Right Hand Side of the Railway Bridge.
On the right-hand side of the railway bridge, coming from South Road, with the Central Hall on the corner, is “The Crescent”, a few shops which included Lilleshall’s coal office, Deacon’s cycle and motor cycle shop and a very good provision stores, Scott and Taylor’s. Next to that was a flat fronted block of flats, with about 30ft. of garden in the front. These had been built in 1880 and were in a bad state of repair, so as soon as the council could offer alternative accommodation they were condemned and pulled down, leaving an open space. But although one eyesore had gone it left another by exposing the backs of Randolph Road. Next to this came Deacon’s Garage. This was the first garage in Southall , supplying cars for weddings etc. and doing car repairs. Then follow 13 houses built for railway workers runing round to Randolph Road. At the start of the Gas Works Straight running parallel with the railway on the right-hand side was the Waterworks and Tower. Us kids used to think that this was a huge tank of water disguised to represent a castle. Two houses built for Gas Works officials and the Gas Works sports fields, beautifully kept, brought you to the “White Lion”, which was very handy for gas workers during break times. White Street led off to the right, leading to Naylor’s varnish works and Houlder’s acid works. On the left-hand side just before the entrance to the Gas Works, is “The Subway”. This was built in 1885-6 after several demonstrations regarding the right of way. Use of a footpath was upheld, and although the use was not encouraged it actually ran through the Works on its way to Hayes. Just through the subway on the right-hand side was Spencer Street. This had some very bad slum property backing on the railway which was pulled down, leaving an open space. At the end of Spencer Street was the Submersible & J.L. Motors works and the Scott’s Emulsion works, with its famous sign which faced the railway – a fisherman with a large fish on his back, 30ft. high, done in mosaic containing 22,000 pieces. To the rear of these was John Line’s wallpaper factory. This was totally destroyed by fire in September 1917. I had a good view of this.