preferred. 5-day week, canteen and social amenities. - Write stating age, experience and salary expected to: Personnel Manager, Trico-Folberth Limited, Great West Road, Brentford, Middx.


The site has photos of two of the Great West Road factories mentioned above: Trico-Folberth, 1972 and Firestone, 1972 and 1974, mboth by Peter Young.

Daily Mirror 12 July 1968

An advert for Silvikrin hair shampoo has the address Silvikrin Laboratories Ltd, Brentford, Middx. This product contained '17 amino acids essential for healthy hair' and advised 'a possible reason for thinning hair is lack of amino acids. Baldness can occur unless this is corrected'.

A Google search found adverts dating back to 1938. Apparently the shampoo is no longer manufactured although Wella sell some Silvikrin items. As to the Brentford link - possibly through Gillette? Procter and Gamble took over Wella in 2003 and Gillette in 2005.


Published July 2012; updated July 2020