Chiswick Library Staff Search For Clues About M Colley Ashton

Photos and records discovered in Local Studies department but still no solid answers

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After reading the article about M Colley Ashton, staff at Chiswick Library's Local Studies department did some digging around in their archives and found some images.

"It was a bit of a mystery, as it never appeared in the Kelly's directories, and must have had a very short-lived existence. We also have photos showing it as Chancers and as J W Jones dining rooms," said Mary Blyth.

Working backwards, the history of the property is -

  • 1985 to present Winkworth estate agent
  • 1984 no listing in Kelly's.
  • 1919 to 1983 Chancers jewellers. Celebrated 50th anniversary in 1969.
  • 1916 to 1919 no listing in Kelly's.
  • 1915 J W Jones dining rooms, tea and coffee.
  • 1914 no Kelly's.
  • 1913 no listing.
  • C1905 to c1912 Shears, who moved by 1913 to Nos 263/265.

"The photo clearly pre-dates these, as the fashions are Edwardian. We believe it to be 1904 or 1905 - another clue in the photo is a newspaper hoarding which refers to the Baltic Fleet. Finally, I have checked the rate books for 1904 to 1906. M Colley Ashton is listed in April 1905, crossed through and Shears written in later.

"The houses were all re-numbered in April 1905. The houses either side had been Nos 319 and 323, but there is no earlier listing in Kelly's for 321. They were probably built about 1904, as I cannot find them in the April 1904 rate books.

"Anyone is welcome to come to the Local Studies department at Chiswick Library to look at these photos or to research any other history of Chiswick. We are normally open Mondays and Fridays 10-1 and 2-5, but it is best to check first by phoning 020 8994 1008."

Later this year there will be a display in the library about the history of Chiswick High Road and Brentford High Street, part of a nationwide project to tie in with a BBC TV series, Turn Back Time.

Chiswick Library are also keen to collect reminiscences, photos and memorabilia. The address is Chiswick Library, Duke's Avenue, London, W4 2AB.

September 30, 2010