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Not Brentford


166 High Street, New Brentford

Vic Rosewarne has researched the histories of several local pubs including the Junction Arms, known in the 1860s as the "Notorious Junction Arms," as the landlord was almost ever present at the Magistrates Court.

The Beer House Act of 1830 allowed a householder who paid the local poor rate to obtain a licence, costing 2 guineas, from the Customs and Excise, for his or her house for the sale of beer or cider but not wine or spirits. Nearly fifty of these new Beer Houses opened in Brentford in the forty years following the Act. Some of these new house were often badly run, allowing gambling, drunkenness or disorderly conduct on the premises, serving after hours or being the haunts of prostitutes. In Brentford one house stood out as the epitome of all these bad traits - The Grand Junction Arms - by Brentford Bridge, when in the mid 1860s it was run by John Wall Smith, his frequent appearances at the magistrates court, fortunately well reported in the local newspapers, show his total disregard for authority, and earned the house the sobriquet of The Notorious Junction Arms.

Prior to 1870, the local magistrates had no power to close beerhouses as they could fully licensed houses, their only sanction were fines, which the landlords paid, considering it a hazard of the business. It seems the Customs and Excise, who issued the licences, either did not have the power, or chose not to use it, to close these houses. In August 1869 the licensing of beerhouses was transferred to the local magistrates, and from that time onward beerhouses had to be as well conducted as fully licensed houses. At the first annual licensing meeting in March 1870, a number of the worst run houses were closed by the magistrates, including four in Brentford. The Junction Arms was must have been better run at this time, otherwise it would probably have been the first on the list for closure.

James Etherington by the time of the census in March 1851- gone by 1853

The first reference to the House is in the 1851 census.

1851 Census -

High Street, New Brentford

James Etherington Head Mar. 35 Beer House Keeper Middx., Isleworth
Jane Etherington Wife Mar. 35 Salop, Ketley
Ann Etherington Dau. 14 Middx., Isleworth
Ellen Etherington Dau. 6 Middx., O. Brentford
Mary Etherington Dau. 5 Middx., O. Brentford
James Etherington Son 1 Middx., N. Brentford
A Lodger Unm. 20 N. K.

(Reference - HO 107 / 1699, fo. 52v, p. 13, Sch. 49

The birthplace of the youngest child James suggests the family moved into no. 166 in the period 1846 to 1850.


Walter Prendergast ca 1853 - pre-1859

The first reference to the name of the house is the entry in Mason's Directory of 1853:

Grand Junction Arms, Bridge Terrace Walter Prendergast

Walter Prendergast had been a police officer in Brentford, as he is recorded as a witness in four Brentford cases at the Old Bailey between 1835 and 1848, On one occasion he was the arresting officer in a case of passing a counterfeit coin at the Marquis of Granby. In the 1851 Census he was living in a Back Lane, Old Brentford, his occupation is given as "Superannuated Policeman," born County Mayo, Ireland, a widower. He had a son aged 17 and a daughter, aged 14, living with him.


William Heath - c. 1859

The only reference to this landlord is when he was up before the magistrates for the very common offence of serving beer during the hours when the house should be closed.


William Heath, keeper of the Grand Junction Arms beershop on Brentford Bridge, was summoned by police sergeant Miller for keeping his house open during prohibited hours.

Fined 40s.

(Windsor and Eton Express 9 April 1859)

The property was uninhabited in the 1861 census.


John Wall Smith early 1863 - ca 1866

The 1861 census for Isleworth lists John Wall Smith, aged 23, a Garden Labourer, born at Bishopstone, Wiltshire, with his wife Kate, aged 22 also a Garden Labourer, born at Caherlay, Ireland. By early 1863 they had taken over the Junction Arms beer house by Brentford Bridge.

The following newspaper reports detail their eventful time in charge.

John Wall Smith earliest conviction was in April 1863, which was mentioned by the Chairman of the Bench, on his sixth appearance in December 1865. No newspaper report of the case was found.

Brentford Petty Sessions - 23 May 1863

John Wall Smith, another beershop keeper, living close by (in New Brentford), was summoned for opening his house for the sale of beer during the prohibited hours on the night of the 10th.

Defendant pleaded not guilty, and Sergeant Foy proved going into defendant's house, where in the parlour he found two men and a prostitute. On asking defendant why he was open at so late an hour, he replied the men were lodgers, but as witness knew they only lived within a few yards of defendant's house, he told him it was a falsehood and he should report it.

Mr. Rigarlsford, inspector, said the house had been complained of previously.

Fined 33s. (The Windsor & Eton Express has the fine as 20s. and costs)

(Buckinghamshire Advertiser 30 May 1863)


* * * * * * * *

Brentford Petty Sessions - 25 July

Then it was his wife’s turn to come up before the Bench.

Kate Wall Smith, a young woman whose husband keeps a beer shop on Brentford Bridge, summoned John Treadway, a fishmonger of Brentford End.

Complaint said: Last Sunday, there was a disturbance at our house, and in the evening my husband and myself went off to Brentford End, to point out to the police those who had made the disturbance. Defendant's house was close by, and he stood by his door. He said something to her, which she did not distinctly hear, after which he went upstairs, and threw a pail of water over her twice. The first time she did not see him, but she distinctly perceived him the second time.

Defendant said: He was very much annoyed by the disturbance outside his house, where a great number of Irish people lived, and he certainly did throw some dirty water out of his window.

The Bench thought the justice of the case would be met by defendant paying the costs of the summons.

(Windsor and Eton Express 1 August 1863)

* * * * * * * *

Brentford Petty Sessions 14 May

John Wall Smith, a beershop-keeper in New Brentford, was fined 40s., for Sunday trading, that being the third conviction.

