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Brentford Families - Bovingdon
Judy and Harvey wrote in January 2015, they asked 'can you throw any light on the two photographs'.
The first shows a young man and a Frederick Bovingdon milk cart (Southfield Farm, South Ealing) with smart buildings in the background. In one of the downstairs windows is the head and shoulders of a gentleman 'cut and paste' from the group photo. This gentleman may be James Bovingdon, who died on the 25 Nov 1914. Other details suggest the second photo was taken no earlier than 1911.
Frederick Bovingdon, the son of James and possibly the milk cart man, was born 16 Nov 1878 in Brentford and died 17 Mar 1928 in Lower Heyford, Oxfordshire, where up until his death he had been Licensee of The Bell Public House. He was listed in the census of 1901 and 1911 as living at 325 High Street Brentford with his occupation in 1901 as being that of "Butcher working from home" but this had changed to "Lately Meat Carrier" by 1911. Nothing so far therefore to confirm the milk/dairy connection or identify him as the barrow boy but that may be something that happened after he married Florence Jane Meakes on the 10th Feb 1915.
Thanks to assistance from the Ealing Fields Residents Association possible locations for the first photo in South Ealing have been suggested: Temple Road; between 22 Little Ealing Lane and Weymouth Avenue on the north side. This is puzzling as the Bovingdons are thought to have lived at the High Street address, and later at Whitestile Road.
Does anyone recognise any individuals in the group photo, and what bound them together? If you can help please get in touch, I will forward any replies. Also does anyone know the circumstances under which the first photo might be doctored to include the gentleman?
Southfield Farm, South Ealing
In 2023 Judy and Harvey sent an update:
In the 1921 census and Frederick Bovingdon, his wife Florence Jane (nee Meakes) their daughter Florence Inez Iris list their address as South Field Farm, Popes Lane, South Ealing, so the first photo above was obviously not of their home. But exactly where was Southfield Farm? 'We know Frederick rented land on Gunnersbury Park from the Rothchilds.'
Usually farms feature in news items in the British Newspaper Archive (BNA) - they are sold or let, suffer fires, have fruit or veg stolen - but searches found no references to 'South Field Farm' or 'Southfield Farm' Ealing, until 1916, when the Middlesex County Times, 20 May, carried an advert placed by Mrs Dredge, Southfield Farm, Pope's Lane, South Ealing, seeking a 'Daily Girl, 9 till 3'.
OS maps are also useful for farm names, but do not show Southfield Farm, although a map published in 1960 has Southfield Hall on the south side of Pope's Lane - see research into the earlier history of properties immediately east of Pope's Cross. The lack of references prior to 1916 suggests either an existing farm was renamed, or a new farm was built, at some point between the Ordnance Survey of 1891 and 1916. The note below starts with Dredge, occupier in 1916.
Southfield Farm and environs
Robert Dredge, dairyman, was recorded at "Southfields", Ealing in the 1911 census and The Genealogist's mapping facility shows the location on the south side of Pope's Lane, surrounded by land including a rectangular fish pond.
Kelly's Ealing, Hanwell, Brentford & Southall Directory, 1914 includes a street directory.
The street directory confirms Southfield Farm was on the southern side of Pope's Lane and that Southfield Paddock Lodge was to its west, with a cricket ground nearby.
Judy and Harvey add: Frederick Bovingdon was discharged from military service on the 22 May 1918 and we know that at the start of 1919 he was living at 101 Whitestile Road, Old Brentford and then we have a sales agreement dated 28 May 1919 showing that Frederick purchased from Robert Dredge the business, stock, trade chattels and utensils for the sum of £1,400 to become Dairyman and Cow keeper at Southfield Farm, Popes Lane South Ealing.
Along with his brother in law, Ernest Billinghurst Meakes, he continued with the Farm until, with failing health he sold up and became the Licensee of The Bell Inn, Lower Heyford, Oxfordshire in Oct 1925 and there he remained until his death on the 17 Mar 1928. His wife became the Licensee on 30 Apr 1928 and ran it until she sold up and moved to 47 Between Towns Road, Cowley, Oxford in 1939.
Two advertisements in the local press mark the change of ownership:
Ealing Gazette and West Middlesex Observer 16 February 1918 carried a Situations Vacant advert placed by E Dredge, Southfield Farm, South Ealing: A RESPECTABLE BOY; about 15; wanted to help with milk round.
The Ealing Gazette and West Middlesex Observer 30 August 1919 has an advertisement for Frederick Bovingon, Dairy Farmer, Southfield Farm, Popes Lane, South Ealing: You can be sure of having New Milk by dealing with the provider. Cows kept on the premises.
A history of Southfield Farm and immediate area has been derived from a range of sources, a summary follows.
Potted history of Southfield
The 1840 tithe shows fields south of Pope's Lane were part of Village Park, owned by James Atkinson, perfumer, and later his son James, who lived at Village Park in 1861.
At some point between 1861 and 1891, Southfield Stables was built in the south field of the Village Park estate, its location being a likely source of the name 'Southfield', and in 1891 was occupied by coachman/groom, Charles Clifton; it is not known if Clifton worked for Village Park; at that point the owner of Southfield Stables was named Waterhouse. In 1901 a coach builder, David Ness, occupied Southfield Stables; he may have used the premises for his business.
There is circumstantial evidence that Southfield Stables was later named Southfield Farm. No record has been found of both names in use at the same time, and the accommodation recorded for Southfield in the Lloyd George Survey, around 1910, shows it had stabling used for cows: '3 stables for 2 horses each, 1 stable for 7 cows, 1 stable for 6 cows'. From 1909 to 1915 Robert Dredge was recorded in the register of electors at Southfields, Pope's Lane, but the name was 'Southfield Farm' when his wife placed an advertisement in early 1918 (above).
That leaves two other properties with names suggesting they were in the same area as Southfield Farm: Southfield Paddocks and The Lodge, Southfields.
By 1897 Robert Green had established Southfield Paddocks, where horses were 'continually broken in and trained'. There is no reference to it in the 1901 census so it may have had no residential accommodation. The business failed and bankruptcy proceedings were underway in 1904. The name was also the location in 1907 for the South Ealing Democratic Working Men's Club. It may have been succeeded by the pub and mission hall shown in the 1934 OS Map.
The Lodge, Southfield was recorded in 1913 to 1915 electoral registers, and appears to be one and the same as Southfield Paddock Lodge noted in the 1914 street directory above. Henry Taylor was recorded at the first address in 1913 and second in 1914. This also was near Southfield Farm, from the sequence in the 1914 directory above, and may be the 2-room lodge recorded as a part of Southfield in the Lloyd George Survey around 1910.
Southfield Farm had been rebuilt by 1932 (OS map). The Southfield element survived in the naming of Southfield Hall (1960 OS map) and a set of properties built on Pope's Lane in front of the Southfield Farm site were named The Paddocks, recalling Southfield Paddocks (1960 OS Map).
Page published January 2015; updated March 2023