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Not Brentford

The Half Acre

In 2019 Liz Bryant provided two photos showing the Half Acre. This is the road that marked the parish boundary between Old Brentford (left in the photo below) and New Brentford (right).

The first photo includes a building on the left with a distinctive shape and I think the same building features in the distance in an early 1900s postcard of Half Acre. If so, then the series of poles marks the site where the Vestry Hall was being built and dates the photo to the late 1890s (the Vestry Hall opened in 1900).

The Half Acre

The second photo shows a fish shop and the Standard beershop. The same photo is included in Brentford as it was (no. 24) and Brentford and Chiswick Pubs, by Gillian Clegg, page 83. and Gillian notes the Standard Inn was demolished in 1897 to make way for the Vestry Hall: this photo must be earlier.

The building to the left offered hot stewed eels, hot fried fish and mashed potato through the hatch, and according to Brentford as it was, was demolished for road widening in 1905 as Half Acre was part of the tram route to Hanwell.

A dozen or so youngsters are hanging around outside the fish shop, aware they are having their photo taken, and there is a glimpse of a bicycle with solid tyres, making for an uncomfortable ride. The road has the original stone setts at the kerb but looks to have been tarmacked. The poster to the left includes '2 copyhold cottages 130' - remaining wording is difficult to make out.

Standard Inn

George Earle and his wife Betsy were recorded in the 1881 census at a beer house on Half Acre, George combining this with his work as a waterman. In 1891 James R Tagg, 65 was a licensed victualler at the Standard, 15 Half Acre, with his wife Louisa 63. The couple were born in Lincolnshire, Spalding and Pinchbeck respectively: what brought them to Brentford?

Links

The early 1900s postcard mentioned above shows a view from further up Half Acre, looking towards High Street.
A view from a similar era includes a glimpse of the Standard Inn.
A postcard showing the Vestry Hall around 1910.

Published February 2021