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Brentford High Street Project
The site brings together information about the people and properties of Brentford, particularly the High Street, from the 19th century onwards, with some earlier material. It has around 2000 web pages and over 700 images.
If you are a new user take a look at the site guide.
Recent additions follow. Perhaps you can help someone with a Brentford enquiry - it could be about a person, place or business, see Can You Help.
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. ***
Thank you to all contributors for providing a wealth of diverse material.
The website move completed successfully 17 October 2023, please let me know if anything is amiss.
- You can now order a digital image (jpg) of a death certificate for £2.50 from the General Register Office GRO - read more in the latest Lost Cousins Newsletter at https://lostcousins.com/newsletters2/midnov23news.htm (16 Nov 2023)
- Some initial notes on Knights Buildings, a set of eight properties off the south side of High Street at its eastern end, starting with 'who was Knight?' (9 Oct 2023)
- Updates to research into my gtx3 grandfather, Thomas Parsons, one of several boot and shoe makers named Parsons with links to both Brentford and Harrow; can a DNA match help? (9 Oct 2023)
- Can you help Isabella: I am enquiring if anyone remembers my parents who worked at Ranton's Commerce Rd Brentford in the 1950's. My Father was Reginald 'Reg' Foster & my Mum Jeanette 'Jean' Lockie. They met at Ranton's. My Mum previously worked at Elizabeth Shaw's in Commerce Rd & latterly at Falcon Pipes
Please get in touch if you can help Isabella; the site has much material about Rantons and people who worked there, for example this page has photos and names (7 Sep 2023)
- Rather a slow burner this one. Thanks to a helpful lady from Australia the circumstances of a mystery photo sent in 2011 by Margaret Smith are now clear: it marked the opening of the King Edward VII bridge (Kew Bridge) in 1903: read more (17 Aug 2023)
- Pigot's directory of 1823-4 noted 'a gas company is established here, who light the town'. David Shailes has prepared a history of the Gas Works in Brentford, explaining the original purpose was to provide street lighting, domestic use came later; many contributors have mentioned the works and sent photos too, links to some of these have been added to David's piece (17 Aug 2023)
- Peter Timms' photo of his mother Winifred Ker, Mafeking Avenue, 1932, adds to the rich Ker family history compiled by Margaret Ker, Peter Stuart and Peter Timms (5 Aug 20230
- A contemporary account of the opening of Brentford's pioneering Health Centre in 1938, ten years before the NHS was founded; thanks to David Shailes for this inspiring piece (1 Aug 2023)
- Janet McNamara & Jennie Shaw: photos taken in July 2023 showing progress at Workhouse Dock, now filled with water (31 Jul 2023)
- Dominic Delargy broadcasts Soho Bites podcast 'a show about Soho and the films set there'. Soho Bites 42: A Fallen Idol? features Madeleine Henrey and includes an interview with Robert Henrey, her son, who was an actor in The Fallen Idol, 1948. The podcast can be accessed from the Henrey page or here: a great podcast with a Brentford connection! (19 Jul 2023)
- Thomas Selby Henrey was the vicar of St George's, Old Brentford, from 1895 to 1930; details from the 1921 census added to the Henrey family page (14 Jun 2023)
- As part of preparations for Local History Month, May 2022, David Shailes transcribed the names from the Brentford section of the 1878 Post Office Directory: a big undertaking with over 400 names with addresses and occupations, a great resource; more to follow in coming weeks (14 Jun 2023)
- Updates to numbers 370-384 High Street, enlived by additions from the British Newspaper Archive and 1830 Land Tax (10 June 2023)
- Count Otto Black (deceased) has sent some extraordinary items which I am working through sreadily; this one is about Spring-heeled Jack, who could be seen on Boston Lane in 1845; read more about how this phenomenon started and the Boston Lane example (7 Jun 2023)
- Poppet's Parlour, lay just to the west of the Saluation almshouses, notes prepared as part of the Roads Off section (4 June 2023)
- Pharos Marine operated from 77 High Street in the 1980s and 1990s; thanks to Janet McNamara for forwarding a photo showing the entrance, taken by Christine Diwell (26 May 2023)
- Notes on Goat Wharf, gathering together information from maps, censuses and news items, with links to photos; can be accessed from Roads Off A-Z List link to the left (28 Apr 2023)
- A recent visit to the Roseland peninsula, Cornwall reminded me that the actor Arthur Phillips and his wife Christie moved here after spending a short time in Brent Cottage: updates added from the 1921 census; this led to updates to the history of Brent Cottage (23 Apr 2023)
- Judy and Harvey sent an update to the Bovingdon family and started the quest to find Southfield Farm, South Ealing, home of dairyman Frederick Bovingdon; James Atkinson, perfumer of Old Bond Street and owner of a pet bear was encountered enroute and the location of Southfield Farm is now known - read more (13 Apr 2023)
