The way we were...

General Foods Sports and Social Club taken in the summer of 1979 by Philip Lucas

General Foods Sports and Social Club taken in the summer of 1979 by Philip Lucas

Pictures of Banbury’s General Foods Sports & Social Club in 1979 have been shared with the Banbury Guardian as members continue to fight plans to demolish the building in favour of an extended 
Castle Quay development.

Banbury amateur photographer Philip Lucas, 79, of Elton Road, shared the images to highlight the extent of development in Banbury town centre over the past 30 years.

He said: “I showed the picture of the GF Club to some of my friends, who could not imagine it was like that not so long ago. It is remarkable to see the changes the town has gone through.”

The images have been shared at a time when the owner of Castle Quay – Scottish Widows Investment Partnership – is seeking to develop further land around the shopping centre with the addition of a supermarket, bars, restaurants, a multiplex cinema and hotel.

The development, due to considered by Cherwell District Council (CDC) in the new year, would result in the GF Club potentially being moved to a new site against the wishes of members. About 1,000 people have signed a petition and 68 letters of objection have been sent to CDC in a bid to prevent the club losing its current location.

Robert Marshall, General Foods Sports & Social Club chairman, said: “The land next to the club was initially ours, but the council bought it off us for a very good price.

“These pictures show how much has changed and it is disgusting to see these plans to get rid of us. We are not going anywhere.”

l Development will bring more people to town centre: Scottish Widows fund manager writes to the Banbury Guardian – see page 40.




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