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


Southall Market 

                        As the town began to have more shops some of the more well known firms came, and with them Woolworth’s ( nothing over 6 pence ) and the Fifty Shilling Tailors. No written word can ever describe the Market atmosphere. From early Wednesday morning cattle would be arriving, quite a lot being driven by drovers. There were gipsies with horses, and dealers all trying to make a private deal, which would be clinched by a smack of the hands. In the Market itself the auction started at 11.30, up to which time all interested would be viewing and prodding the animals, the noise from which left nothing to the imagination. The family who were the auctioneers, the Steels, used to live in the Market House. Mr. Steel used to fascinate me by the speed of his talk and how he knew who was bidding. For refreshments there was a jellied eel stall, and a very smart gentleman with a beautifully decorated small van from which he served sarsaparilla and “Brompton lozenges” and other cures. The fat stock sale just before Christmas each year used to attract a great many people, and some majestic cattle. It was not until I got older that I learned that most of them were for slaughter. Market day was to me something that I could not miss and the hidings taken for getting mucked up I still think worth it for past memories.