Link to Brentford High Street Project

Home and Search
Site Guide
Brentford Basics
Privacy Policy
Contact Families
Photos of people
Name indexes incl WW1
Lists, Documents, News
Occupations Properties: High Street
Properties: non-High Street
1909/10 Valuation Index
Pub Hub Seeking...
Mystery photos A-Z list History
Beach's Jam
Nowell Parr
Turner the Artist
Queen Victoria 1840
Brentford Market
80 High Street
Clitherow of Boston House
Four Croxford Brothers They Said
Books etc.
Web Links

Site Technology

Home and Search

Not Brentford

High Street Postcard, including Wakefields

Howard Webb and Roger Williams both sent scans of this card, which was also used as a greetings card, bearing 'A Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year'. The card has been tinted and lost some detail in the process, but some names can be made out:

This view shows a bustling High Street, with ladies in large hats window shopping. It was taken looking east from near St Lawrence's church and shows Wakefields, the photographers, on the right at 137 High Street. Although they feature prominently, with stylish gas lamps outside, there is no indication they published this card.

Next door to Wakefields is 'Horne Bros Shoe Stores' at no. 136. Further long the name 'Butler' is just visible on a high resolution scan: Albert Butler, leather merchant, was at no. 134 in 1901.

The two properties on the left with round-arched doorways are numbers 184 and 185 High Street. The green sign advertises 'Telephone' and the cobbled entry between numbers 185 and 186 is visible.

High Street scene

The card is postmarked Brentford 5.15pm October 22 1906. It was sent to: Miss D Woodruff
The Vedw
and carries an unusual message:

My Dear D
Please send me my combi_tions but mind they are aired. With love to all & self. E (I or J?) W

demonstrating how the postcard was a forerunner to today's text messages.

Intrigued by this formidable sounding lady (I checked and it was the ladies who wore combinations) I searched the 1911 census and found the Woodruff family living at The Vedw, a 15 room house in Machen, headed by E I Woodruff, a 65 year old widow born in London.

Living with her were three daughters (one married) and two sons aged 24 to 34, all born in Machen, all entries showing just their initials. They had a female visitor, J Dicksee, age 29 born London, and a female domestic servant, Gwin Thomas, birthplace not filled in.

Published December 2012