Brentham does not deserve its relative obscurity. It was a pioneering garden suburb of international significance, and it survives today with some remarkably interesting buildings intact. This comprehensive, wide-ranging and very well illustrated historical study of practical idealism deserves a wide readership and ought to encourage architectural exploration in north Ealing.
Gavin Stamp, Chairman, TWENTIETH CENTURY SOCIETY
A lively and scholarly study of an early planning landmark, with the best illustrations seen for years in a book of this type.
Anthony Sutcliffe, Special Professor, University of Nottingham
Once seen as an eccentric aberration, the Garden Suburb is now regarded as Britain's greatest contribution to the art of town planning. Brentham is a little gem from which many lessons can still be learned. This superb book should be read by all those with an interest in neighbourhood planning and placemaking.
Philip Davies, Director, London Region, ENGLISH HERITAGE
Brentham is one of the key monuments of early British town planning. It has hidden itself from the world for most of the 20th century; it is high time that this minuscule master. piece presents itself
Sir Peter Hall, Chairman, TOWN & COUNTRY PLANNING ASSOCIATION
The book has to rank as the best local history account in London in the last decade, all the more remarkable because the conservation area which now defines and protects Brentham covers only 16 streets.
ANCIENT MONUMENTS SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
... a truly lavish production ... Well illustrated with lots of colour, a scholarly text, and an introduction by the Prince of Wales, it's a remarkable book.
This fascinating book by Aileen Reid elevates Brentham Garden Suburb, in Ealing, West London, to its proper place in planning and architectural history ... The end result is a beautifully produced and illustrated volume, which should be on the bookshelves not just of garden city and town planning historians, but also of anyone interested in 20th-century social and architectural history.
... an inspiring combination of architectural guide and social history, this is a substantial contribution to our understanding of the garden suburb movement ... superbly produced and illustrated.
A splendid book ... lavishly illustrated ... [the Brentham Society] is to be congratulated on publishing such a comprehensive tome ... this excellent volume provides a fascinating history of a particular strand of English housing in the 20th century and will greatly increase understanding of the qualities and character of Brentham both in and outside the suburb.
THE BEDFORD PARK SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
An impressive book ... Brentham showed real perception when they commissioned [Aileen Reid]: she has taken what has become a somewhat dull, and possibly overworked subject and given it new life and a fresh perspective ... it won't be possible ever again to ignore the importance of the ideals of the copartnership movement when giving the history of the garden city and suburb ... a good read with lots and lots of illustrations ... this lively book ... is so good to look at and is written with such enjoyment and sometimes a wry and at other times a rather shocked pen ... You could concentrate on the pictures, on residents' stories, on Brentham in two world wars, and always on a good tale well told ... The book has been published in a novel way - this story itself is quite an inspiring tale - and those who thought up the idea and worked hard to see it fulfilled deserve praise.
... a heartening, delightful and weighty A4 landscape sized book...beautifully produced...full of marvellous material well captioned and carefully edited.
URBAN DESIGN QUARTERLY
... an excellent, superbly illustrated book.
THE TWENTIETH CENTURY SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
... a thought-provoking local history which anyone with an interest in housing should read.
LOCAL HISTORY MAGAZINE
... with the publication of Aileen Reid's lavishly illustrated history of the estate, the significance of Brentham can now be more widely appreciated ... Aileen Reid has done well to bring together a mass of detailed archival material, and to tell a clear and fascinating story ... [This] centenary publication ... is a fitting tribute to the copartnership principles that were embedded in the experiment from the outset ... The result is the best of both worlds - a fine publication, but also one which, through the success of community endeavour, demonstrates in a telling way the strength and durability of the original concept.
[Brentham's] history is captured in a fun new book by Aileen Reid, full of contemporary photos.
THE GUARDIAN 'SPACE'
At last ... a scholarly study of one of the most interesting and important elements of Ealing's townscape - Brentham Garden Suburb ... fascinating reading ... an authoritative account of an influential development in planning history ... The book, like the suburb itself, is a triumph of community initiative.
EALING CIVIC SOCIETY NEWSLETTER
An excellent case study of one of the most important contributions Britain made to the history of Western architecture - the Garden City. Often such studies enthuse about the genius loci and the community's jam-making ability but fail to put the settlement in its international context. That does not happen here ... [a] copiously illustrated and fascinating history ... If more studies like this - bridging academic and local interests - were produced, suburban conservation areas might get the backing they deserve from residents and local authorities.
THE ARCHITECTS' JOURNAL
... a magnificent and triumphant publication, exceptionally well-researched and written and handsomely produced. Dr Reid's scholarship has been backed up the elegance of the production.
HAMPSTEAD GARDEN SUBURB ARCHIVE TRUST
Aileen Reid has restored Brentham to its place as a pioneer in the story of the garden suburb movement. She has not shrunk from the dilemmas it posed and the fading of the ideal; it is an admirable historical study. This is a very handsome production, lavishly illustrated with a large number of archive photographs of the buildings and people as well as plans, drawings, diagrams and advertisements ... It is produced by the Brentham Heritage Society and is a testament to what can be done by a dedicated group or perhaps to the ethos of the garden suburb.
JOURNAL OF THE SOCIETY OF ARCHITECTURAL HISTORIANS OF GREAT BRITAIN
Well designed and produced, the book is a valuable addition to the early history of town planning and will certainly encourage one to pay a visit to Brentham.
THE JOURNAL OF THE WILLIAM MORRIS SOCIETY
An extremely interesting book...full of history, anecdotes, maps, plans and LOTS of photographs...It would make a wonderful present for anyone who has ever lived in the area or who is interested in the development of domestic architecture and housing.
EALING ABBEY PARISH MAGAZINE
Aileen Reid's book does three things well. First, it shows how the co-operative movement gave rise to labour and then tenant co-partnership, concentrating on the prime mover, Henry Vivian. Then it shows how the town planning and garden city movement coalesced with this, putting some of Ebenezer Howard's ideas into practice, through the work of the architect, Raymond Unwin. None of this is news to historians, but the story is well told. Third, it tells a detailed story of how the Ealing Tenants suburb was built ... I have to confess a certain bias. I spent several years working on the subject of tenant co-partnership, and was left with several unanswered questions that I had neither the time nor the energy to answer. This book answers most of them ... This is a weighty book, in two senses. First, it has a foreword by the Prince of Wales, and an introduction by Sir Peter Hall, who as well as being a world-famous planning professor is also a local resident (though not in the suburb itself). You cannot get much weightier than that. Second, it is literally heavy, with over 260 pages (the text is twice as long as originally envisaged) printed on high quality paper, and with archive photos, architect's drawings, and illustrations on nearly every page. It is not often that one comes across a book so sumptuously illustrated that it is hard to read the text for looking at the pictures. It cost over £30,000 to produce, and the money was raised through local 'co-partners', who provided sponsorship in return for a signed copy of the book. It seems that the spirit of co-partnership is still alive in the 'pioneer garden suburb'
JOURNAL OF COOPERATIVE STUDIES
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