No. 356 Garratt Lane in Earlsfield – Tara Theatre’s home – was built in 1891, five years after the new Waterloo to Portsmouth railway line was laid and Earlsfield railway station opened (in 1884). What is today “356 Garratt Lane” was known at the time as “5 Station Terrace”.
In homage to Earlsfield’s rich textile history - stimulated by Huguenot refugees in the 17th century - the building started as a draper’s, before accommodating a Mission Hall from 1912.
This dual-use continued into the 1930s, when the drapers were replaced by opticians.
By the 70s, the opticians had been replaced by chiropodists and the Mission Hall by the Church of the Nazarene – serving the new post-War Afro-Caribbean community.
Clothes, eyes and feet have formed the history of 356 Garratt Lane… to which Tara have added words to breathe dramatic life in a building perched between centuries.
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