(Windsor and Eton Express 21 May 1864)

* * * * * * * *

Brentford Petty Sessions - 4 June 1864

Before F. H. N. Glossop, Esq. (chairman), J. Montgomery, J. R. Hogarth, B. Sharp, and W. L. Bashford, Esqrs.


John Wall Smith, landlord of the "Junction Arms" beerhouse, Old Brentford, was summoned for serving beer during divine service on Sunday last.

Police-constable R 201 George Braughton stated: About half past 11 last Sunday morning, I was in High Street, Brentford and saw defendant look out of his door as if to see that the coast was clear. I went up to him, when he (defendant) tried to keep me out by shutting the door. I succeeded in getting in, and when there I found five men and one woman, smoking and drinking. In answer to Mr. Woodbridge, who appeared for defendant, stated that three of the men he knew well as defendant's neighbours, and that they were not travellers.

Cross-examined by Mr. Woodbridge: I never told Mrs Brown, a neighbour, that I had had the defendant before, and that I meant to have him again. But I have had defendant before this court for the same offence three weeks ago, when I found nineteen men there, and defendant was then fined 40s., and costs.

Mr. Woodbridge then called a witness called Martin to prove that all the parties that were there were travellers; but the Magistrates did not believe this witness, as he so contradicted himself.

Mr. Woodbridge for the defence urged that this was quite a persecution against beer-houses alone, while the publicans, who were equally guilty, escaped scot free.

The Magistrates stated that it was quite shocking to go through Brentford on a Sunday morning, and see the men rolling along drunk, and that they were determined to put a stop to it. They fined defendant 40s., including costs.

(Buckinghamshire Advertised 11 June 1864)


* * * * * * * *


Brentford Petty Sessions 30 July

John Wall Smith, the keeper of a beer-house in New Brentford, was charged on remand with having violently assaulted his wife's mother, Elizabeth Madden, by throwing a spittoon at her head.

It appeared that the wife and her husband were wrangling together, and hearing the high words between them and fearing some violence would be used to her daughter, the mother interfered to prevent further quarrelling, when Smith took up the spittoon and threw it at her head, cutting her severely -- in fact, the poor woman was so much injured that she could not appear on the first occasion.

The Bench having heard the evidence, considered the case so bad as to justify them in sentencing the prisoner to two months' imprisonment without the option of a fine.

(Windsor and Eton Express 6 August 1864)

In later times having a criminal conviction was a bar to anyone running a public house.

* * * * * * * *

Brentford Petty Sessions - 2 September 1865

[Before F. H. N. Glossop, Esq. (chairman), George Cooper, and B. Sharp, Esqrs.]


John Walsmith and Mary Flynn were charged under the following circumstances:-

Mr. Thomas Finch Cloud, pawnbroker, Brentford, stated : On Wednesday, the 30th August, the female prisoner came to my shop, and offered the silver fork now produced in pledge. The fork is nearly new, and has a crest of a hand holding a dart. Seeing that it was by no means likely to belong to her, I asked who it did belong to, and she told me it was her own, but observing that I doubted her statement, she afterwards told me it was the property of a person named Goldsmith. On this, I told her I should detain the fork. She then left, and soon afterwards the prisoner Walsmith came to my shop and asked why I detained the fork. The witness was cross-examined by Mr. Woodbridge, who appeared for the prisoner Walsmith, and, said: I have received articles in pledge from Mr. Walsmith on previous occasions. I know him very well, and know very well, and know him to be an inhabitant of New Brentford, but not at all likely to be in rightful possession of such an article as the silver fork produced. The crest attracted my attention. When he came to my shop to ask why I detained it, he accounted for the possession by saying that he detained it for grub supplied. He did not tell me it had been left by a Mrs Farrant. I don't know anything about a person named Leigh, living at Walsmith's house.

Police-sergeant Foy next stated : On Wednesday, 30th of August, from information received, I apprehended the female prisoner, at Mr. Cloud's shop. The silver fork I now produce was given to me by Mr. Cloud, who said she had offered it in pledge to him.

I afterwards took Walsmith in custody.

In reply to Mr. Woodbridge, witness said, he merely said the fork had been left with him for grub supplied by him to a party, but he did not mention the name of the person, he merely said a party. He did not tell witness that 23 forks of a similar description had been taken away, and this one left, neither did he say anything about Mr. Boyes having removed the lady who had been staying at his house, and taken all the other property away with the exception of this fork, which was to be left as security till the balance of the account was paid. Witness was certain he told him nothing of the kind.

Emma Motley was next examined. She said : I live at no. 9 Birdcage Walk, Hackney Road, and am the mother of John Leigh, who was for a time in the possession of the George and Dragon, Brentford End.

The Chairman said he could scarcely credit that so young a person could be the mother of the individual named, as she looked more like his sister, but witness assured him such was the fact, and said the late husband of Mrs Farrant was the father of Leigh. When at the George and Dragon he gave her 24 silver forks to take care of, as he was beginning to get unsettled. This was in May last. He told witness they were Mrs Farrant's. The house was in great confusion at this time, and he said it was not safe to leave plate about. Witness put all the whole of the forks in a box in his own room, but afterwards took one out for the purpose of mixing a salad, and when witness had done with it, she knew nothing more about it. The fork produced was one of those given to her to take care of, and she believed the very one used by her on the occasion in question. Witness had not seen it since then until now.

In reply to Mr. Woodbridge, witness said : My son gave it to me to take care of for Mrs Farrant. I have seen Mr. Leigh in Walsmith's house. Mr. Leigh has no children, so that I could have seen his children there. Mrs Farrant, the lady alluded to, is 90 years of age, so that it is impossible she could have any child. Mrs Farrant is at the present time in Cambridgeshire. I am quite certain that she is anxious the matter should be investigated. I gave her the 23 forks myself.

