On the left hand side of the station a road leading down to the Goods Depot became the Coal Wharf. A siding had been constructed and coal trucks unloaded. There were several Coal Merchants — Barnes Brothers are the oldest established and are still in business in Regina Road. Others were Belcher and Gibbons, Balltrops, Cornwalls, Lillishalls, Whitehouse. Most had small order offices at the side of the road.
As I stated earlier, the period between 1900 and 1910 did more than at any other time to shape the town for the next 30 years. The Chairman of the Councils responsible, with 11 other Councillors — 6 from each ward were:
Mr G. Gosney 1901-1902
Mr T. W. Penny 1902-1903
Mr R. W. Baxter 1903-1904
Mr C. T. Abbott 1904-1905
Mr H. C. Hanson 1905-1906
Mr J. H. Willis 1906-1907
Mr W. E. Eburne 1907-1908
Mr H. E. Willis 1908-1909
Mr P. J. Hanson 1909-1910
Town Clerk — Mr Lawrence Houlder; Town Surveyor – Mr Reginald Brown; Medical Officer of Health — Dr Dr Davenport Windle.
The Otto Monsted Margarine Works had gradually enlarged and more men were employed. In 1910, at a cost of £14,000, A. & B. Hanson built the Works Club, or Institute, on a site at the right hand side of the works road and adjoining the Church Path. Built to a Danish design, it was the canteen and leisure centre for the employees (more later).
On the right hand side of The Green the first Southall Cinema ‘The Gem’ was built and opened in December, 1910. It was just a barn-like building with long knife board seats. Silent films, of course, accompanied by a piano. One show each weekday evening and a children’s matinee Saturday afternoons. Tickets 3d and 6d, matinee Id. It was very popular and queues waited to get in. Mr Murch was Manager. It was rebuilt in 1932 but, alas, in 1982 — after a great decline in cinema attendances — it is very dilapidated and up for sale.
At the side of ‘The Gem’ a road had been made and a small industrial estate came into being. This has housed Goldway Bros. (Wholesale Grocers), Galloways (Patent Medicines), Dillaways (Welders), Voltas (Cleaning Fluids), Southall By-Products.
At the foot of the station bridge, on the right hand side, a road was made leading to the Western Iron Foundry (later le Grand Sutcliffe) — Artesian Wells Engineers. These were on Mr Baxter’s estate. Near the Gas Works in White Street Aitldnsons and Whiffens Chemical Works, Naylors Varnish Works, Jonson Londalls (Submersible Motors), John Lines and Sons (Wallpaper Factory), Rhubastic Tyres — all these have now gone. At the rear Hartington Road Avery and Vincents Joinery Works, established in 1902.