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Not Brentford New

Vestry Hall, Brentford ca 1910

Sepia view of ornate red-brick building Howard Webb has provided a high resolution scan of his postcard (see enlargement below), which was by Richard Young of Teddington circa 1910.

The Vestry Hall was built in 1900 to a design by Thomas Henry Nowell Parr. See 'Brentford Past' by Gillian Clegg and the 'Archive Photograph Series Brentford' by Carolyn and Peter Hammond for Parr's drawing plan.

The Vestry Hall was on the Half Acre corner with St Paul's Road and was demolished in the 1960s to make way for a new police station.

The view shows it was the site for the Brentford County Court and under boards headed 'Parish Notices' and 'Public Notices' are notices headed 'Brentford Union' and one for 'Election'.

Nearer the photographer on the left is an advert for Cocoa which includes the word 'Tramp', pasted on top are notices headed 'Middlesex County' and 'AFC' or 'RFU' and a date 'Wednesday March 2nd' and 'sixpence'. In 1910 March 2nd was a Wednesday, confirming Howard Webb's dating.

Enlargement of young manThe high-resolution scan allowed the image of a young man to be enlarged. He is aware he is being photographed.

He carries a coarse cloth bag which looks weighed down with a few pounds of groceries and has either a rolled-up newspaper or package wrapped up in newspaper tucked under his right arm. He wears an unusual star-shaped pin at this neck.

He is well-wrapped up against the cold as is the small huddle of people in the doorway behind him. This group is composed of a lady wearing gloves and a lighter coloured, very fluffy scarf, with a little boy who looks as if he should be called 'Alfie'.

'Alfie' wears a knee-length coat and his dark hair has a side-parting. Behind are two men in the shadows who perhaps work in the Vestry Hall and all four look towards the photographer.

Published December 2010