Southall 830-1982

Formed in 1902 as a local Tradesmen’s Association, the first President was Mr W. G. Beckett, with Mr Rowe Secretary. Mr Beckett had a drapery business in the High Street, thus was the beginning of the Southall Chamber of Commerce. The 58 names on the board reads like a Who’s Who of many who have shaped Southall over the past 80 years, for named are ten builders, seven works owners, 26 of the very old established tradesmen. These have all been past Presidents of the Chamber, some of whom have held office for two or more years. Only two women have been in office – Mrs G. W. Taplin 1965, and Mrs M. E. Hilton 1975. What the board does not show is the Secretaries and Treasurers and, among these, have been Mr Rowe – Secretary for ten years, Mr F. C. Loaring – Treasurer for twenty years; Mr E. A. Weeks – Secretary for thirteen years. It was February 1937 that the name of the Southall Chamber of Commerce was adopted.
Over the years the Chamber has had its meetings at various places but a breakthrough came in 1970. When in 1965 the Borough of Southall was incorporated into the Borough of Ealing, the Manor House – which had housed several Council Departments – became redundant and remained empty for several years. In 1968 Mr Harold Hallett, who had retired after several years as warden of the Southall Community Centre, became the Chamber’s new Secretary and he had ideas of a permanent headquarters so, with the permission of the Chambers Executive started to negotiate with the Ealing Borough for a lease on the Manor House. After many months success came and, on June 27th, 1970, the Mayor and Mayoress (Councillor and Mrs Crook) formally handed over a lease at a nominal rent.
Work was put in hand to get the building fit for use and the Chamber added its own furnishings. Thus it came about that the Southall Chamber of Commerce, which must be the oldest organisation, is now housed in the oldest house in the town. Over the years the Chamber has at all times kept the tradesmen’s welfare in mind and reported anything that they wished to improve in the town to the proper authorities. One such – in 1909 members felt that the GPO were not giving enough facilities. There were only four deliveries a day – the last one being at 8.15 p.m. They wanted a fifth but the GPO could not grant this because there would have had to be 50,000 letters a week, not 30,000. What now in 1982? Only two, nothing after 12 noon! The first letter addressed to the Council complained that the streets were not being watered enough. The tradesmen of King Street said that they were obliged to expose goods and keep their doors open be it ever so dusty please, more water carts.
The social side has always been catered for and, at the Manor House, they have a Conference Room which serves for Executive Committee Meetings and social events. Mr Gilbey is the present secretary.

List of Presidents:
1902-05  W. T. Beckett                                              1951  R. J. Ramsey
1906-07  E. Cheal                                                      1952  W. Wilson
1908   W. C. Talbot                                                   1953  C. W. Cook
1909   E. Cheal                                                         1954  A. E. Smith
1910   W. C. Clements                                               1955  G. A. Phillips

1911   T. J. Hallam                                                    1956  J. Edkins

1912   C. Thomson                                                    1957  A. Green

1913-18  W. Haigh                                                    1958  C. W. Crook

1919   H. S. Naylor                                                    1960-61 J. R. Gray

1920-22  R. J. Puge                                                   1962  H. C. Clark

1923   W. A. Rowe                                                     1963  J. Hilton

1924-27  B. J. Hanson                                                1964  B. S. L. Sargent

1928-29  C. Thomson                                                 1965  F. G. Rosier (Dec’d.)

1930   C. Wadham                                                     1965  Mrs. G. W. Taplin

1931   C. Hutchings                                                   1966  P. L. Bolding

1932   F. Cooper                                                       1967  S. J. Evans

1933   D. Easton                                                       1968  A. H. Barber

1934   P. G. Soulsby                                                  1969  D. J. Sinclair

1935   H. W. Welsh                                                   1970  B. Bass

1936   P. Hopkins                                                      1971  H. E. Meak

1937   F. Cooper                                                       1972  H. G. Hallett

1938   D. Clifford Evans                                             1973  A. A. Hurst

1939   H. Baker                                                        1974  R. H. Freeman

1940-42  C. Quinion                                                  1975  Mrs. M. E. Hilton

1943   W. J. Brown                                                   1976  A. G. Jennings

1944-45  S. C. Cutland                                              1977-78 J. S. Beeston

1946   F. S. Honey                                                    1979  A. T. Frost

1947   W. O. Wood                                                   1980  D. Casey

1948   E. W. Ward                                                    1981  D. Spires

1949   S. Sabel                                                        1982  R. J. Kew

1950   F. J. Richards