Journal 27 (2018)

Restoring the Brentford Monument
A short history of the monument, unveiled in 1909, with details of the conservation work undertaken during 2017. This included cleaning the stone, devising a new tinted mortar, recutting and painting the lettering.
Plowden & Smith Conservation

367 Brentford High Street: Mrs Trimmer’s School Room
What remains of this building of 1806 is probably the only surviving purpose-built Georgian School of Industry in the country. Despite being Grade II Listed it has been woefully neglected and appallingly treated by IDM, the developer into whose hands it fell and neither Historic England nor Hounslow Council’s planners were prepared to require restoration. Society members recorded the interior but during 2017-18 it was substantially rebuilt as a house.
Val Bott & James Wisdom

Cricket on Turnham Green
A Victorian painting of a cricket match on Turnham Green was donated to Chiswick’s Local Studies Collection in 2009. On its return from conservation one of the team managing the Collection embarked on an exercise to pin down the date and the event depicted, which raised lots of questions. The clothing dates it to about 1860 and the image includes evidence of French and English teams and a possible naval connection. The author concluded that it was a spectacular and charming depiction of Turnham Green but that the marquees and flags, spectators and players could be wholly imaginary!
Adam Grounds

The First Open Table Tennis Tournament, 1901
When Ping-Pong was the latest craze, The Table Tennis and Pastimes Pioneer for 18 January 1902 reported that ‘the distinction of having conducted the first large tournament is claimed by a Chiswick correspondent’. The Local Studies team helped Alan Duke considerably with his research and James Marshall, Local Studies & Archives Manager, worked on Alan Duke’s original text to create this quirky article.
James Marshall and Alan Duke

‘Direct from the Thames’ – an early outside broadcast at Chiswick
In the spring of 1938 the BBC proposed an ambitious scheme to broadcast the finish of that year’s University Boat Race just downstream of Chiswick Bridge. The author, who edits the Wandsworth Historian, used a variety of sources including contemporary newspaper reports. He discovered the negotiations with the local authority about the fee due for placing a camera on its land and identified the difficulties caused by a severed telephone cable. An innovative feature was the use of a chart with model boats to show the progress of the race on screen.
Neil Robson

Charles Cornish: the Naturalist on the Thames
Researching the history of a handsome book on the natural history of the Thames revealed that Charles Cornish, the author, combined prolific journalism with expert knowledge of the natural world. His marriage to a member of the wealthy Thornycroft family brought him to live on Chiswick Mall where he grew to understand the life and economy of his local stretch of the river. Remarkably he combined a busy life as a writer with his employment as a master at St Paul’s School in Hammersmith. After his death in 1906, aged only 48, his wife paid tribute to his intense interest and curiosity in everything around him, but also bemoaned his reluctance to take holidays, his highly-strung temperament that led to over-anxiety and his modesty which led him to doubt his talent. The book is nevertheless a fine testament to his talent and expertise.
James Wisdom

William Percy Roe FRICS FAI 1919-2017
An affectionate short biography, remembering our former Vice-Chairman (1995-2008). He was a prominent local Methodist, a long serving local estate agent and, in retirement, a devoted local historian.
Wesley Henderson Roestrong>

Review of Gunnersbury Park by Val Bott & James Wisdom
by Sarah Rutherford

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