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Brentford Families - Tippell

Paul Tippell wrote in March 2023 seeking 'photos or information on Brentford Timber Company, Kew Bridge Road near Bangor Road. My Grandparents, surname Tippell, lived in a flat above the company and overlooking the yard at the rear, from the early 1930s until early 1970s. My father and his 6 brothers lived with them until they left home.'

'My father described the upper part of the building as having numerous small bedrooms which he believed to have been part of an old coaching Inn. However no such Inn on the site is shown on the old OS maps.'

'I remember going into the yard after my Grandmother's funeral and seeing some timber and machines. I believe the yard was no longer in use at the time. As I child I occasionally stayed with my grandparents and I remember walking along the paths adjacent to the river and seeing the timber barges moored to the wharf.'

Paul also sent a link to the Kelly's Ealing, Hanwell, Brentford & Southall Directory, 1914, which shows Alfred Aldin & Co., timber merchants, at 38 and 39 Kew Bridge Road.

Findings follow, but, apart from an aerial view, no photos of the timberyard have been located. If you can help, please get in touch.

Brentford Timber Company: location

The website has information about Bangor Road, thanks to Paul Kirby and Jennifer Ruff, including a report on a fire at the Spring Grove Laundry in 1926:
'An official of the Brentford Timber Co. (Limited) said that there was over £10,000 worth of timber stored in their yard, which was separated from the laundry only by a brick wall.'

An advertisement in the Middlesex County Times 24 Jan 1923, gives the address of the Brentford Timber Company Ltd: Medina Wharf, Kew Bridge Road, Brentford.

Three late 19th-century advertisements for sales at Medina Wharf, Kew Bridge Road show the premises were a boat builder's yard in the 1880s:
'various craft' were up for sale, London Evening Standard 25 May 1880
'barge builders stock', Daily Telegraph & Courier 9 September 1882
'desirable FREEHOLD PROPERTY, known as Medina Wharf, Kew, consisting of wharfage with extensive dock, spacious building shop over engine house, smithy's shed, brick-built stabling, living room, and other erections, admirably adapted to the requirements of the barge, boat, and other building trades' Surrey Advertiser, 31 March 1888

The Ordnance Survey map from 1961 has house numbers and shows 38 and 39 Kew Bridge Road with a Depot at the rear. 37 and 38 Kew Bridge Road have the same frontage line, set back from the road compared to their neighbours to the east at 33 to 36 Kew Bridge Road. There is an entrance between 38 and 39 to the (Brentford Timber Co.) Depot. Numbers 39 and 40 share a frontage line further back than numbers 37 and 38. The timberyard extends behind them to The Hollows, with the banks of the Thames beyond. Bangor Road and the (Spring Grove) Laundry are to the east of the timber yard.

Kew Bridge Road, 1961

Alfred Aldin, timber merchant

Alfred Aldin was noted in the 1914 trade directory, see link above from Paul.

Alfred Aldin junior was recorded as a timber merchant in the 1891 and 1901 censuses, he lived in Twickenham in 1891 and Richmond in 1901. Presumably he employed a manager to oversee the timberyard. Following his death in 1905, the 1911 census shows George Agars Sowerby, timber merchant, at 37 Kew Bridge Road and Albert Cozens, timber trade yard foreman, at no. 39.

Advertisements for the Brentford Timber Company appear in the local press from 1922 and in a Bees football programme in 1947. This is around the time Paul's grandparents lived on Kew Bridge Road.


Residents near the Brentford Timber Co. premises

Searches from 1911 to 1965 found no reference to no. 38 Kew Bridge Road throughout and in 1965 no reference to numbers 36 and 40 either, suggesting they were not residential.

1911 Census:

  • 36: Mr Sparrow (shop)
  • 37: Mr Sowerby (private house)
  • 39: Mr Cozens (private house)
  • 40: Mr Goodman (private house)

1921 Census:

  • 36: Abraham Redshaw Sparrow, coachmaker, his wife, 5 children, a daughter-in-law and grandchild, also Hannah North, widow, boarder
  • 37: Charles Goulding, traffic audit clerk and his wife
  • 39: Albert E Cozens, timber merchant, and his wife
  • 40: James Goodman, civil engineer, and his sister

