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Not Brentford

February News

These items have been extracted from the British Newspaper Archive, also available on findmypast. They are in date order and range from 1830 to 1967:

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

Reading Mercury Monday 15 February 1830

An inquest was holden on Tuesday, at the Running Horse, Old Brentford, on the body of William Pickett, aged 58. The deceased was formerly a respectable tradesman in the above town; but failing in business, became greatly distressed, and was without the means of procuring food. He declared that he would sooner perish than appeal to the parish, He died from starvation and exposure to the intense cold. A verdict to that effect was returned by the jury.


The Running Horse (usually Horses) was at 346 High Street, west of St George's church.

The inquest was held on Tuesday February 9th and as William Pickett died in Brentford area it would be expected that he was buried at one of the following churchyards: St George's Old Brentford; St Lawrence New Brentford; possibly St Mary's Ealing, the mother church for Old Brentford until 1828; or St Mary Isleworth, the parish that included Brentford Union Workhouse. Burials for 1830 for all of these parishes are held on Ancestry.

There is not a perfect match, the best being Richard Pickett of Old Brentford at St Mary's church Ealing on 10th February 1830, age 70. The surname, place and timing being correct and the age possibly a best guess, this is probably our man.

Although he was formerly a 'respectable tradesman' in Brentford, he does not appear in the trade directories of 1811 or 1826. The 1811 census of Ealing includes a Robert Pickett in Old Brentford - possibly related. Rickett is a similar surname that occurs in Brentford, but again no burial took place of a William Pickett in the four local churches.

Morning Chronicle 28 Feb 1835

[Present: Colonel CLITHEROE, Chairman, Lord MONTFORD, Rev Dr WALMESLEY, H POWNAL and T BAILEY, Esqrs]

Yesterday Mr Thomas Folkard, a pawnbroker at Old Brentford, appeared before the Bench to answer the complaint of a female, named Ann Tomling.

The complainant stated that on the 15th of February last year, she pledged a ring at Mr Folkard's shop of three shillings and sixpence, and on Saturday, the 14th of the present month, she went to Mr Folkard's, and asked him if it would make any difference if she paid the interest on the following Monday, the 16th. Mr Folkard told her the only difference would be fourpence, as she would have to pay thirteenpence instead of ninepence, and that she might do so within a fortnight. On Tuesday, the 17th, she paid the thirteenpence, and in answer to her inquiry what the extra fourpence was for, Mr Folkard told her that that was his business, and not her's.

Mr Folkard, in answer to the complaint, said it was the custom of the trade to make the extra charge when the year had expired. His father had done so before him.

The complainant contended that when she first applied to Mr Folkard the year had not expired.

Mr Folkard said the 15th of February fell this year on a Sunday, consequently the year expired on the Saturday, after which the pledge became his property.

The CHAIRMAN referred to the pawnbrokers' Act 39th and 40th George III chap 98?, sec 17, which specified that twelve months, exclusive of the day of pawning, must expire before the pledge became the property of the pawnbroker, he said Mr Folkard had acted decidedly wrong. The year had not expired until the 16th, yet he had told the complainant on the 14th that he should charge her thirteenpence, when he was only entitled to ninepence.

Mr CLARE, the magistrates' clerk, thought the real question was, whether, if, while the property remained unsold in the hands of the pawnbroker, the principle and interest were tendered to him, he was not bound to restore it?

Mr Folkard denied he was bound to do so. He could in future easily say, when applied to respecting pledges under ten shillings, that he disposed of them. he had not charge the extra fourpence as interest.

The CHAIRMAN said the Bench was bound to suppose he had charged it as such, the year, in their opinion, not having expired when he told the complainant he should make the extra charge.

Mr Folkard repeated it had been one of the regulations of the trade for the last 50 years to make the extra charge.

The CHAIRMAN said it was immaterial whether it was a regulation of the trade or not, it was highly illegal.

The complainant not wishing to press the charge, Mr Folkard returned her the fourpence, with which she expressed herself satisfied.


The Dickensian-sounding Folkard came from a family of pawnbrokers and silversmiths. His shop was in Old Brentford and research shows it most probably was at 288/289 High Street (later Rattenburys). Read more about the Folkard family of Brentford.


Derby Mercury Wednesday 24 February 1847

A BRAVE LAD.- A fire broke out on Thursday morning in the premises of Mr. Grover, a boot and shoemaker, situate in the High Street, Old Brentford.

