Friday, 26 May 2017

A tour around old Southall

 A tour around old Southall 

When: Sunday, June 4th 2017            Time: 2:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Meeting point: Southall Railway Station exit, South Road, Southall UB2 TAA

This walk will take us around the historic part of Southall. The tour will last around three hours so there will be plenty of time for chatting, getting to know one another and a bit of networking. Do you know there are people who have found a job owing to our tours?
We will meet on Sunday, June 4th, at 2 pm outside Southall Station and walk towards the Elizabethan Manor House and the War Memorial set in the park.
On the way we plan to visit the largest importers of Indian musical instruments in Europe, an Indian ladies clothes shop and a picture gallery/framing shop.
No visit to Southall can be complete without seeing the various religious sites where the Hindu, Sikhs, Christians and Muslim meet to pray only a short walk from one another.
A tour of the largest Gurdwara outside India is an experience not to be missed. Mind you, of what I know, the Sikh temple volunteers will want to make sure we are not hungry before we leave. At every Gurdwara, a blessed vegetarian meal is served.
We will also see an old cemetery where the famous Martinware pottery makers, the Martin Brothers, are buried. We will pass by many shops and stalls which will make us feel as if we were on the Indian subcontinent, not in Greater London.
Southall’s industrial past will get a mention too. If we have enough energy, we can also explore the area around the Grand Union Canal before we go back to the Southall Station.
The cost is £10 per person and children can join free but are your responsibility.

Here are some pictures I took in Southall to give you a taster of the tour:

Southall Manor is undergoing a revamp, like Pitzhanger Manor in Ealing Broadway 

 When I visited StAnselm's Church in Southall, the Indian Christian service was just about to finish. Afterwards I spoke to some people there and also was invited to have some vegetarian food which I shared with a homeless man outside the church.  There is so much poverty around. So many people cannot manage on their own. I have just read an article in The Guardian about three teachers who became homeless despite having a steady school job. They couldn't afford a rent as their salaries were frozen, but the rents kept going up.
 Many people think the building in the distance is a castle!
 That looks interesting!
Why not go in?

This shop sells music instruments from India and is really big. They are part of the Bina Musical Stores group. You can read on their website that : 'BINA? MUSICAL STORES was established over FIFTY years ago, at a time when India was still reeling under its newly acquired independence from the British, during a time of financial and technical scarcity. The founders of BINA?MUSICAL STORES were keen visionaries and men of strict principles who also always listened to what the customer wanted rather than tell him what they had to offer, because of which our instruments are popular for their ease of use and adaptability to any environment.'

After the music shop, I was attracted to another shop on the way because of the vibrant clothes some ladies inside there were wearing. They were from Ghana, at least the ones who I managed to communicate with. Language was a bit of a barrier. I didn't ask them to let me take pictures.

Then I took a left turn to visit this church:
The afternoon service for Christians from India was coming to an end.
Afterwards, I talked to some churchgoers who offered some vegetarian food.

Having returned to the main street I captured this sight:

Doesn't Southall have it all?;-)

Then it was time to visit the largest Sikh Temple in London
 These lovely ladies agreed to pose for me!

You won't be hungry here!

The most important place in any Gurdwara is the main hall.

If you are a Sikh, you wear a bangle like these.

The food is served on a tray like the one below. Mine was a tasting portion as I had already had some Indian food at the church and was more curious than hungry. Besides, it didn't seem right to refuse it. It all tasted great.
People were eating while sitting on the floor or standing by the tables. There were some seats on the side for those less able to stand or sit on the floor.

 You have to cover your head in a Gurdwara!

There is an old cemetery opposite the Sikh temple. I remember walking there a year or two ago in search of certain graves. This time I didn't go there because It was raining when I left the Gurdwara.
 The rain quickly turned into a downpour and I found shelter at the bus stop before heading back home along the Grand Union Canal.

That's the temple as seen from the bus stop:

Back on the canal path I could enjoy the fresh, ozone-filled air and the way the freshly washed world looked.:-) 

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