I have quoted the above from a cutting from the “Gazette” 1952, which shows two photos, before and after. As can be seen today the open space could be on its way back to its former state. Next to this, still a disgrace, are the remaining foundations of the old school.
There now stands the petrol station were four houses, the first of which for some years was Reg Flexman’s, who had several coaches on hire and booking office. The end one of the four at St John’s Road had shoring timbers supporting the side of it. The houses on the right-hand side of St John’s Road had the old-fashioned brick wash houses built separate from the house, with coppers and chimneys.
The Baptist Church built 1889 and rebuilt 1901, seats 300. It has always been well supported, with good companies of Boy’s and Girl’s Brigade.
At the corner of Western Road and Waltham Road is “Belmont House”. In September 1885, Mr. Gosney purchased the mortgage rights to a piece of land having a frontage to Western Road of 452 ft. The said piece of land being in the precinct of Norwood, in the Parish of Hayes. Mr. Gosney made stipulations that no house be built in Waltham road under £320, and on the land facing the Western Road frontage, of no less than £200 per house. No hospital for infectious diseases, or trades of any description to be built on the aforesaid site. In 1909 Dudley MacDonald Mackenzie purchased the site for £545. Belmont House was built in 1909 by Mr. Peter Bell and, after being occupied for a year or two by Dr. Vercoe, became the residence of Dr. C. W. Seccombe in 1916. He served Southall for several years as First Deputy, then Medical Officer of Health for Southall Norwood Urban District Council, was the first Divisional Surgeon to Southall Nursing Division St. John’s Ambulance, and was created Officer Order of St. John. He died in retirement, aged 87, in 1947. His son, Dr. John Seccombe, has carried on the family Practice and is also an area Commissioner in the St. John Ambulance Brigade.
The house next to Belmont House is built in a very peculiar style. It is nicknamed the “Cant House” as, instead of being built square, the walls are all at an angle. Mr. Gray lived there for several years, and it is now used for accommodation for doctors, partners in the Practice.
In Waltham Road, just to the rear of Belmont House, is what became known as “Imhoff’s Castle”. Built by Mr. Imhoff, a builder, it had all the appearance of a small fortress, unlike all other houses around. The brickwork was all cemented over, flat roof with castle-like rampart, slit windows and, what appeared to be, small cannons poking out. It is still there but has had all the ornamentations taken off.
From Waltham Road to Featherstone Road are some twenty-one very old houses, with small front gardens, built around 1894, and two shops which have changed hands frequently, the corner one being the offices of Wilmots Car and Coach Hire for quite a while. Just in Featherstone Road on the left-hand side used to be a small Gospel Mission Hall; this has now been pulled down to widen the entrance to the coach yard – formerly Wilmots, now Fox’s.
The thirteen shops from Featherstone Road to Sussex Road, built around 1900, have had Halls, Sater Hills, Papers and Confectioners, on the corner. Mr. J. Hill was Councillor for several years. A. F. Mullinger, Fried Fish Shop; Ascotts, Chemist; Herberts, Hardware; Deacons, Motor Engineers; and a two-shop Drapers at Sussex Road corner.
I have now come to the end of my wanderings around Southall Green, which has covered some old and some new history. But one can only wonder what the Green and Southall would be like today, IF…