A youth, named George Best, in the service of Mr. O'Hara, butcher, first discovered the fire, and was the instrument of saving five persons from a horrible death. Whilst he was in his master's yard he noticed smoke issuing from one of Mr. Grover's back windows; and on running to the front of the house, he saw, through an aperture in the windowshutters, that the shop was in a blaze. He immediately knocked at the door, and shouted, "Fire!" but without being able to make the inmates sensible of their danger; he therefore returned to the back of the building, and, after climbing over the wall, succeeded, with the aid of a poleaxe, used for killing bullocks, in breaking open the door, when he ascended the staircase, and made for Mr. Grover's bed-room; the smoke and sparks were at the same moment rushing upwards with the greatest impetuosity. After considerable trouble he entered the bed- chamber, but the smoke had obtained such power over the inmates that they were perfectly unconscious of what was going on, and in the course of a few minutes longer, they must have burnt to death. But, having laid hold of Mr. Grover's leg, he shook him violently, and then took up a couple of his children in his arms and ran down the stairs with them. Having placed them in safe custody, he returned and saved Mrs. Grover and her husband, and a third child was saved in a similar manner.

Not feeling then satisfied that all the parties were saved, he returned into the burning premises for the third time, and inspected every room not on fire, and being convinced that all the inmates were got out, he was about to run downstairs to escape himself, when a huge sheet of flame overtook him on the staircase, and knocked him down, but having recovered himself, he opened one of the back windows, and leaped into the yard. When picked up he was quite insensible, and it was some time before he could be restored. The engines of Brentford, Isleworth, and other neighbouring towns were early at the scene, but the fire was not extinguished until the whole of Mr. Grover's stock in trade was destroyed, and the premises partially gutted.



William O'Hara was a butcher at 316 High Street by 1845 and seems likely to be the master of the heroic George Best, although George is not recorded with the household in 1851 (a George Best, age 16, was living with his parents at Chiswick Lane, Chiswick but could be a coincidence - no occupation is recorded for him).

The 1841 and 1851 censuses do not include a Mr. Grover nearby, but in 1851 a William GOVEY, age 33 lived on 'Front Street', an alternative name for High Street at the time, lived near to the junction with Knight's Buildings at the eastern end of High Street. His wife Lydia was a shoe binder, 32, and they had five children, William 11, George 9, James 5, John 3 and Lydia 11 months. All the children were Brentford-born.

The same family lived at Half Acre in 1841, sharing a property with families Dorey and Bridge(n/r), at this point they had just one son, William aged 2 (surname transcribed as 'Gory' on findmypast), he was baptised at St George's in 1839. William senior was a 'shoem'. It seems possible the family moved to the High Street as their family and business grew and the newspaper account recorded the surname incorrectly.

By 1851 the O'Hara's neighbours were John Gregge at 315 and James Thick at 317 High Street, presumably it was one of their properties where the fire and rescue occurred.


Middlesex & Surrey Express 19 February 1904

By Order of the Trustee
Well-situate FREEHOLD PROPERTIES, Nos. 73, 74, 75, and 155 High Street, One Tun Yard, High Street, and PLOT OF LAND in Windmill Road; the whole let at very low rentals and producing £47 per annum, and forming capital investments.

Messrs. S. WALKER & SON
WILL SELL the above BY AUCTION, at the Castle Hotel, High Street, Brentford, on TUESDAY, 8th March, at Seven o'clock.
Particulars had of Messrs. Stuart and Tull, Solicitors, 6, Grays Inn Square, WC; The Castle Hotel, Brentford; and at the Auctioneers' Offices, 22, Moorgate Street, EC.


Buy to let from the early 20th century.

Numbers 73 to 75 were a three-property terrace that ran south off the High Street towards the river. In the 1909/10 Valuation the terrace was 'very old', probably 18th century or earlier. Number 155 was a long-standing builders/decorators near Brentford Bridge. One Tun Yard was opposite number 73, read more.

Following the sale, in the 1909/10 Valuation numbers 73 to 75 were owned by Thomas Pocklington of 20 Lansdowne Road, Holland Park. He was at this address in the 1911 census, 'gentleman', age 48, married 16 years, no children. He, his wife, sister-in-law and cousin plus cook and housemaid were all born in London.

In 1909/10 Mary Elizabeth Robinson owned numbers 155 and 156 High Street.

