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


Lady Margaret Road 

                         Lady Margaret Road up till 1925 went only as far as Shackleton Road. It was fairly high-class standard and used to house many people known to us kids – schoolmaster Mr. Wilson and his daughter Miss Wilson, a mistress at Clifton Road School; school teachers Miss Chapple, Miss Fraser and Miss Wilkins; Mr. H. Watson builder and estate agent; and Mrs. Freeman, sister of the Abbott brothers, among others. There used to be a fair amount of “moonlighting” going on from there. 

                         Holy Trinity Church hall was just behind the Town Hall on the right hand side. This played a very great part in town affairs and, it being the only hall this side of the town, there was always something going on. Us kids used to go there for Sunday school Christmas parties and all sorts concerts and Band of Hope meetings. I can remember seeing the “Ealing Police Minstrel Show”, and a flower and vegetable show in which both Dad and Mum had prizes. 

Uxbridge Road 

                           I have not as yet mentioned anything regarding the Uxbridge Road from South Road to Hayes Bridge. Butler’s Corner and the fine block of shops along to Herbert Road was built in 1902.  ( Leggett’s Forge on the corner was pulled down 1901 ). Butler’s  ( men’s outfitters ) had a unique shop-front with a small kiosk like a showcase in front. You could enter the shop from both South Road and the Uxbridge Road. A Mr. Scott was manager for years. Sainsbury’s came next and was noted for its high standard of goods and cleanliness. Over the shop there used to be quarters for the staff, with a housekeeper in charge. Then there was Richardson’s ( boot shop ); Chambeling’s ( ladies’ wear ); Home & Colonial ( provision merchants ), always a noticable smell of roasting coffee beans; Hallam ( corn chandler ), I did not like going there as he was a very surly man and seemed to hate serving children; the drug stores. I can remember he used to have in the window 3 very large bottles of coloured water, red, green, yellow; Prideaux’ ( stationers and papers ) whom I have already mentioned; Hutchings ( butchers ), whose son was in my class at school, took a great interest in local affairs and was a councillor for several years; Shellshear’s, later Elgie’s ( ironmongers ), who spoiled his business with heavy drinking. Both his assistants started up their own business, Larrondy in King Street and Copley in the Uxbridge Road; and Haddrell’s ( furniture ) on the corner of Herbert Road. After this came a field with some large elm trees, which came in very handy for us a few years later when a severe gale blew two of them down and Dad got permission to split them up for fire logs. 

                         Then came Hubble’s ( cycle shop ); and Torne’s ( greengrocer ). Dad offered him 14 cabbage ( large ) for 1/- and he turned the offer down, so we sold them for 1 ½d each going door-to-door in Alexandra Avenue. I shall only mention 3 more: Stratford ( butcher ) a great character in the town; Webb and Banks ( bakers and Post Office ); and the Hamborough Coffee Tavern on the corner of Hamborough Road. This was as far as the shops went on the left hand side. 

                         On the right hand side were: Francis Wakeling’s ( estate agents ), with Blower’s, dentist, over the shop; the Co-Op ( provisions ); Evans ( newspapers and tobacco ); Fletcher’s ( butchers ); Taylor’s ( off licence ); then Ford’s field; Collins ( bakers ); and the Empire Cinema. A German had a bakery and shop at the corner of Northcote Avenue. He and his wife were interned at the beginning of the First World War. There were about 8 more shops, which would remain empty for long periods and when let did not last long. Then fields, until Price’s bakery was built, and one general shop at the corner of Tudor Road.