Link to Brentford High Street Project

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Brentford High Street Project  

Web bhsproject

The site brings together information about the people and properties of Brentford, particularly the High Street, from the 19th century onwards, with some earlier material. It has around 2000 web pages and over 700 images.

If you are a new user take a look at the site guide.

Recent additions follow. Perhaps you can help someone with a Brentford enquiry - it could be about a person, place or business, see Can You Help.

I hope you find something of interest and if you have any memories or stories about Brentford please get in touch, I’ll be delighted to include them.

*** Tip To make text larger press (at the same time) your Control (’Ctrl’) and ’+’ keys. To shrink text use Ctrl and ’-’. This will work on many other websites. ***

Recent Additions

Thank you to all contributors for providing a wealth of diverse material.

  • Book cover, Reading MadeleineFrom France, Roger Greaves has recently published Reading Madeleine; Anne Wallace's original history of the Henrey family from 2008 has since been augmented by material from many others, and now Roger has written about the lives and books of authors Robert Henrey and his wife Madeleine (10 July 2024)
  • From Texas, Peter Barrett has provided a footnote about the Clements family that he and Rebecca Norris are descended from; Rebecca wrote back in 2006 and is now in touch with her cousin, 18 years on (6 Jul 2024)
  • Karen and her sister Sarah sent memories of their mother, Sheila Green, of Cressage Road and some of its residents; mentions an informal wartime adoption and living arrangements of a house full of people! (5 July 2024)
  • Julie Jakeway, contributor to the site, has a new e-book: Emily Alice and her Farnham family, available fron Amazon; Emily Alice Farnham was born in Brentford in 1896 (29 Jun 2024)
  • Additional notes about use of gas in Brentford from Mel, nephew of Lynn Hayter; includes photos of Emily Rebecca Goddard (nee Carr) in her Brentford Gaslight & Coke Company uniform, early 1900s (3 May 2024)
  • 100 years ago Harry Palmer (nothing to do with The Ipcress File) ran into financial difficulties which he attributed to 'to extravagance in living'; the story of a failed business as 'advertising contractors and consultants' sounds modern; Harry remains elusive; if he is part of your family do get in touch (8 April 2024)
  • 80 years ago some High Street properties were advertised for sale (19 Feb 2024)
  • A February update from Janet McNamara on the new developments:
    Quite a few of the apartments opposite the Market Place are occupied with some of the shops open and the book shop opening later this month.
    Workhouse Dock looks almost finished and trees were being planted in front of the old Bradbury's warehouse. It's going to be a Gail's bakery and cafe which will be almost directly opposite Greggs who are in the old Barclays Bank.
    Heidelberg has gone and there are new blocks going up with Albany Parade being the next area for redevelopment!
    (9 Feb 2024)
  • David Shailes has shared his mammoth transcription of Brentford entries in the Kelly's 1890 trade directory; the current version is in address order and shows people and businesses for Ealing Road, High Street, Market Place and smaller roads too (3 Feb 2024)
  • Outing photoPeter Timms sent this photo showing an outing from Brentford, possibly 1950s. It features seven ladies including his grandmother, Daisy Ker. Peter adds: It would be nice if one or more of those people with my grandmother could be ‘brought back to life’ by giving them names. In this case they must almost certainly have all come from Brentford. (29 Jan 2024)
  • 100 years ago, plans for Boston House and park were announced, read more (24 Jan 2024)
  • December news item from 50 years ago - flooding from a "freak" high tide (13 Dec 2023)
  • You can now order a digital image (jpg) of a death certificate for £2.50 from the General Register Office GRO - read more in the latest Lost Cousins Newsletter at (16 Nov 2023)
  • Some initial notes on Knights Buildings, a set of eight properties off the south side of High Street at its eastern end, starting with 'who was Knight?' (9 Oct 2023)
  • Can you help Isabella: I am enquiring if anyone remembers my parents who worked at Ranton's Commerce Rd Brentford in the 1950's. My Father was Reginald 'Reg' Foster & my Mum Jeanette 'Jean' Lockie. They met at Ranton's. My Mum previously worked at Elizabeth Shaw's in Commerce Rd & latterly at Falcon Pipes
    Please get in touch if you can help Isabella; the site has much material about Rantons and people who worked there, for example this page has photos and names (7 Sep 2023)
  • Rather a slow burner this one. Thanks to a helpful lady from Australia the circumstances of a mystery photo sent in 2011 by Margaret Smith are now clear: it marked the opening of the King Edward VII bridge (Kew Bridge) in 1903: read more (17 Aug 2023)