Middlesex Chronicle 07 February 1914

A removal
Application was made for the provisional removal of the Royal Hotel, Brentford, to a site at the junction of the Midhurst Road and Woodstock Avenue, West Ealing; also for the provisional removal of the Northumberland Arms, Isleworth, to a site at the corner of Midhurst and Salisbury roads; whilst Mr Stowell again applied for an off licence for the same district.

The three cases were taken togther. It was given in evidence that a rapidly increasing residential area was without public house accommodation, and that there was a need for such, but on the other hand there was a great deal of opposition from the residents on the Ealing Dean estate, on the ground that a public house would depreciate the value of their property.

The applicants offered several surrenders, and after a prolonged hearing the Bench came to the conclusion that a fully licensed house was required in this neighbourhood, and granted the application of the Royal Brewery, subject to the closing of the Northfield Stores and other surrenders.

The successful application was supported by Mr R.O.B. Lane, instructed by Mr Charles Robinson.


The Royal Hotel was at the eastern end of Brentford, at 26-27 High Street and the request was to temporarily transfer its licence.

In 1913 Mr Charles Robinson, solicitor, was living at 203 High Street.

Ten years after the above application was approved a similar request was approved by the Brentford Bench of the Licensing Justices, this time to transfer the licence to new premises due to be built at Boston Road, Hanwell. Ealing and Hanwell Temperance convened a meeting to protest at this decision, the Middlesex County Times of 31 May 1924 reported.

By 1926 newspaper articles refer to the Royal Hotel at Boston Road, Hanwell. Brentford's Royal Hotel building was demolished in 1927 when the Gas Works expanded (Gillian Clegg's Brentford and Chiswick Pubs.

For more about licence transfers see Vic Rosewarne's article.


Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 09 February 1922

Yesterday, at Axminster County Court, Herbert Felton, engineer, of Brentford, sued Theophilus Trump, photographer, of Lyme Regis, for £10 13s., being the amount paid for a grandfather clock alleged to have been falsely represented as having a brass dial and polished case.

Plaintiff said defendant represented the clock to have a brass dial and polished case, but on receiving it he found both dial and case had been painted, while the packing was sticking to the case. He sent the clock back, and defendant promised to refund the money, but had not done so. Defendant said he would have returned the money, but had not been able to as his trade was bad. His Honour, in entering full judgement for plaintiff with costs, told defendant that if he advertised clocks under false descripton he would get into trouble.


The plaintiff, Herbert Felton, must be the man who took a series of photos of Brentford around 1945.

Birmingham Daily Post 04 February 1967

QPR plan to buy Brentford ground

After a seven-man syndicate had failed in its attempt to take control of Brentford Football Club yesterday, Brentford chairman, Mr. Jack Dunnett, said that Queen's Park Rangers would buy his club's ground and share it with Brentford next season.

This is subject to the approval of the Football League, however.

Mr. Dunnett has given as assurance that Brentford will be financed until the end of season 1967-68.

He said: "I give this assuarance subject to my remaining chairman and in control, both of the club and of the board. And how long I remain in the chair depends on the shareholders. If they want me to stay I shall stay."

Mr. Dunnett said that formal application was being made to the League for permission to share their ground at Griffin Park with their West London neighbours, Queen's Park Rangers.

A fortnight ago Rangers made a take-over bid which would have put Brnetford, as a separate club, out of business.

Best solution

In a statement, Mr. Dunnett said: "I still feel that the original proposals put forward by Queen's Park Rangers would have presented the best solution.

"Mr. Gregory, the Rangers' chairman, has withdrawn his original offer, which would have preserved the position of the staff and of the other shareholders and of the loan account holders and would have brought a substantial sum to football charity.

"However, the arrangement whereby Queen's Park Rangers will also play their first-team fixtures at Griffin Park will preserve Brentford FC as a separate entity."

The statement went on to say that whether the club continues after June 30 1968 depended on the extent of public support.

Mr. Dunnett said the first of several economies would be made on Monday. "We are going to have a look into the administrative staff, which at present is top-heavy. But all the players' contracts will be honoured" he said.


This story has a happy ending. Coventry Evening Telegraph 02 March 1967 provides an update. A six-man syndicate headed by Mr. Ron Blindell and three members of the Brentford board, Messrs Frank Davis, Eric Radley-Smith and Edward Rogers, bought out the chairman, Mr. Jack Dunnett, M.P., who held the majority of the shares, and BFC survived.

Published February 2013; last updated February 2022