The Chairman remarked that it was a very extraordinary if Walsmith had the fork given to him, that he should have got a stranger to pawn it.

Mr. Woodbridge addressed their worships for his client, and complained of the hardships inflicted by the particular Act of Parliament under which the present proceedings were taken, at the same time stating that when Leigh got into trouble, he removed his wife and child from the house at that time occupied by him, and took them to Walsmith's, together with Mrs Farrant, after which Mr. Boyes, the agent of Mrs Farrant came down and removed her, taking with him the 23 forks alluded to, but leaving one in possession of Walsmith, which he told him to keep until the balance of his account was paid, and he being in want of money to make up an account, and his wife being there, as she was at present, in Ireland, he was unable to leave his house, and therefore sent the woman Flynn with the fork to pawn. Of course, on its being stopped, he went and gave a proper account of his possession of it. If the case were remanded, Mr. Boyes would come forward, and prove that his statement, so far as he had given permission for him to keep the fork, was correct.

The Chairman observed that everything connected with the Mr. Leigh in question appeared to turn out discreditably. The Bench was disposed to treat the case as one of unlawful possession, but would remand it for the attendance of Mr. Boyes, at Mr. Woodcock's request.

(Buckinghamshire Advertised 12 September 1865)


The very next case at the Sessions also concerned John Wall Smith


John Walsmith was next summoned for permitting drunkenness and disorderly conduct in his house.

It appeared by the evidence of Police-constable Edwards that on the evening of the 23rd August he was on duty in New Brentford, and on passing the house of defendant, he saw a number of men inside, some of whom where fighting, and among them defendant himself, who was stripped to his shirt, and, in fact, it seemed a regular drunken melee. No one in particular appeared to be attending to the business of the bar.

Mr. Inspector Tarling, next stated that he happened to be passing at the time in question, and he could corroborate the constable's statement as to the riotous conduct. The landlord appeared to be so drunk as to not know what to do. While he was there a woman came out, and said she should apply for a summons.

Mr. Woodbridge addressed their worships for the defendant, but failed to convince the Bench that defendant was not guilty of the conduct ascribed to him, and the chairman observed that high fines had been tried, and with beneficial results in several instances, and they should try one here, £5.

(Buckinghamshire Advertiser 12 September 1865)

* * * * * * * *

Brentford Petty Sessions - 9 September 1865

[Before F. H. N. Glossop, Esq. (chairman), James Montgomery, George Cooper, and B. Sharp, Esqrs.]


John Walsmith and Mary Flynn were placed at the bar charged with having a silver fork in their possession of which they were unable to give a satisfactory account.

It will be remembered that on the previous Saturday Mr. Woodbridge, who then, as on the present occasion, appeared for the prisoners, applied for the case to be adjourned, in order that Mr. Boyes, who acted as the agent for Mrs Farrant, to whom it was alleged the fork belonged, might be in attendance, and prove that it was left with Walsmith, on account of there being certain money due to him by Mr. Farrant.

A Clerk from that gentleman's office now attended, and said there was no wish to prosecute if the fork was given up.

Mr. Woodbridge considered their worships would be of opinion that the wrong course had been adopted by the other side. The forks should first of all been demanded from Walsmith. They certainly ought not to have taken advantage of proceedings which had been adopted in a criminal court for the recovery of the same; and was proceeding in his remarks when Chairman observed that the charges against the prisoners was for having a silver fork in his possession of which he was unable to give a satisfactory account. It certainly appeared a very suspicious case. Here was a strange woman going into a shop of a pawnbroker for the purpose of raising money on an article which it is maintained did not belong to her, and for which she gave a very unsatisfactory account, and so also did the prisoner Walsmith. Subsequent enquiries have brought to light the ownership of the fork, and the manner in which it appeared to have been obtained by the prisoners. They would therefore be discharged.

The woman applied to the Bench for some recompense for the trouble she had been put to in the matter, but the Chairman told her she had brought the trouble on herself by her own foolish conduct.

Mr. Philp appeared for the prosecution.

(Buckinghamshire Advertiser 16 September 1865)

* * * * * * * *


Brentford Petty Sessions - 2 December 1865

Before J. R. Hogarth, Esq. (chairman), E. H. Donnithorne, and B. Sharp, Esqrs.


John Walsmith, the keeper of a beer-house on Brentford Bridge, was summoned at the instance of the police, for having his house open at 25 minutes past eleven on Saturday night, the 25th of November.

Police-constable 327, stated : I was passing defendant's house about the time stated, when I saw the door open. I called the attention of another constable to the fact and we went inside. On going along the passage towards the tap-room, we met the landlady, who ran back and took hold of a pot which was on the table, and contained beer. He said, "that's my beer, Kate." She said, "You have no beer you fool." The husband then came up and said, "I shall draw so much beer in my own house as I like for you." There were two men and two women in the taproom, besides the landlady. The landlady said they were lodgers.

Witness's evidence was corroborated by Police-constable Bonner, after which Mr. Haynes addressed their worships for the defence, and called two witnesses, who endeavoured to prove that the persons in the taproom were lodgers; also that no beer had been drawn after 11o'clock on the night in question. Also that no pot, can, or glass had been seen in the taproom after that time.

The Chairman however observed that it was clearly proved to the Bench that the house was open on the night in question for the sale of beer, and they (the magistrates) were perfectly aware it was a badly conducted house, if not one of the worst in Brentford.

In April 1863, the landlord had been fined 10s.; in May 1863, 20s, in May 1864, 33s., in June 1864, 33s., and on September 2nd for allowing drunkenness and disorderly conduct, £4 13s. He (the Chairman) regretted they could not impose a higher fine now, that they were about to inflict, 40s.

