Southall Manor House
Southall shown within Greater London
|OS grid reference|
|- Charing Cross||10.7 mi (17.2 km) W|
|Ceremonial county||Greater London|
|Sovereign state||United Kingdom|
|Postcode district||UB1, UB2|
|UK Parliament||Ealing Southall|
|London Assembly||Ealing and Hillingdon|
Southall is a large suburban district of west London, England, and part of the London Borough of Ealing. It is situated 10.7 miles (17.2 km) west of Charing Cross. Neighbouring places include Yeading, Hayes, Hanwell, Heston, Hounslow, Greenford and Northolt. The area is identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London.
Southall is located on the Grand Union Canal (formerly the Grand Junction Canal) which first linked London with the rest of the growing canal system. It was one of the last canals to carry significant commercial traffic (through the 1950s) and is still open to traffic and is used by pleasure craft.
The name Southall derives from the Anglo-Saxon dative æt súð healum, "At the south corner (of the land or wood)" and súð heal, "South corner" and separates it from Northolt which was originally norþ heal, "North corner" which through a later association with Anglo-Saxon holt, "Wood, copse" developed into Northolt.
The district of Southall has many other Anglo-Saxon place-names such as Elthorne and Waxlow. Its earliest record, from ad 830, is of Warberdus bequeathing Norwood Manor and Southall Manor to the archbishops of Canterbury.
Southall formed part of the chapelry of Norwood in the ancient parish of Hayes, in the Elthorne hundred of Middlesex. For Poor Law it was grouped into the Uxbridge Union and was within Uxbridge Rural Sanitary District from 1875. The chapelry of Norwood had functioned as a separate parish since the Middle Ages. On 16 January 1891 the parish adopted the Local Government Act 1858 and the Southall Norwood Local Government District was formed. In 1894 it became the Southall Norwood Urban District. In 1936 the urban district was granted a charter of incorporation and became a municipal borough, renamed Southall. In 1965 the former area of the borough was merged with that of the boroughs of Ealing and Acton to form the London Borough of Ealing in Greater London.
The southern part of Southall (roughly south of the railway) used to be known as Southall Green (and a section of the main north-south road in the area is still called The Green) and was centred on the historic Tudor-styled Manor House which dates back to at least 1587. Little of the building is original but much dates back to the days when Southall Green was a quiet rural village. It is currently used as serviced offices.
The extreme southernmost part of Southall is known as Norwood Green. It has few industries and is mainly a residential area, having remained for many years mainly agricultural whilst the rest of Southall developed industrially. Norwood Green borders, and part is inside, the London Borough of Hounslow.
The main east west road through the town is Uxbridge Road (A4020), though the name changes in the main shopping area to The Broadway and for an even shorter section to High Street. Uxbridge Road was part of the main London to Oxford stagecoach route for many years and remained the main route to Oxford until the building of the Western Avenue highway to the north of Southall in the first half of the 20th century. First horse drawn, then electric trams (until 1936) and, then, electric trolleybuses, gave Southall residents and workers quick and convenient transport along Uxbridge Road in the first half of the 20th century before they were replaced by standard diesel-engined buses in 1960.
The opening of the Grand Junction Canal (later renamed Grand Union Canal) as the major freight transport route between London and Birmingham in 1796 began a commercial boom, intensified by the arrival of Brunel's Great Western Railway in 1839, leading to th of brick factories, flour mills and chemical plants which formed the town's commercial base. In 1877, the Martin Brothers set up a ceramics factory in an old soap works next to the canal and until 1923, produced distinctive ceramics now known and collected as Martinware.
A branch railway line from Southall railway station to the Brentford Dock on the Thames was also built by Isambard Kingdom Brunel in 1856. It features one of his (impressive for the period) engineering works, the Three Bridges (although it is still often referred to on maps by the original canal crossing name of Windmill Bridge). where Windmill Lane, the railway and the Grand Union Canal all intersect – the canal being carried over the railway line cutting below in a cast-iron trough and a new cast-iron road-bridge going over both. Brunel died shortly after is completion. Sections of his bell-section rail can still be seen on the southern side being used as both fencing posts and a rope rail directly under the road bridge itself. It is listed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument. The other notable local construction by Brunel is the Wharncliffe Viaduct which carries the Great Western Railway across the River Brent towards London and which was Brunel's first major structural design.
