Southall Auxiliary
Military Hospital
Maypole Institute, Margarine Road, Southall, UB2 4AU
Medical dates:

Medical character:
1915 - 1919

Convalescent (military)

During WW1 auxiliary military hospitals varied in size.  One of the largest and best equipped was at Southall, organised by the Ealing Voluntary Aid Centre (comprising the Acton, Chiswick, Ealing, Hanwell, Southall, Alperton, Perivale and Greenford Voluntary Aid Detachments).

The hospital was established in the Maypole Institute on Margarine Road (later renamed Merrick Road).  The Institute, built in 1910 at a cost of £13,850, had been a recreation centre for the workforce of the Danish firm, Otto Monsted & Co, a margarine manufacturer and owner of the Maypole Dairy.  Employees paid 6d (2.5p) subscription per month to use the Institute.

In 1915 the workers gave up their Institute for the war effort and also helped to get it ready for its new purpose.  Monsted & Co paid for the heating of the building and the electric lighting, and also for an electrician to attend to the lighting and X-ray installation.  All the beds, bedding and other hospital equipment were provided by local generosity, while members of the Middlesex/6 Voluntary Aid Detachment provided services in various capacities.  Some women living locally were trained nurses and became day and night Sisters for each ward.  Other members of the Detachments possessed certificates in First Aid and home nursing, and worked under the Sisters as probationers.

The Hospital had 85 beds.  The building's large concert room was divided by wooden partitions about 7 feet high to make two wards, each with 24 beds for surgical cases.  Two other large rooms contained wards for medical and surgical cases.  The wards were named after the patron saints of Great Britain and Ireland - St George, St Andrew, St David and St Patrick.

Convalescent patients could relax in a recreation room, as well as in the large and well laid-out grounds.

As well as its own branch canal, the Maypole Dairy had its own railway sidings on the opposite side of the road, on which the main entrance of the Institute opened.  This enabled the wounded and sick to be brought by train almost to the door of the hospital.  The Institute was linked to the Royal Herbert Hospital, becoming one of its auxiliary hospitals for wounded men; it also received sick patients from the Territorial Force in Windsor and its neighbourhood.

By 1917 the Hospital had 107 beds and was affiliated to the Edmonton Military Hospital.  It had a Matron and 6 trained nurses.

The Maypole Institute ceased to be a hospital in 1919.  In 1920 it was given to the people of Southall by Monsted & Co, when it became the Southall Community Centre.

Present status (February 2010)

In July 2008 the building was sold by Ealing Council  for £2.2m to the Go Help Asia Trust, an Asian charity, despite objections from other groups in the area who would be without a centre for communal activities.  In October the Southall Community Association, a regular user of the Centre, were issued with a notice to quit the building.

The Centre has become somewhat dilapidated and is in urgent need of repair.  The Southall Community Association called for volunteers for this work.

Update:  August 2012

The building has been refurbished as a conference and events venue and is opening soon as The Centre.

 Maypole Institute  Maypole Institute
The private siding, as seen from the rail bridge, with the Institute building shown on the centre right behind some trees (left).  Looking along Merrick Road, the railway siding buildings are on the left and the northern side of the Institute on the right (right).

Maupole Institute
The northern elevation of the building.

Maypole Institute  front doors
The entrance to the ex-community centre (left) with its wooden doors (right).  One event was advertised for February 2010.
Maypole Institute  Maypole Institute
The building from the west (left) and from the east (right).

Maypole Institute  Maypole Institute
The eastern elevation (left) and as seen from the turning of Merrick Road (right).

Maypole Institute   Maypole Institute
The former Maypole Dairy site, east of Merrick Road, is now a business centre.

Maypole Institute
The Limes
The Limes, a council-run nursing home, was built in 1966 on the site of the Institute's bowling green and tennis courts, off the northern part of Merrick Road.  The original lime trees from Maypole days remain.

References (Accessed 21st September 2016)

(Author unstated) 1915 Voluntary Aid Detachments.  British Medical Journal 1 (2818), 38-39.

(Author unstated) 1917 List of the various hospitals treating military cases in the United Kingdom.  London, H.M.S.O.

(Author unstated) (undated - ? 1954)  Surrey Branch British Red Cross Society.  Historical Surray April 1907 - 31st December 1953.  Aldershot, John Drew.

Fenn CR 1919 Middlesex to Wit.  London, St Catherine Press.

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