Layton's book collection

Layton’s Book Collection

Discovering a hidden book collection – Layton’s Library from Medioto on Vimeo.

Last year saw an exhibition of Layton’s Library: A Curious Collection, held at Hogarth’s House and Boston Manor House.

Following that exhibition is a new short film which explores Thomas Layton’s book collection, a collection that he bequeathed to the people of Brentford and Hounslow.

The film attempts to show the diversity and richness of the collection and features interviews with local historian Val Bott, James Wisdom, trustee for The Thomas Layton Memorial & Museum Trust, and James Marshall, Local Studies Librarian and Archivist for the London Borough of Hounslow.

The film has been produced thanks to a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

Clements' gravestone, South Ealing Cemetery

Clements’ Gravestone

In loving memory of


Died August 22, 1896, aged 3½ months.



Killed in action at Ypres September 29, 1915 in his 21st year.

Although we mourn his loss we are consoled that he died with others fighting for King and Country

And of


Who passed away Dec. 21st 1934 aged 72 years

A man amongst men
Loved and honoured by all.
At all times prepared
For God’s beckoning call.



Dearly loved wife of the above

Who passed away November 26th 1945 aged 81 years.


from the Supplement to the Middlesex Independent. March 25th 1911

Vote for Clements in 1911

Brentford Urban District Council Election, 1911


Ladies and Gentlemen,

The period for which you elected me as one of your representatives on the District Council having expired I have again decided to seek a renewal of your confidence.

I have always supported and shall if elected continue to support any measure which in my opinion will contribute to the welfare of the inhabitants of our town, and I strongly favour the idea of acquiring ground both for recreative and allotment purposes and thereby securing for our working classes the privileges which are enjoyed by neighbouring districts.

If you deem my past services worthy of your support kindly favour me with one of the four votes you will have at your disposal on Monday next.

I am Ladies and Gentlemen,

Your obedient servant,

James Clements Continue reading

James Clements, by William Ramsden Brearley 1932

Councillor James Clements

Between 1874 and 1894 Brentford was an independent town run by a Local Board responsible for public health matters by supplying clean drinking water and sewers, clearing slums and cleaning the streets. Provision of a Fire Brigade was later added and by 1894 it was an Urban District Council (UDC) whose responsibilities included town planning, parks and cemeteries. This operated until 1927 when it amalgamated with Chiswick to become the Brentford & Chiswick UDC that met in the Town Hall in Chiswick.

One man who was involved from 1894 was James Clements. Continue reading

The Old Fire Station

The Old Fire Station

The Old Fire Station

The Old Fire Station,
55 High Street, Brentford

Originally used as a fire station and now a Cuban bar downstairs and a Persian restaurant upstairs.

Constructed 1897;

Grade II statutory listing;

In St Paul’s Conservation Area, Thames Policy Area


Opened on 22 February 1898 with much pomp and celebration; ticket-holders were able to see inside. It was designed by Nowell Parr, surveyor to Brentford Urban District Council, and cost about £3,000. Built 1896 on land bought from the Parish to a design of Nowell Parr by Barnes of Brentford who apparently offered to withdraw as they had underestimated by £300.

Faced with red terracotta Doulton tiles. Drill yard was to the east and the hose tower where leather hoses were hung to dry is still evident.

A horse-drawn steam pump was purchased by the Urban District Council in 1890, and was housed in the new fire station. The firemen used an escape, an extended ladder system, which they had to drag to the site of a fire, leaving them exhausted and unable to perform a rescue. A horse-drawn escape replaced it in 1906 and the first motor fire engine was bought in 1924.

The Fire Station was altered and refitted many times between the 1920s and 1950s until it closed in 1965; then it was used by the ambulance service until the 1980s. In 1990 it was Listed and it became a restaurant “The Old Fire Station” in 2003.

EH Listing description

Fire station, now office.

1897 by T H Nowell Parr for Brentford District Council, converted late C20.

