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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. Thanks to George Thorne for prompting this tip. ***

News

Thanks to Selby Whittingham for a reminder that the artist Turner's house at Twickenham is open over the summer on Saturday afternoons from 2pm to 4.30pm until October. Turner spent time during his youth living in Brentford; search this website (top of page) for Turner to find out more.

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
AUTOMATICALLY, ACCURATELY & CONFIDENTIALLY
Simply enter the relatives on your family tree who were recorded in selected US, Canadian, British, or Irish Censuses - then click the Search button.

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Recent Additions

Thank you to all contributors for providing a wealth of diverse material. Access pages via links below.
  • Kate Marshall asks
    • Did anyone work at smithkleine beechams on the Great West Road in Brentford between 1962-1973? My mum Joan Woods/Marshall worked there as a secretary after leaving school until she emigrated, if anyone knew her please get in touch.
    • Was anyone familiar with Taylors Coal merchant in Brentford and people who worked there for them? 1955-1975?
    • Did anyone know Robert Marshall, he lived in Mafeking avenue and died aged 30 in 1940? If anyone knew him I would be grateful to hear from you?
    • Did anyone know Harold, Jane, Kath, Ron Barry? All born and lived in the Brentford area?
    If you can help Kate please get in touch, I will forward any emails to her (20 Nov 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)
  • Margaret Ker has written about her husband's Ker family, who moved into Brentford some time before 1840; she mentions surnames Luffrum and Lockyer and one of the Ker family worked for Newens the bakers at 327 High Street; she adds 'I'm hopeful someone else might remember my husband's family.'; if you do please get in touch, I will forward any emails to Margaret (16 Nov 2014)
  • Terence McIver has spotted his grandmother Mary McIver in the photo of a Brentford outing, around 1953; she lived in Lateward Road Brentford (11 Oct 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)
  • Can you help: Keith Wallis writes 'Henry Matthews was killed WW1 in August 1918 at the age of 36. I would like to know more about his family, my mother Hannah was his youngest sister.He was born in Chiswick and his parents' names were William and Alice. I would like to hear from anyone who has researched his life.' If you can help please email, I will forward to Keith (14 Aug 2014)
  • Roger Tyrrell sent some memories of St John's School; these have been added to those of Tom Toomey (8 Aug 2014)
  • Can you help: Robin Easton writes 'my ancestor Henry Clark was a brickmaker in Tynemouth, Northumberland, in 1803, and lived since 1809 in Jarrow, County Durham. In the parish registers he is mentioned as a native of Brentford or Hounslow in Middlesex. I presume that he was born around the 1770s-1780s.' The website has details of a number of Clarke families who lived in Brentford and Isleworth, but so far none are known to have been brickmakers, or to have had a son Henry. Ancestry includes an entry which may be relevant: Henry Clarke son of Henry and Margaret was born Feb 5 and baptised 6 March 1774 at St Mary Ealing. Is this part of your family or have you come across Clark(e) brickmakers in your research? If so please get in touch (8 Aug 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)
  • Help sought: does anyone have a photo or postcard showing the old Beehive pub at 227 High Street (before 1907): it was not originally on the Half Acre corner, this was occupied by no. 225 until the area was redeveloped for the tramway expansion; Carl, a descendant of the Farrington family who ran the Beehive in the 1870s and 1880s, has sent this request (11 July 2014)
  • Can anyone supply a photo of the Park Baptist Church on Boston Manor Rd or the stretch north of Boston Park Road, before The Ride on the eastern side, which includes 81 Boston Manor Road, home in late 19th century to John Burnham, a 'Spurgeon's Evangelist', for his descendant David Vesey (14 Jun 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 Brentfordf Local History event and notes from talks by James Marshall and Vanda Foster on the Great West Road and its factories (1 Jun 2014)
  • Alan Jutson may have found his grandmother Annie Hyde of Catherine Wheel Yard in the Pier House Laundry photo and his father Donald Jutson in the 1925 class photo, Rothschild School (26 May 2014)
  • Nigel Brock has sent details of his 18th century Jullion ancestry; this family were watch and clockmakers; the name survived in Brentford into the 19th century: Thomas Jullion was a local solictor who signed several local wills (25 May 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)
  • Dennis Rayner has added some names to the New Road 1945 VE Day celebrations photo (8 April 2014)
  • More updates to the Ranton's 1949 photo, this time provided by Christine Sheppard (nee Payne) (28 March 2014)
  • Brentford Local History Day 2014: Saturday 7 June is the date for your diary
  • 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)
  • Thanks to Brian Bouchard for updates to notes about Henry Richards, surgeon, who lived at 295 High Street in the mid 19th century (27 Feb 2014)
  • Jane has spotted Stan and Joan Burwood in two photos of St George's School taken around 1938, one provided by John Gray the other by Diane Lockie; Can you help Jane with some Brentford family queries? Names: Burwood, Carter, Pilgrim, Stanley (27 Feb 2014)
  • A Wartime Romance tells the story of a wartime romance between a Brentford girl, Joan Beardsworth, and her Welsh fiance Ray Llewellyn, who married after a whirlwind courtship, and their experience of life in post-war Brentford... read more; compiled by Julie Jakeway and available as an e-book for Kindle devices or the Kindle App.from the Amazon website (16 Feb 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; and details of all her Brentford family names (over 40 in total from Algar to Wyatt), linked via her Voller family (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)

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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:

  • 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)
  • Several trade directory lists, the earliest 1793, from Janet McNamara (March 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)
  • More councillor information: newscuttings from 1913 for councillors Dodge and Haley: thanks again to Janet McNamara (Jan 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!

