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From here you can access some graphic accounts of life in Brentford during the 20th century. They are arranged in roughly chronological order.
Terry Burke, as well as providing his personal memories of growing up in Brentford from the late-1930s, has also put together a second document which provides background as to life in these times. He covers all the old imperial measures of money, weight, distance that crop up in other pieces, and also looks at the cost of living, the world of work and entertainments. Read on...
Please get in touch to contribute your Brentford memories.
- Quentin Pickard's grandfather, Arthur James Hockaday, remembered an especially cold winter in Brentford in the late 1800s
- Dee Tickner's memories of her father and grandfather Tickner who lived in Brentford from the early C20; their memories include ox roasting on the frozen Thames and a Royal Bargeman
- Lorraine Winson's memories of her Turner great grandfather and grandfather dating back to the early 1900s, both worked on barges in Brentford
- Stanley Goddard was part of the famous Goddard High Street furniture business; his memories were recorded in the Middlesex Chronicle in the 1980s; thank you to Len Cox for forwarding the cutting; Stan's memories are wide-ranging, covering the early 1920s onwards: eg "Mr. Huxley, who sold rabbits from his barrow at sixpence and gave a rebate if he kept the skin"
- Former Ealing Central schoolboy, Philip Bixley, remembers Brentford in the period 1918 to the mid 1930s, including the Ealing Central School Old Boy's Club and the tragic loss of a Whitestile Road family in a WWI bombing
- Harry Langley grew up in Brentford during the 1920s and 1930s and remembers schooldays at The Half Acre and The Ham, working in the tannery and the British & Argentine Meat Company - and much more
- Stan Prince was born in 1920, survived a lightning strike when 17, and remembered in detail bombs dropped locally in WW2 - read more
- George Thorne, formerly an engineer at Lockharts and then Varley FMC, where he worked from 1953; his autobiography, includes vivid, detailed memories dating back to the 1920s
- Len Coxremembers Horton, Lewis, Seares, Iletts, Holderness and other Old Brentford people and shops in the 1930 - 1960 era
- My Brentford was just old. There were squalid slums; the air reeked with smoke from tannery and soap factories, breweries and the gas works: Terry Burke's vivid memories of growing up 1930s to post-war
- Memories of Amos Charles Cox, milkman of Albany Road, from the 1930s onwards, from Kay Day, Andy Dawes and John Tickner
- Keith Clinch has provided a lively account of memories of his father Kenneth Clinch (mothers maiden name Brown) and mother Patrica Clinch (nee Hopson) from the 1930s to 1962, including a find in Osterley House grounds and what it was like to be a schoolchild during WW2 (June 2010)
- Maurice Lockyer has memories from the 1930s onwards, including references to Freddie Mariner, the butchers, Howards the barbers and other High Street shops.
- Local historian, Eddie Menday, writes about war time Brentford; he mentions Italian prisoners of war and Band's, makers of drum skins and vellum
- Cyril Smith has memories of childhood in Boars Head Yard from the late 1930s through to the early 1950s
- Arthur Peters writes about 1940s Brentford including how a well in his home's garden contained penny farthing bicycles!
- George Forgan shares memories of his 1940s Brentford childhood including a V1 rocket hit which affected his home in Ealing Road; Julie Edwards has added memories of her mother, Joan (nee) Neighbour
- Jean Dunsdon has sent her memories of 1940s Brentford including visits to bluebell woods, swings in Carville Park, collecting the gas accumulator for the radio
- Peter Reeve and Jean McMillan (nee Reeve) write about their childhood in Brentford during WW2, and two pubs their father Edward John Reeve ran - the Bull and Barge Aground
- Tom Toomey's memories of 1940s Brentford, he was one of the 'Toomey family who lived in Hanwell W7'
- Joyce's varied and detailed memories of 1940s and early 1950s Brentford; her grandparents lived at 158 High Street, next to Brentford Bridge from the post-Edwardian era: a fascinating place to live with canal traffic passing by the side of the house
- Jim Jefferies' memories of growing up in Brentford in the 1940s and 50s - he lived on Ealing Road and attended the school there
- Gordon Welch's memories from the 1940s-60s; his wife used to live at 353 High St and family surnames include Beeson and Sweeney
- Brenda Bostock (nee Mortlock), with help from Wendy Todd (nee Biggs), remembers Brentford Secondary Modern from the early 1950s and working at Varley FMC; also earlier memories of Ealing Road Infant & Junior School
- Ian Anthony remembers his parents' greengrocery business at 326 High Street which opened around late 1953, this piece includes photos of the shop from that time
- John Welsh, old Brentonian, remembers Brentford in the 1950s and 60s, including Young & Martins, Wilshers, Rattenburys and other High Street shops
- Peter Young recalls a rich combination of sights, sounds and smells in 1950s and 60s Brentford
- Dave Baker remembers working life at Kennington and Bourlet from the mid-1950s into the 1960s
- Glynis Hemmings has sent her memories of 1950s and 1960s Brentford, including Wood/Hinton/Atkins families in Brentford and Isleworth
- Patricia Horwood (formerly Smith) remembers the Missionary chapel at the Butts, school days and families at the Kew Bridge side of Brentford in the 1950s and 1960s; includes photos
- Carole Ann Bartholomew provides vivid memories from living at the Kew Bridge Road HQ of Joseph Kingham & Sons in the late 1950s and some photos from 1921 (July 2010)
- Kay Day has sent in a poem written in the late 1950s by Kitty White describing her feelings at the time when Brentford was being re-developed (May 2012)
- Andy Webb lived at 153 High Street, Webb's Cafe, in the mid 1950s-mid 1960s; he remembers visits from Saveen the ventriloquist and also the 'water gypsies'
- Norman (Nobby) Grace remembers his friends from school days, mid 1950s to mid 1960s
- Charles Woodley was a scout in the early 1960s and recalls a scrapyard in or near Brentford with the remains of two 'planes
- John Finlay recalls two cafes near Half Acre, early in the 1960s: Wood's and Ted's (Jun 2020)
- Richard Stibbons remembers encounters with the Barge Aground ghost, early 1960s
- Stephen Privett remembers Cressage Road and area, 1960s
- Patsy Langley was born and raised in Brentford of two old Brentford families, her memories are from the 1960s onwards, including 158 High Street, also some snippets from her mother
- Sarah Champion remembers Stone's Menswear, which was caught in the High Street gas explosion in early 1977
Published 2006; last updated November 2022