The first two shops on the left-hand side were the Co-op Bakers and Grocery, with a meeting hall over the top. They became very popular by paying what was known as “Divi” on their purchases but gradually, one after another various departments closed. The last to go being the Grocery which closed in June 1976. Now the corner has a very sad look, and the upstairs hall is let out on general hire.
After three shops, formerly Wardlaws, Florists: Cass, Hairdressers: Wyatt’s, Boot Repairers, is Elmfield Road ( after Elmfield House ), a cul-de-sac of twenty small houses.
Sharp & Sons, Undertakers ( Mr. A. Sharp was President of Southall Football Club for many years ), Collins Electrical came next – Charlie Collins took a great deal of interest in the town, a Councillor for several years and Chairman 1933-34 – four Edwardian Houses, built with a very unique style, numbers 13 and 19 have doors on the side, numbers 15 and 17 on the front ), all have long front gardens, brings St John’s Road.
Thirteen shops follow, built around 1886. Some of the tennants have at times made headlines. Gammages, Corn Chandlers: Bastin, Newsagents ( he was also a violin maker ): Mullengers, Fishmongers, the sons had shops in Western Road and King Street, wet and fried fish, the last son finished business in 1977: Godbolts, Butchers: Laws, Boot Repairers – he, together with a partner ( Blackgrove ), started a small clogmaking workshop in premises across from Waltham Road.
The Drill Hall, built in 1901, has housed Middlesex Yeomanry, a Company of Middlesex Regiment Territorials and, in 1923, 317 ( Middlesex Anti-Aircraft Searchlight Company, RE ), this was until 1937 when they moved to the new Drill Hall, Uxbridge Road, and it became a furniture depository.
Featherstone Road now turns left into Western Road, and all the houses on the left-hand side are very old type bay-fronted with a small front garden behind a solid front wall. On the right-hand side are the two Featherstone Road Schools, the first one was built in 1895 and was a mixed school, the large school was built in 1901-02. Mr. J. Dunn, who had been Headmaster of Southall Green Schools for twenty years, retired in 1904. He was followed by Mr. West for twenty-seven years, then by Mr. R. Down, M.B.E., from 1935 until 1969. In the Caretaker’s house was Mr. Albert Smith, J.P.
Mr Albert Smith was born in 1867 and became Featherstone Road School’s first Caretaker in 1902. He remained so until his retirement in 1932. He joined Southall Fire Brigade on its formation in 1900: became its Chief Officer in 1921 and, altogether, served forty years with the Brigade.
During the 1914-18 war he served with the Ambulance Corp. in France, becoming one of the “Old Contemptibles”.
Keenly interested in local affairs, he was a member of Southall Urban Council from 1921 until 1932. In 1930 his local work was recognised by being appointed a Justice of the Peace at Ealing and Brentford Courts, on which he served until about a year before his death in 1951, at the age of 84 years.
All his life he had attended the Baptist Chapel at Cranford and was its Secretary for fifty-nine years.