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Brentford Families - Hester & Randall

Author: Dianne Gould (nee Hester)

My old school friend Carole Bartholomew (nee Sharp) wrote to me from Australia about your web site. I have just had a look and saw lots of interesting items.

Hester family

With reference to Beach's Jam factory my grandfather Richard Hester lived at 37 Walnut Tree Road. His mother Sarah Randall ( who had remarried) lived next door to the factory at No 39.

Richard's first job when he was eleven was on the stage at Beach's theatre as Dick Whittington's cat. He learned his profession there and became a contortionist, dancer, vaudeville actor and eventually toured the country playing in various theatres.

He was actually performing in the Manchester theatre when it burned down. In later years he started up a greengrocery business trading from his horse and cart at the foot of Kew Bridge. Later acquiring a shop in Whitestile Road Brentford from where he and later his sons traded until the 1970's.

Randall family

His mother, Sarah Randall owned what was probably the largest watercress company in the country at Princes Risborough. She supplied Covent Garden and Brentford market with watercress.

She also had a business making strawberry punnets. She sold from a shop situated on the main London Road, which led from Chiswick through to Brentford High Street. The shop backed onto the market that was partly built in 1889 and completed around 1900.

There were 14 offspring from my Grandad Richard, all of his sons played a part in the greengrocery business, most lived in Brentford or South Ealing. My father Dennis, was the youngest child and we lived in Enfield Road from 1949 until 1966.


1914 Kelly's trade directory of Middlesex includes:
Richard Hester, greengrocer, 118 Whitestile Road, Brentford
Mrs Randall, 347 HIgh Road, Chiswick

The 1911 census shows a large family living at 118 Whitestile Road:

  • Richard Hester, head, 36, greengrocer
  • Julia Hester, wife, 35
  • Edward Hester, 16, assistant to head
  • Lillian Hester, 15, assistant to head
  • Richard Hester, 13, school
  • Arthur Hester, 12, school
  • Thomas Hester, 10, school
  • Winifred Hester, 8, school
  • Violet Hester, 6, home
  • Doris Hester, 4
  • John Hester, 3
  • Cyril Hester, 9 months
  • Thomas WEST, father in law, widower, 57
  • Nellie West, sister in law, single, 22
All were born in Brentford, Richard and Julia has been married 17 years and she had given birth to 11 children of whom 10 were still alive (all listed above). Dianne adds 'there were still 3 children to be born, my father being the youngest. There were 14 children in total but a twin girl died somewhere between the age of 1 and 2. The Thomas West at the bottom was Grandma Julia's father'. The house had 6 rooms.


Page published March 2011