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Can You Help

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

Jane has a number of Brenford families:
CARTER, Sarah A
(b) 1846 Brentford (d) 1931 Brentford. She married George Henry STEPNEY and they are my nan's maternal grandparents. They lived at 4 Running Horse Yard and then in Kenley Road.
I am looking to go back 2 more generations, I have Sarah's mum as Sarah Gumm (b) Feb 1825 but after that is a blank. If anybody could help with anything I would be over the moon!
Other members of my grandparents family are:
Edith Burwood (nee Joyce) - I'm looking for all info and early memories of her & her family, if anyone remembers them! She married Albert (Bertie) Burwood and I'd love to hear all about their early lives. They all lived in Kenley, Cressage and Harnage Road's and the Potteries before that (1800's)
Any memories of Elizabeth Pilgrim (Lizzie) my nan's mum would be great too. She spent her married life with Thomas Pilgrim and they lived in Carville Crescent for many years, where my nan was brought up. Early married life was in Mafeking Avenue and my nan was born there in 1929. Also, my hans brothers, Don Pilgrim and Ken Pilgrim. Both local, well known lads by all accounts! They all played in Jackie's football team at Carville Hall Park and one of the brothers, I think Ken, had trials for Brentford FC. Don worked at Smith's Crisps and I have some great pics to send over of the vans. Don Died in 1970, the same week as my nan's mum and Ken died in the late 1990's.

Frances seeks a photo showing King's Place, this was a terrace of eight houses, backing on to St Paul's Road and (from the front door) looked across to Albany Road (or Back Lane as it was) and St Paul's School. They were built by 1866. A check of Google Maps show various changes to the area. The Church Hall was built on the northern side of King's Place by 1934 and it appears King's Place was demolished between then and 1961 to make way for St Paul's House. Frances also asks if anyone remembers her mother's family, the Rushes.
Thanks to Janet McNamara who checked for photos of King's Place at the Local History Centre, Chiswick Library - sady no photos were found. (5 Feb 2014)

William Ashfield, early pilot 'was born in Brentford in 1900 and gained his RAF wings, but according to family memories he unfortunately crashed his plane on his maiden flight before he actually saw any action. He did survive although breaking many bones and he was hospitalised for quite a while. Perhaps he didnít actually see active service because of this' (Deirdre Richards writing in November 2013). Checks of military records on ancestry and findmypast did not help, can anyone suggest where further searches could be made?

Thanks to Steve for providing information including the following link on The National Archives website to his service record.

Bombing - Bridges family: W. Bridges' family were bombed out in 1940; has anybody got any information; 'my family all went to St John school Old Brentford' (Nov 2013).

Thanks to Roger Davis for providing a link to the website 'Bomb Sight: Mapping the WW2 bomb census'. The link shows bombs which hit Brentford in the London Blitz, 7th October 1940 to 6th June 1941. 7 bombs fell in the New Road area alone, including one in Griffin Park. Click on a bomb symbol for more information and any eye-witness accounts.

Also thanks to to Steve who replied with a link showing the area, adding 'the surrounding areas are individually listed under Hounslow on the main index page. There is also an interactive map of the whole of London and if you zoom in to high magnification on the red symbols, and then click on an individual symbol, an information box will appear which will contain information about that particular symbol. (example).

Two 20th century Brentford families, Priddy and Wootton, are being researched by Fiona; Fiona's mother-in-law was born in 1938 and her father worked on the barges near Brentford Bridge in the late 1930s/early 1940s; he used to take the horse back to stables nearby. His name was James (Jim) Priddy and he married an Alice Creswell on 2nd August 1920. I believe they lived in Marlborough Road, Isleworth and they are thought to have had eight children. The Woottons were greengrocers and may have had a stall in Brentford Market (Sep 2013)

Is Doris Frances Sansom (born 1914, Brentford) part of your family?: If so John Kemmery will be interested to hear from you as he has a 125 photos in an album plus letters, programmes, posters; she was an actress and belonged to the London stage amateur players. John has forwarded a sample of photos and these will be added to the site (this could take a few weeks): see one example. A check of the electoral register on ancestry.co.uk shows a Doris Sansom at 15 Netley Road in 1936 and 1949 and other Sansoms in the household: Benjamin, Charles W. and Frances Mary. Please contact John if you are interested. (August 2013)

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?

Wedding photographer query: Can you help by providing the names of any local wedding photographers who worked in the late 1960s/early 1970s? So far two suggestions:
D.W.P. Studios of Ruislip Road, Greenford, 1969; thanks to Peter Thames
F. & J. Hare, whose head office in 1971 was at Belmont Circle, Harrow, Middx, they also had branches at Wembley and Eastcote. A web search for F. & J. Hare photographers, Middlesex gave: Address: 8-10 Station Parade, Belmont Circle - Kenton Lane Harrow HA3 8SD Phone: 020 8907 0277; thanks to Lynn Hayter

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