Southall 830-1982

In May 1940 the town again welcomed Belgium refugees – 250 arrived and found a warm welcome. The Mayor started the ‘Spitfire Fund’ at the beginning of September and when the fund closed £728.13.3d had been collected. An appeal for all the scrap metal was made and the three German guns which had been presented to the British Legion, and the one presented by the Australians, were given over to be made into war weapons.
The Council gave permission for people to keep rabbits and chickens and themselves set up a pig farm at the old sewage site at Wyke Green. Another was started by Mr G. Robinson at the old Martinware factory in Havelock Road which he had purchased.
The DFM awarded to Leading Aircraftsman K. G. Richards was the first Honour to come to Southall.
In November Alderman F. G. Smith was elected Mayor for 1941.
Just over the border the North Star in North Hyde Lane closed 29th May, 1940 and the newly built North Star opened on the corner of Thorncliffe Road and Heston Road.
The first London bombing was on the 24th August, 1940 and the London Blitz on September 7th, 1940. The sound of the air raid sirens became more frequent and, on the night of September 28th, bombs dropped at North Road School causing damage, shutting the school for six weeks. On 15th October a bomb fell on an outside shelter at Tudor Road School causing a great deal of blast damage, but no casualties, which closed the school for six months.
A large hut had been erected in Southall Park, adjacent to Green Drive, which was used for fire bomb disposal practice. This hut was to be known later as the Green Door, becoming the HQ of the British Red Cross, Southall Section in 1956.
Southall had one or two very important targets for the German bombers and how lucky we were that most of the bombs dropped were near misses. One of the targets was the Hanwell Viaduct. This was guarded against saboteurs and was narrowly missed by bombs which fell, one on the golf links and one in the Uxbridge Road. The AEC escaped but near by bombs dropped on Hanwell Asylum boilerhouse and another at the end of Green Drive.
In 1941 bombs dropped in Cambridge Road and destroyed Woolworth’s and some shops in the High Street. It was thought that the big gasometer was a guide for the bombing attacks on the gas works. Had the railway bridges been hit, Bailey Bridges were on hand for erection.
There were several daylight raids, one of which caused damage in the Lady Margaret Road and another enemy aircraft came low enough to spray the area with bullets.
In 1944 the Germans were using what became known as ‘Doodlebugs’
(a flying bomb). On a Sunday afternoon in June 1944 one fell and destroyed the old Rectory at Norwood. Another, on August 29th 1944, destroyed a number of houses in Adelaide Road. Several more ordinary bombs and incendiaries were scattered about the town. They were very effectively dealt with by the ARP. Casualties were very light, but there was some loss of life.1942 with the townspeople getting used to the air raid sirens, every effort was being put into the war.