Dormers Wells Lane, UB1

Road in/near Southall, existing between the 17th century and now

(51.51297 -0.36445, 51.512 -0.364) 
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Road · Southall · UB1 ·

Dormers Wells Lane is an ancient lane of the area.

Before the 19th century, Dormers Wells had been a tiny hamlet halfway along Dormer’s Wells Lane between the Uxbridge Road and another hamlet called Mount Pleasant. Largely the settlement consisted of a farm of the same name, owned by Lord Jersey.

The manor of Dormers Well (then Dorman’s Well) seems to have developed in the late 16th and 17th centuries from the house and estate of Gregory Fiennes, Lord Dacre. It is said to have taken its name from the medicinal chalybeate springs in the neighbourhood. A certain Ralph Dorman is mentioned in 1294 but nothing further is known of the family. The large house called Dorman’s Well was recorded as in the possession of Robert Cheeseman upon his death in 1547. Records show that there was a chapel, possibly a domestic one, at Dorman’s Well in 1547. Robert Cheeseman left the house or ’great hall’ to Alice Cheeseman as long as she remained a widow. The house in due course became the seat of Lord and Lady Dacre, who had a park surrounding the house.

In 1770 the land comprising Dorman’s Well Farm, amounting to nearly 108 acreas was principally arable. By 1816 it was described merely as a farm rather than a manor.

Suburban development came late - the Ordnance Survey mapping from the last decade of the nineteenth century showed a rural landscape which become built up after the First World War as Southall expanded to be a manufacturing district.

North of Uxbridge Road and east of Dormer’s Wells Lane the course of the West Middlesex Golf Club was laid out in 1890 which protected some of the area from developement though 700 houses were built between 1926 and 1928 at Mount Pleasant.

The area has a large secondary school, Dormers Wells High School, founded in 1930. Dormers Wells Junior School and the adjoining school: Dormers Wells Infant School, were purpose-built in 1954. There is also a community centre and an old people’s home.

Licence: Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike Licence

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None so far :(

Christine D Elliott   
Added: 20 Mar 2023 15:52 GMT   

The Blute Family
My grandparents, Frederick William Blute & Alice Elizabeth Blute nee: Warnham lived at 89 Blockhouse Street Deptford from around 1917.They had six children. 1. Alice Maragret Blute (my mother) 2. Frederick William Blute 3. Charles Adrian Blute 4. Violet Lillian Blute 5. Donald Blute 6. Stanley Vincent Blute (Lived 15 months). I lived there with my family from 1954 (Birth) until 1965 when we were re-housed for regeneration to the area.
I attended Ilderton Road School.
Very happy memories of that time.


Pearl Foster   
Added: 20 Mar 2023 12:22 GMT   

Dukes Place, EC3A
Until his death in 1767, Daniel Nunes de Lara worked from his home in Dukes Street as a Pastry Cook. It was not until much later the street was renamed Dukes Place. Daniel and his family attended the nearby Bevis Marks synagogue for Sephardic Jews. The Ashkenazi Great Synagogue was established in Duke Street, which meant Daniel’s business perfectly situated for his occupation as it allowed him to cater for both congregations.

Dr Paul Flewers   
Added: 9 Mar 2023 18:12 GMT   

Some Brief Notes on Hawthorne Close / Hawthorne Street
My great-grandparents lived in the last house on the south side of Hawthorne Street, no 13, and my grandmother Alice Knopp and her brothers and sisters grew up there. Alice Knopp married Charles Flewers, from nearby Hayling Road, and moved to Richmond, Surrey, where I was born. Leonard Knopp married Esther Gutenberg and lived there until the street was demolished in the mid-1960s, moving on to Tottenham. Uncle Len worked in the fur trade, then ran a pet shop in, I think, the Kingsland Road.

From the back garden, one could see the almshouses in the Balls Pond Road. There was an ink factory at the end of the street, which I recall as rather malodorous.


Added: 7 Mar 2023 17:14 GMT   

Andover Road, N7 (1939 - 1957)
My aunt, Doris nee Curtis (aka Jo) and her husband John Hawkins (aka Jack) ran a small general stores at 92 Andover Road (N7). I have found details in the 1939 register but don’t know how long before that it was opened.He died in 1957. In the 1939 register he is noted as being an ARP warden for Islington warden


Added: 2 Mar 2023 13:50 GMT   

The Queens Head
Queens Head demolished and a NISA supermarket and flats built in its place.

Added: 28 Feb 2023 18:09 GMT   

6 Elia Street
When I was young I lived in 6 Elia Street. At the end of the garden there was a garage owned by Initial Laundries which ran from an access in Quick Street all the way up to the back of our garden. The fire exit to the garage was a window leading into our garden. 6 Elia Street was owned by Initial Laundry.

