Once a group of immigrants settles in a place, others from the same country tend to join them to be with people like themselves. So a community builds up with shops to suit it, and then often the original local people start to feel that it doesn't feel like it's Britain any more and they move out. There...
Best answer: Once a group of immigrants settles in a place, others from the same country tend to join them to be with people like themselves. So a community builds up with shops to suit it, and then often the original local people start to feel that it doesn't feel like it's Britain any more and they move out. There are areas like this all over the country. In particular, Southall is close to Heathrow Airport so it was a convenient place to settle. (Hounslow is even closer, so Hounslow tends to get every wave of immigrants there is - it has a lot of Indians, and now it has a lot of Poles too. Where else could you buy Polish food in a shop run by Indians who probably don't even understand the language on the labels? Been there, seen it...)
Talking of Poles, the same thing happened in Ealing A Polish community built up after WWII, though it's not as obvious as the Indians and Pakistanis in Southall, and the most obvious sign of that is the Polish Catholic Church. It used to be Ealing Broadway Methodist Church, the Methodists dwindled and couldn't afford to keep it any more, so they moved in with the Congregationalists in their church on Ealing Green (which is now Ealing Green Methodist/URC) and sold it to Ealing Council, who dithered for years about what to do with a redundant church they couldn't demolish because it's a listed building, and eventually the Catholics bought it. So if you want to experience Mass in Polish, go to Ealing! At least it's still being used for its original purpose.
I grew up in Southall - remember the building on South Road built in Chinese pagoda style? It's been turned into a covered shopping centre but I remember it as the Liberty Cinema, showing Bollywood films. Then videos became available and people stopped going to the cinema, so something else had to be done with it - like that church, it can't be demolished because it's a listed building because of the Chinese-style architecture.
It's a natural phenomenon. Immigrants tend to stick together because they miss home. I certainly remember other pupils at school in Southall who would disappear to India for weeks with their parents to visit family. Things might change as later generations are born who have no memory of "home" except perhaps as somewhere to visit. But for now, it is as it is.
2 weeks ago