1937 Electoral Register, Kew Bridge Road, Old Brentford - East Ward:

  • 36: Nellie Isabel Gunn, Percy Gordon Gunn, Dorothy Lilian May Howard, John Stanley Howard
  • 37A: Daniel James Ernest Dobbins, Ernest John Dobbins, Rebceea Dobbins
  • 39: Edith Robbins, George Robbins, Henry George Robbins, Hilda Mary Robbins, Winifred Annie Robbins

1939 Register:

  • 36: John S Howard, gents hairdresser, his wife and four others
  • 37A: Ernest J Dobbins, master boot repairer with his wife and son
  • 39: George Robbins, working foreman, timber yard and his wife and two daughters, also Henry Robbins, wood machinist
  • 40: no names
  • 40A: Charles J Schopman?, provisions warehouseman, heavy worker; he worked for Joseph Kingham, wholesale grocers, read more

1945 Electoral Register:

  • 36: Dorothy L M Howard, John S Howard, mabel A Stone, Robert W Stone
  • 37A: Margaretta Tippell, Thomas O Tippell
  • 39: Edith Robbins, George Robbins
  • 40: Ivy E R Brenton, William E Brenton
  • 40A: Marguerite Jackson, Annie M Schapman, Charles Schapman

1965 Electoral Register no voters at numbers 36, 38 and 40:

  • 37A: Margaret Tippell, Thomas O Tippell
  • 39: Blanche D W Horobin, William E Horobin

Having an exact address and location on a map for 37A Kew Bridge Road, what was its earlier history and could the building have been a coaching inn?

Descriptions of 37 to 39 Kew Bridge Road

The Lloyd George Survey recorded information about properties and land around 1910 to 1915: read more about the survey and access to records online. Rarely are build dates given for properties and this is the case here.

37 Kew Bridge Road
House, stable and premises and timber yard at rear, with a frontage of 20 feet plus 11 foot archway, area 31 perch and 17 yards (about)
Owner: Mrs E Balgery of Duffield, Derbyshire
Leasehold: Messrs A Aldin and Co, Richmond
The premises comprised:
House of 3 storeys and attic (crossed out 'and Yard')
Top floor: 1 large attic
1st floor: Large double bedroom, bathroom H & C, low? basin H & C & WC, 2 rooms over archway
Ground floor: Large double room
Basement: 2 rooms. Large washhouse
Premises in good repair (crossed out 'At rear is a large yard mostly covered in with corrugated iron roofing.')
At rear is a 1 stall stable & store shed (crossed out 'Greenhouse') - old.

The items crossed out above were included in the next property record

Numbers 38 and 39 Kew Bridge Road
House Premises & Timber Yard at rear, extent 19' 6", plus Archway 10' 9" excluding that portion of Timber yard immediately at the rear of 37 Kew Bridge Road, area 1 rod 9 perch 0 yds (abt) Owners: J W Boulding, C F W Lloyd, E F Knapp-Fisher and Mrs Lowe (full addresses given).
Occupier's tenancy, Term: 21 years from 25 Dec 1903
Description: House of 3 storeys and yard.
Top floor: 2 rooms and slip room, WC, bathroom and back room, 1 room over archway
Ground floor: 2 rooms
Basement: 2 rooms and scullery.
Large yard at rear majority of it roofed in with corrugated iron to form timber seasoning yard.

There is no indication that the properties were particularly old, nor is there any hint that they could have been used as a coaching inn in the past, although the location on the main route from London to the west is promising.

Earlier records of this part of Kew Bridge Road

The 1893 OS map shows number 37 Kew Bridge Road as in the 1961 map above.

The OS Map from a survey of 1867 published in 1871 (see below) shows a recognisable configuration of properties to that in 1961. Numbers 38 and 39 can be picked out, but numbers 33 to 37 have not been built.

There are large premises behind numbers 38 to 40, down to The Hollows. Their irregular shape suggesting they have been built over a period of time. This is a decade before it is known there was a barge and boat building business operating from Medina Wharf.

Kew Bridge Road, 1871

The Ealing tithe map of 1840 shows the south side of the main road down to the river had few properties until nearer Kew Bridge. Opposite the Waterworks was a pair of cottages owned by the Grand Junction Waterworks Company. These could be numbers 39 and 40 Kew Bridge Road.

Summing up: no evidence has been found that a coaching inn was on the site of 37A Kew Bridge Road and Ordnance Survey maps show the property was built between 1867 and 1893. Family stories often have a grain of truth, although with the passing of time it may now be difficult to find that grain.

Finally, if you have any photos showing this area you are happy to share, or memories of any of the people, please get in touch.


Page published April 2023