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


                         All the shops I have mentioned have played a part in my memories of childhood. Wells’ and Collett’s I have already mentioned; Sanguinetti’s for the fact that I was sent there for some ipecacuanha and came back with some ginger wine; Fairfax, school cakes; Avery’s – old Mrs. Avery was my granny Meads’ sister and two of her sons used to play football for Southall; Burns, where most of our boots and clothes were bought, this was due to the provident club run by the school; Curry’s violin strings, and my grandfather used to do all her cycle repairs; Styles – we used to be sent there for such things as 2d mustard pickles, 1lb broken biscuits ( 6 pence ), a basin of cracked eggs; Jiggins, W., a very good butcher, but brutal in the way he allowed the treatment of the animals in the slaughterhouse. Only once did I go in there and saw a cow poleaxed and pigs’ throats cut, and its memory still gives me a shudder; Bradbury’s – robbery in which the whole of the window display was taken. A Brentford man was caught and got 2 years; Willis’ – a lot of societies had meetings there and we had to pay the allotment rent there to the Earl of Jersey’s agent of 3/6 ( 17 ½p ) a year for 10 rod; Tompkins – haircut 6d, shave 3d. One of my school mates was lather boy at 1/- per week and tips; Clifton-Brown’s ( more anon ); Price’s – lost two sons in the war. We trained a dog to go and fetch a paper from there; Stevens, a bad cripple ( more anon ); Bolam’s – had a family photo taken, the idea being that my father and eldest brother had prospects of being called up to the Army; Addis, a great character – he used to drink very heavily. His three sons all opened fish shops, one in King Street, one in Beaconsfield Road and one in Boston Road, Hanwell; Kings ( Southall “Gazette” office ) – they loaned their shop for a recruiting centre in 1915, for “Kitchener’s Army”, the Middlesex Regiment. The volunteers lined up in the South Road and were given a farewell send off. In les than two months 80% were killed, wounded or missing; Warren’s  – I well remember being sent with 6d to get a gammon-rasher ½- inch thick, not one of the wafer things cut by the new-fangled bacon machine; Langley ( this was next door to my grandparents ) – I was told they made my mother’s wedding cake and gave all the bread for the reception. I can even now remember the beautiful smell of baking bread; Salter’s – a very nice man, and used to make up a lot of medicines and we used to be sent there for senna pods and sulphur, for that is how mother used to keep us healthy, brimstone and treacle or senna on bath night, Friday; The “Three  Horseshoes” ( Baxter’s ) – we were sent with a jug for a pint of porter ( 1 ½d ) or a quart of ale ( 4d ).Also you could get Osborne or arrowroot biscuits 4″ across and ½-inch thick for 1 penny; Beckett’s quite a good drapers shop with large window frontage.