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Brentford High Street Project

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The site brings together information about the people and properties of Brentford, particularly the High Street, from 1840 (with some earlier material). It has around 900 web pages and over 600 images.

If you are a new user take a look at the site guide.

New additions, also see Coming Soon: recently received contributions; perhaps you can help someone with a Brentford enquiry - it could be about a person, place or business, see Can You Help. More recent news follows.

I hope you find something of interest and if you have any memories or stories about Brentford please get in touch, I’ll be delighted to include them.

*** Tip To make text larger press (at the same time) your Control ('Ctrl') and '+' keys. To shrink text use Ctrl and '-'. This will work on many other websites. Thanks to George Thorne for prompting this tip. ***

Turner news

Thanks to Selby Whittingham for the link 'How Turner's masterpieces were inspired by west London's landscape'. View local scenes painted and sketched by Turner.

LostCousins - a Great Resource

Peter Calver, LostCousins founder, publishes a newsletter every fortnight or so, each edition packed with hints and tips to help family researchers.

You do not need to log-in to the LostCousins website to read the newsletter, use this link.

If you join LostCousins (it is free) you will find it extremely useful in locating relatives: Peter's website introduction explains:
Are you serious about researching your family tree? If so, you've come to the right place, because LostCousins is the ONLY family history website able to match you with others researching the same ancestors
Simply enter the relatives on your family tree who were recorded in selected US, Canadian, British, or Irish Censuses - then click the Search button.