Otto Monsted, a Danish margarine manufacturer, built a large factory at Southall in 1894. The factory was called the Maypole Dairy, and eventually grew to become one of the largest margarine manufacturing plants in the world, occupying a 28 hectares (69 acres) site at its peak. The factory also had its own railway sidings and branch canal. The Maypole Dairy Company was later acquired by Lever Brothers who, as part of the multinational Unilever company, converted the site to a Wall's Sausages factory which produced sausages and other meat products through until the late 1970s.
The Quaker Oats Company built a factory in Southall in 1936. Part of the operation that made pet foods was sold to Spiller's in 1994, and the remainder to Big Bear Group in 2006. The site continues to produce brands such as Sugar Puffs. Other engineering, paint and food processing factories prospered for many years, mostly alongside the railway and/or canal. A collection of Martinware – salt-glazed stoneware, and birds – is on display at Southall Library.
On the eastern boundary of Southall was the Hanwell Asylum, once the world's largest asylum for the mentally ill. It was considered in its day to be a progressive institution with a good success rate for treatment. As attitudes to and treatment for mental illness improved, the site was renamed St. Bernard's Hospital. In the late 1970s, the site was extensively redeveloped, with most of the area now taken up by the Ealing Hospital. St. Bernard's still operates a large facility on part of the site under the West London Mental Health (NHS) Trust.
Southall was the home of Southall Studios, one of the earliest British film studios. It played a historic role in film-making from its creation in 1924 to its closure in 1959. In 1936, a fire destroyed the studio but it was rebuilt and enlarged. Numerous feature films (many featuring famous or later-to-be-famous actors) and the early TV series Colonel March of Scotland Yard were made at the studios, as were TV and cinema adverts.
There has been a locomotive works at the Southall Depot for nearly 150 years. Originally a Great Western Railway shed, it was possibly the last London steam depot, outlasting Old Oak Common and Stewarts Lane depots. The depot was later used for DMU maintenance and as a base for the electrification programme. Currently the site, now referred to as the Southall Railway Centre, is used by three independent groups, including Locomotive Services (where volunteers can contribute to the preservation and restoration of mainline locomotives) and the Great Western Railway Preservation Group.
The bus and commercial vehicle manufacturer Associated Equipment Company (AEC) was based in Southall, on a 25 hectares (62 acres) triangular site between Windmill Lane, the main Great Western Railway and the branch to Brentford Dock. The company moved there from Walthamstow in 1926 and closed in 1979 after losing market share whilst part of the giant but inefficient British Leyland group. The site was noticeable for railway passengers due to a large sign saying "Builders of London's Buses for 50 years". A major gas works manufacturing town gas was located between the railway and the canal. Since production ceased in the 1970s, much of the 36 hectares (89 acres) site has been vacant, due to limited road access and remaining gas infrastructure.
During World War II Southall was the target of enemy bombing on a number of occasions. A German V-1 flying bomb destroyed a number of houses in Regina Road, killing the occupants. Bomb shelters and bunkers were built during the war, close to or under most schools and public buildings. The bunkers at Hamborough Primary School were expanded during the Cold War, to become the North West Group War HQ for the London area Civil Defence organisation and the London Borough of Ealing Emergency Control Centre. This facility is now disused.
On 2 September 1958 at 7:10 am, a pilot of a Vickers Viking V624 (G-AIJE), which had just taken off from Heathrow Airport, reported that he had engine trouble. Some minutes later it crashed onto houses in Kelvin Gardens. It was on a cargo flight carrying aero engines to Tel Aviv and carried no passengers, however the three crew members and four people on the ground were killed. One of the surviving occupants, 14-year-old Brian Gibbons, was later awarded the George Medal for bravery, as well as the Carnegie Award. The accident was due to poor maintenance, and caused the company, Independent Air Travel, to fail in October 1959.
On 23 April 1979, Blair Peach, a teacher and anti-racist activist, was killed after police knocked him unconscious during a protest against the National Front (NF). Another demonstrator, Clarence Baker – a singer of the reggae band Misty in Roots, remained in a coma for five months. More than 40 others — including 21 police — were injured, and 300 were arrested.
