1964-1999

1964 Goods services on the Great Western Railway line ceased and Brentford Dock which had been designed by Isambard Kingdom Brunel was closed. The site was purchased by the Greater London Council for housing

The elevated section of the M4 motorway was opened after fierce local opposition.

1965 The Borough of Brentford and Chiswick were amalgamated with other boroughs to form The London Borough of Hounslow.

1966 England won football’s World Cup.

1966 The Police Station opened on the site of the old Vestry Hall.

1968 Rattenbury’s the jewellers and pawnbrokers at 288 and 289 High Street closed. The eighteenth century shop front was bought by the Museum of London and the three brass balls went to Gunnersbury Park Museum.

1969 Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon.

1972 The first occupants moved into the blocks of flats built on the redundant filter beds of the water works. The blocks were named to commemorate the connection. Cornish beam engines had been used at the waterworks. Boulton was a partner of James Watt and developed the use of steam engines for pumping, Harvey and Co of Hayle in Cornwall built engines for the Kew works. Maudsley was a mechanical engineer who supplied the first engine to work at Kew. Wicksteed was a consulting engineer who realised the efficiency of the Cornish engines and Fraser was the designer of the tower built to protect the system of stand pipes from frost.

A dedication stone was unveiled at Brentford Dock by Sir Desmond Plummer. The original plan had been to call the development Tiber Estate to continue the idea that Julius Caesar forded the Thames nearby. The roads and block names all have Roman connotations.

1973 Britain joined the Common Market

1974 Brentford Market closed after more than 600 years in the town. It moved to North Hyde on the Southall border and became known as Western International Market. The drinking fountain that had originally stood by Kew Bridge was moved to the entrance of the new market. The old site was used as a Sunday Market and a skateboard park for a time before redevelopment as Capital Interchange and the Fountain Leisure Centre.

The first residents moved onto the Haverfield Estate which was built after the demolition of many streets of old Victorian houses. At that time government money was available for rebuilding rather than restoration.

1975 The town was described as ‘depressed and depressing.’

1977 The first residents occupied the first phase of the Dock redevelopment. The Greater London Council originally allocated property to people needing re-housing due to clearance or redevelopment, urgent transfers, homeless families, teachers, London Transport employees and nominees from other London Boroughs. After a short time the later phases of the buildings were built to be sold.

Second phase of Haverfield Estate occupation.

A Carnival was held in the town to celebrate Queen Elizabeth II’s Silver Jubilee

1979 Margaret Thatcher became Britain’s first woman Prime Minister.

1982 British rule in the Falkand Islands was restored when the Argentinians were defeated during the Falklands War.

1983 The Ferry Hotel in Ferry Lane was demolished.

1984 The Watermans Arts Centre was opened by Princess Alexandra. It was built on the site of the gasworks.

1986 The last gasometer was demolished

1990 Riots followed the introduction of the Poll Tax.

Nelson Mandela was released from jail in South Africa.

1990 Park Baptist Chapel on the Great West Road was demolished. The congregation joined those at the Congregational Church to form the Brentford Free Church.

1991 Allies drove the Iraqis from Kuwait in the Gulf War.

1991 Partial rebuilding started at St Paul’s Church. The new building was designed by Michael Blee and received an award from the RIBA and was commended by the Civic Trust.

1993 Brentford Initiative was launched with the aim of revitalising the town.

1994 £13.7m was allocated in Government funding under the Single Regeneration Budget Scheme.

To be continued…

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