Mrs Walsmith put coppers on the table, but was told this would not do.

(Buckinghamshire Advertised 9 December 1865)


* * * * * * * *

Brentford Petty Sessions - 31 Dec. 1865


This man, against whom so many summons have been issued, and on whom so many punishments have been inflicted, was now called to answer a charge of having his beer shop open during the prohibited hours on the morning of December the 10th.

Defendant's wife came forward and said her husband had gone away and left her and the business, and she did not know what had become of him. A warrant was issued for his apprehension.

(Buckinghamshire Advertiser - 6 Jan. 1866)

* * * * * * * *

Although John Wall Smith had abandoned the house, leaving his wife to run it, all did not go smoothly. Kate Wall Smith had her own troubles, but this time on the right side of the law.

Brentford Petty Sessions - Saturday February 17th.


Kate Wall Smith summoned Hannah Colett, Mary Filby and William Filby for having assaulted her on the 12th instant.

Mr. Haynes appeared for the complainant.

There was a cross summons taken against Kate Wall Smith by the woman Collett.

Complainant stated that the two women came to her house between four and five o'clock in the afternoon of the above day, when one of them said "I want to speak to you, Kate." I replied, "I am engaged." She then said "If you don't come I will make you;" when I at once saw there was going to be a row, and told them to go away, for I would not serve them with any beer. Collett then pulled me by the hair of my head, when I said, "If you please will you loose my hair, as I am unprotected." Just then the man Filby passed, and said to someone outside, "Wait a bit, and you'll see a jolly row." Collett said ""I'll have my revenge of you for having summoned me." I was then dragged down by the two women, and I screamed for assistance, when Filby came in and kicked me on the side. I still feel the affects of the kick. A man named Knight afterwards came to my assistance, and Mrs Filby took up a clock weight and struck me with it. I did nothing to provoke them at all, "and I forgot to tell your honour that that man Filby struck me with a pint pot".

Thomas Knight corroborated the complainant's evidence, and police-constable Rayner proved having been sent for from the station to complainant's house, when he found her bleeding from bruises on the face.

The female defendants denied they had acted in any other way but self defence, having been assaulted themselves; and Collett produced a packet of hair which she asserted Wall Smith had pulled from her head in the scrimmage.

The cross-summons was then produced with the evidence, being of course in opposition to that given by Kate Wall Smith.

The Chairman observed that a great deal of public time had been wasted in the hearing of these cases.

William Filby had run a very narrow chance of being sent to the House of Correction. It was most unmanly to go into a house and kick a woman and then strike her with a pint pot.

The Bench believed that the two women went to the house with the intention of having a row. Unfortunately Kate Smith was of a violent temperament herself, and therefore matters were accelerated thereby.

The Chairman said the male defendant was the worst of the parties, and it was a question whether they should send him to prison, they had, however, decided to inflict a fine of 40s. on each defendant. The fines were paid. The Cross-summons was dismissed, as the Bench believed Smith acted in self defence.

Buckinghamshire Advertiser and Windsor and Eton Express 24 February 1866


* * * * * * *

Finally the saga of the Grand Junction Arms and the Wall Smiths came to an end in May 1866.

Brentford Petty Sessions - Saturday May 12th.



John Wall Smith, who had been apprehended on a warrant for keeping his house open during the prohibited hours in December last, was next placed at the bar.

Prisoner told the Bench he had so many bothers at the house he resolved to let it take its chance, and had been to sea since then, and was going through Brentford on the previous day, when he was taken on a warrant but he assured the Bench that he had never seen the summons; but the Bench would not be troubled with him any more, as his wife had left the house.

The wife came in about this time, and fainted away on seeing her husband.

Fined 10s.

(Buckinghamshire Advertiser - 19 May 1866)

* * * * * * * *

This newspaper advert below appeared shortly after John Wall Smith’s had abandoned the house. No doubt it was his wife had put the house up for sale.

A BEER-SHOP TO LET-- FURNISHED. The present owner has been in possession for 3 years, and is now going abroad. Rent. £12 £45 required.

Address, Grand Junction Arms, New Brentford.

(Buckinghamshire Advertiser - 10 February 1866)

* * * * * * * *

William Ledding - c. 1866

The next landlord mentioned after the Wall Smiths, was a William Leddin, for which the only record is this a case at the Brentford Petty Sessions. It appears that the house had not changed its character after the departure of his predecessor.


William Ledding, the landlord of a beer house (the Junction Arms) was summoned for allowing drunken and disorderly conduct in his house on the previous Monday night; and was fined £5, or one month's imprisonment. The Bench expressing its determination to put a stop to these riots in beer shops by the infliction of heavy fines in the first instance, and when a certain number of convictions had occurred, to shut such houses up altogether. The defendant must not consider he was fined because he was an Irishman, but because he had knowingly allowed drunken and disorderly conduct in his house.

(Buckinghamshire Advertiser - 21 April 1866)

* * * * * * * *

At the Brentford Court, the reporters had to rely on what they heard during the various case hearings, hence there were many mis-spelling of names. So next landlord was most likely related to his predecessor, either a brother or son, it was quite common for public houses to be handed down through the family.


Thomas Leddin landlord from c. 1866 to 1872

This landlord was following on the traditions of the house.


Brentford Petty Session - Saturday, 28 November 1868

Thomas Leddin, an Irishman, and keeper of a beershop on Brentford Bridge, was charged with being drunk and assaulting the police.

