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Not Brentford New

Postcard showing High Ground, Brentford, early 1900s

Roger Williams provided this tinted postcard which probably dates from the early 1900s: the tram lines are laid but the High Street is quiet. I presume it was called 'The High Ground' as it was not so susceptible to flooding, being a little more elevated. There are references to 'High Ground' in both a trade directory from 1853 and the 1871 census.
Quiet street scene titled 'The High Ground'

The block of buildings to the left of the red one is numbers 290 - 294. Number 296 is set back a little from the High Street and the red building may be no. 297. The 1909/10 Valuation describes no. 298/9 'part of shop fronts extend beyond main building line' and this fits with the appearance of the property next to the red building.

Enlargment showing face at windowThe properties in the foreground are in the low 300s: the one nearest the photographer, no. 303 has a cellar which was let at 10 shillings a week (1909/10 Valuation). A face is visible at the window above the front door, could thid be Mrs Kate Saunders, the owner in 1909/10? See no. 303 after WW2, with the railings removed and a more derelict appearance.

Howard Webb provided a high resolution scan of the same postcard in 2011, which showed:

  • House no. plate '302' is visible and the name 'Humphrey': Henry Humphrey, picture frame maker occupied no. 302 in 1901
  • No. 301: in 1901 was occupied by Mrs. Mary Cartman
  • Nos. 298, 299 & 300: signs include 'Howard & Son, wholesale and retail ironmongers'
  • Phillips Cosy Refreshment Rooms sign is at no. 293
  • The three balls sign marks Rattenburys pawnbrokers at 288/289

Further along the High Street on the right a turret of the Brentford Cinema, which opened in 1912 (S30), is just visible - to the right of the trolleybus.

See details of the properties on the left and nearer the camera.

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Published July 2010; updated June 2011