Copyright © 2012 Chiswick Polish
Cherry Blossom Shoe Polish
Dan & Charles Mason, pioneers of the shoe polish industry in Chiswick
The Passing of "The Lane"
The Report of the Royal Commission on Cross-River Traffic, which sat in 1926, proposed the erection of a new Bridge to cross the river at Old Chiswick Ferry, and in the Forward Magazine of that date we reported the coming destruction of that lovely old corner with the Burlington Arms and it's quaint companions.
Later plans for the opening up of an arterial road with bridges crossing the river to Mortlake and again at Richmond have spared the village but turned the coming tide of traffic in our direction.
Fortunately, through our timely intervention, Chiswick Square has remained untouched. The threatened destruction of the end house was averted, but the gradual widening swallowed up a goodly wedge-shaped slice of the lower end of Boston House Garden. The neighbouring Fairfax House lost the whole of its long front garden, while a small triangular plot alone remains to mark the site of Corney House which stood nearly opposite the "Cedars". This concession entailed a greater sacrifice on the opposite side where the road swept all before it, including the tiled buildings in lyons yard which comprised the Offices and Stables in the very earliest days of the Chiswick Soap Company. Mr Burdett and Mr Bryant are two who remain of those who "checked in" and were paid through the little window at the right of the doors and for this reason were included in the accompanying photograph taken just prior to the demolition last autumn.
Mr Burdett and Mr Bryant prior to the demolition
The rapid growth of the business soon made more commodious offices necessary, and the whole of the old building was given over to Mr Jack Bryant's beloved horses and the two cats---famous for their prowess as rat hunters who figured on the pay roll to the extent of 2/4d. per week, delivered "in kind" by the cats meat man who brought their daily rations.
Motor vans gradually took the place of the horses, the last to go being Boxer, who died some eight years ago. Only a small strip of Lyons Yard remains, and the adjoining Amalinda Villa, the original home of Mr Dan Masons Cottage Hospital, and later converted to two flats for the use of employees, has entirely disappeared, together with the old houses facing Chiswick Square, while the remnant of "Lane" which formed so aggravating a bottle-neck has given place to a wide main road complete with a centre safety island.
Another landmark was the lovely old "Cedars" which stood in front of the Offices and was for so long the home of Mr Abbot and Mr Pinkerton. This disappeared in the early months of this year taking with it many memories of old world Chiswick but revealing for the first time the full beauty of line of the office buildings which now front the new Chertsey Road across a wide stretch of garden, where in time the attractions of a sunken garden will compensate for the loss of the lovely wisteria which covered the "Cedars"
This article has been reproduced from the companies magazine "Forward" Summer 1933