Recent Additions

Thank you to all contributors for providing a wealth of diverse material. Access pages via links below.
  • Janet McNamara, a regular contributor, provided copies of a 1793 trade directory for Brentford; this has over 300 names (now in surname order) and includes some interesting trades such as raspberry merchant and fish-wheel maker (2 Aug 2015)
  • Peter Wise hopes to contact members of the Meads, Wise Sedgwick or Munro families related through his grandfather, Bertie George Meads, who was born in Brentford in 1892; the Meads family lived at 15 Albany Road in 1901 (2 Aug 2015)
  • Bruce Willoughby has provided some biographical details for Mrs Annie Moffatt, recorded as ‘licensed victuallers wife’ in the 1881 census for the Half Moon and Seven Stars at 25 High Street (1 Aug 2015)
  • Ray Heath has added several names to a 1948 class photo, Brentford Secondary Modern Boys' School, please get in touch if you can fill in the few remaining gaps (25 July 2015)
  • Were you living in Brentford in the mid 1960s or were your family there? If so read on. Diane Newman has found a real gem: a 15 minute film about Brentford (around 1965) available for free on the British Film Institute website; it has views of the market interior and exterior, riverside, gas works and High Street and some roads off the High Street too (gimpses of Green Dragon Lane, Walnut Tree Road and others); it was taken by Chris Owen, a sculpture student at the Kingston Art School; names I spotted include Daubney, H F Davis, Elmfield Fruits, F Mellish, W & L Page, A E Phippen, T J Poupart, Strong, Vokins & Co Ltd, Young Son and Marlow; if you have a problem viewing with Firefox browser try Internet Explorer(20 Jul 2015)
  • Peter Wood has traced his Wood family, who settled in Brentford in the early 1830s, back into the 18th century so has updated his Wood and Towe family page; he adds I would be delighted to contact any of Samuel Wood's offspring 30 Jun 2015
  • The parish register guide has been updated to include dates of the Brentford registers held at the London Metropolitan Archives and a link from the Brentford basics page added (30 Jun 2015)
  • Ray Taylor asks if anyone has researched or remembers his Taylor family; Nathan Taylor was a traveller who was living with his young family at Chapel Yard near the Market Place in 1911; Ray attended Lionel Road and Brentford Boys School in the 1960s, then worked for Rank Bush Murphy in Chiswick (21 June 2015)
  • A wide miscellany of links from Sally Douglas relating to Isleworth and Brentford - these will all take you to another website:
    An A-Z of Isleworth; Isleworth parish is to the south west of New Brentford
    Piece about Van Gogh in Isleworth
    An Account of Some Organic Remains Found near Brentford; these were found by William Kirby Trimmer around 1810; he came from a prominent local family
    The Brentford griffin, sighted in 1984; Google ["joseph banks" brentford paranormal] to read Paranormal London which has more details of this beast
    Biography of Sir Joseph Banks, whom the above websites suggest may have been responsible for Brentford's griffin(s); he died at Spring Grove Isleworth in 1820; access his papers and those of James Cook, whom Banks accompanied on the Endeavour 1768-1771
    Photo taken at Hounslow Heath Airport in 1919: first flight to Australia
    Boston House b/w photo from the 1920s/30s; use 'next>' to view the fireplace and ceiling (British History Online)
    Statute of 1826: exemption from toll in favour of the inhabitants of Isleworth
    Sufferers at Old Brentford 'by his Majesty's forces (House of Commons Journal Volume 2: 26 November 1642
    Report of the Committee of Magistrates appointed [Oct. 26, 1820] to make enquiry respecting the public bridges in the County of Middlesex: Brentford references (4 May 2015)
  • Thanks to a lady who contacted the website, a memorial to members of the Clitherow family of Boston Manor House is being returned to Brentford; it dates from around 1727 (3 May 2015)
  • Lynn Hutchinson has provided an update to her Hutchinson family page describing further research into the life and death of Charles James Hutchinson (1842-1894); this includes a .pdf you can download (3 May 2015)
  • And another item from Sally Douglas, of particular interest if you have a bell ringer (or change ringer) in your family; the Ancient Society of College Youths is the premier change ringing society in the City of London, with a national and international membership; their website includes membership lists dating from 1637 to the present day; the first Brentford member was John Deane, 1763; 6 other Brentford members are recorded between 1763 and 1799: the home page has more information and a link to membership lists (19 Apr 2015)
  • Another item from Sally Douglas: she located testimonials for an opthalmic ointment, including one written by John Brooks around 1832. If your ancestry includes Brooks, Gregory, Bowerman or Jenkins take a look (16 Apr 2015)
  • William Cooke was a surgeon of The Butts, New Brentford, in the early ninteenth century; Peter Selley has provided some details of his life; [as an aside Peter's website, 'a mid-Devon medical miscellany', includes details of another surgeon of the same name who blotted his CV as a consequence of his interest in anatomy ...] (18 Feb 2015)
  • Can you help with a puzzling pair of photos which appear to include one or two members of the Bovingdon family, butchers in Brentford in the late 19th and early 20th century? (31 Jan 2015)
  • Was your father or grandfather a Buffalo? Rick Heath spotted his grandparents in a 1951 photo of a Buffalo get-together; also his mother as May Queen in 1948 (20 Dec 2014)
  • Emma Thomas (nee Brooks) has written to explain how George Walter Brooks, commemorated on the West Brentford War Memorial, was actually Alfred Walter Lack, son of George and Priscilla Lack of Wells next the Sea, Norfolk; is there a connection between a George Lack who died in Brentford, 1852, and Alfred's father George Lack that would explain why a Norfolk boy was commemorated in Brentford? (19 Nov 2014)