Police Constable 75 T stated that he was on his way from Hounslow to Brentford on the night of Tuesday, the 24th ult., but not on duty. On getting to Leddin’s house he heard a great disturbance, and on looking in he saw fighting going on, and he was asked to interfere. He did so, but on endeavouring to put a stop to the fighting, Leddin pounced on him most savagely, and struck him more than once. He was very drunk and seemed more like a madman than anything else. After the assault was committed witness took him to the station.

Mr. Tarling, Inspector of Police, stated that he was at the station when prisoner was brought in, and he was in so drunken a state that he really could not keep upon his legs without assistance. He was in a most deplorable state, and it was a mercy to take care of him. The night was Tuesday, which had been polling day, and no doubt this had occasioned prisoner to get drinking, and become excited.

Prisoner, who seemed to have been severely punished, his head being cut and his face bruised, besides having a leg injured, was asked if he believed his injuries had been inflicted by the police, but he replied in the negative, and said he was so drunk that he remembered nothing at all about the affair.

The Chairman then said the Bench almost invariably sent a man to prison for assaulting the police, and they ought to do so in this present instance, but, as prisoner appeared to have been very severely punished already, they would take that into consideration, and hoping it would be a caution to him in future, imposed a fine of 20s., and he really ought to thank the police as if they had not come forward, he might have been more severely injured.

(Windsor and Eton Express 5 December 1868)

After 1869 there were to be no more Wall Smiths, as the issuing of Beer House Licences was transferred to the local magistrates. They now had the power to close the worst run houses and seven of these houses in Brentford had closed by 1882. If the Act had come five years earlier the Grand Junction Arms would almost certainly have been the first to be closed. It must have been better run after the Wall Smiths left as it survived, to be closed in 1913.

At the first licensing session after the new Act in March 1870, the chairman of the Magistrates, Mr. F.H.N. Glossop, before dealing with the renewal of Beer Houses licences, addressed a few remarks to the licensees.

"The Chairman said it was a new duty imposed on the magistrates to grant licences for the sale of beer, and they would endeavour to carry it out to their best ability. He was sorry to find that the complaints against beer-houses were far more numerous than against public-houses, for although the number of houses were about equal, there had been 27 previous convictions against beersellers, and only 8 against licensed victuallers, clearly showing that beer-houses had not been so well conducted. It would be the earnest endeavour of the magistrates to improve the conduct of beer-houses, and to bring them up to the same standard as the public-house. He did not wish to interfere with the trade, and had no such ridiculous notion that a poor man should not have a pint of beer; but he did consider it of great importance that beer-houses should be well conducted. In all the cases in which there had been complaints the magistrates intended to postpone them until the adjournment day, when it would be for them to consider whether they would renew the licences. In other cases they would require proof of good character."

(Middlesex Chronicle 5 March 1870)

There must have been a conviction against the Grand Junction Arms at this time as the house was dealt with on the adjourned day. Before dealing with the beer houses on this day Mr. Glossop made a short address.

"This having completed the list of adjourned Alehouse licenses, the Bench proceeded to dispose of the beer-houses; The Chairman remarking that it was their wish to see the latter as well conducted as the licensed houses; but it was not so; and they should therefore take that opportunity of weeding out some of the worst."

(Middlesex Chronicle 12 March 1870)

Thomas Lidden of the Junction Arms, New Brentford had his licence renewed at these sessions, though, no doubt, with a warning from the Chairman.

Thomas Lidden (or Ledden) was still in the house at the time of the 1871 Census:

Thomas Ledden Head Mar. 29 Labourer in Gardens Ireland, Limerick
Catharine Ledden Wife Mar. 26 Middx., Brentford
John Ledden Son 4 Middx., Brentford
(Plus 2 lodgers)

(Ref. RG 10 1319, fo. 150, p. 18)


John Langton ca 1872 - ca 1874

John Langton, the landlord in 1874, was in like trouble to his predecessors, for serving beer after hours.

Brentford Petty Sessions Saturday, November 21


John Langton, landlord of the Junction Arms, Brentford, was summoned for keeping his house open during unlawful hours.

Police-constable, 47 T. R., said shortly after 11 p. m. on the 12th inst., as he was in the High Street, he saw defendant in front of the Junction Arms. Ward was with him, and he had something in his hand like a beer pot.

Witness stopped Ward and asked him what he had? Ward produced a pot containing beer, which he had under his handkerchief. Witness then spoke to the defendant who denied having served the beer.

Langton now denied the offence, but was fined 20s.

John Ward was then summoned for being upon the above premises at the same time.

The case was proved by Police-constable, 47 T. R., who stated that defendant refused to give his name and address. He had the beer as stated above.

Defendant declared that he had purchased the beer before eleven o'clock.

Police-constable, 47 T. R., deposed that he saw defendant enter the house about eleven o'clock, when he had no beer.

(Middlesex Chronicle 28 November 1874)

* * * * * * * *

John Taylor ca 1874 -Oct 1877

In the report made by the Brentford Court for the closure of the Grand Junction Arms in 1913, it says there were only two changes of landlord since 1872. One of these was to John Langton above, the other occurred in 1910 when George Samuel Jennings retired .

Brentford Petty Sessions, Saturday 6 October.
Transfer of licence - Junction Arms, New Brentford, John Taylor to George Samuel Jennings.

(Morning Advertiser 8 October 1877 and Middlesex Mercury 13 October 1877. )

* * * * * * * *

George Samuel Jennings Oct 1877 - Aug 1910

George Jennings was to run the house until 1910. It was to be a very quiet tenancy with no reports of any misdemeanours.

