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Memories of Brentford, 1940s

Jean Dunsdon, June 2011: Have spent a morning reading the memories. Bringing back so many of my own.

I was born in Alma House in 1938, my parents moved in a few months before I was born the youngest of seven, it was a new build so after several other old dwellings my mother must have been delighted to have all 'mod cons', inside bathroom for a start.

The memories of going for picnics all day to the Bluebell woods (the bluebells were limp by time we got home), and Gunersbury Park to play all day, a stop off at Carville Park for a go on the swings.

I remember the war years vaguely, I remember the shelter built in the front of Alma house which we would go to lots of times, my dad used to keep the fire going so that if we went down it was warm.

I remember all the shops as it was my job to run errands on Saturday mornings to stand in the endless queues: groceries in Arthurs Stores in Albany Road, meat in the butchers (Hunt's !), the bakers on the corner of Brook Road and Albany road. I left my nephew there one time, my sister asked me "where's the baby?" and had to dash back to find him fast asleep.

Then to the greengrocers Humberstone in Ealing road, after which I would then do it all over again for a neighbour for a shilling so I could go swimming and if my older sisters gave me their sweet rations spend the rest at Greens' the paper and tobacconist across the road on a Sunday morning.


My grand parents lived in the Ham and we would collect their accumulator for the radio from the cycle shop in Albany Road next to Albany Place, the alley that ran down the side of Rattenbury's into the High Street, and in summer go down to get mint from their garden for the Sunday roast of Lamb, a long walk but nothing unusual we walked everywhere.

I lived very close to the gas works, my brothers would go on Saturdays to collect coke for the fire in winter with an old pram.

I moved away to live with an aunt in the north where my mum came from, she came down here in service for a dentist in Margate.

I went to St Paul's School then to Brentford Secondary Girls School. I still keep in touch with a few of the girls that were with me: Elma Humphreys, Pam Pitcher, Joyce Russell. Elma Lives in Canada and I have been out to visit her.


Photo of St Paul's School, .

Photo of Albany Road, including Hunts the butchers.

Read other people's Brentford memories.


Published July 2011; updated August 2023