Southall has been served very well with its doctors. The earliest I can find are Dr Parrot and Dr Fenn. These were in the district around 1870. Both used to drive around in a small pony trap or arrive on horseback. In the 1890s came Dr MacDonald, who set up practice in Denmark Road (King Street). He did his rounds on a three-wheeler (trike). A very tall man, usually wearing a bowler hat, he displayed two sides to his patients – the best one to those able to pay! He was joined in 1896 by Dr Jabey Davenport Windle. He was an extremely qualified man with a string of letters after his name, also a surgeon. He had one son and three daughters, he instituted what became a payment scheme whereby families paid 6d (2½d) per month, which would cover them if the doctor had to be called upon. He used to do his rounds on a bicycle. He was, for a time, MO Health, and practiced from the same address in South Road for 34 years, being followed by Dr Cronin.
A Dr Hart came in 1906, three houses away. Again, a very qualified man, a Salvationist, a little eccentric; and still further on came Dr McKenna.
As the population increased so more doctors came. Many of the older residents have painful memories of treatment meted out by these doctors, when they had to have minor operations or limbs set, stitches put in, because of the primitive methods in use at that time. Doctors used to make up their own medicines.
I do not pretend that the doctors named now have come and gone in this order, but here are those most remembered – Dr Wynn Wernick, Dr Sinigar, Dr Galloway (he met a sad end), Dr Shanks, Dr Virgo, Dr Seccombe (Senior), MOH, and his son, Dr John Seccombe, both of whom did years of valuable service with the Southall Divisions of the St John Ambulance, Dr Turner, who had a great way with children – all these had their surgeries in Western Road. With their surgery in Norwood Road came Dr Crawford, Dr Shepherd, who has done wonderful service for the scouts and British Red Cross, Dr Moore (she also met a tragic death), she was followed by Dr Andrews, another lady doctor.
With their surgery in Osterley Park Road came Dr Brooks – he also was Divisional Surgeon to the local SJAB – Dr Fox, Dr Pragnell, Drs Mr and Mrs Calacco. Dr Hector Smith worked from his surgery near Top Locks. His great interest in local history resulted in several valuable items which he found being placed in museums.
Dr Olive who, with her father, lived at ‘Grove House’, North Road. Both took a great interest in the Southall Horticultural Association.
A great change has come which has done away with the doctors being ‘on call’ night and day. This has come about by Group Practices. One of the first of these was started in Lady Margaret Road by Dr Ginsberg. Now there are better hospital facilities and home nursing visits.
Other doctors have been – Dr Bailey and Dr D. Newman at Featherstone Hall, and Dr Grundy, MOH and Dr Glass, MOH. Southall has also had several dentists most of whom served the town for several years. Mr Blower at the corner of Lady Margaret Road; Mr Dunken, Uxbridge Road; Mr Yerbury, Dental Surgeon, and Mr Green, South Road; Mr Linthwaite, King Street.