  • Kate writes: 'My father:- Norman (Nick) Marshall (only child) born 1938 Went to Brentford secondary modern boys school, worked at Taylor's coal.
    His mother:- Grace Marshall (maiden name Barry) born 1909 His father :-
    Robert Marshall (died at 30) grace married Fred Harris who also lived in Mafeking Avenue in the 60's. Fred had a daughter called Cath? They lived at 16 Mafeking Avenue all their lives her friends were Doll Luffrum, Eileen Stocker, Sonja.
    We attended my nans (Grace Harris) 90th birthday in Mafeking Avenue where they closed the street and had a old fashioned street party, this was approx 1998.
    My mother:- Joan Woods, 1944, brother Ron Woods 1940 They lived at Glenhurst Road all their lives. Went to Brentford secondary modern girls school/ boys school. Joan worked at Beechams til 1973.
    If any of these names ring a bell please get in touch (18 Sep 2014)
  • Paul Brier's blog includes BFC postcards, photos, cards, newspaper articles, programmes, etc etc: all sorts of interesting stuff - highly recommended (18 Jul 2014)
  • Nicola's Found objects blog features an old shop front at the corner of Windmill and York Road; does anyone remember W.J. Evans, who was a 'dairy farmer' according to a 1973 'phone book? This seems an unusual occupation for 1970s Brentford... Or enjoy reading about frozen Charlotte, another find; thanks to Sandra Graves for writing in about 69 Windmill Rd: 'I remember Evans Dairy in Windmill Road . It went to being a sweet shop in the 70s owned by Mr and Mrs Puri'. (13 Jun 2014)
  • Thanks to Peter Stuart for two useful brewery/pub links: one is to The Brewery Industry: a guide to historical records which includes the Royal Brewery, 23 High Street; the second is to a pub history website which covers a number of counties including Middlesex; these will be added to the Web Links section (11 Jun 2014)
  • Lynn Hayter has sent a slideshow showing Brentford in November 2012, over 100 photos with gentle music, please get in touch if you would like a copy: it is around 75MB so I have not put it directly on to the website (3 Jun 2014)
  • Pauline Grant spotted the thumbnail of the Brentford Mission - see next item - and wrote : My Father George Edward Turner was born in the Brentford Mission in December 1912, his Parents William and Elizabeth were bargees and worked very hard in all weathers and also bringing up their children on the Amos barge, it makes me proud of them even today. My Dad worked from about the age of 14 on the canal until the horses were retired from pulling the barges in I think the late fifties early sixties,Blue Peter went and did some filming at the time, My Dad then went to work for Chiswick council until he retired (3 Jun 2014)
  • A diverse set of 80 photos from Peter Young, all taken in 1972 or 1973, including: views of the Great West Road, the canal and dock area and various parts of town; view thumbnails of a sample (1 Jun 2014)
  • See photos from 2013's Brentford Local History event and notes from talks by James Marshall and Vanda Foster on the Great West Road and its factories (1 Jun 2014)
  • Are you an expert in unusual uniforms from the 1860s? Perhaps you can help identify that worn by a man in his late 50s or older in this interesting photo showing local members of the Brooks family (22 May 2014)
  • A rare view of Windmill Road from around 1905, thanks once more to Howard Webb (18 May 2014)
  • Another unusual postcard image showing the High Street near the Rothschild School with a huge crowd of people celebrating 'Trooping the Colours'; thanks again to Howard Webb (15 May 2014)
  • Thanks to Mark Chapman, Deputy Head of Media and Communications, Brentford Football Club for name additions and corrections to a postcard of the Brentford FC team, 1926/7 season (12 May 2014)
  • A rare postcard showing Home Cottage, Windmill Road, from 1905 or earlier; thanks to Howard Webb for sending this card which I'd never seen before (8 May 2014)
  • Michael Pettefer: My dad was Brentford born and bred, does any one remember George Pettefer, he lived in 6 Bedford road his nickname was Gus ,he was friends with Jackie Chapman and Peter Butler in around 1950's and 60's. It would be great if anyone has any old photos of the area they could share. (2 May 2014) Please get in touch if you can help
  • Norman (Nobby) Grace: I went to St Georges primary school from 1955 to 1960 and Brentford sec school from 61 to 65 we lived in High St where my dad had sweet shop next to Maurices motor bike shop,I noticed you had photos from Roger Draper I used to knock for his brother Brian on way to school,then Stevie Birkit,then Peter Keadle [who I still see], my brother Ray is in several pictures (1 May 2014)
  • An improved 'real photo' image of Half Acre, published as a postcard by Wakefields in the early 1900s, also a view of Clifden House, the former council offices, from around 1907-1911, both from Howard Webb (22 April 2014)
  • Howard Webb has contributed a rare postcard view of the western end of the High Street, pre-1920, taken from near St Lawrence's church (12 April 2014)
  • Thanks to Peter Calver (LostCousins - see above ) for a great free online newspaper archive at Welsh Newspapers Online: a search for 'Brentford' found over 200 matches as many English news items were re-published in the Welsh press; the period covered is from 1804 to 1919 (5 March 2014)
  • Were you at St George's Primary School in the 1950s? If so you may be able to provide add some names to Ian Powell's class photos taken around 1953-57 (12 Jan 2014)
  • Loretta has sent a photo of a football team, she hopes someone can identify the players which should include a member of her Voller family; other military photos from WW2 (24 Dec 2013)
  • Dave Stoneleigh provided several photos from BFC programmes from the late 1940s/early 1950s back in February; apologies for the delay, some covers from 1947/48 to 1958/59 seasons are now online and contents will follow (13 July 2013)


