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Not Brentford

December News

These items have been extracted from the British Newspaper Archive, also available on findmypast. They are in date order and range from 1805 to 1973:

Notes follow some items: further research, useful links etc.

Morning Post Saturday 21 December 1805


NOTICE is hereby given that the Trustees for putting in Execution the several Acts of Parliament for repairing the Highways from Counter's Bridge through Brentford, &c. &c. will meet on SATURDAY the 11th of January, 1806, at the Pack Horse and Talbot, on Turnham Green, at Twelve o' clock Noon, to receive Proposals for PAVING with Scotch Granite, of the best quality and proper dimensions, in a substantial and workmanlike manner, about 500 yards in length, of the TOWN of BRENTFORD, commencing at the Salutation in Old Brentford.

Such persons as may be willing to contract for the Whole, or for One-half of the said Paving, are desired to send their Proposals in writing, sealed up, specifying the price per square yard, and the time in which they will engage to complete it. The Contractors are to procure materials, labour, and every thing necessary for the complete execution of the work, at their own expence, and to give security for the due performance of the Contracts. Further particulars may be known by applying to Mr. Greentree, Surveyor of the said Road.


Janet McNamara has prepared a history of Brentford High Street from Roman to Modern Times, this notes Counters Bridge is in Kensington. Her article also provides details about various plans to widen the High Street, the Turnpike Trust, the introduction of pavements etc.

Journals of the House of Commons, Volume 50, 1794/5, includes reference to Charles Greentree surveyor of the road (Google Books).

Aberdeen Journal 28 December 1897

Charles Ware and a man named Moore, while driving beer for the Royal Brewery Company, Brentford, on Christmas Eve, at Richmond, drove into the Thames, owing to the dense fog, and were drowned. Both bodies have been recovered and also that of the horse, which was found in the river attached to the van.


FreeBMD includes the death registration of Charles Thomas Ware, age 31 at Richmond in the last quarter of 1897. On the same page the death of William Robert Moore, age 27, was recorded.


Middlesex & Surrey Express 04 December 1908

Edward Albert Hellmuth, of 7, Netley Road, Brentford, was summoned to Brentford, on Thursday, for having driven a heavy motor at a speed exceeding five miles an hour at Uxbridge Road, Southall. P.S. 21X said the motor was travelling at a speed over seven and a half miles an hour. Previous convictions for similar offences were proved, and the defendant was fined £5 and costs.


It is a little startling that driving at seven and a half miles per hour was a speeding offence. Searches found further reports of minor motoring offences by Hellmuth between 1909 and 1921. However, these reveal only a part of his character...

Hellmuth died suddenly, 1932, at the age of 46 in the Speedrome, Foreshore Road, Scarborough, during a weekend visit to his son. He was of London and proprietor of the Speedrome, a trick motor-cycling exhibition; his son was the manager. A clutch of reports on 1 and 2 August covered his death, some referring to the side show as 'The Wizard on the Wall'.

A record from WW1:
Acting Corporal E. A. Hellmuth, Army Service Corps was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal 'For conspicuous gallantry. He took his C.O. in a car, and was told not to go back empty, but to fill up with wounded. This he did, but without any orders returned four times for more wounded. He had each time to pass over a road which was being heavily shelled, and to pass through a burning town. His coolness under fire and readiness for any dangerous work are remarkable. He has been wounded.

His army service records describe him as 'Sober, reliable & intelligent, a good motor driver' and his military character as 'Very good'.

Hellmuth married Rose Kemp in 1906 at the old parish church in Chiswick (according to his army service record) and had three children. Sons Edward John (born 1907) and Reginald Albert (born 1908) were baptised together at St George, Old Brentford by T. Selby Henrey on 27 September 1908; Edward Albert was an engine driver of 7 Netley Road.


Middlesex Chronicle 21 December 1973


The Thames flooded three buildings on The Ham and Brentford High Street on Friday.

It took firemen using two pumps over three hours to drain the buildings owned by the Ballancroft engineering firm, which are opposite the entrance to the Grand Union Canal.

The flood was a result of a "freak" high tide which overspilled the Grand Union Canal, spilling over The Ham and verging on the High Street.

The rising tide forced water up the drains and flooded the basement film and lighting showroom on the corner of High Street.

The water was five feet deep in the basement and it was estimated that 15,000 gallons of water were pumped out.

The ground floor of a sheet metal production plant behind the showrooms was also two feet under water.

The water flowed into a third building next to the corner showroom.

"The prompt action of Brentford police and Isleworth fire brigade saved me a great deal of expense," Ballancroft's managing director, Mr Desmond Chalcroft, said afterwards.

"The police got me out of bed at 5am to warn me of the extra high tide which they had followed from London Bridge. By the time I reached the buildings the fire brigade were waiting for me.

"Their quick action enabled me to save valuable film lighting equipment from the basement. And along with our staff they were able to mop out the metal plant before the machinery became waterlogged and rusted.

"We were back into production, after some oiling, within an hour."


A 1906 flood from an overflowing culvert was more serious; includes links to photos.

Harry Langley: In Springtime we had to prepare for high tides, as very often our homes were flooded, in fact our front doors had a section of bricks across the front cemented about 15 inches high- the back door a wooden section held in by clay read more of Harry's memories.

Finally, a brief eyewitness account of the 1841 flood, by Mr Wheatley, reported in a newspaper of 1945.

Published December 2012; updated December 2023