The earliest reference to the Hall family is in 1847 when a Mr Hall is recorded as being a bootmaker.
A 1907 directory then records a Henry and Edward Hall as working the business together. This photo was dated 1908 and these premises, with an added upper storey are still evident today on the sharp bend in Finchdean Road. A mainstay of the business was the manufacture of boots called ‘straights’. These were, as the name implies, boots with no shape and could be worn on either foot. Worn by ploughmen who constantly walked in furrows, boots became uneven in wear. With ‘straights’, however, the boots could be changed from foot to foot making them last longer.