Town halls

Acton Town Hall

In the early years of the twentieth century, it was hoped that Acton's District Council would have its own town hall. Ealing and Southall had been granted new premises in the late nineteenth century. It was thought that it would be more sensible to bring all the council's offices under one roof, rather than have them scattered around the area. When the council eventually got round to discussing the issue in January 1906, the cost estimated for the operation was £100,000. This large amount created a public outcry. The local Ratepayers' Association was outraged that so much public money was to be spent and due to pressure, the cost of building the town hall was slashed two months later.

The council then proposed £35,000 be spent, but even this reduced figure was deemed too high, and finally, in April 1907, the maximum to be spent was £18,000. Herbert Nield, MP for the division of Middlesex, which included Acton, officially opened the completed building on 10 March 1910. Apart from offices for the council's staff, there was the council chamber, and a large committee room.

By 1935, it was thought that a larger town hall was required. Instead of finding space for a new building in the already crowded borough, it was thought more practical to build an extension on the present building. The cost of the extension was approved a year later at the cost of £98,100.

The Lord Lieutenant of Middlesex, Lord Rochdale, officially opened the renovated town hall on 24 June 1939. He described the extension as 'very noble and thoroughly English without extravagant ornamentation'. The extension allowed for the inclusion of an assembly and concert hall to be used for municipal occasions and other social functions by local organisations. The concert hall was used for a Victory Ball in 1945 to mark the end of the Second World War.

We would like to thank Dr Jonathan Oates, borough archivist and local history librarian, for the use of his information.