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Not Brentford

Newspaper Accounts

The British Newspaper Archive (BNA) has been a real boon for research, used in recent TV series A House in Time and Who Do You Think You Are?. It has opened up opportunities to find out what was happening in Brentford before the memories shared by many contributors. Janet McNamara, Vic Rosewarne and Jim Storrar have used newspapers extensively, for example see the Pub Hub.

Searching The British Newspaper Archive is free, accessing the original article is chargeable but subscribers to Findmypast can access BNA at no extra cost. If a search fails to turn up material in Findmypast, it is worth trying the superior search facilities of the BNA website, then return to Findmypast to view the page.

When searching, both BNA and Findmypast websites offer filtering facilites, such as by publication title, date, county, place and type of article.

As at February 2022 material continues to be added to the archive: nearly 200,000 new pages in the last week of January 2022.

In January 2018 the archive gave access to over 420,000 articles which include the word 'Brentford', a substantial increase since 2015. By February 2022 the total had more than doubled, to over 860,000 articles. These titles contribute significantly to the total, the coverage is noted for each:

  • London Evening Standard 1827-1915
  • West London Observer 1855-1872, 1884-1957
  • Ealing Gazette and West Middlesex Observer 1898-1910, 1912-1923
  • Ealing Leader 1986-1999
  • Middlesex and Surrey Express 1886-1888, 1890-1895, 1899-1909
  • Middlesex Chronicle 1860, 1862-1864, 1867, 1870, 1876-1877, 1879, 1896-1897, 1914-1918, 1939-1945, 1986-1999
  • Middlesex County Times 1866-1868, 1871, 1883-1907, 1911-1926, 1931-1937, 1939-1941, 1953-1954, 1957-1976, 1978, 1980, 1982-1983
  • Middlesex Chronicle 1860, 1862-1864, 1867, 1870, 1876-1877, 1879, 1896-1897, 1914-1918, 1939-1945, 1986-1999
  • Middlesex Gazette 1889-1913
  • Middlesex Independent 1883-1896, 1899-1905
  • West Middlesex Advertiser and Family Journal 1856-1867
  • West Middlesex Gazette 1894-1895, 1898-1910, 1912-1941
  • West Middlesex Herald 1855-1858, 1860-1861, 1863-1871, 1889-1895
  • Surrey & Middlesex Standard 1835-1840
The list above shows no there is no local coverage prior to 1825, but more newsworthy articles were syndicated and appear in other titles.

PeriodNo. Brentford refs (2015)2018 2022
1700-1749over 200unchangedover 250
1750-1799over 2,500unchangedover 2,700
1800-1849nearly 22,000nearly 31,000over 50,000
1850-1899over 57,000over 100,000over 190,000
1900-1949nearly 100,000over 250,000over 420,000
1950-1999over 5,000nearly 35,000nearly 200,000
2000-2022noneover 200unchanged

Whilst no Brentford titles are included in the Archive as yet, some local newspapers are held at Chiswick Library.

Examples of Brentford stories

At the outset I had hoped to add a piece each to reflect the changing seasons and annual cycle, but life caught up with me! I continue to add Brentford stories as time permits and below is an example for each month, use the links to see these and other items, they are in date order.

  • January: wintry weather, 1786
  • February: the dealings of Mr Folkard, pawnbroker, 1835
  • March: the drowning of a boy entrusted with the care of a boat, 1810
  • April: Thameside development at Brentford, 1968
  • May: Brentford and district Tramways Bill in 1885
  • June: Brentford Nylon's new Wonderlon sheets, 1968
  • July: destructive power of a thunderstorm, 1839
  • August: fire at United Water Softeners Ltd, High Street in 1926
  • September: rebuilding of Brentford Bridge, 1824
  • October: fining of Emanuel Smith for an unregistered canal boat 1927
  • November: death of a miser, Thomas Kane in 1846
  • December: Barnsley v. Brentford 1952


Published December 2011; last updated February 2022