by Carolyn & Peter Hammond
Published by Alan Sutton Ltd 19947 128 pages, paperback, ISBN 0 7524 0001 07 £7.99.
This book sets off as it means to go on with a superb 1920s photo on the cover, showing two elderly men loading osiers they have cut from Chiswick Eyot into a ramshackle boat, a traditional crop from Thames willows harvested to make thousands of baskets for local market garden produce.
This entertaining selection of almost 200 illustrations from the collections of L. B. Hounslow’s Local Studies Library, Gunnersbury Park Museum and a number of private individuals was assembled by the Local Studies Librarian at Chiswick and her husband. Some of the pictures are published here for the first time.
They are grouped according to the old village centres of the parish and each section has its own introduction. The captions are excellent, rooting the photos firmly in the place, and were carefully researched. The reader can take an arm-chair stroll or just dip into the past. At the time of writing, the Hammonds are at work on a companion volume on Brentford.