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Tankard photo

Four men outside, posed around a small table with ornate silver lidded tankard Margaret Smith wrote 'I wondered if you might be interested in the attached photograph taken by Wakefields of 137 High Street Brentford. I wonder if one of the gentlemen could be James CLEMENTS.

It would be good to hear whether you are able to name any of the people on the attached photograph and what the occasion was.'

Janet McNamara replied at the time and suggested names from left:

  • maybe W H JACKSON
  • possibly father of George BAND
  • definitely James CLEMENTS
  • probably John REEDER
See below for more details.

The event eluded us however.

Twelve years on in 2023 a helpful lady from Australia solved the mystery:
The photo was published in the Middlesex Independent on Saturday 23rd May 1903, page 5 and the page is about the opening ceremony of the King Edward VII Bridge and the visit by the King. The information for the photo says:

'This photograph giving a view of the presentation tankard with Mr. J. Clements (Chairman of the Brentford Council), Dr. J. Smith (Chairman of the Chiswick Council), Mr. E. Collins (Clerk to the Chiswick Council) and Mr. J. Reeder, was taken by Mr. F. G. Wakefield, of High Street, Brentford.'

The 'antique silver flagon of date 1720' was inscribed:
Presented to His Majesty King Edward VII by the inhabitants of the Urban Districts of Brentford and Chiswick, on the occasion of the opening of the King Edward VII bridge over the Thames, May 20th 1903.'

The article has much detail about the proceedings and mentions many names. I noticed 'The St John's Ambulance men and nurses ... were kept busy all the afternoon attending to patinets who had fainted.' There is also a comprehensive history of earlier Kew Bridges.


Janet McNamara, 2011

It's definitely James CLEMENTS second from the right in the bow tie. Seeing him on other pictures of the councillors we think it must be about 1900. His address at that time was 63, High Street and he was recorded as 'tug owner'.

The man sitting on the right from another labelled picture would seem to be John REEDER whose address at that time was 296, High Street where he was the secretary of the Brentford Liberal and Radical Association.

Janet was less certain about the other two men, who we now (2023) know were from Chiswick Council.

John Reeder

(Webmaster): I checked to see if I could find out more about John Reeder. In 1901 he was a coal & forage salesman at 296 High Street - coincidentally the property was owned by my gt gt uncle Joseph Thomas TAYLOR in the 1909/10 Valuation. It was next door to the doctors' surgery (Henry BOTT) and was a rather nice house set back a little, with a small front garden in the early 1900s.

The 1907 trade directory records just Mrs Reeder at 296, I checked further and there is a death registration of John Reeder in the last quarter of 1904, age 41.

I wondered what happened to John Reeder's family and found a poignant entry for the youngest son, Herbert:

Person: REEDER, Herbert Thomas Clarkson


Read more about about James Clements.

Janet McNamara researched James Clements, councillor and John Reeder, councillor.


Published January 2011; updated August 2023