Southall 830-1982

By 1910 Southall Voluntary Fire Services had been gradually improving. They now had a Steam Horse-drawn Engine, and had as Chief – Mr Harry Willis and twelve trained men. Their services were very frequently called upon.
On January 31st, 1912 Robinsons Flour Mill at Norwood Bridge was destroyed by fire. Although great efforts were made to save it and plenty of water was available from the canal, nothing was saved of the mill, but Mill House was saved.
Nearly three years later on November 27th, 1914 a large Drapers Stores (Endicotes), situated at the corner of King Street and Western Road was destroyed by fire.
Again, about three years later, John Lines Wallpaper Works, situated on the Glebe Estate, Western Road, was burned down on the 2nd September, 1917 loss of £30,000.

Religious Progress
In 1909-10 the new St Johns Church was built on the right hand side of the Church Avenue on land which had been Elmfield House and purchased from Mr Gosney for £700 from the Bishop of London’s Fund. Architect, C. J. Miller; Builders, Steven Bastow and Co., Bristol, at a cost of £8,800. It could seat 750. It was consecrated by the Bishop of London on 26th October, 1910.
The first meeting of the Congregationalists was held in a room of Mr H. Waton’s Estate Office in 1911, but they purchased a site at the corner of Villiers Road and Park Avenue in 1912 and re-erected a corrugated iron church, brought from the Baptists, and services commenced with the Revd H. Lea Pla as minister. The church was opened on June 5th.
The Wesleyan Mission had received a very go-ahead new minister, Revd Broadbelt, in 1914 and he started to raise funds for a new hall. He was very successful, two of his benefactors being Eastmans of Acton and Ranks Flour Millers of London. What is now known as The Kings Hall’ was built at a cost of £12,500 on land which they had purchased in 1904. It was opened on October 11th, 1916 by Sir Charles Wakefield, Lord Mayor of London. It is a very spacious building with entrance hall leading to the main chapel; round in shape with upstairs balcony. At the front, the organ and raised dais for choir, tip up seat. The caretaker’s flat was over the entrance hall. Attached at the rear, besides small offices, was another small chapel, also two recreation halls. They organised a splendid choir under Mr Abbott, organist. The first caretaker was Mr Ayres. As soon as it was possible the committee at the hall organised concerts for Saturday evenings and some of the best brass bands and stage personalities engaged to entertain. Also, cinema shows for children Saturday afternoons for one penny. Over the years theaccommodation at the rear has been used by the post office for extra sorting offices at Christmas-time and by the Technical School for classrooms. The ministers used 61 South Road as their Rectory.