Growing-up With Southall From 1904 (Memories of R.J. Meads)


Town Development  

                         But to get back to developments in 1911, when I was 7. My grandparents (the Fuells) lived as I stated at No 8 Southall Place in the High Street. This was one of a row of cottages along with the old “Three Horseshoes” public house which had been built in 1858. By 1911 all but three of the cottages had shop fronts put on. My grandparents, along with the other two cottage tennants, were given notice to quit. The reason was that they were going to be pulled down, as the High Street was going to be widened. They moved into Cambridge Road next door but one to us. I remember the moving very well, as all us boys were kept very busy carrying things round, and the heavier furniture was brought round on Dicky Duffell’s coster barrow. Within a month shop fronts were fitted to the cottages, and they are there today, 1978, and that part of the High Street has never been widened. They settled down, but it started a very hard time for our family. In 1912 with the great “Titanic” disaster on the 15th April on all our minds, my Granny after a short illness died on the 25th April. This resulted in my Mother having to cook and wash for her father and 3 brothers.  

                        Myself had got a job with Collett’s, greengrocers in the High Street ( 1/6 ( 7½p ) a week, 4 till 6.30 evenings, 7am to 8pm Saturdays, 20 hours. ) One Saturday morning due to Mr. Collett having a terrible hangover, I was asked if I would go round to Brown’s yard in the North Road and harness the horse to the cart and get it round to the shop, so that he could go to Brentford Market. This I did, but when I arrived at the shop they nearly had fits. Never having harnessed a horse before I had not turned the collar round. That was just one of the things wrong – me always a trier!  

                        Over the years 1904 to 1912 great developments had taken place: St George’s Church dedicated in 1906; Public Library built in 1905; Scott’s Emulsion factory built in 1904; Tudor Road School 1907, ( Schoolmaster Mr. Reid ); Villiers Road built. There are strange circumstances in connection with this. The Earl of Jresey’s agents wanted to build the houses facing Avenue Road, but the Council would not agree because of the footpath ( Church Path ) which would have been incorporated with Avenue Road. So plans were accepted to build Villiers thus, the back gardens facing Avenue Road. The footpath and hedge have been an eyesore ever since.