At Dairy Meadow we are constantly thinking about how to improve our curriculum and how best to get our children ready for the future. At times however it is important to look back at some of the fascinating history of the local Southall area. Below are some facts that might surprise you about the local area.
Martin Brothers Pottery:
Did you know that from1873 to 1914 there was an incredibly famous pottery works here in Southall? If you've ever wondered why some parts of Southall are higher than others, it's because the Martin Brothers Pottery took the clay from the soil to make their goods.
The four brothers (Wallace, Walter, Charles and Edwin) produced a distinctive type of stoneware pottery Their output included both vessels and figures. They were best known for their bird sculptures and bowls, vessels decorated with sea creatures, and tiles, fashioned in a whimsical but highly skillful style. One of their most famous designs was the "Wally Birds" which generally have a large and rather fierce-looking beak, massive feet and talons, and a quizzical look in their large eyes.
Martinware, especially the sculptural pieces, is very popular with collectors, and as of 2015 the record auction price was £115,000 for a bird jar.
Southall Greyhound Racing Stadium:
If you look at an old picture of Southall you would see a bizarre looking oval where our neighbour, Havelock School, now stands. This was the Southall Greyhound Stadium where dog racing used to take place for the local community and those travelling from further afield.
The track opened on 24 October 1931. The racing was independent (not connected to the sports governing body the National Greyhound Racing Club). It was known as a flapping track which was the nickname given to independent tracks. The track was described as a large all grass circuit. Race nights were Monday and Friday at 7.30pm with trials held on Tuesday afternoons. Race distances consisted of 270, 450 and 625 yards and large amounts of money were often won but mostly lost!
Southall Film Studios:
Southall Studios was a film studio that operated between 1924 and 1958. Who needs Hollywood hey?!
The studio was constructed on the site of a former aircraft hanger by the silent film director and producer G.B. Samuelson. The original buildings were destroyed in a fire in 1936, but the studio was rebuilt. Following the First World War, the studio was used for feature film production meaning lots of famous actors came to Ealing to shoot their movies. Later, it was used for television programmes such as Colonel March of Scotland Yard broadcast in 1955 and 1956.