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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, 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. ***

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.
  • Peter Young has sent several photos of Brentford Lock area, the first, from 1973, is published with a section from an OS map published in 1915 so you can orientate yourself (25 Apr 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)
  • Do you remember Rose's limejuice? Brentford Dock was the place where this corrosive liquid (poor teeth) was transferred on to barges to be transported up the canal to Rickmansworth; Peter Young's photos from 1973 and 1974 show the barge Voxina; then loading and stacking the drums at Brentford Dock; a final photo shows Banbury, a Threefellows carrying narrowboat used in the limejuice transportation (5 Apr 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)
  • A tranquil view of Goat Wharf and the Ferry Hotel, 1974 - thanks to Peter Young (27 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)
  • Three 1976 photos from the Goat Wharf area showing barges being unloaded and the partly-built Brentford Dock Estate (Peter Young) 18 March 2016
  • A view of the recently completed Brentford Dock flats in 1978, thanks to Peter Young (18 Mar 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 1600 baptisms of those who worked on the waterways, 1813-1906: a monumental piece of work from Peter Stuart; the Pearce family features prominently with over double the number of baptisms of any other family (10 Mar 2016)
  • Another set of baptisms from Peter Stuart, this time those who were involved in health: chemists, druggists, surgeons and a solitary optician, 1814-1906 (8 Mar 2016)
  • If your ancestor ran a pub in Brentford during the nineteenth century then Peter Stuart's index of over 200 baptism entries may help (1 Mar 2016)
  • Two more photos from Peter Young, these show barges being unloaded at Goat Wharf, the date: 30 August 1976 (28 Feb 2016)
  • Baptisms of those involved in the law, 1829-1906, from Allard to Woodward: thanks again to Peter Stuart (27 Feb 2016)
  • Peter Stuart has extracted baptisms of local residents at Brentford's CoE churches, 1813-early 1900s: this first set covers those involved in education; a great resource and more to follow: watermen, health workers, pub landlords, those involved with the law (25 Feb 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)
  • The eel stall at the Waggon and Horses, Kew Bridge Road, 1972 - another evocative photo from Peter Young (10 Feb 2016)
  • The drinking fountain outside St Lawrence's church is over 150 years old and features in a 1972 photo by Peter Young (8 Feb 2016)
  • Brentford's late Victorian fire station oozes civic pride; Peter Young's 1973 photo captures the tiling and design quirks (8 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)
  • St George's church in 1975, thanks to Peter Young; includes links to some older and newer images of the church (4 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)
  • A view of London Road near the railway bridge including a Greenford bus and Keep Britain Tidy posters, 1972 - another Peter Young photo (2 Feb 2016)
  • Peter Young's photos of the Royal Tar in 1973 show the splendid tiling of its doorway, also a view in 2015; a photo from 1937 allows comparisons (1 Feb 2016)
  • Many of you will remember the old fountain near Kew Bridge, captured by Peter Young in his 1973 photo (29 Jan 2016)
  • Does Peter Young's 1972 photo of a horse and cart at Half Acre show the same horse, cart and driver as Jean Harrison's late 1950s photo? (28 Jan 2016)
  • Another scene from Pauline's calendar: Durham Wharf around 1955 showing a Vokins' barge (27 Jan 2016)
  • The first two of around 90 photos from the 1970s taken by Peter Young; this one shows the Joss Press at 246 High Street in 1974; and St Paul's Road and the Feathers PH in 1973; also see a full list of Peter's photos (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)
  • You may have heard of the release of the 1939 Register on the findmypast website: this register was drawn up at the outbreak of WW2 and was used to issue identity cards; a section covering nos 241-251 and 42 High Street has been added (22 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)
  • Sandra Graves kindly loaned me four parish magazines dating from 1971, 1980, 1982 and 1983 during summer 2015; I have extracted the names from baptisms, weddings, burials/cremations, advertisements and local news items for the earliest magazine - October 1971 (1 Jan 2016)
  • Deirdre Richards has provided a new Ashfield family page; her family moved into Brentford during the mid-nineteenth century (31 Dec 2015)
  • 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)
  • 1952 electoral register for the High Street, nearly 500 people recorded; signs of some buildings being converted to flats, eg numbers 79 and 80; a gap where the Country Parade was being built (21 Dec 2015)
  • Evan and Emma Phillips were headmaster and mistress at the Rothschild School in the late 19th and early 20th centuries; their grandchildren have sent a photo from their album showing Emma Phillips (19 Dec 2015)
  • It's the time of year for nativity plays; Sandra Graves has provided two photos taken around 1955 from the St Paul's School nativity (in which she played Mary); Sandra has provided several names, can you add any more? (14 Dec 2015)
  • Thanks to Vin Miles for his restored postcard showing a 1906 incident on the High Street near Church Alley; an unusual subject (14 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)
  • Were you at Ealing Road School around 1949? If so can you help identify five little girls? Thanks to Kate Marshall for the photo which includes her mother Joan Woods (13 Dec 2015)
  • If you like buses take a look at Colin Carter's photo which shows a no. 255 approaching St George's church in the 1960s; Colin also sent a colour view of Rattenbury's and an early (around 1980) view of Waterman's Park (12 Dec 2015)
  • Were you in the Brentford Secondary Modern football team in 1950? If so take a look at Kate Marshall's charming photo of the team and sports master; can you add any names? (12 Dec 2015)
  • Two photos from Colin Carter: a view of the M4 flyover construction and Lucozade building, around 1964; and Brentford riverside taken from underneath an arch of Kew Bridge, 1960s (11 Dec 2015)
  • The whole town appeared to have crammed into Brentford Market Hall and the scene is captured in a mounted photograph provided by Peter Stuart; was this the opening ceremony in 1893? (4 Dec 2015)
  • A photo showing the 1946-47 season Brentford Football Club team and board members / officials: 43 named individuals, they have been added to the sporty people index: thanks again to Peter Stuart (3 Dec 2015)
  • You may have seen the oval photo of the Brentford Monument unveiling in 1909, but Peter Stuart has provided a rectangular version; a contemporary newspaper account accompanies it (2 Dec 2015)
  • Thomas Selby Henrey was the vicar of St George's church from 1895 until his retirement in 1930 and will have baptised and married many of our Old Brentford ancestors; Peter Stuart has sent a photo showing T. Selby Henry, probably dating from the late 1890s, it has been added to the extensive Henrey family page; Peter is the seventh Henrey contributor (2 Dec 2015)
  • 98 years ago a patriotic Christmas postcard from T. Selby Henrey, vicar of St George's was published; thanks to Peter Stuart for sending a copy; Peter also explained why a death in my Parson's family was registered by Elizabeth Taint, rather than a family member: Elizabeth was a professional nurse. More images from Peter to follow (2 Dec 2015);
  • David Vesey has provided two pictures, an early 1900s watercolour by Auguste Ballin showing Boston Manor Road and a nineteenth century drawing of the Park Baptist Chapel, Boston Manor Road (1 December 2015)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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 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)

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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 until a little way into 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)
  • Three items from Peter Stuart: a postcard showing a very empty Butts, early 1900s; a report of a bank robbery in 1958; and 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)
  • Vin Miles has sent 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 (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)
  • 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!

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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?

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