Monday, September 17, 2007

Juan Colonna Drenon

Juan Colonna Drenon born 1865 in Liverpool, was a newsagent/bookseller, living at Barra Hall Villa, Hayes.

He is undoubtedly one of the most important people, in the subsequent development of Hayes politically and

Juan Drenon was an early member of Hayes Labour Labour Association (later Party) and was elected as one the first Hayes Labour Councillors for West Ward in 1913

In the following year he was elected Secretary of the rapidly expanding Hayes Labour Association in 1914

It can be no accident, that when Labour secured its first majority on Hayes council, it turned to Drenon to be its first Labour Chairman (Mayor)1915-1916. An honour not only unique to Hayes but allegedly to South East England (outside London)

During WW1 Drenon was involved with his wife in the Hayes Belgium Relief Fund, which attempted to help Belgium refugees settle in Hayes . Drenon personally accommodated
a Belgium family for free, for four monthsion in his house.

Drenon also took up issue of high private rents , Drenon denounced the profiteering of private land lords, who had increased rents allegedly by as much as 3s a week
. Drenon advocated the establishment of a Tenants Defence League to fight the rent increases.

Councillor Juan Drenon also made a withering attack on the ruling class and their form of patriotism , in a brilliant and blistering attack in July 1915 ,denouncing them accordingly.....

"The patriotism of many so called patriots, starts and ends with their pockets.
It was the same with the coal owners who grew fat out of the country’s needs and risk the country’s safety rather than give the colliers a living wage”

Later, Drenon became the first Labour Justice of the Peace in the area and also elected as a member of Uxbridge Joint Hospital Board.

Drenon's legacy to Hayes is the generally high standard of Council housing in Hayes. He was one of the main advocates of the massive post WW1, Hayes Housing scheme and accompanying town planning.

Councillor Juan Drenon's, endeavours were recognised by the Council, in the naming of Drenon Square after him.

In August 1917, Drenon wrote to the council resigning his Council seat "for business reasons and living now many miles outside the district"

Drenon moved to 5, Wroughton Terrace, Hendon and was at some point employed as a clerk.

Juan Colonna Drenon died Napsbury Hospital, 10th April 1921

Juan Colonna Drenon deserves much greater recognition in Hayes,


His wife was Maud Agnes Sparkes of Paddington/clerkenwell (married March 1910 at Hendon)

JC Drenon went to America (New York) in 1892 to find work

picture of J.C. Drenon 26th March 1915 Advertiser

We believe he was Born
in Liverpool in 1865