infobox UK place
country = England
map_type = Greater London
region= London
official_name= Southall
latitude= 51.5121
longitude= -0.3779
os_grid_reference= TQ125805
london_borough= Ealing
post_town= SOUTHALL
postcode_area= UB
postcode_district= UB1, UB2
dial_code= 020
constituency_westminster= Ealing Southall

Southall is a suburb in the London Borough of Ealing, West London. It is situated convert|10.7|mi|km|1 west of Charing Cross. Neighbouring places include Yeading, Hayes, Hanwell, Heston, Hounslow, Greenford and Northolt.

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 Southall Norwood Urban District of Middlesex was formed in 1894, from the Southall Norwood Local Government District that had been created in 1891. In 1936 the urban district was granted a charter of incorporation and became a municipal borough, renamed Southall. [cite vob|url=|
] 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. [cite vob|url=|name=Ealing LB|

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 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 centered on the historic Tudor-styled Manor House [ [ Photo of Southall, the Manor House 1965] ] 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. The 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 the Uxbridge Road in the first half of the 20th century before they were replaced by standard diesel-engined buses in 1960 [ [ Route 607Picture Gallery] ] .

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 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.

A branch rail line from Southall Station to the Brentford Docks on the Thames was also built by Brunel in 1856. It features one of his (impressive for the period) engineering works, the Three Bridges where Windmill Lane, the Railway and the Grand Union Canal all intersect - the canal being carried over the rail line in a metal trough. 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 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.

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 after losing market share as part of the giant British Leyland group. 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. Other engineering, paint and food processing factories prospered for many years - mostly alongside the railway and/or canal.

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.

During World War II Southall was the target of enemy bombing on a number of occasions. On one occasion a German V-1 flying bomb destroyed a number of houses, killing the occupants, in Regina Rd. [ [ Under Attack: Living with the Bombsby cambslibs] ]

On the Tuesday morning of 2 September 1958 at 7:10, 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 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, Brian Gibbons, a teenager of 14 years of age, was later awarded the George Medal for bravery and also the Carnegie Award. [ British Pathe News (1959) [ Brave boy rewarded] . Accessed 2008-04-27] The aircraft was owned and operated by Independent Air Travel. The accident was put down to poor maintenance and this crash was the reason given for causing the company out of business year later in October 1959. [ Ealing Gazette (Oct. 19 2007) Seven Killed as A Viking plane smashes houses.]

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 freight train just outside Southall Station. Seven people died and 139 were injured.


Southall is primarily a South Asian residential district. 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 Heathrow Airport. The most significant cultural group to settle in Southall are Indian Punjabis. According to the Commission for Racial Equality over 55% of Southall's population of 70,000 is Indian/Pakistani. [ [ Equality and Human Rights Commission - home page ] ] . There is also a very strong, more recent, presence of Somalis in Southall who left Africa during and after the violent Somali civil war.

There are ten Sikh Gurdwaras in Southall and one of the Gurdwaras has won the Ealing Civic Society Architectural Award in 2003. The Gurdwara Sri Guru Singh Sabha, which opened in 2003, is one of the largest Sikh temple outside India. There are two large Hindu 'Mandir' temples, the Vishnu Hindu Mandir on Lady Margaret Road and the Ram Mandir in Old Southall. There are three Christian churches (Anglican, Roman Catholic and Methodist). There are three mosques.

Earlier, in the 1920s and 1930s Southall was the destination of many Welsh migrants escaping from the harsh economic conditions of their homeland. For many years, Welsh accents were very commonplace in the area [ [] ] .

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 internationally acclaimed 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. 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 [ [ Boeing 707-321, N725PA, Pan American World Airways (PA / PAA)] ] and a number of other pilots were en route there when warned off by air traffic control.

Southall is also the location of the Glassy Junction public house, which serves several Indian draught beers and was the first pub in the UK to accept payment in Indian rupees. [ Read Reviews of London Bars, Pubs and Clubs on Time Out London. Whether you Prefer to Drink Beer, Wine or Cocktails, London can Offer a Bar or Pub to Suit Your Drinking Desires - Time Out London ] ] Also the film Dhan Dhana Dhan Goal starring John Abraham and Bipasha Basu was filmed in Glassy junction and outside Iceland supermarket. Fact|date=April 2007

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; Westside 89.6FM, licensed by Ofcom as part of their drive towards community-based radio services.