Added: 21 Feb 2023 11:39 GMT   

Error on 1800 map numbering for John Street
The 1800 map of Whitfield Street (17 zoom) has an error in the numbering shown on the map. The houses are numbered up the right hand side of John Street and Upper John Street to #47 and then are numbered down the left hand side until #81 BUT then continue from 52-61 instead of 82-91.

P Cash   
Added: 19 Feb 2023 08:03 GMT   

Occupants of 19-29 Woburn Place
The Industrial Tribunals (later changed to Employment Tribunals) moved (from its former location on Ebury Bridge Road to 19-29 Woburn Place sometime in the late 1980s (I believe).

19-29 Woburn Place had nine floors in total (one in the basement and two in its mansard roof and most of the building was occupied by the Tribunals

The ’Head Office’ of the tribunals, occupied space on the 7th, 6th and 2nd floors, whilst one of the largest of the regional offices (London North but later called London Central) occupied space in the basement, ground and first floor.

The expansive ground floor entrance had white marble flooring and a security desk. Behind (on evey floor) lay a square (& uncluttered) lobby space, which was flanked on either side by lifts. On the rear side was an elegant staircase, with white marble steps, brass inlays and a shiny brass handrail which spiralled around an open well. Both staircase, stairwell and lifts ran the full height of the building. On all floors from 1st upwards, staff toilets were tucked on either side of the staircase (behind the lifts).

Basement Floor - Tribunal hearing rooms, dormant files store and secure basement space for Head Office. Public toilets.

Geound Floor - The ’post’ roon sat next to the entrance in the northern side, the rest of which was occupied by the private offices of the full time Tribunal judiciary. Thw largest office belonged to the Regional Chair and was situated on the far corner (overlooking Tavistock Square) The secretary to the Regional Chair occupied a small office next door.
The south side of this floor was occupied by the large open plan General Office for the administration, a staff kitchen & rest room and the private offices of the Regional Secretary (office manager) and their deputy.

First Dloor - Tribunal hearing rooms; separate public waiting rooms for Applicants & Respondents; two small rooms used by Counsel (on a ’whoever arrives first’ bases) and a small private rest room for use by tribunal lay members.

Second Floor - Tribunal Hearing Rooms; Tribunal Head Office - HR & Estate Depts & other tennants.

Third Floor - other tennants

Fourth Floor - other tennants

Fifth Floor - Other Tennants except for a large non-smoking room for staff, (which overlooked Tavistock Sqaure). It was seldom used, as a result of lacking any facities aside from a meagre collection of unwanted’ tatty seating. Next to it, (overlooking Tavistock Place) was a staff canteen.

Sixth Floor - Other tennants mostly except for a few offices on the northern side occupied by tribunal Head Office - IT Dept.

Seventh Floor - Other tenants in the northern side. The southern (front) side held the private offices of several senior managers (Secretariat, IT & Finance), private office of the Chief Accuntant; an office for two private secretaries and a stationary cupboard. On the rear side was a small kitchen; the private office of the Chief Executive and the private office of the President of the Tribunals for England & Wales. (From 1995 onwards, this became a conference room as the President was based elsewhere. The far end of this side contained an open plan office for Head Office staff - Secretariat, Finance & HR (staff training team) depts.

Eighth Floor - other tennants.

The Employment Tribunals (Regional & Head Offices) relocated to Vitory House, Kingsway in April 2005.



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Southall is a large suburban district of west London, identified in the London Plan as one of 35 major centres in Greater London. It has one of the largest concentrations of South Asian people outside of the Indian sub-continent.

Southall formed part of the chapelry of Norwood in the ancient parish of Hayes, in the Elthorne hundred of Middlesex. 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.

The main east west road through the town is Uxbridge Road, 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 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. It is listed as a Scheduled Ancient Monument.

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.

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.

A major gas works manufacturing town gas was located between the railway and the canal. In 1932 a large gasholder was built which has been a noticeable landmark ever since as it can be easily observed from a long distance away. Painted on the north east side of the gasholder are the large letters 'LH' and an arrow to assist pilots locate Heathrow Airport's (now closed) runway 23 when making visual approaches. The letters were painted in the mid 1960s after a number of pilots became confused between Heathrow and the nearby RAF Northolt (which has a similar, though smaller, gasholder under its approach at Harrow).

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 London Heathrow Airport. 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.

The signs on the main railway station are bilingual in English and Gurmukhi, which is one of the written scripts of Punjabi.

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Dutch Canal, 1899
TUM image id: 1557403997
Licence: CC BY 2.0
The Broadway, Southall (1952)
TUM image id: 1517932256
Licence: CC BY 2.0

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