On 4 July 1981, a race riot was sparked at the Hambrough Tavern on the Broadway. Local Asian youths mistakenly believed that a concert featuring the Oi! bands The Business, The Last Resort and The 4-Skins was a white power event. Additionally, the venue had recently been sued for barring non-white customers, and local youths had heard that skinheads arriving for the concert had harassed other youths and women. More than 200 skinheads had travelled by bus from East London, and a few of them smashed shop windows,[page needed] wrote NF slogans around the area, and shouted neo-Nazi slogans while using bricks and clubs to attack Asian youths who had gathered in opposition to the gig. This was one of several high-profile riots in Britain that year.
Although some of the skinheads were NF or British Movement supporters, among the 500 or so concert-goers were also left-wing skinheads, black skinheads, punk rockers, rockabillies and non-affiliated youths. A few of the approximately 300 Asians threw petrol bombs and other objects, and five hours of rioting left 120 people injured — including 60 police officers — and the tavern burnt down.
The Southall rail crash occurred on 19 September 1997 when a mainline high speed express train from Swansea to London Paddington ran a red signal, when the driver's attention was distracted, and it collided with a goods train just outside Southall railway station. Seven people died and 139 were injured.
Southall is primarily a South Asian residential district, sometimes known as "Little India". In 1950, the first group of South Asians arrived in Southall, reputedly recruited to work in a local factory owned by a former British Indian Army officer. This South Asian population grew, due to the closeness of expanding employment opportunities such as London Heathrow Airport. The most significant cultural group to settle in Southall are Asians. According to the Commission for Racial Equality, over 55% of Southall's population of 70,000 is Indian/Pakistani. There are ten Sikh Gurdwaras in Southall. The Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, which opened in 2003, is one of the largest Sikh gurdwaras outside India, and it won the Ealing Civic Society Architectural Award in 2003. There are two large Hindu 'Mandir' temples, the Vishnu Hindu Mandir on Lady Margaret Road and the Ram Mandir in Old Southall. There are more than ten Christian churches including 5 Anglican, one Roman Catholic (St Anselm's Church), Baptist, Methodist and several Pentecostal or Independent. There are three Mosques 'Masjids' in Southall, the Abubakr Mosque situated on Southall broadway, the Central Jamia Masjid Mosque and the Jamia Masjid Islamic Centre.
Earlier, in the 1920s and 1930s Southall was the destination of many Welsh migrants escaping from the harsh economic conditions in that part of the country. For many years, Welsh accents were very commonplace in the area.
The main street in Southall is called The Broadway. Southall contains the largest South Asian shopping area within the M25. Southall was also the main location for the internationally acclaimed film Bend It Like Beckham.
Southall has a large gas tower which is noticeable from a great distance. Painted on the gas tower are "LH" in large letters and an arrow that denoted to aircraft pilots the direction to nearby London Heathrow Airport by visual flight rules (VFR) if landing on the now closed Runway 23. This was painted on the tower after a number of pilots became confused between Heathrow and the nearby RAF Northolt which has a much shorter runway. One Boeing 707 landed at Northolt by mistake and a number of other pilots were en route there when warned off by air traffic control.
Southall was also the location of the famed Glassy Junction public house, which was the first pub in the UK to accept Indian Rupees as payment. The Glassy Junction closed down in 2011 and has since been replaced by a Famous International South Indian restaurant chain. Southall has many well known restaurants such as Chaudhry's TKC (formerly the Tandoori Kebab Centre), established in 1965 was one of the first Indian restaurants in the UK. The Brilliant Restaurant also appeared on TV Ramseys Best Restaurants and was nominated but failed to win any awards. Southall has also appeared in other Bollywood films as well, including Patiala House and Goal!.
There are two local community radio station servicing Southall; Westside 89.6 FM, licensed by Ofcom as part of their drive towards community-based radio services, and Desi Radio which predominantly broadcasts in Punjabi and is now available on DAB across Greater London.
Sport and leisure
Notable people associated with Southall
- H Dhami, Bhangra singer, who is signed to Rishi Rich's label Rishi Rich Productions
- Urban Music producers Panjabi Hit Squad all grew up in Southall.