1878 Post Office Directory - George Jennings, Beer Retailer

* * * * * * * *

1881 Census - Beer House, Grand Junction Arms, Registered Lodging House, 166 High Street, New Brentford

George S. Jennings Head Mar. 39 Waterman Middx., Brentford
Elizabeth Jennings Wife Mar. 38 Middx., Brentford
William J. Jennings Son 9 Scholar Middx., Brentford
Elizabeth G. Jennings Son 5 Scholar Middx., Brentford
(Plus 4 lodgers)

(Ref. RG 11 1349, fo. 57, p. 26, Sch. 58)

* * * * * * * *

1882 Licensed Victuallers Returns - Grand Junction Arms - George Samuel Jennings

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1891 Census - 166 High Street, New Brentford

George S. Jennings Head M 48 Waterman Barge Middx., Brentford
Elizabeth Jennings Wife M 47 Middx., Brentford
William J. Jennings Son S 19 Shorthand Clerk Middx., Brentford
(Plus 4 lodgers)

(Ref. - RG 12 1032, fo. 120, p. 13, Sch. 73)

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1900 Licensed Victuallers Returns - Junction Arms - George Samuel Jennings

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1901 census -

166 High Street, New Brentford

George Jennings Head 58 Beerhouse Keeper & Waterman Wa… Own Account Middx., Brentford
Elizabeth Jennings Wife 57 Pub. Middx., Isleworth
William Jennings Son 29 Clerk at Papermakers Worker Middx., Brentford
William Grandson 14 Middx., Brentford

(Ref. - RG 13 1196, fo. 11, p. 14, Sch. 93)

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George's wife Elizabeth Jennings died 18 July 1902 and was buried 23 July at the Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery.

England and Wales, National Probate Calendar

Elizabeth Martha Jennings of 166 High Street, Brentford, Middlesex (wife of George Samuel Jennings) died 18 July 1902. Administration London 27 September 1902 to George Samuel Jennings, lighterman. Effects £192 12s. 11d.

In 1910 George Jennings retired from the business, transferring the licence to James Henry Sharrat on 18 August 1910, his tenure of 33 years exceptionally long for a beerhouse, for many houses there was often a rapid turnover in licensees. He continued living at the house as a boarder, being recorded there in the 1911 census He died in late November 1921, aged about 79,.and was buried at the Ealing and Old Brentford Cemetery on the 3 December 1921, alongside his wife.

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James Sharrat Aug 1910 - Dec 1913

1911 census - 166 High Street, Brentford

James H. Sharrat Head 45 Mar. Publican - Own Account Titenson, Stafford
Frances Sharrat Wife 43 Mar. Broughton, Hants.
Married 19 years 2 children born alive, 2 still living
Albert Arthur Sharrat Son 13 Single Pangbourne, Berks.
George Jennings Boarder 69 Widr. Retired Waterman Brentford, Middlesex

7 rooms in the dwelling house.

(Reference - RG 14 / piece 6925, Enumeration Book 58, Schedule 140)

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Nearly fifty years after the Wall Smiths had left, the Grand Junction Arms was closed. In 1913 it was chosen by the Brentford Magistrates to be one of the house deemed redundant and selected for closure under the Compensation Scheme.

In 1904 an Act of Parliament was passed that allowed for the closure of Public Houses and Beer Houses, where it was considered there were too many licensed houses in one area, with compensation to the licensee and owners, . The Brentford Magistrates were the most active in the Middlesex Licensing Authority in pursuing the closure of unwanted houses, of the 126 houses closed under this scheme, 33 were from the Brentford District, more than any other Authority, 11 of which where in Brentford Town.

There was a twist in this plan for the closure of unwanted houses. The compensation money was raised by a levy on all licensed houses in the County Division. Thus the publicans were paying for their own demise.

At the Annual Licensing Sessions for Brentford in 1913, the Licensing Magistrates considered the case for closure of three houses in the Division under the new Act. At these sessions, Montague Sharp, the Chairman of the Licensing Magistrates, spoke of the need for these closures in the Brentford Division.



The Chairman announced that all the licenses would be renewed with the exception of three to which the Bench objected as being redundant. These were:


As to the Grand Junction Arms, Brentford, Mr. Sewell, manager of Charrington's Brewery, said the house had been on the list previously but the license was afterwards renewed and this being so he did not expect to have the house placed on the list again. Repairs had been carried out and a steady trade was being done. There had only been one change of tenancy in 40 years. - The Chairman said the house was redundant in the opinion of the Bench and it would therefore be referred to Quarter Sessions.

The Eagle Beerhouse, Hounslow and the Orleans Arms Beerhouse, Twickenham, were the other two houses sent for closure that year.

(Middlesex Chronicle - 8 Feb 1913)

The fate of these houses was now in the hands of the Middlesex Licensing Committee which held their preliminary meeting at the Guildhall, Westminster on 16 May 1913.

The following details of the closure are from the Minute Book of the County Licensing Committee at the London Metropolitan Archives - Ref. MXS/D/01/01/005 - 3 May 1912 to 12 April 1920.

Meeting of the County Licensing Committee 16 May 1913

To Consider the referrals for Closure and Compensation




To the Compensation Authority for the Area comprising the above District.

At the General Annual Licensing Meeting, holden at the Police Court, Brentford, in the County of Middlesex, on the 4th day of February, 1913 for the above-named Licensing District, We, being the Renewal Authority for the said District, decided to refer to you the question of the Renewal of the Licences held in respect of the premises specified below :--

Dear Sir

The Grand Junction Arms, (Beerhouse), Brentford

In accordance with your instructions, I have made an inspection of the above house 166 High Street, Brentford, and beg to report as under :--

The house is situate on the north side of the High Street, a short distance east of the bridge over the Grand Junction Canal, and has a frontage of 13 ft. 6 in. (between walls) by a depth of 42 feet. At the rear of the yard is a 2 ft. 8 in. passage connected by a cartway leading from the High Street to the canal. The door to this passage is kept locked. The distance between the nearest tram rail and the kerb is only 7 ft. 5 in. The house has a 2 feet paved forecourt, and the path is 9 ft. 8 in. in width.

