Southall 830-1982

Richard J. Meads


1947 came in with very cold weather. There was skating on the canal and Golf Links Pond - this lasted until nearly April. There was still almost 100 items on points. The County rate was up from 8/4d to 11/8d, which meant that Southall rate had to be raised by 4/-, making 20s in the pound.


Other Council news - 2,260 tons of salvage made £8,908. Mr Lindsay Taylor, Town Clerk (appointed in 1940), resigned and Mr J. S. Syrett from Feltham took his place. The first permanent council house built after the Second World War was opened on the Holly Lodge Estate on Wednesday, 28th May. Several more prefabs had come into use, including a new aluminium type which was to prove a great success.


Mr J. Culley, JP, MBE, died in April, aged 68, first leader of the Labour Party on the Council and three times chairman. On a brighter note Mr and Mrs Chard, both JPs and long serving members of the Council, celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary, and two Councillors married - Alderman Hamblin and Mrs Ellen Jackson and, in doing so, became Deputy Mayoress. At the Council elections Conservatives gained four seats from Labour.


The Boreas destroyer adopted by the Borough had now gone out of commission and the Comforts Fund was discontinued. The cost of education was still on the increase, rising from £29.15.0d to £35.5.0d. Double British Summer Time was still in operation.


Other town news - In January a fire at LeGrand Sutcliffe caused £10,000 of damage. The Southall Chrysanthemum Society, which had been formed as a breakaway group from the Southall Horticultural Association, held its first meeting on the 19th January and had 60 members. Over the following years it was very successful but, changing conditions and dropping membership, forced a full turn of events and, in 1982, it became amalgamated with the Horticultural Association. Something else also has turned almost a circle. During the year the GWR had built a hostel for its long distance drivers and single employees. Not long after the railways became British Rail the hostel closed down. It stood empty for several years during which time it was vandalised almost to the point of being unsafe. Eventually, in 1976, it was bought and repaired at a cost of more than it cost to build and is now `Martin Court' with 18 flats.


Captain J. J. Bridges retired as British Legion Secretary after 14 years and Mr Bill Garrod (Charter Mayor) retired from the Salvation Army Insurance Branch after 32 years, and Mr J. S. Orwin retired from being manager of the Southall Labour Exchange after 25 years - he became well known in the early 1930s when there was so much unemployment in the town. The Duchess of Kent paid a visit to Southall on June 24th — Alexandra Rose Day. The Scouts of the District held a Jamborette at Western Road Football Ground on Saturday, 21st June - 21 countries were represented.


The Wolf again won the Bat on The Green. Two Presentations – Southall Toc H Branch were presented with its 'Lamp' by Mr W. Haigh, JP in memory of his son killed in the RAF in 1942. Mr F. K. Taylor of the Northcote Arms presented a Mace to the ATC Bagpipe Band. On July 5th the new memorial organ was dedicated at the Kings Hall and the same evening a grand organ recital was given. Kings Hall Missionary, Miss Gladys Stevenson, was given a fond farewell before returning to the far east. She had been in Japanese hands throughout the war. Dr C. W. Seccombe, who had done such a lot for the district, died on 16th December. He had been temporary Medical Officer of Health and Divisional Surgeon to the St John Ambulance Nursing Division and had been made a Serving Officer of the Order of St John of Jerusalem by the Queen. Councillor A. T. Dane was elected Mayor for 1948.



The town had not had a very good year in 1947. Rationed goods were still in short supply. Housing was still a big problem and the rates very high. This was mentioned by a Councillor who stated that in 33 years the rates had gone from 8/- to 20/-, but some relief was soon to come, for the County cut its rate by 1/2d in the £ and the town rate for 1948 was cut to 18/- in the £. In February Dr E. Grundy, MOH, resigned and his place was taken by Dr M. Glass who was already well known and liked in the town.


At the end of January the town Information Centre was opened next to the Kings Hall in South Road. This was later closed and used by the British Red Cross until demolished. Their new headquarters has been built on the same site. Great efforts were being made to get bus services in the North Southall area and several meetings and petitions had so far had no results. On the 6th May the second portion of Hortus Road Cemetery was consecrated by the Bishop of Kensington. Deputy Town Clerk, Mr J. L. Betteridge, died on 28th July. He had served the Council for 17 years. Mr W. J. Spencer (my last schoolteacher) died 24th October. He was at North Road School for twenty years, Councillor for seven years, Chairman 1930-31, Headmaster at a school at Harrow. Captain J. J. Bridges, who retired from Secretary of British Legion last year, died on 6th February, aged 76.


On Sunday, 18th July the Labour Club held a Memorial Service, and a plaque was unveiled to commemorate members who were killed in the Second World War. Later, on the 13th November, at the Southall Grammar School (Villiers Road) three plaques, with the names of former pupils who had been killed in the war, were unveiled by Under Secretary of State.


The Inauguration of Norwood Green Horticultural Section on the 1st February, 1948. The Wolf again won The Bat. St Johns old school was demolished June 1948 and the Revd D. J. Morey came as Vicar to St Johns in September.


A businessman in Southall for over 40 years, Mr H. Keevil and his housekeeper were killed in a car crash in May. His shop in the High Street had a front canopy and was known as the Jersey Farm Dairy. He took a great deal of interest in the town's affairs. There was a fair amount of unrest among the workers at the AEC and several token strikes were held. Mayor for 1949 - Councillor Hamblin.