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Brentford High Street Project

Web bhsproject
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, Iíll 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. ***

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.
  • An unusual item from Peter Stuart: a Scotland Yard memo regarding a bank robbery at the Midland Bank, Brentford, in 1958 (27 Jul 2016)
  • Sandra Graves kindly loaned me four parish magazines dating from 1971-1983; I have extracted the names from the April 1980 issue (24 Jul 2016)
  • The final set of gravestone inscriptions from the entrance passage of St George's Church - surnames Fletcher, Henson Purnell, Rutherford, Sounds, Taylor, Winter, Wise; these are also accessible from the Lists, Documents and News page (23 Jul 2016)
  • Vin Miles sent three images and a map showing the location of Acton Lodge, London Road, Brentford End from around 1908, at which point it was occupied by the Phillips family; as is often the case a little research into the house and its occupants turned up some interesting snippets... (22 Jul 2016)
  • A sepia postcard showing the Cottage Hospital in The Butts, probably early 1900s - thanks to Peter Stuart for this image (21 Jul 2016)
  • More burials from St George's church - the entrance lobby has graves for Buckett, Burford, Goodall, Pearse, Sanders, Wakefield and Winter (21 Jul 2016)
  • Continuing the burial theme, Enid Biddle points out that it is now possible to search and view the grave register for over 66,000 burials at South Ealing Cemetery - but you will need a subscription to the ancestry website; see burial help for details of how to search and a link to the cemetery plan (20 Jul 2016)
  • As the development of St George's church continues it is timely to publish the inscriptions within the church dating between 1829 and 1866; these were compiled by Carolyn & Peter Hammond and forwarded by Janet McNamara; they added further detail from the burial register; this first batch, inscriptions from stones in the nave, includes the following surnames: Banfield, Coster, Ellis, Melvin, Meredew, Neville, Newens, Palmer, Pound, Thick, Tucker and Young (20 Jul 2016)
  • Councillor committee meeting attendances were recorded and a league table published in 1893/4; thanks to Janet McNamara for this; the table has been added to the councillors page (17 July 2016)
  • Findmypast has just advertised its collection of Middlesex burial records. Two local churches are included: St Lawrence, New Brentford, and All Saints, Isleworth: in total over 2,300 names - the burial help page has more details (15 July 2016)
  • Thanks to Enid Biddle for a useful tip - if you are uncertain where your Brentford ancestor was buried then the FindAGrave website may help - for example it includes nearly 1100 inscriptions and several photos of the South Ealing Cemetery; for more details and links see the burial help page (14 July 2016)
  • John Bayliss shares his research into two families named Dobson who lived in Brentford in the mid-19th century: one his, the other, fishmongers, apparently unrelated; he also provided a several newspaper articles about local fishmongers; if you have a fishmonger ancestor from the 19th century these articles make good reading - tales of rivalries, putrid fish and snippets about what this trade involved (11 July 2016)
  • Sue Toomer asks if anyone can provide an image of the Park Chapel, Boston Manor Road, where her great grandparents married in 1880; please email if you can help; David Vesey also seeks an image of the later 19th century chapel; he forwarded a splendid 19th century drawing of Park Chapel which now includes notes about some of its ministers; a check of local history books found a 1935 photo in the Archive photo series - Brentford which shows the same building as the 19th century drawing (8 July 2016)
  • Dave Baker wrote in 2010 with his memories of Kennington & Bourlet, photographic equipment manufacturers. He asks if anyone remembers the people who worked there? If so please get in touch; Paul Godfrey's history of Ilford Ltd includes more details of the company (6 July 2016)
  • Two of T & D Murrell's narrowboats, photographed by Peter Young in 1973 and 1974 at Brentford Dock; also see a full list of Peter's photos (4 July 2016)
  • Thanks to Roger Williams for sending a link to Mike Paterson's London Historians' Blog - The Shocking Case of Sarah Trimmer School, Brentford.; two historic newspaper articles and links to photos of the school are brought together in a new page (15 June 2016)
  • Can you remember...Kate writes: my dad had a television and radio shop in Hounslow in the 1950s/1960s - one of the very first TV rental shops - and I can remember that we used to visit a Mr. Sturley (Stirley/Sterley?) on the corner of Cressage Road, near the gasworks, to buy parts such as valves etc. Does this ring any bells? I was only about 4-6 years old, but I can vaguely remember him and his shop; please get in touch if you can help (19 Apr 2016)
  • Vin Miles sent an early 1900s postcard showing Lindens, Boston Manor Road, where councillor John Meyers lived in the late Victorian period; with help from Janet McNamara and Carolyn Hammond a likely site of this lost house has been located; pieces about Boston (Manor) Road are brought together in a new page (18 April 2016)
  • Brooks, Burford, Finch, Folkard, Fuller, Gentry, Potter, Raper, Rattenbury, Seabrook and Taverner families were all pawnbrokers during the 18th or 19th centuries; inspired by Dickensian, some research into the Folkards who worked inthe shop better known as Rattenbury's in the Regency period; notes added to occupations page too (29 March 2016)
  • David King writes about the Reverend Ebenezer Morley, minister of Albany Chapel during the 1850s; Can anyone help David with his query?: the Reverend's son, Ebenezer Cobb Morley, took up residence in Barnes and immersed himself in rowing activities becoming secretary of the Barnes and Mortlake Regatta and in 1862 established Barnes Football Club. In 1863 he set in motion meetings which led to the formation of the Football Association. It is difficult to believe that a young man of the time who went to neither public school nor university should attain such high proficiency in rowing and football without having participated elsewhere. So what sporting facilities were available to him in Brentford at the time or perhaps nearby in Kingston or Richmond or Kew? (28 March 2016)
