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Brentford Families - Pugh

Janet Byron wrote in July 2022, having spotted two of her family members in photos on the site.

Janet sent these Pugh family photos: three generations of her family, staring with her great grandfather, John Pugh.

John Pugh

My great grandfather John Pugh was a tinker and tin smith. He used to push a barrow around the posh streets of Brentford and Chiswick,sharpening knives and repairing china using rivets for the big houses.

The Pugh family lived at 36 Distillery Road.

The 1901 census for Distillery Road shows John, 28, a travelling tinker, born Walthamstow, Essex, working on his own account, with his wife Mary Ann, 26 and their children:
Emma 9
John 8
Ada 5
Flossy 3
George 9 months.

Another four children had been born by the 1911 census: Willie, Fred, Nellie and baby Percy.

In the 1921 census for 36 Distillery Road, John Pugh was 48, travelling tinker with six children at home:
Flossie 23 laundry hand
William 18 labourer for Mr Butimer's Linolite Flooring Co.
Fred 16 laundry hand for Mr Liversidge
Nellie 13
Percy 10
married daughter Emma Evans 29
Henry Evans 30, laundryman at the Crown Laundry.

John Pugh featured in a piece in the Daily Mirror, 20 Mar 1939 under a heading 'THE DAILY GRIND'
To each his destiny - John Pugh, sixty-eight, of Brentford (Middlesex), has been grinding knives for a living for fifty-two years now. Edward Carpenter, seventy-one, of Turnham Green, has been grinding out tunes for fifty years. Every Friday they meet in Brentford.

The piece has a photo showing John Pugh in the foreground with his sharpening machinery, and Edward Carpenter behind, with his organ grinder's cart pulled by a donkey.

The next two photos show some of John's children.

Pugh children Percy Pugh Nellie Pugh
Nellie and her brothers William (Bill)
and Fred Pugh, all attended
St George's School Brentford
Percy Pugh left,
unknown friend right
My Nan Nellie Pugh as a young woman

The final two photos are later and show Nellie and then her daughter Jean Shepherd on her wedding day.

Charles and Nellie Shepherd Jean Shepherd and her uncle Bill Pugh
My Nan Nellie with my grandad Charles Shepherd
who was from Chiswick
My mum Jean Shepherd on her wedding day, 1955

The photo on the right was taken at my parents wedding in 1955 at St Paul’s Church, Ridley Avenue in Northfields. William (Bill) Pugh gave my mum Jean away at her wedding as her dad died when she was only 16. Nellies brother Bill looked out for the family all his life. He was a wonderful great uncle to me. He worked fitting flooring using Lino and Marley floor tiles. He loved to have a laugh and a joke with everyone and enjoyed a Guinness. He was married to Edith Florence Trigg (always known as Florrie) and had two sons William (always known as Dick) and Frank. Sadly the younger son Frank died age 14 of leukaemia.

By 1955 Bill Pugh lived at 36 Wyndham Road, Northfields W13 and Nellie lived at 9 Altenburg Avenue, Northfields W13. My mum got married from Altenburg Avenue. She married John Edwin Byron (known as Jack) who was from 38 North Road, South Ealing. The Byron family all went to St Johns school and attended the Catholic Church in Brentford.

My mum regularly visited 36 Distillery Road as a child and I remember visiting Distillery Road in the 1960’s as a child, but not to see The Pugh’s as I don’t think any of them lived there by then, but to see Mr and Mrs Tripp who lived next door at 38 I think. My nan Nellie remained great friends with the Tripps. Mr Tripp kept racing pigeons in the back yard and he took me in to see the loft and see his prize pigeons.

I have a photo of Mr and Mrs Tripp in their home on their Golden Wedding. If any of the Tripp family are on your site feel free to share the photo with them.
Please get in touch to take up Janet's kind offer.



Nellie Pugh and her elder sister Flossie could be in the Pier House Laundry photo.

Renee Evans and her dad Henry Evans are in the Distillery Road street party photo, 1953. Renee's mother was Emma Evans (nee Pugh), the eldest daughter of John Pugh, the tinker and tin smith. Renee married Peter Hobbs in 1964.

Page published August 2022