The accommodation comprises :--

Basement. Cellar. -- 13 ft. x 13 ft x 6ft. 6 in high. Under public bar, with concrete cement rendered floor, whitened walls, and lath and plastered ceiling. Barrels are lowered from the front path through doors between paving and sill of bar window.

Kitchen. -- 9 ft. 6 in. x 9 ft. x 6 ft. 6 in. high. This room appears to be little used. The walls are match-lined and painted, and ceiling matched and whitened. Lighted by windows sliding horizontally 3 ft. 9 in. x 3 ft. 3 in. on to back yard. Door to cellar and to lobby at foot of stairs, from which is door to back yard. Concrete floor and stove in dilapidated condition.

Ground Floor. - 2 feet above pavement level.

Public Bar. - 13 ft. 6 in. x 13 ft. x 8 ft. 6 in. (including Serving Bar, 9 ft x 9 ft. 2 in.) Three steps up from pavement to folding doors 4 ft x 6 ft. 10 in., with upper panels glazed with Muranese glass and glazed fanlight to open over. Lighted also by fixed glass sash 6 ft x 7 ft. Serving window to tap room at rear. Matched, grained and varnished dado 4 ft. 7 in high, with paper over, and whitened ceiling. The length of serving counter is 15 ft. 9 in., and the bar is fitted with benches and fixed seats. Door to lobby at top of stairs, off which is door to tap room.

Tap Room. -- 8 ft. 6 in. x 8 ft. 6 in. x 8ft. 6 in. high. Situate at rear of public bar, with entrance by door from lobby at top of stairs to basement and first floor. Matched, grained and varnished dado 3 ft. 9 in high, with paper over, and whitened ceiling. Window 4 ft. 8 in. x 2 ft. 9 in., to open, and bottom looking on to yard. Fireplace fitted with ordinary sitting-room grate. Furnished with table-seats and lighted by gas. Sink enclosed in cupboard, with cold supply, upper part of cupboard being used as larder.

Stairs. -- The stairs to basement and back yard are dark and narrow. The stairs to first and second floors are fairly well lighted, the walls are papered and varnished and whitened.

On First Floor. -- Front Room. -- 13 ft. 6 in. x 13 ft x 8 ft. 2 in. high, Used as bed and sitting room. Walls papered and ceiling whitened and fitted with fireplace. Window, 3 ft. 6in. X 5 ft., double hung.

Back Room. -- 9 ft. 6in. X 9 ft. x 8 ft. 2 in. high. Double hung sash window, 4 ft. 6 in. x 2 ft. 9 in., but in other respects similar to front room.

On Second Floor (in roof). -- Front Room. -- 13 ft. 6 in. x 13 ft. x 6ft. 6 in. high. Window 3 ft. x 2 ft. 3 in., bottom sash opening. Walls papered and ceiling whitened. Fireplace

Back Room. -- 9ft. 6 in. x 9 ft. x 6ft. 6 in. high. Similar to front room.

Yard. -- The yard at the rear of the premises is 13 ft. 2 in. x 14 ft., between walls with door on to narrow passage at rear. It is cement rendered and drained to a gully in centre. Immediately outside the door from the house is a stone sink with draw-off tap over. The water supply is from a cisterns in the open fixed on a bearer over the door to the back passage. The cistern is not protected from the frost in any way but has a wooden cover.

The Sanitary Accommodation comprises : -- W. C. in N. E. corner of yard for use of customers, 3 ft. 1 in. x 2 ft. 6 in. x 5 ft. 5 in. at eaves and 7 ft. at top. Fitted with short hopper pan and flushing cistern. A passage, with 6 ft. screen, and door at end leads to this W.C. Private W.C. in south-eastern corner, comparatively new, built in 8 in. brick. Casement window 1 ft. 6 in. x 2 ft., good W.C. pan and flushing tank. There is a small urinal 3 ft. 3 in. x 2 ft., with cemented walls 3 ft. 4 in. high, and slate slab front and cemented floor.

The yard gully has been built up about 15 in. above ground in brickwork to take the drainage, but there is no means of flushing.

Generally. -- This is a small house with one bar only and a small tap room, which also appears to serve as the kitchen for the tenant, as the basement kitchen is very dark and inconveniently situated. The sanitary accommodation is poor, and, owing to the limited area of the yard, it is so arranged as to be opposed to all ideas of decency and privacy. With the exception of the bar, which is in fair condition, the premises are in need of decorative repair.

With a quarter mile radius the following licensed premises are situate :--

Six Bells 18
Magpie and Crown 177
George and Dragon 190
Three Pigeons 200
Red Lion 247
White Horse 290
Castle 307
Black Boy and Still 403
The Angel 417
Beehive 427
  Total ___ 10

Magnet 17
Northumberland Arms 103
Brewery Tap 500
  Total ___ 3

186 High Street 140
120 High Street 222
  Total ___ 2
Total ___ 15

The nearest licensed premises are :--
The Magnet Beerhouse 17 yards
The Six Bells Public House 18 "

The Magnet Beerhouse, which is on the south side of the High Street, immediately opposite the Grand Junction Arms, and at the north- west corner of The Ham, has in recent years been almost entirely rebuilt and rearranged. It has a good public bar 13 ft. x 13 ft.. with entrance at corner, and a private bar, used also as jug and bottle, with entrance form The Ham, Height of bars, 9 ft. 9 in. A parlour or smoke room with door from private bar is used when required as a club room.