- Channi Singh OBE, the Godfather of Bhangra.
- Ms Scandalous, a rapper/MC, was born in Southall in 1983.
- Juggy D, a bhangra singer.
- Chris Highton, musician and radio presenter was educated at Southall Grammar School (now Villiers High School) in the 1960s.
- Cleo Laine, a jazz singer and actress, was born in Southall in 1927 and brought up in Clarence Street. She attended Featherstone Road School.
- Rishi Rich, music producer.
- Misty in Roots, reggae band, started life in the area.
- Jay Sean or Kamaljeet Singh Jhooti (birth name), R&B singer, was raised here.
- Kuljit Bhamra MBE, Hon DMus composer, record producer and musician was educated at Southall Grammar School (now Villiers High School). His recording studio is in Southall where he produced many Bhangra hits for local Southall bands during the 1980s and where he continues to produce music.
- The Ruts - a punk band from the late 1970s
- Misty in Roots began life as a Southall-based British roots reggae band in the early 1970s.
Authors and poets
- Mike Ashley, author and editor.
- Kwame Kwei-Armah, playwright and actor.
- Rupinderpal Singh Dhillon, poet.
- Tim Lott, author (his debut The Scent Of Dried Roses is about growing up in Southall) was born here in 1956.
- Harjeet Atwal, author
Television and film
- Daljit Dhaliwal, newsreader and journalist
- Nick Knowles, television personality;
- Actress Hayley Mills lived at Friars Lawn, a historic house at Norwood Green, Southall, in the late 1970s to 1980.
- Gurinder Chadha OBE, noted British film director. The Southall area is the setting for many of her films involving the British Asian community.
- Stewart Bevan, actor, screenwriter, lyricist and poet grew up in Southall.
- Elisabeth Sladen, actress best known for playing Sarah Jane Smith in the sci-fi series Doctor Who died in Southall in April 2011.
- Sir Leslie Murphy (1915–2007) was born in Southall and educated at Southall Grammar School (now Villiers High School). He became a prominent businessman, merchant banker, influential civil servant and a founder member of the Social Democratic Party. He was knighted in 1978.
- Syd Bidwell represented Southall in parliament from 1966–1992, succeeded by Piara Khabra from 1992–2007 and Virendra Sharma from 2007 onwards. Radio station owner Avtar Lit stood as a parliamentary candidate; his son Tony Lit followed in his footsteps, standing in the 2007 by-election.
- Les Ferdinand, England footballer, once played for Southall FC
- Trevor Baylis OBE, the inventor of the Clockwork Radio grew up in the suburb.
- Carole Middleton, mother of The Duchess of Cambridge
- Gasometer which is 320 feet (98 m) high, making it visible from a great distance. It was brought into service in 1932. It has two very large letters "LH" and an arrow painted on it which was used to denote to aircraft pilots the direction to nearby London Heathrow Airport using visual flight rules (VFR) if landing on the now closed runway 23. This was painted on the tower after a number of pilots became confused between Heathrow and the nearby RAF Northolt which has a much shorter runway. One Boeing 707 landed at Northolt by mistake and a number of other pilots were en route there when warned off by air traffic control.
- Wharncliffe Viaduct. An imposing structure 300 yards (270 m) and 65 feet (20 m) high. Situated the north side of Uxbridge Road on the boundary with Hanwell.
- Manor House, The Green, Southall, UB2 4BJ
- Isambard Kingdom Brunel's Three Bridges.
- Golf Links Estate, almost burned down in 1997 & 2008. A 1960's housing development, at one time had the highest crime rate in the Ealing borough.
- Naval gun on the junction of Tentelow Lane with Windmill Lane.
|Landmarks of Southall|
|Southall gasometer in skyline|
Southall is made up of five electoral wards for local council elections: Dormers Wells, Lady Margaret, Norwood Green, Southall Broadway and Southall Green, which all elect councillors to Ealing Council.
Transport and locale
Frequent bus services link Southall with all neighbouring suburbs and London Heathrow Airport.
- Blair Peach, anti-racist campaigner was killed in a demonstration in Southall on Monday 23 April 1979.
- Southall rail crash
- Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College which has a campus on Beaconsfield Road in Southall.
