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Southall (Greater London)

Southall shown within Greater London
OS grid reference TQ125805
London borough Ealing
Ceremonial county Greater London
Region London
Constituent country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town SOUTHALL
Postcode district UB1, UB2
Dialling code 020
Police Metropolitan
Fire London
Ambulance London
European Parliament London
UK Parliament Ealing Southall
London Assembly Ealing and Hillingdon
List of places: UKEnglandLondon

Coordinates: 51°30'44?N 0°22'40?W? / ?51.5121, -0.3779

Southall is a suburb in the London Borough of Ealing, West London. 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 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.

Southall is located on the historic 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.


[edit] History

The opening of the canal in 1796 began a commercial boom, intensified by the arrival of the Great Western Railway in 1839, leading to the establishment and growth 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. Southall was also the residence of a prominent Guru from Kadi.

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 hectare (68 acre) 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.

A collection of Martinware - salt-glazed stoneware, grotesque faces, and birds - is on display at Southall Library. The largest collection, however, can be seen at Pitshanger Manor in nearby Ealing.

Southall was also the home of one of the earliest British film studios, Southall Film Studios which played a historic role in film-making from its creation in 1924 to its closure in 1959.

There has been a locomotive works at the Southall Depot for near 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 program. 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.

Glassy Junction pub, November 2005
Glassy Junction pub, November 2005

The bus and commercial vehicle manufacturer AEC was based in Southall, on a 25 hectare (63 acre) triangular site between Windmill Lane, the main Great Western Railway and the branch to Brentford Dock. The company moved here from Walthamstow in 1926 and closed in 1979. The site was familiar to railway passengers from a large sign saying "Builders of London's Buses for 50 years".

Quaker Oats (later part of Pepsico) built a factory in Southall in 1936. Part of the operation making petfoods was sold to Spillers in 1994 and the remainder to Big Bear Group in 2006. The site continues to produce brands such as Sugar Puffs.

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 hectare (90 acre) site has been vacant, due to limited road access and remaining gas infrastructure.

On the Tuesday morning of 2nd September 1958 at 7:10, a pilot of a Viking V624 (G-AIJE) which had just taken off from Heathrow Airport, reported that he had engine trouble. Twenty minutes later it crashed onto houses in Kelvin Gardens. It was on a cargo flight carrying engines to Tel Aviv, and carried no passengers, however seven people on the ground were killed. One of the surviving occupants, Brian Gibbons, a teenager of 14 years of age, was later awarded the George Medal for bravery and also the Carnegie award. [1] The aircraft was owned and operated by Independent Air Travel. The accident was put down to poor maintainable and this crash was the reason given for causing the company out of business year latter in October 1959. [2]

[edit] Culture

Southall Broadway, November 2005
Southall Broadway, November 2005
Station sign in the Latin and Gurmukhi alphabets
Station sign in the Latin and Gurmukhi alphabets

Southall is primarily a South Asian residential district. 1950 was when the first group of South Asians arrived in Southall, due to the closeness of Heathrow Airport, and has since been increasing with many South Asians, primarily Punjabis. According to Commission for Racial Equality over 55% of Southall's population of 70,000 is Indian/Pakistani.[3] One of the Sikh Gurdwaras in Southall won the Ealing Civic Society Architectural Award in 2003. There is also a very strong presence of Somalis in Southall. The Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, which opened in 2003, is the largest Sikh temple outside of India.

There are three Christian churches (Anglican, Roman Catholic and Methodist) and there are three mosques. The main street in Southall is called The Broadway. Southall contains the largest Asian shopping centre in the London area. Southall was the main location for the film Bend It Like Beckham.

Southall has a huge gas tower which is noticeable from miles away. It also has the big 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.

Southall is also the location of the Glassy Junction, which serves several Indian draught beers and was the first pub in the UK to accept payment in Indian rupees. [4] Also the film Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal starring John Abraham and Bipasha Basu was filmed in Glassy junction and outside Iceland.[citation needed]

In the summer of 2007, the fast food restaurant chain McDonald's situated on the Broadway (UB1), changed certain food items on their menu which was originally on a trial basis, to halal and certified halal.

There is now a local community radio station servicing Southall; 91.8 Hayes FM, licensed by Ofcom as part of their drive towards community based radio services.

[edit] Demographics

Southall Broadway Total 2001 Population: 89,275 Male: 49.7% Female: 50.3%

Under 18: 24.8% Over 60: 14%

Born outside UK: 56.51%

White British: 8.73% White Irish: 1.05% White Other: 2.12% Mixed: White and Black: 0.71% Mixed: White and Asian: 0.86% Mixed: Other Mixed: 0.47% Asian: Indian: 54.18% Asian: Pakistani: 11.16% Asian: Bangladeshi: 0.71% Asian: Other: 9.44% Black: Caribbean 2.8% Black: African 4.38% Black: Other 0.28% Chinese: 0.2% Other: 2.92%

Religion Christian: 15.9% Buddhist: 0.57% Hindu: 20.35% Jewish: 0.05% Muslim: 18.86% Sikh: 36.58% Other/None 7.69%

Full time students: 7.5% Graduates 16-74: 28.4% No Qualifications 16-74: 26%

[edit] Transport

Southall is served by Southall railway station on the Great Western Main Line, providing between Heathrow Airport, Reading and Oxford and London Paddington. There is no London Underground station in Southall, the nearest one to the town centre being Osterley station on the Piccadilly line, which is located approximately 2 miles (3.2 km) south. Southhall was also once served as AEC which is a bus manifacturers main base. This is now the great western park.

[edit] Notable people associated with Southall

Trevor Baylis, the inventor grew up in the suburb as did the film director Gurinder Chadha. Other people who were brought up here include: Juggy D, a bhangra singer; Daljit Dhaliwal, news reader and journalist; Nick Knowles, television personality; Mike Ashley, author and editor; Kwame Kwei-Armah, playwright and actor; and Rupinderpal Singh Dhillon, poet. Urban Music producers Panjabi Hit Squad all grew up in Southall and have mentioned in many interviews that their inspiration comes from Southall.

Les Ferdinand, England footballer, once played for Southall F.C. whilst Piara Khabra represented the area in parliament. Avtar Lit, Radio station owner stood as a parliamentary canditate.

Cleo Laine (jazz singer and actress) was born in Southall 1927. Tim Lott, author (his debut The Scent Of Dried Roses is about growing up in Southall) was born here in 1956 as was Rishi Rich, music producer. Ms Scandalous, rapper/MC signed to Panjabi Hit Squad, was born in Southall in 1983

Misty in Roots, reggae band, started life in the area whilst Harjeet Atwal, an author, lives in the area.

[edit] See also

[edit] References

[edit] Further reading

[edit] External links

(Source: Wikipedia)
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