Brentford Chamber History
The first Annual Dinner was held in February 1921 at the Star and Garter Hotel, Kew Bridge. Over 100 people sat down to dinner including many wives of members. This was thought later to be a successful innovation as the ladies 'were critics, and it was gratifying to think that they were very pleased with the proceedings'.
The menu was
Boiled Turbot Lobster Sauce
Roast Beef or Boiled Leg of Mutton
Boiled and Baked Potatoes
Greens in Season
Trifle or Apple Tart
The local MP, Colonel W Grant Morgan sent a telegram that was read out at the start of the dinner apologising for his absence as he was detained at the House of Commons.
A week later the Annual General Meeting was held at the usual venue of The Red Lion.
Mr Edwin J Clarke presided with Mr J Dinnis as vice chairman and Alderman Forrester Clayton JP, Mr James Clements JP, CC, Mr WH Mills CC and Mr W. Griffith (secretary) as well as 'other members' Messrs F.F. Poole, A.E. Moore, L. Martin, B. Brown, W.J. Bolton, E. Sladden, A.J. Waldron, T. Bovingdon, F.H. Poole, W. Marlow, A. Lodge, W.N. Goose, C. Woolgar, A.Pearce, T.W. Pennington, W. Jamieson, W. Barnes, F. Souch, H. Eyres, F.A. Freeman, J. Fry, H.G. Hurley, H.E.Cobb, E.J. Spokes, A. Underwood, S. Flint, H. Jamieson, W. Aubrey, J. Ruff, G. Norris, A. Purkiss, W.J. Blair, H.A. Mercado, B. Gillingham, H. Spiller and F.Foster.
The Annual Report reiterated the aims of the Chamber and said 'Those who have professed to see in the formation of this Chamber a movement to bolster up unprincipled commerce would do well to study these objects. The commercial and trading classes of Brentford claim the right to organise without having sinister motives imputed to them'.
Subjects covered during the year had been the state of the High Street and its widening. There had been opposition to Carville Hall Park as a War memorial. The need for a public lavatory in New Brentford, the carting of Richmond refuse through the town and the use of a jury at coroner's inquests had also been taken up as well as the cost of gas and railway fares. Suggestions had also been made regarding the provision of a public telephone call office, and representation on the Magistrates bench.
Names of four of the members were put forward to stand for election to the Local Council. All promised to work for the 'economical and efficient government of the district' if they were elected.
Mr Forrester Clayton JP, (mentioned above) who lived at Mona Lodge, 3, The Butts (now St Paul's Church Rectory) was Chairman of the District Council for some time and Mr James Clements JP CC of Caerleon, Boston Road was the vice Chairman. He was a lighter owner and the Clements of the companies Clements Knowling and Clements Tough and became the first, or Charter Mayor of the Borough of Brentford and Chiswick. Both these gentlemen's names on a number of foundation stones of civic buildings of the time.
Mr Clayton's death is reported in the Chamber's Annual Report for 1942-1943 at which time he had been a member for many years and described as 'a man who devoted much of his time to local and county administration'.