Red brick in Flemish bond with terracotta dressings; imitation Welsh slate roof with crested terracotta ridge tiles. 2 storeys with 3-storey bay at rear. 3 bays below paired gables.

Chamfered plinth; moulded cornices and strings; moulded buttresses with decorative finials, to angles rising from ground floor impost level, and to gables which are set with decorative tiles.

Openings have late C20 glazing with glazing bars and quoined round arches; the 2 ground floor engine entrances have pilaster jambs with fluted capitals; quoined jambs to the three windows above; the outer windows linked to entrances below by broad, swept, corbels; foundation stone between entrances and plaque above with the legend ‘Fire Station’, and District’s coat of arms.

Truncated lateral stack to right return, left bay, rising above 3-light mullioned and transomed window with segmental pediment; on the right is window and door with 4 sashes over and another to taller rear bay; parapet with moulded strings and parapet.

Left return: taller rear bay has full-height round-arched window with keyed archivolt; round-arched doorway to its right, and two lst floor sashes; 2 truncated stacks breaking parapet.

Rear: central corbelled lateral stack (truncated) flanked by sashes which are segmental-arched on ground and 1st floors.

Interior: late C20 partitioning and mezzanine floor. At top of rear left bay (the escape and hose tower) are 12 rings in the ceiling from which hoses would have been hung.

Further Information

The Old Fire Station

Old Fire Station

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Old Fire Station 51.484784, -0.301915 The Old Fire Station see full page article



Underwood’s Hay and Straw Depot, Dock Road

In November 2010 a site was cleared in Dock Road.

Site of Underwood's Hay and Straw Depot

Site of Underwood’s Hay and Straw Depot


It was occupied for over 100 years by a warehouse that was originally built in the garden of 80, High Street and had painted on the fascia board

DEPOT Continue reading

What an Easter for Brentford’s President

Brentford and Chiswick Times, 29th March, 1956

Brentford and Chiswick Times, 29th March, 1956

90th Birthday on Saturday: Diamond Wedding On Monday

A memorable and busy Easter is ahead for Mr H. W. (Bill) Dodge, the genial Brentford FC president. memorable because he celebrates his 90th birthday on Saturday, and because he and Mrs Dodge have their 60th wedding anniversary next Monday.

Busy because Mr Dodge will, as usual, be working in his garden and attending the game he loves – soccer. He’ll be at Griffin Park to see Walsall on Saturday, and both he and his wife will be journeying to Northampton next Tuesday for the return League game. Continue reading

Brook Road Sweet Shop

Micky and Albert Mancey's sweet shop, 38 Brook Road

Micky and Albert Mancey’s sweet shop, 38 Brook Road

“The corner of Brook Road and Lateward Road, Brentford, is of particular significance for Micky and Albert Mancey, who now live in Ealing Road, Brentford. It is here where the Brentford couple first met more than 50 years ago, when Albert used to buy chocolates for his niece from what was then a confectionery and tobacconist owned by Micky’s mother.

“Our picture in the Looking Back section below, taken of the shop in 1926, shows (from left) Micky; her mother, Hetty Wastell; and sister Nelly, who now lives in Christchurch. Continue reading

Daubney’s Greengrocers, 45 Brook Road

Daubney's Greengrocers, 45 Brook Road

Long established family shopkeepers are difficult to find in towns today. But in Brentford, if you wander around the Victorian terraced back streets, a small handful of them still open their doors for business every day – a tradition that dates back generations.

Greengrocer, Bill Daubney, aged 65, is one whose name has been above his shop in Brook Road South for the last 46 years, and could conjure up an entire panorama of Brentford as fresh as his vegetables.

Bill produced two oval gilt framed portraits of his parents, “I only found them the other day” he said. He recalled that the pictures cost 24 shillings each. “My mother paid 6d a week for them” he said.

Bill, his parents and seven brothers and sisters , lived in a small cottage in Albany Road, one street away from where he works now.

His father was a greengrocer, and his grandfather worked in the fish trade. Both were born and bred in Brentford. Continue reading