The Maypole and Southall Green

Southall – Our Town

Where once our little village was
A large town now stands.
People have come, helped build our canals, railways, trams;
Others came without a thought
For all the havoc they have wrought.

Canals were built in Seventeen-Ninety-One
To London and, via locks, to Brentford Docks.
The Grand Union, on long boats, carried bricks-
Called Stocks – by the million, handmade
By the poorly paid men and women,
From the good brick earth of the town.

The G.W.R. came in Eighteen-Thirty-Eight.
Brunels wide guage cut the village in two.
No station – just a level crossing gate.
The station – twenty years on came about
On top of the bridge, now that’s met its fate.
Only half remains, and that’s out of date.

The tram came in Ough-Two,
They turned around at Haddrell’s corner.
Open top, with hard slatted seats,
The inside was not much warmer,
Sixpence Workman’s Return to Shepherds Bush;
Twopence to Kasners Corner.

Otto Monsteds from Godley came,
Their margarine had sprung to fame.
A large works had been built to order,
By A. & B. Hanson, on the railway border.
Danes came with them and settled down,
They were all a credit to the town.

From Otto Monsted to the Maypole changed,
‘Twas a happy place to work at –
No strikes, unpleasant smells or dirt,
With sport and entertainment, too,
In the Institute provided for you.
Good use of this was made during the war
As a hospital for soldiers, wounded and sore.

The Manor House the Council bought
To save it from the breakers.
A Martinware fountain with flower beds around,
In grounds of about three acres.
The Manor, though some portion pulled down,
Has now the Chamber of Commerce as caretakers.

Where once the “Featherstone Folly” stood
The Dominion Cinema now stands,
Opened in 1932 by Gracie Fields, it was very nicely planned-
Plus tip-up seats and organ grand.
The outside now is a deplorable sight,
With fights and brawls most Saturday nights.

Before Wimpeys developed Waxlow Estate,
The landscape it was really great.
Through footpaths and styles, with Northolt two miles,
You’d arrive at the “Crown” with a thirst.
If now to the “Crown” you wish to go for a while,
A bus you can take at the cost of 8p a mile.

With great pomp a Borough made, in 1936,
Bill Garrod was the Charter Mayor –
Hard work for him – but done with a flair,
So what to the lay-man did seem unfair,
When next year a Mayor was wanted,
Councillor Hamblin was appointed.

‘O God our help’ at the Cenotaph we sing
For those who served country and King,
But the Borough, to whom our rates we pay,
Must surely help much more today
To clear up the town in many ways,
By prosecuting those whom from by-laws stray.

The Gas Works and Houlders, both closed down,
Arrow Switches moved from the town;
Maypole, Ticklers, Ceramic, Le Grand Sutcliffe, too,
Have all gone, all the laundry’s shut down.
Now the A.E.C. is on the way –
That closed at the end of May.

St. Johns, Holy Trinity, St. Georges, Kings Hall,
To help our souls come in that order;
The Prims. and Congregations are gone
But the Barn Mission, Baptists and Salvation Army carry on.
Many halls in the town today house religious sects,
Names of which were never before mentioned.

The Police today are now more up-to-date,
At their new station built of late.
Quite different from years ago
When from tin hut on beat did go,
On foot or bike, the peace to keep,
Night shift, find somewhere to sleep.

Fourteen schools now in the town;
North Road Infants just pulled down.
What a shock when I found it was gone –
But what memories will linger on.
Starting school, Mrs. Jones Class 1,
With Headmistress Mrs. Dunn.

I come to the end of my Town Tale,
‘Tis rumoured the Town Hall’s for sale.
If walls could speak, what tales they would tell
of Reginald Brown, Thompson, Hanson and Mr. Burwell.
But one famous name will still linger on –
Our late M.P., George Pargiter, to the Lords has gone.

                                                                 R. Meads