Southall 830-1982

There was still a police box on the corner of King Street and Western Road, and the Council did a good job in turning the little piece of green there into a nicely laid out garden with seats.
The population of Southall in 1951 was 55,896 but, for some reason, this declined to 54,900 by 1955.
Mayors of Southall 1950-55 were:
1950  Alderman F. C. Gardener
1951  Councillor Lye
1952  Councillor F. G. Smith
1953  Alderman T. Lowe
1954  Councillor J. G. Dormer
1955  Councillor P. J. Love
In 1951 Woolf Rubber Limited opened a factory at Hayes Bridge. Finding it hard to get local labour to do what was a very dirty type of job, a member of the firm went to India and recruited labour from there which resulted in what has turned out to be a disaster for Southall. An extract from an article published by Southall Environment Project in 1980 states that ‘since 1950 the make-up of Southall’s population has changed dramatically. By 1970 its numbers had increased by well over 10,000 and was now a very multi-racial. .’ Now, in 1982, with a population of 83,000, 65% are of Asian origin.
In August 1950 Mr J. B. Thomson, MICE, FRSH, retired after 42 years service. He joined the Southall Norwood Urban District Council as assistant surveyor. After war service he returned to Southall and, in 1919, was appointed Engineer and Surveyor. During his years of service he supervised numerous housing schemes and new municipal buildings which had cost ratepayers over £900,000. He was honoured by being made a Freeman of the Borough. He was a great worker for the Royal Society of Health, and Guide Dogs for the Blind. He was 75 when he died. His successor as Borough Surveyor was Mr S. F. Thorne.
Norwood Hall (Unwins Park) which had been purchased by the Middlesex County Council and was used as an Old Peoples’ Rest Home, was in 1956 transformed into a Horticultural College. Under the supervision of Mrs Perry, VMH, it was gradually developed with large greenhouses and show plots. The hall itself was used as lecture rooms and Administrative Offices. When Mrs Perry retired Mr J. Warren became Principal. In 1975 Mr K. Spackman took his place and he retired at the end of August 1982 after 26 years at the college. It is open to visitors several times a year.
Entertainment in the town in the fifties was very plentiful with four cinemas doing well and the Southall Community Centre now being made full use of – the Warden, Mr Harold Hallett, was a very live wire and good organiser, dancing, whist drives, concerts, the ‘Gay Nineties’ Club for old tyme dancing Saturday evenings and several societies also using it as their Headquarters. Four licensed clubs – Working Men’s, British Legion, Labour and Conservative — all with large membership, each well organised, always arranging social events.