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


Items at Random 

                        There were two pawn shops, at the corner of Abbotts Road and in the King Street. As far as I know my parents did not take advantage of them, but I have been told that my grandfather’s best clothes were “popped” fairly regularly, thus keeping them well pressed. The 3-brass ball sign was explained to me as “two to one they would never be redeemed”. 

                       April 1918 saw me in Mr. Spence’s class, Standard 7. He was an excellent teacher and also interested himself in local affairs. More and more of our lesson time was taken up with doing the caretaker’s jobs and being sent to help someone in distress through the War. So the day came at the end of July when my school days were over. 

                       As I stated I joined the choir in 1913 and stayed to 1919. We used to be paid 1 penny for each service, ½ penny for practice. This was paid half-yearly. Misbehaviour would mean fines and of course choir-boys are not angels. Mr. Addler was choirmaster ( followed by Mr. Craven ) and the Rev. Henry Mills vicar. In the Men’s section were Mr. Paine, and Mr. Reid, schoolmasters, Mr. L. Harrison, Mr. Gordon, Quinion ( later ordained ), Mr. Bass, Mr. Arnold, Messers Hitchcock senior and junior, Mr. Aston ( stationmaster ), vicar’s warden, Mr. Burwell, people’s warden. We used to have an outing in the summer and a supper on New Year’s Eve, and then go straight to the Night Watch Service. All new boys had to be initiated, this entailed being “holly-bushed”. Unfortunately, this led to a rather nasty accident. A new boy by the name of Loader was taken around to the front of the church after practice, taken by the arms and legs, and thrown into a bush a little too hard. He hurt his back fairly badly and had to have medical attention. We all got a good dressing-down and were fined 3 pence each, the money to go to the victim. 

                       Almost every Sunday during the War the name of someone killed was read out, and several major disasters were commemorated. On April 25th, 1917 the Vicar, the Rev. H. Mills, died and with the choir in procession was buried at Havelock Road Cemetary. He had been Vicar of Holy Trinity for 27 years. The curate, Rev. Beck ( who later became Vicar of St Thomas’s Church, Boston Road ) took charge until the Rev. Young was inducted.