• Mon. May 20th, 2024

Cowley Workers’ Social Club get ready for a big day out


Aug 1, 2022

Everyone in a jacket and tie, with crates of refreshment centre stage! What better way to prepare for a day out.

These men were preparing to leave Oxford on one of the regular outings to a football match or other event of interest.

The picture from the 1950s comes from reader Leo Catney, whose father Les is among the group ready to set off on the journey.

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Mr Catney, of Glebelands, Headington, writes: “They are probably members of the Cowley Workers’ Social Club, a home from home for the incoming from all over the British Isles who were attracted by work at the Cowley car factories.

“The children of members were catered for, too. Annual outings to Wicksteed Park or Dudley Zoo saw coaches lining both sides of Between Towns Road at Cowley ready to take us on a great day out.

“I am sure many locals remember the fun and adventure these trips provided and the uncertainty of pre-motorway travel.”

Cowley Workers’ Social Club in Between Towns Road is one of the city’s oldest surviving clubs and is approaching its 100th anniversary.

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It was formed in 1929 as the Morris Motors and Pressed Steel car factories expanded and recruited an increasing number of workers from depressed areas like Wales. Hundreds of families moved to Oxford with the prospect of securing jobs with higher wages. The club is still thriving with a membership of about 750. It is in regular use by young and elderly groups, organises musical evenings and has men’s and women’s darts, snooker, pool and Aunt Sally teams.

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It also supports local football and other sports teams and over the years, has raised thousands of pounds for local charities.

Many readers will also remember the South Midland coach company which ran regular services from Gloucester Green in Oxford to London.

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This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Andy.ffrench@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailAndyF