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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
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.
  • The former Brentford Cottage Hospital has been a popular subject for photos and postcards since the early 1900s; Peter Young's photo captures it in January 1973 (6 Dec 2016)
  • St George's School class 5 photo thought to date from 1930 - 44 children, ages ranging from 10 to 13; thanks to Diane Elphick (Gardner) (5 Dec 2016)
  • Another summer's day photo, this time 1973 and a view of Glan Helen, a charming house on the corner of Somerset Road and Upper Butts - thanks to Peter Young (3 Dec 2016)
  • Were you walking along Windmill Road in the summer of 1972, a sunny Thursday? Perhaps you are in Peter Young's photo, which shows the old and the new - a well-worn Royal Brewery sign and young mothers with their children; Sandra Graves was very quick off the mark with the exact location - Windmill Road Bridge - thanks Sandra! (2 Dec 2016)
  • Were your parents or grandparents born around 1915-1917? If so they may be in the St George's School class photos of 1925 (boys) or 1926 (girls): thanks to Diane Elphick (Gardner) who has sent two more class photos, from 1930 and 1947 - to follow (1 Dec 2016)
  • Photos of Rantons and in particular one showing part of the workforce in 1949 have been very popular - several people have offered names and memories; Chris Mundell (nee Lewry) is the latest contributor: her father, Frank Lewry, was Technical Director; a names' list of people remembered has been added, greatly helped by Chris's key; Sam Fox has recently provided several more names, also Patsy Langley (30 Nov 2016)
  • In August 1838 rafts of property in Brentford were advertised for sale, the estate of William Crighton Esquire deceased; it included much of The Butts, The Three Pigeons Inn and also The Market-place, with all its rights and privileges; details are in the newspaper selection (26 Nov 2016)
  • Was your ancestor an almswoman (or man)? A closer look at the occupants of one of Brentford's two almshouses: the St George or Salutation Almshouses, which provided eight (small) homes from 1794 until WW2 (21 Nov 2016)
  • Joseph Napper was a lighterman and bargemaster of Old Brentford who died in 1847 leaving a will; more interestingly he was a defendant in a slander case brought to the Court of Common Pleas in 1830; the last link also includes an account of a dramatic storm that hit London on a hot July evening 1839; lightning strikes killed a child and injured two adults in Brentford; the journalist had to convey the intensity of the storm using words, no images... (14 Nov 2016)
  • Did you got to a Gillette children's Christmas party around 1940? If so you may spot yourself in this photo from Diane Elphick (Gardner) (13 Nov 2016)
  • A larger size of this rare New Brentford postcard from Wendy Tagg allows more detail to be made out; notes added about the baker 'Nevill' (9 Nov 2016)
  • Janet McNamara researched the History of St Paul's Recreation Ground using newspapers and meeting minutes; the site has a photo which may show a glimpse of the grounds back in the late 19th or early 20th century (8 Nov 2016)
  • Tony Harbor writes: I lived at 21 Distillery Road from 1951 to the late 60's with the Simeoni family my Gran Grandad and 2 Uncles Mario and Peter. My cousins lived one the other side of the road Richard and Paul Williams we all went to St George's school I would love to find Charlie Woodley; please get in touch if you can help Tony (7 Nov 2016)
  • The blue and white-striped Sheraton Heathrow Hotel bus must have been a familiar sight in the 1970s; Peter Young has captured it as it passes the Rank (formerly Maclean's) building in 1973 (6 Nov 2016)
  • Four photos of the Gillette factory from Peter Young, taken in the spring of 1973 and summer of 1974 (6 Nov 2016)
  • If you have a copy of Fred Turner's History and Antiquities of Brentford or perused the back of an old postcard you may have noticed they were printed by Walter Pearce & Co, St Georges Press, The Butts; a little research has uncovered some of the life of this printer and publisher (5 November 2016)
  • Some additions to the occupations page, including miller - thanks to Sally Dougas for more links (27 Oct 2016)
  • Another postcard from Vin Miles: Brentford Market and Chiswick High Road, postmarked 1906 (21 Oct 2016)
  • More interesting links from Sally Douglas - try 1829 Panorama of the Thames, Brentford; use the right arrow to glide east;or select a different part of the Thames - Richmond to Westminster - from the dropdown menu at the top (20 Oct 2016)
  • Geograph aims to collect geographically representative photographs and information for every square kilometre of Great Britain and Ireland; the website has over 5.1 million images including nearly 2,500 for Brentford and area (18 Oct 2016)
  • Further links from Sally Douglas including the 1783 Road Bill for repairing the Highways from ... Counters Bridge ... leading through the Towns of Brentford and Hounslow (18 Oct 2016)
  • Sally Douglas has amassed links to websites which include paintings, newspaper pieces, archaeological finds etc. - all relating to Brentford and area; these are published as a separate page pending a review of the original links page, which has outgrown its original purpose (15 Oct 2016)
  • The Bees, 111 years ago - Vin Miles has sent a photo of the Brentford Football Club team, 1905/6 season, with names (12 Oct 2016)
  • Thanks to Sally Douglas who has sent a host of links to Brentford-related items, all freely available online; these include a list of unclaimed bank dividends for bonds purchased between 1752 and 1820 by Brentford people (11 Oct 2016)
  • From Peter Stuart: an article with photos from 1908 about the recently opened St Faith's church, with some interesting snippets from contemporary newspapers (4 Oct 2016)
  • The Salutation or St George's Almshouses at the eastern end of town offered accommodation to elderly women from 1794 until WW2; the names of residents from 1841 to 1939 have been recorded and further analyses will follow (21 Sep 2016)
  • Terry Burke writes My recollections of Brentford are in the context of the world when both it and I were much younger, and he has gathered comprehensive information about coinage, weights and measures, late 1930s wages, the costs of living - and much more as a back drop to his recollections of the 1930s to 1960s which will follow; he highlights the many differences between living then and now; settle down with a classic biscuit and cup of tea to enjoy (18 Sep 2016)
  • The elegant Trico factory survived 60 years, two unusual views from 1972, thanks to Peter Young (17 Sep 2016)
  • Mick Purdy has written to say he recognises himself and David Mudge in a St George's School photo, early 1950s; he adds 'Eric Christmas was my best friend, I now live in Brisbane Australia, would love so much to get in touch with some of these people'. If you write and I will forward to Mick; the site has built up a good collection of school photos thanks to many contributors (28 Aug 2016)
  • A couple of valuations made around 1910: the £5 plot of land behind 161 High Street no value for building on or agricultural purposes and, at the other end of the scale, Boston House (11 Aug 2016)
  • Keith Davis has identified the person who committed the 1958 bank robbery as Brian Donald Hume - see Scotland Yard memo sent by Peter Stuart now with some details of the perpetrator (8 Aug 2016)
  • If you have ancestors who worked on the river or canal, try this new, free resource: Spellweaver, 'for anyone interested in their canal boat ancestors'; it includes many newspaper articles; of particular interest is one from January 1841 about the flooding in Brentford; it includes a link allowing a full transcript to be downloaded and this includes much detail and names - thanks to Angela for this tip (1 Aug 2016)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • Great views of Brentford Market in the late 1960s (Flickr) (26 March 2016)

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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 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:

  • A handsome young man, D Weathers, features in a carte de visite by Frank Wakefield; can he be traced? Yes! thanks to Elaine Owen for her scan (Oct 2016)
  • Thanks to Angela for a newspaper scan from 1878, when an area of The Butts was being drained (Nov 2016)
  • (October 2016) Diane Elphick (Gardner) has sent some super people photos from the early 1920s and later:
    • May Day celebrations, little girls c. 1921/2
    • St George's School class photos from 1925, 1926, 1930 and around 1947
    • Gillette Christmas party for children (and some mums) c. 1940
    • VE Day street party, junction of Braemar Road and Ealing Road by the Princess Royal
    • 3rd Brentford guides, 1951-1953
  • Vin Miles has sent scans of an early 1900s postcard of St Lawrence's church, published by Wakefield's and taken from their back garden - what a find! (October 2016)
  • Sally Douglas has sent a wonderful miscellany of Brentford finds and facts from the mid-18th century onwards (September and October 2016)
  • 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)
  • 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)
  • 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!

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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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