The local football club Southall F.C. has a long history, having been formed in 1871. In 2007/08 they played in the Middlesex County League Division One (Central & East).


Southall BroadwayTotal 2001 Population: 89,275Male: 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%

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%

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, newsreader 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. Ms Scandalous, a rapper/MC signed to Panjabi Hit Squad, was born in Southall in 1983.

Chris Highton, musician and radio presenter was educated at Southall Grammar Technical School (now Villiers High) in the 1960s [ [ BBC - Leicester - Entertainment - The Radio Leicester All Star Band ] ] [ [ BBC - Leicester - Local Radio - Chris Highton ] ]

Les Ferdinand, England footballer, once played for Southall F.C..

Cleo Laine (internationally famous jazz singer and actress) was born in Southall in 1927 and brought up in Clarence Street. She attended Featherstone Road School. 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.

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

Film actress Hayley Mills lived at Friars Lawn, a historic house at Norwood Green, Southall, in the late 1970s to 1980 [ [I] ] .

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. [ [ Sir Leslie Murphy - Telegraph ] ]

Syd Bidwell represented Southall in parliament from 1966 to 1982, succeeded by Piara Khabra from 1992 to 2007 and Virendra Sharma from 2007 onwards. Radio station owner Avtar Lit stood as a parliamentary canditate; his son Tony Lit followed in his footsteps, standing in the 2007 by-election.

Samina Malik (also known as the "Lyrical Terrorist"), the first woman to be convicted (Conviction then quashed on appeal) under the UK's 2006 Terrorism Act, was brought up and educated in Southall.

Local landmarks

(see above for more information)
* Gasometer which 320ft high, making it visible from miles away. 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 [ [ Boeing 707-321, N725PA, Pan American World Airways (PA / PAA)] ] and a number of other pilots were en route there when warned off by air traffic control.

* Wharncliffe Viaduct. An imposing structure 900 ft long and 65 ft high. Situated the north side of the Uxbridge Road on the border with Hanwell.

* Manor House, The Green, Southall, UB2 4BJ

* Naval gun on the junction of Tentelow lane with Windmill Lane.

* Brunel's Three Bridges.

Political representation

Southall is part of the parliamentary constituency of Ealing Southall, represented since 2007 by Labour Member of Parliament Virendra Sharma.

Southall is made up of two electoral wards for local council elections: Southall Broadway and Southall Green, which both elect councillors to Ealing Council. Southall Broadway has two Conservative councillors and one Labour councillor. Southall Green has three Labour councillors. Ealing Council is currently run by a Conservative administration.

Political status of Ealing Council:
* Conservatives: 43 seats
* Labour: 23 seats
* Liberal Democrats: 3 seats

Southall is in the Greater London Authority (GLA) constituency of "Ealing & Hillingdon" which has one GLA member: Richard Barnes (Conservative), who was re-elected in May 2008.


Southall is served by Southall railway station on the Great Western Main Line, providing links to Heathrow Airport, Reading and Oxford as well as 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 convert|2|mi|km south.

Frequent bus services link Southall with all neighbouring suburbs and London Heathrow Airport.

There is an express coach service between Southall and Birmingham which specialises in serving the many family connections in both areas' South Asian populations.

See also

*Blair Peach, anti-racist campaigner was killed in a riot in Southall in 1979.
*Southall rail crash
*Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College which has a campus on Beaconsfield Road in Southall.


Further reading

* [ 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]

External links

* [ An article about eating in Southall]
* [ Canalside Sculptural Mural, Southall]
* [ Southall Film Studios Research Project]
* [ London Mainline Steam Group, restoring locomotives for mainline operation]
* [ Southall Railway Centre]
* [ Photos of the area]
* [ Image of the Gas tower with "LH" written on the side]
* [ Southall in World War II]
* [ A film of trolleybuses in the Southall area]
* [ Contact details] for Southall Broadway councillors Jagdish Gupta, Zahida Abbas Noori & Manjit Singh
* [ Contact details] for Southall Green councillors Jasbir Anand, Kamalji S Dhinda & Swarn Singh Kang

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