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


Town Development. 

                        After a postponement during the War the Council started to build council houses, and the first 8 were built by Hanson’s on the right hand side of Norwood Road between Norwood Bridge and the “Wolf”. They were occupied in February 1921. Around 1920 the Australian government offered the St Marylebone School , which they had used as their hospital , and all the land and three houses and a lodge, for a sum said to be £28,000. This the Council turned down, the excuse being they were not certain of the structural soundness of the building; and it would have added at least 6 pence to the rates. Over the years this has been seen as a grave and costly mistake. The site was purchased by the Catholic authorities, who used it as a girls’ school for a few years, selling the land for the building of St Joseph’s Drive and Beatrice Road for about the same sum as they gave for the whole site. Later they closed the school which was demolished in 1931. When the Council later bought the remainder of the site to build a new civic centre land values had gone up so much they paid more for that piece than the whole would have cost them. 

                        In 1924 a great deal of change was taking place in the town. The station bridge was widened on the right hand side. Etherington’s Farm in North Road was bought by the Council and was being developed for council houses. Woodlands House, a very old house in North Road, was demolished and the allotments were taken. Dad lost his second one. Although Lady Margaret Road was being made and was to go straight to the Ruislip Road progress was being held up because two houses in Shackleton Road stood in the way. Maybe it took a tragedy to get things going. One house was the residence of Mr. George Winchester who, one very foggy night ( 11th January, 1925 ) whilst on duty as nightwatchman at the Maypole Works, fell into the dock and drowned. Before the year was over the houses were demolished and the road through.