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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.
  • Peter Stuart has sent research into six generations of the Ker or Kerr family from the early 1800s to the twentieth century; local surnames include:
    Ansell, Barrett, Baxter, Broome, Collier, Davis, Dodds, Field, Franklin, Gaunt, Ginger, Grimbly, Johnson, Ker, Lockyer, Luffrum, Miller, Parry, Pool or Poole, Rutter, Stafford, Stagg, Thrupp, Turrell, Underhill, Vincent, Wakeling, Weatherley, White (20 Oct 2015)
  • Thanks to Mick Read who has suggested a possible location for the dining rooms in Maurice Cole's photo: near the Magpie and Crown and Motorwise; compare with the Magpie and Crown area in 1905; no. 127 was ‘dining rooms’ in 1890 (18 Oct 2015)
  • The Boatmen's Institute opened in 1904 and a postcard was used to invite people to the opening ceremony (2 Oct 2015)
  • Diane Newman spotted an unusual wall plaque on Brent Way dating from 1891, marking the ownership of property by Mr James Bradbury, grocer of 108 and 109 High Street (2 Oct 2015)
  • Were you at the Distillery Road party to celebrate the coronation in 1953?; if you have any memories of that day you are happy to talk about please read on: ITN, which makes news programmes such as News at Ten, is hoping to put together a short report on the Queen's Coronation in 1953 and is looking to collect memories from the day; if you think you can help please get in touch; there are two sets of photos on the website, sent by Sue O'Donnell and Barry Draper, and both include many names of residents:street party and decorations and children's fancy dress (August 2015)#
  • Linda (from Australia) has added much detail to the biography of Charles Braden originally prepared by Janet McNamara; Charles was a local councillor and miller/groat manufacturer who moved to Brentford in the 1870s; he was part of a network including the Croxford, Kingham and other local businessmen/councillors (19 Aug 2015)
  • A second postcard from Yvonne Butler, this time showing Strand-on-the-Green in Edwardian times; it is the middle of three postcards of the area (18 Aug 2015)
  • A postcard showing an area of the canal, postmarked 1906 - but where is it exactly? It includes a barge, other boats, a footbridge and prominent telegraph pole; thanks to Yvonne Butler for an interesting card (13 Aug 2015)
  • Janet McNamara has provided details of drownings in Brentford taken from the local press, early 1900s; the mortuary records list has been updated to include notes (7 Aug 2015)
  • I have archived much of the older material from this page and it can now be accessed through links to the left; to recap: family research is at Families; photos, including postcards and mystery photos are at Photographs; requests to locate family members, help with research, to find photos of family homes/streets etc are at Seeking...; useful websites are at Web Links; and a few items can be accessed in Emphemera, a new category in the Lists, Documents, News page; alternatively, if you know something was on this site but cannot find it try using the Search facilities at the top of this page (5 Aug 2015)
  • Inverness Lodge has been a popular subject and a new angle is provided by Terry Burke, former member of the Cyclists Touring Club which met here in the 1950s (4 Aug 2015)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)


Coming Soon (catch-up is underway*)

Below is a summary of items sent over the last two years, these will be added as soon as possible. * I graduated in July 2015 (MA in English Local History) and will be catching up with the backlog of material over the August to December period. Apologies for the delay in loading new pages, all material received is held safely in the meantime.

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

  • Deirdre Richards has provided a new Ashfield family page; the family moved into Brentford during the mid-nineteenth century (November 2015)
  • Pauline Stanhope has sent a selection of local photos taken from old calendars; views include Rattenburys 'I remember Rattenburys well. I had a second hand eternity ring from there in 1965ish'; photos include a view of the High Street opposite the Market Place around 1951 (November 2015)
  • Ross Fitzpatrick has forwarded a carte de visite by photographer Courtenay Henry Wynne of Chelsea which may feature Ann Burfoot, born 1855, of Half Acre New Brentford in 1861; Ross seeks any family connection and confirmation of who she is (November 2015)
  • Evan and Emma Phillips were headmaster and mistress at the Rothschild School in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; Emma and Evans grandchildren have sent a photo from their album showing Emma Phillips (October 2015)
  • Postcard of the Half Acre / High Street corner showing the Beehive Hotel; photo of the Stella Cycle Co. at 143/144 High Street, 1950s or 1960s, a rare frontal view; County Parade 1960s (thanks to my husband Richard) (November 2015)
  • Vin Miles has sent a photo of a 1906 cart accident which took place near St Lawrence's church; he has also forwarded images of Acton Lodge, London Road, Isleworth from around 1908, at which point it was occupied by the Phillips family; the building was recorded as Marlborough Lodge in the 1894 OS map (October 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)
  • 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)
  • 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?