- Paul Tippell seeks photos or information on the Brentford Timber Company, 38-39 Kew Bridge Road - read more; has anyone any photos? Please get in touch if you can help (11 Apr 2023)
- More from Janet McNamara: photos taken in March 2023 showing work starting on Phase 2 of the new developments: demolition of the Hiedelberg building (9 Apr 2023)
- Thanks to Janet McNamara for a plan of the new developments with road and block names - Alder, Brunel, Montgomery etc.; it has been added at the bottom of this page, which also has an aerial view of the site in 2022 (8 Apr 2023)
- In 1923 two Brentford market traders advertised in the West country press for produce to sell, read more (2 March 2023)
- Dawn Trafford sent a news account about the tragic deaths of Emma Holford and her niece in 1899; they drowned at Kew Bridge and were buried at St Lawrence's (19 Feb 2023)
- Thanks to Judy Dunkley for adding details of the Mattiucci family who were at 402 High Street in 1911 (10 Feb 2023)
- Records of almswomen at the Saluatation or St George's Almshouses from 1921 added to the property notes and also included in the review of almswomen (6 Feb 2023)
- Thanks to Hilary - see below - who identified her husband in Peter Young's 1974 photo of the narrowboat Alcor (3 Feb 2023)
- Can anyone help Hilary Pereira in her quest to find photos of vessels between Victoria Steps/the Hollows up to where the Arts Centre is, but not Lots Ait, mid 1960s up to recent times, for her research; if you are able to help please get in touch, I will forward any replies. Thank you! (2 Feb 2023)
- The Kenton family, see next item, bought land on which three cottages were built by 1840, two became the Bricklayers' Arms: time for an update to accompany Stephen Reed's photo from around 1960 (13 Jan 2023)
- If you lived on Distillery Road or Greet Road you (or your parents) may recall the Tripp family; Janet Byron sent a photo of their golden wedding celebrations in 1955 - thanks Janet (31 Dec 2022)
- Count Otto Black (decd) offers a diversion: the Library of Congress website has interesting material for the UK: "Mostly they have high-quality and easily downloadable scans of out-of-copyright books". I followed the Count's advice to search for 'Brentford London' and found lots of interesting stuff. A cartoon from 1768 illustrates the next episode in Middlesex's electoral history, following the election of radical John Wilkes in 1768: read more; two items unearthed by the Count are a bawdy poem: Jyl of Brentford's Testament by Robert Copland, mid 1500s; and The History and Antiquities of Brentford, Ealing and Chiswick by Thomas Faulkner, published 1845; exceprts to follow (Boxing Day, 2022)
- Vin's super postcard of the 55 tram may now have a location in Hanwell, let me know if you have any other thoughts ... (10 Dec 2022)
- Thanks to Deborah Patterson for information about a branch of my Anthony family (23 Nov 2022)
- Charles Woodley recalls Brentford in the 1950s and 1960s; he joined the 6th Brentford Scouts in 1958; can you help with his quest to locate a local scrapyard operating in the early 1960s that had remains of two 1940s planes? (5 Nov 2022)
- Vin Miles asks if anyone can identify the location of the 55 tram, from a photo taken around 1925; the route starting in Half Acre is known but the roofline is not familiar to me (23 Oct 2022)
- Read Janet Byron's research into John Pugh, tinker and tin smith of Distillery Road, with photos of him and several descendants (16 Aug 2022)
- Thanks Steve Horsfield for advising of the link between Alfred Watkins - author of The Old Straight Track - and councillor Charles J Cross JP 29 Jul 2022
- Your ancestor may feature in one of these photos: Beldam workforce around 1912 or Brentford Celtic Football Team, winners, 1912-13 season. Thanks to Julie Jakeway for sharing two rare photos (25 Jul 2022)
- Lynn Hayter sent this family photo of an outing, probably 1932 : can anyone identify where it was taken or possibly identify any of the people? (21 Jul 2022)
- Sally Douglas has sent several interesting links, in this case (Charles) Dickens's Dictionary of the Thames from its source to the Nore from 1885; scroll down to see the index, which includes links to pages for Brentford, Kew and Isleworth (and much more); Sally suggests a second link , worth seeing for the cover alone (8 Jul 2022)
- Ted Sumner has sent a detailed document about his Ryall family - to follow - and useful information about parchment makers; notes added for related occupations of fellmonger and tanner in the Occupations section (22 Jun 2022)
- Thank you Geoff N who spotted a Folkard family history website; the Brentford Folkards were pawnbrokers and occupied Rattenbury's shop in the 1820s and 1830s: Geoff's link has been added to the Folkard family page (30 May 2022)
- Thanks to Sally Douglas for sending this link to an Old Bailey case from 1822 that mentions Brentford men Thomas Lambert and William Braby; worth reading for the incidental details - a reference to badger baiting, the price of a pair of breeches and more! (15 May 2022)
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)
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 can freely access the latest newsletter from the LostCousins website (link is at the bottom of the page): but as Peter says, ’why not join?’.
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.