Southall 830-1982

A great transformation took place in The Green between 1934 and 1936. What was locally known as ‘Welsh’s Folly’ – otherwise Featherstone Hall, Dr Bailey’s Private Asylum – was pulled down and A. & B. Hanson built the Dominion Cinema. It was right up-to-date with a splendid organ, ballroom upstairs with a cafeteria. It was officially opened on October 14th, 1935 by the late Gracie Fields. Thank goodness she cannot see it today – 1982. Shut down and dilapidated, plans are being made to pull it down.
Also in 1934 the oldest house in Southall – The Romans – was pulled down. No date can be fixed as to when it was built but it was there in the 1500s. Cardinal Wolsey, who was a member of Henry VIII’s Council, stayed there with a family named Lanfier. Childs, the banking family, who, by marriage came into the Earl of Jersey’s family, came to live there, the last one being Ruth Child Romayne, a relation of Agatha Childs who occupied the Manor House opposite for a while. On December 1st, 1896 a Miss Hannaford died there; she had done quite a lot of good work both as a teacher and social worker for St Johns Church. In 1894 the Norwood Conservative Association held its 6th AGM there. The rateable value of the house, garden and sheds in 1896 was £27.0.0d. It is not quite certain but it seemed that a Major A. T. White could have resided there until it was pulled down. He took a great deal of interest in the town and was Council Chairman 1934-35.
In 1935-36 another cinema, The Odeon in the High Street, was built. After showing films for some years it was turned into a Bowling Alley and, for about three years, had a good club atmosphere, but falling membership eventually forced closure and now, in 1982, it is a furniture and household fittings stores.
On October 24th, 1931, a Greyhound Stadium was opened on the left hand side of Havelock Road. For several years it had a good attendance with three meetings a week but, gradually, it began to get a bad reputation and, eventually, closed in the sixties. It was sited where the Havelock Road Schools are now.
The town was still rapidly expanding and in 1933 the Catholic authorities sold part of the land of St Joseph’s School on the right hand side of South Road, and Wates then built the housing estate – St Joseph’s Drive, Beatice Road.
Two more blocks of shops were built each side of the Uxbridge Road. On the south-west side of the town a large estate was being developed by the General Housing Company. This was the Glebe Estate, stretching from Western Road to the railway – Derley Road, Greenland Crescent and all that area.
The old White Hart in the High Street was pulled down in 1934. Set well back from the road it still serves its purpose on Market Day, but now it has room for cars in front, not coaches at the rear. Several more public houses were rebuilt and all now are fully licensed. In 1935 two more were built – The Scotsman in Scotts Road and The Seagull in Lady Margaret Road, followed by The Lady Margaret in 1937.