- Mayor of London (February 2008). "London Plan (Consolidated with Alterations since 2004)". Greater London Authority.
- Youngs, Frederic (1979). Guide to the Local Administrative Units of England. I: Southern England. London: Royal Historical Society. ISBN 0-901050-67-9.
- Vision of Britain - Southall MB (historic map). Retrieved on 4 August 2008.
- Vision of Britain - Ealing LB (historic map). Retrieved on 4 August 2008.
- Photo of Southall, the Manor House 1965
- 'Norwood, including Southall: Manors', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 4: Harmondsworth, Hayes, Norwood with Southall, Hillingdon with Uxbridge, Ickenham, Northolt, Perivale, Ruislip, Edgware, Harrow with Pinner (1971), pp. 43–45.  Date accessed: 25 May 2010.
- Route 607 Picture Gallery
- Under Attack: Living with the Bombs by cambslibs
- British Pathe News (1959) Brave Boy rewarded. Accessed 2009-10-18
- Ealing Gazette (19 October 2007) Seven Killed as A Viking plane smashes houses.
- 1979: Teacher dies in Southall race riots BBC On This Day, 23 April.
- Marshall, George (1991). Spirit of '69 – A Skinhead Bible. Dunoon, Scotland: S.T. Publishing. ISBN 1-898927-10-3. p.107
- Blair Peach: Killed By Police, Socialist Worker, 21 April 2009.
- Blair Peach: A 30-year campaign, BBC News, 25 June 2009]
- "Race riot strikes London". Associated Press. 5 July 1981. Retrieved 12 January 2010.
- Bushell, Garry (2001). "Oi! – The Truth". Garry Bushell Uncensored. Retrieved 12 January 2010.[dead link]
- Baumann, Gerd (1996). Contesting culture: discourses of identity in multi-ethnic London. Volume 100 of Cambridge studies in social and cultural anthropology. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-55554-X.
- Axel, Brian Keith (2001). The nation's tortured body: violence, representation, and the formation of a Sikh "Diaspora". Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-2615-9.
- Robb, John (2006). Punk Rock: An Oral History (London: Elbury Press). ISBN 0-09-190511-7
- Marshall, George (1991). Spirit of '69 – A Skinhead Bible. Dunoon, Scotland: S.T. Publishing. ISBN 1-898927-10-3. pp.107–8
- Marshall, George (1991). Spirit of '69 – A Skinhead Bible. Dunoon, Scotland: S.T. Publishing. ISBN 1-898927-10-3. pp.106 & 110
- Harcourt, Gordon (4 May 2005). "British Asians' immigration fears". BBC News. Retrieved 21 March 2009.
- Philipose, Pamela (13 July 2003). "Voice from Little India". Indian Express. Retrieved 13 December 2009.
- Dhaliwal, Nirpal (22 July 2007). "Cameron is given a black eye by the real Southall". The Sunday Times (London). Retrieved 13 December 2009.
- Bhamra, Kuljit (6 April 2009). "The (untold) Southall Story". Asians in Media Magazine. Retrieved 13 December 2009.
- Rappeport, Alan (29 January 2006). "A Real Taste of South Asia? Take the Tube to Southall". New York Times. Retrieved 13 December 2009.
- Equality and Human Rights Commission – home page
- Johnston, Philip (6 October 2006). "Diversity index reveals Britain's ethnic mix". The Daily Telegraph (London). Retrieved 23 May 2010.
- Boeing 707–321, N725PA, Pan American World Airways (PA / PAA)
- BBC – Leicester – Entertainment – The Radio Leicester All Star Band
- BBC – Leicester – Local Radio – Chris Highton
- "Sir Leslie Murphy". The Daily Telegraph (London). 8 October 2007. Retrieved 23 May 2010.
- Royal Air Force Northolt: Approach Errors
- London Southall Gasworks at flickr
- British History Online: 'Norwood, including Southall: Introduction', A History of the County of Middlesex: Volume 4 (1971)
- Southall Town Hall
- UK Polling Report Guide to the Ealing Southall constituency
- Local mobile resource
- Image of the Gas tower with "LH" written on the side
- Southall in World War II
- Visit THE SOUTHALL STORY website