The domestic accommodation is a kitchen in basement, and three bedrooms and sitting room on first floor. There is a good yard with stable at rear, and a good urinal properly paved and drained and with flushing tank. The entrance is from The Ham. The distance between the kerb and the nearest tram rail is 10ft.

The Six Bells is a large fully licensed house, with a frontage of about 44 ft. on the south side of the High Street, and is a comparatively new house. The trade accommodation comprises public bar, jug and bottle, private and saloon bars, all with separate entrances and 11 ft. 6in. In height.

Both these houses are better as regards construction, accommodation, and conveniences of public and domestic accommodation that the Grand Junction Arms.

I am, dear Sir, Yours faithfully,
Sidney W. J. Barnes,

It was decided at this meeting that the licences of the Grand Junction Arms and the Orleans Arms were to be proceeded with for possible closure. The Eagle Tavern, Hounslow, was not proceeded with, though the reprieve was only to last a year, it was closed in 1914.

Meeting of the County Licensing Committee 20 June 1913

This was the Principal Meeting and after hearing Counsel and Witnesses on behalf of the renewal Authorities and the persons interested in the licensed premises, it was decided to refuse the renewal of the nine licences referred, this included the two referred from Brentford - The Grand Junction Arms and the Orleans Arms.

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An appraisal of the house was then made by Alexander Stenning on the compensation to be awarded to the parties involved.


121 Cannon Street, London E.C. - 22 October 1913

Dear Sir

Middlesex County Licensing Committee
Licensing Consolidation Act 1910

In accordance with your instructions, I have inspected the 8 houses, - Licences of which the County Licensing Committee have refused, - with a view of advising what sum should be paid in Compensation, in accordance with the Provisions of the above Act.

In making my Valuation, I have followed the principle of Mr. Justice Kennedy's Judgement in arriving at the value of the Houses, as freeholds in possession, and apportioning same between the various Parties according to their Interests, after deducting the value of the Premises with a Licence.

With regard to the Barrelage, I have taken the 3 years' average stated in the Tenants' Declarations, and have allowed an Annual Profit according to the price paid to the Brewers, and Capitalised the amount at 11 Years Purchase in each case.

I have had regard to the extra duties payable under the Finance (1909-10) Act 1910, and have made equitable deductions for same.

I enclose Schedule shewing the Houses taken, the names of the interested Parties, the nature of their Holdings, Claims made, my Valuation, and how the amounts are apportioned.

Yours faithfully
Alex. R. Stenning

The Clerk to the County Licensing Committee,
63 Victoria Street S.W.


"The Grand Junction Arms" Beer House, High Street, New Brentford

Owners - Messrs. Charrington & Co., Mile End. Tied for Beer.

Licensee - James Henry Sharrat

Annual Sales -
1907 -- 299 barrels beer.
1908 -- 263 barrels beer.
1909 -- 236 barrels beer.
1910 -- 245 barrels beer.
1911 -- 233 barrels beer.
1912 -- 199 barrels beer.

Sleeping Accommodation - None
Food supplied - Bread and Cheese
Stabling - No.
Lodgers - No.

Number of public rooms - One small tap-room 9 ft. 6 in. x 9 ft. x 8 ft. 6 in. high.
Lighted by window 4 ft. 9 in. x 2 ft. 9 in., and fireplace.

Number of Bars - One Bar, 13 ft. 6 in. x 13 ft.
One tap room as above.
No Bottle and Jug.
No Snug

Age and State of Repair. -- Premises in need of decorative repair.

Any alterations made at request of Justices - No
Condition of Cleanliness -- Clean

Sanitary Arrangements -- One urinal 3 ft. 8 in. x 2 ft. W.C. in yard for customers, Private W.C.

Entrances for Public. -- One Front.
Conditions as for Police supervision. -- Easy.

How long has applicant held the licence. -- Since 18 Aug. 1910
How many transfers since 1872. -- Two since 1872.

Convictions or cautions. - None
Rateable value -- £34
Annual rent. -- £40

Total of all licences and clubs in the quarter mile radius.
Ale. -- 10 Beer on -- 3
Red Lion Magnet
White Horse Northumberland Arms
Castle Brewery Tap
Black Boy and Still  
Six Bells  
Magpie and Crown  
George and Dragon  
Three Pigeons  

Beer off -- None

Grocers & c. -- 2
136 High Street
120 High Street

Clubs. - None

Distance from the two nearest Licensed Premises of all types, with remarks on differentiation.
Magnet, Beer House, 17 yards.
Six Bells, Public House, 18 yards
Both better as regards construction, accommodation and conveniences, and have been rebuilt.

Distance from the Two Nearest Houses of the same class, with remarks on differentiation.
Magnet, 17 yards opposite.
Northumberland Arms 104 yards, larger and better house.

District increasing or the reverse. - Not increasing.

Class of persons using the House. -- Labouring and Watermen.
Any Slate or other clubs. -- Slate Club.

Any special Holiday Traffic. -- No

If Licence has been offered as a surrender. - No

General Remarks - None

[The amounts allocated to the interested parties are given in the yearly report of the Middlesex Licensing Committee. The amounts below would be paid in late December, and the house closed immediately after.]



Statement showing the licensed premises, in respect of which the licences have been refused, and the amount of compensation awarded during the year 1913

Brentford Division

Name of houses and parties interestedAmount ClaimedAmount agreed upon by the persons
interested, and approved by the
County Licensing Committee.
"The Grand Junction Arms" Brentford     
Charrington & Co. Freehold ;   )1986 12 01605 0 0 1455 0 0
James Henry Sharrat Licensee )   150 0 0
     Total    1605 0 0

Licence refused 4 February 1913, closed 27 December 1913


Page published November 2018