GROWING UP WITH SOUTHALL FROM
1904: MEMORIES OF MR. R. J. MEADS
As it was in the beginning
I was born in Cambridge Road July 1904, the third son of Mr. and Mrs. D. Meads.
Just how my parents met is a story in itself. My mother, born in Northolt the oldest of 14 children, was in service as cook at “Cumberland Lodge”, Ealing Common. Her family lived at 8 Southall Place, High Street. A sister aged 12 was dying and a message had to sent, to get my mother home. This was done by getting a passing carman to deliver same. Having got permission to come home my mother went into Uxbridge Road to get a lift, and who should come along but my father. Born in Yeading Lane the youngest but one of 11 children, he was working as a carter for W. Rouse, farmer, Hayes and had been to London with a load of hay and was returning with a load of manure, Thus the meeting, this was in 1895. They were married in 1897 at the then new Holy Trinity Church by the Rev. Henry Mills. By that time my father wanting more money, had become a builder’s labourer, and helped to build Southall Town Hall. They went to live at No 1 Grove Terrace where my two elder brothers were born, moving to Cambridge Road in 1901. The landlord was Mr. W. Brown and the rent 6/6 (32 ½p) per week. This of course included all rates.
My mother told me that not very long before I was born she was cleaning the front of the house when Mrs. Quinion (this was the wife of Mr. W Quinion whose family owned a harness and sadler’s shop in the High Street opposite the Market) stopped to have a chat. She had two sons, Gordon (who was to be ordained) and Cyril, but was not going to have any more. So it was arranged that mum should have her pram for me when I came along. That is how I came to share the same pram as my life-long friend Cyril, who always interested himself in local affairs and became a councillor and a Freeman of the City of London. He died aged 76 in 1977.