  • Great views of Brentford Market in the late 1960s (Flickr) (26 March 2016)
  • The National Library of Scotland is great site for map buffs, thanks to Vin Miles for pointing it out; see Boston Manor Road from an 1897 map with a modern satellite view; bottom left 'Change transparency of overlay' enables you to adjust the balance between old and new views; hours of fun! (26 March 2016)
  • Do you know of a Clarnico fireman who was killed in action during the Boer War, WW1 or WW2? If so can you help Malc Tovey and Alan House with their project to commemorate these men - more details (20 March 2016)
  • Lauren Gates, part of the Warlingham WW1 Centenary committee, has added detail to Harry Beckingham's biography; Harry is commemorated on the WW1 memorial outside Brentford Library; he was one of the 17th Royal Fusiliers stationed at Warlingham in 1914-15 (10 Mar 2016)
  • Over 2000 local baptisms spanning 1813-1906: a monumental piece of work from Peter Stuart; if you have ancestors who were in education, health, the law, who worked the waterways or were pub or inn landlords they may feature (10 Mar 2016)
  • Diane Newman has sent three photos of St George's church taken early Feb 2016 during its redevelopment into apartments (19 Feb 2016)
  • A. Nay is a name on Brentford's war memorial; Meurig Jones has added details of Alfred's earlier military career and asked if any descendants had been in touch; they hadn't; I was curious to find out more about Alfred Nay; perhaps you can add to his story? Thanks to Peter Stuart who (within 24 hours) found a relevant entry in the 1881 census - surname MAY rather than NAY - and also a marriage; hope there is a Nay descendant who finds this! (17/18 Feb 2016)
  • Perhaps a member of your family was one of the 90,000 Red Cross volunteers during WW1? The Red Cross database is nearly complete (surnames A-V) and can be searched by name or location (over 100 Brentford volunteers, starting with Percy Abigail, 50 Kew Bridge Road and Thomas Allkins, 19 Windmill Road, orderlies at Percy Hospital, Isleworth). Thanks to Peter Calver for this find in his latest Lost Cousins newsletter, see link above (11 Feb 2016)
  • Peter Langley: Just to say Len Cox memories very close to my early life - a little extra: born 1935 Albany road parents moved Alma house Ealing road Pre war what a great young life
    in main every inch explored between Chiswick roundabout Brentford Bridge Thames South, Greatwest north, Kew fair and canal to bluebell woods included and of course BRENTFORD market[grand dad worked there]
    bring back that fantasic smell gas works
    Carvill hall Hollows On islands football ground Gunnersbury The Ham[Gran Granddad]lived there St Pauls School Senior school alleys and all BRILLIANT (7 Feb 2016)
  • Peter Stuart sent details of a baptism to a taxidermist/hairdresser at 352 High Street and research into the couple revealed a darker tale of an abusive relationship leading to divorce ... (6 Feb 2016)
  • Len Cox was one of the first contributors to the site, back in 2005; his memories were spotted by Di, descendant of Cyrus Lammas Lewis of 342 High Street and she is happy for other family descendants to contact her: scroll down the page for details (3 Feb 2016)
  • Another scene from Pauline's calendar: Durham Wharf around 1955 showing a Vokins' barge (27 Jan 2016)
  • The site already has a list of names of Brentford's volunteer firemen, 1879, now it has a photo of the volunteer fire brigade from around 1890, thanks to Pauline Stanhope (nee Young) (24 Jan 2016)
  • Many of you will remember Woolworths on County Parade and some will recall the older shops that preceded it. Pauline Stanhope (nee Young) has sent a photo from 1951 showing the original parade including the Dew Drop Inn at 120 (22 Jan 2016)
  • A photo of the Stella Cycle Co. at 143 High Street, 1950s or 1960s, a rare frontal view which includes the owner, Gert Wright (as to who was Stella - thanks to Roger Davis who explained the Stella Bicycle Company was a French manufacturer who had a British arm based in St James Square); also thanks to husband Richard for finding this image(16 Jan 2016)
  • A rather nice early 1900s postcard view of the northern side of High Street near Brentford Bridge featuring Pennington's the original working men's tailor (30 Dec 2015)
  • A photo from Sandra Graves shows seven men. This may be a seaside outing (Brighton?) and may include Tom Grant. Can you help with any other names? The date is thought to be 1930s or 1940s (29 Dec 2015)
  • Ross Fitzpatrick has forwarded a carte de visite which may feature Ann Burfoot, born 1855, of Half Acre New Brentford in 1861; Ross seeks any family connections and confirmation that the portrait is of Ann (14 Dec 2015)
  • A photo showing the 1946-47 season Brentford Football Club team and board members / officials: 43 named individuals; thanks again to Peter Stuart (3 Dec 2015)


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 during 2016. 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:

  • Annie of Appledore sent details of a grave reference and with help from the Hounslow Cemetery Team has been found to be in Islington Cemetery; they also provided plans showing the grave location (March 2016)
  • From Peter Stuart: an article from 1908 about St Faith's church
  • St Paul's Recreation Ground opened in 1889, Janet McNamara has traced the story of its development from the acquisition of land through to the opening ceremony and beyond using a range of sources (December 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)
  • Postcard of the Half Acre / High Street corner showing the Beehive Hotel; County Parade 1960s (thanks to my husband Richard) (November 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) (underway)
  • 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)

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?