Coming Soon (eventually *)

Below is a summary of items sent over the last few months, these will be added as soon as possible. * Due to studies (MA in English Local History) time is at a premium at present but I will have more free time early next year, so apologies for the delay in loading new pages and bear with me, all material received is held safely in the meantime.

Thank you to all contributors for the wealth of images, research and puzzles:

  • Janet McNamara has provided details of drownings in Brentford taken from the local press, early 1900s (June 2015)
  • Sandra Graves has provided copies of four St Paul with St Lawrence and St George parish magazines from 1971, 1980, 1982 and 1983 - these include many names; also two school nativity play photos (June 2015)
  • Janet McNamara has sent a list of the monumental inscriptions from gravestones within the church of St George: around 30 surnames; these were compiled by Carolyn and Peter Hammond and, where sufficient detail survived, have been cross-checked with burial register entries (April 2015)
  • Bob Loveday has sent a wealth of information about the Lockyer,Loveday and Sharpe families; in summary Eliza Loveday (nee Sharp) inherited land and manors in Ealing plus property in Somerset and Bermondsey; her son William Lockyer Loveday moved to the U.S. in 1850 (April 2015)
  • A photo of a Clitherow memorial which was formerly in St Lawrence's church; it commemorates Rachel Clitherow, who died in 1714, and her husband Christopher Clitherow, who died in 1727 (Jan 2015)
  • Kate has sent two schooldays photos: Brentford secondary modern boys school football team around 1950; a group of six girls, Brentford/Ealing girls school, around 1949 (Sep 2014)
  • Colin Carter has sent five colour photos from around 1960 to 1970: Rattenburys, the M4 construction near the Lucozade building, a Routemaster bus service 255, a view of Brentford taken from Kew Bridge and the gas works site (September 2014)
  • Peter Stuart has sent a diverse set of historic images: Reverend T. Selby Henry in his 30s or 40s; the 1946-7 season Brentford Football Club team and management; the opening of Brentford indoor market; the unveiling of the Brentford Monument in 1909; a World War I Christmas postcard (June 2014)
  • David Vesey has provided two pictures, a watercolour by Auguste Ballin showing Boston Manor Road and a nineteenth century drawing of the Park Baptist Chapel, Boston Manor Road (April 2014)
  • Janet McNamara has provided more news cuttings: George Haley's election address, April 1st 1903 and one from 1914 about expansion of the Griffith Bros business (origins in Brentford, around 1900) into Richmond (Feb 2014)
  • Howard Webb has sent another superb set of postcard images, highlights include 1900s-1920s views of the High Street opposite St Lawrence's church, the Rothschild school and Windmill Road, also the Council Offices, a clear Half Acre photo and a card published when the Boatmen's Institute opened in 1904 (January 2014)
  • Yvonne has sent a couple of postcards from 1906 showing the canal, Brentford area and Strand-on-the-Green; can someone identify the locations? Also a sketch by Hiugh Thomson showing Brentford Lock in 1909 (December 2013)
  • Linda (of Australia) has provided many notes to supplement the biography of Charles Braden, who moved into Brentford in the mid 1870s and was a local councillor (September 2013)
  • Peter King provided a file of newspaper cuttings and adverts from 1913 following the Local History Day in June (June 2013)
  • Lynn Hayter has sent a slideshow showing Brentford in November 2012, over 100 photos, hope to be able to make this available to any who can access a .wmv file and some stills (March 2013)
  • Dave Stoneleigh has sent scans of Brentford Football Club programmes from 1947-1952, including adverts and team names, a trip down memory lane! (Feb 2013)
  • Janet McNamara has sent newspaper cuttings about Brentford councillors, also a charming advert for the dolls' hospital at 234 High Street (September 2012)
  • Table showing councillor attendances at committee meetings, 1910/11 from Janet McNamara (June 2012)

The above is not a complete list of all material outstanding (one of the challenges is to keep tabs on all contacts and I occasionally have a 'hot moment' when I find a mis-filed email dating back two or more years... If you write and have no reply, or I have said I'll do something and then don't a reminder will be appreciated!


Can You Help

Please get in touch if you can help with any of the following. Thank you!

Can you help Margaret reunite a 1920s journal with the writer's family?; two photos show the mystery journal-writer, possibly called George, who worked at Bohee's, the printers, 58/59 High Street, and a view outside Bohee's (May 2013)

Please can Jim Kelleher provide his current email address: a researcher into the Twining family would like to get in touch?

Please can Pauline Chidwick provide her current email address: a researcher into Reuben Fleetwood and family would like to get in touch?