Published 2005

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John Welsh's memories from the 1950s and 60s


I was minded by your previous e-mails to dwell on the past and of mental images of Brentford High Street when I was a kid in the 50s and 60s.The trolley buses winding their way from Hounslow to Hammersmith and back. The day they brought in the new Routemaster buses to replace them all shiny and red and now they have long been replaced themselves.

High Street shops...

  • Of Young and Martins the builders merchants where dad would buy wallpaper and paint for my Uncle Dick Ilbury to decorate our house with
  • Of Moores the electrical shop where mum and dad bought me an electric train set for Christmas probably about 1959
  • Of Rattenburys the pawn brokers with its wonderful Dickensian bow fronted shop front that is preserved in a London museum
  • Of Wilshers the bike shop whose son Stephen was in my class at secondary school. They tore their shop down and gave them a shiny new one down by the old court house.
  • Of the fire station where another school friend lived as his dad was a fireman

To the west of the Old Red Lion pub where they built Charlton House and the parade of shops was a patch of waste ground with an old building like a stable. Never knew what that was for.

...and pubs

There was an old tale often said that in the old days it took a strong man to walk from Kew Bridge to Brentford Bridge and have a pint in every pub. I don't suppose there are half the number now.