Diana Willment

One of our long-standing members, Diana Willment, died in November 2012. She lived on Brentford Dock – her interest in the dock, in industrial archaeology and the river led her to become a volunteer at the Kew Bridge Steam Museum and with Thames Landscape Strategy.

She became concerned about changes taking place in Brentford and started local history research. Her first publications were two walks looking at old buildings and the industrial infrastructure that survived in the area in 1993.

She particularly chose to mark anniversaries. She wrote articles and books to celebrate the centenaries of Brentford’s Fire Station, Library, Boatman’s Institute and Brentford Bridge. She also produced a book on Sir Montagu Sharpe, on the 150th anniversary of his birth, and, in 2009, published what she saw as the definitive book about Brentford Dock, 150 years after it opened. She pursued ideas and themes assiduously, for example, assembling a list of all the public inscriptions in Brentford. She found out many little-known details about her subjects but she didn’t like to share what she’d found out until she was ready!

Most of the books she published herself, as Dandelion Publications; she covered her costs and earlier this year had had the Brentford Dock book reprinted because of its success. This is still available on our bookshop page.

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