Journal 25 (2016)

The Battle of Brentford 1016
This battle was fought after King Edmund Ironside had relieved London from a siege by the Danes. It was one of some half dozen engagements between the English led by Edmund and the Danes led by Cnut. Though they incurred heavy losses, this was an English victory. The author, a lecturer at the University of Winchester, describes the events and its possible location and links them to the Brentford Monument.
David McDermott

Miss Susan Mary Smee
A celebration of the achievements of the first female Mayor of Acton, who campaigned for the purchase of Gunnersbury Park and was first honorary curator of the Museum there, as well as someone who did lots of ‘good works’ for the people of Acton. Miss Smee (1859 to 1949) and for many years lived in Bedford Park with a long-term companion, Miss Veal. A strong and purposeful character, though very much a traditionalist, she made her mark. The author is Borough Archivist of Ealing.
Jonathan Oates

The Stores at Bedford Park
The Stores and The Tabard inn opened in 1880 to serve the residents of Bedford Park, part of developer Jonathan Carr’s aim of creating a strong community in his new suburb. The author, Historical Adviser to the Bedford Park Society, describes the development of the Stores into a kind of department store and introduces some of those involved in running it. It got into financial difficulty more than once and was eventually wound up in late 1899.
D W Budworth

The Ronalds Family in Brentford & Ontario
This account of a major gardening family has been compiled by a descendant. She has drawn upon the extremely rich resources of the family archive held at Eldon House in Ontario, Canada. Family members migrated there in the late 19th century, while others went to Australia and New Zealand. She shares hitherto unseen portraits, and family memories to tell the family’s story.
Beverley F Ronalds

The Diary of Fred Turner, Brentford’s Librarian
Fred Turner’s personal diary from 1890 to 1894 turned up in a box of items found in the loft of a house in Osterley, once the Turners’ family home. The box of material is now in Chiswick Local Studies Library and the author studied the diaries in detail to discover the life and work of Brentford’s first librarian.She reveals his enthusiasm for corresponding with famous people, his hobbies, including his garden, the outings he took and his descriptions of severe winter weather when the Thames froze over. The author is vice-chairman of B&CLHS, a trustee of the Thomas Layton Trust and Chairman of Hounslow Heritage Guides.
Janet McNamara

A Munition Worker’s Career at Messrs Gwynne’s, Chiswick, 1915-1919
A short piece about munition worker Joan Williams’ diary in the Imperial War Museum’s collection. She had clearly greatly enjoyed her years working at Gwynne’s. This car making firm occupied the former Thornycroft works beside the Thames in Chiswick who had been awarded a contract to manufacture aero engines for the Admiralty. Joan Williams described ‘extraordinarily interesting work and many friendly faces’ and only resigned reluctantly because of pressure from her family who could not understand why she wanted to stay once the War was over.
Carolyn Hammond

The Dawsons: Art Metalworkers and Enamellers
Edith and Nelson Dawson loved on Chiswick Mall from 1897. The had an extraordinary range of skills – water colour painting, etching and photography, every kind of metalwork from delicate jewellery to substantial items like presentation caskets and fire irons. Edith was a specialist in enamels and published a book on the subject. The author uses a range of sources, not least material preserved by their daughter Rhoda, to describe their lives and work in the Arts & Crafts Movement
Erika Speel

The 1939 Register: a New Source for Local Historians
A description of this invaluable resource, newly digitised and available online at the time the Journal was published. The author, a retired academic librarian, used the evidence it provides for the people who lived near his home in Whitehall Gardens in Chiswick in 1939 to show what the Register reveals.
Simon Francis

A Lost Map Rediscovered: The Chiswick Enclosure Map of 1840
Amongst uncatalogued papers at Chatsworth the Archivist discovered the Duke’s own copy of the enclosure map and award which had hitherto been presumed to be no longer in existence. The author has been studying the records at Chatsworth for some years and was excited y the prospect of being able to use this resource in the future. A copy is now in the Local Studies Library at Chiswick.
Peter Hammond

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