  • Pigot's directory of 1823-4 noted 'a gas company is established here, who light the town'. David Shailes has prepared a history of the Gas Works in Brentford, explaining the original purpose was to provide street lighting, domestic use came later; many contributors have mentioned the works and sent photos too, links to some of these have been added to David's piece (17 Aug 2023)
  • Winifred KerPeter Timms' photo of his mother Winifred Ker, Mafeking Avenue, 1932, adds to the rich Ker family history compiled by Margaret Ker, Peter Stuart and Peter Timms (5 Aug 2023)
  • A contemporary account of the opening of Brentford's pioneering Health Centre in 1938, ten years before the NHS was founded; thanks to David Shailes for this inspiring piece (1 Aug 2023)
  • Janet McNamara & Jennie Shaw: photos taken in July 2023 showing progress at Workhouse Dock, now filled with water (31 Jul 2023)
  • As part of preparations for Local History Month, May 2022, David Shailes transcribed the names from the Brentford section of the 1878 Post Office Directory: a big undertaking with over 400 names with addresses and occupations, a great resource; more to follow in coming weeks (14 Jun 2023)
  • Count Otto Black (deceased) has sent some extraordinary items which I am working through sreadily; this one is about Spring-heeled Jack, who could be seen on Boston Lane in 1845; read more about how this phenomenon started and the Boston Lane example (7 Jun 2023)
  • Paul Tippell seeks photos or information on the Brentford Timber Company, 38-39 Kew Bridge Road - read more; has anyone any photos? Please get in touch if you can help (11 Apr 2023)
  • Dawn Trafford sent a news account about the tragic deaths of Emma Holford and her niece in 1899; they drowned at Kew Bridge and were buried at St Lawrence's (19 Feb 2023)
  • Can anyone help Hilary Pereira in her quest to find photos of vessels between Victoria Steps/the Hollows up to where the Arts Centre is, but not Lots Ait, mid 1960s up to recent times, for her research; if you are able to help please get in touch, I will forward any replies. Thank you! (2 Feb 2023)
  • Count Otto Black (decd) offers a diversion: the Library of Congress website has interesting material for the UK: "Mostly they have high-quality and easily downloadable scans of out-of-copyright books". I followed the Count's advice to search for 'Brentford London' and found lots of interesting stuff. A cartoon from 1768 illustrates the next episode in Middlesex's electoral history, following the election of radical John Wilkes in 1768: read more; two items unearthed by the Count are a bawdy poem: Jyl of Brentford's Testament by Robert Copland, mid 1500s; and The History and Antiquities of Brentford, Ealing and Chiswick by Thomas Faulkner, published 1845; excerpts to follow (Boxing Day, 2022)
  • Charles Woodley recalls Brentford in the 1950s and 1960s; he joined the 6th Brentford Scouts in 1958; can you help with his quest to locate a local scrapyard operating in the early 1960s that had remains of two 1940s planes? (5 Nov 2022)
  • Mystery groupLynn Hayter sent this family photo of an outing, probably 1932 : can anyone identify where it was taken or possibly identify any of the people? (21 Jul 2022)
  • Sally Douglas has sent several interesting links, in this case (Charles) Dickens's Dictionary of the Thames from its source to the Nore from 1885; scroll down to see the index, which includes links to pages for Brentford, Kew and Isleworth (and much more); Sally suggests a second link , worth seeing for the cover alone (8 Jul 2022)
  • Ted Sumner has sent a detailed document about his Ryall family - to follow - and useful information about parchment makers; notes added for related occupations of fellmonger and tanner in the Occupations section (22 Jun 2022)
  • Thanks to Sally Douglas for sending this link to an Old Bailey case from 1822 that mentions Brentford men Thomas Lambert and William Braby; worth reading for the incidental details - a reference to badger baiting, the price of a pair of breeches and more! (15 May 2022)


Can You Help

Please get in touch if you can help with any of the following. Thank you!

Can you help Margaret reunite a 1920s journal with the writer’s family?; two photos show the mystery journal-writer, possibly called George, who worked at Bohee’s, the printers, 58/59 High Street, and a view outside Bohee’s (May 2013)

LostCousins - a Great Resource

Peter Calver, LostCousins founder, publishes a newsletter every fortnight or so, each edition packed with hints and tips to help family researchers.

You can freely access the latest newsletter from the LostCousins website (link is at the bottom of the page): but as Peter says, ’why not join?’.

If you join LostCousins (it is free) you will find it extremely useful in locating relatives: Peter’s website introduction explains:
Are you serious about researching your family tree? If so, you’ve come to the right place, because LostCousins is the ONLY family history website able to match you with others researching the same ancestors
Simply enter the relatives on your family tree who were recorded in selected US, Canadian, British, or Irish Censuses - then click the Search button.