Mill rent increase forces folk club out

The Banbury Cross Pub
The Banbury Cross Pub

Banbury Folk Club has been forced to leave its home of almost 15 years after Mill Arts Centre bosses decided to increase the rent.

The club met weekly at The Mill’s Millers Bar but this month it will move to The Banbury Cross pub in Butchers Row off the High Street.

Club organisers Derek and Mary Droscher said they are sad to be moving but added they are delighted to have found a new and suitable home for the club.

Mrs Droscher, who did not want to specify how much the rent had gone up by, said: “Even though The Mill did offer us a rent reduction it would have still been too expensive for us after paying all the artists and other fees.

“Of course we’re sad to be leaving, but we’re pleased we’ve found this new venue and the landlord has been very welcoming to us.”

The club will be meeting in the function room at the rear of the pub which has its own entrance and holds about 40-50 people.

After a short break, the club is due to be relaunched with a grand opening session on Wednesday, January 29 at 8pm with town mayor Nicholas Turner on hand to open the event.

Mrs Droscher said: “Anyone can come along to perform, or just to meet us and find out what the club is about.

“We are expecting many of our local artists who have performed at the club in the past to join in and the night will be hosted by Bill Bates, a comic singer/songwriter, who has previously compered the Banbury folk concert at Banbury Canal Day.”

The club will be meeting at The Banbury Cross every Wednesday at 8pm with some bigger events planned to be held at Drayton Leisure Centre. Already, on January 22, the club’s annual Burns Supper with Selkie will take place at the leisure centre, complete with a bagpiper, Highland dancers and a haggis, tatties and neeps supper.

Mrs Droscher said that the annual Banbury Folk Festival, which takes place in October with many gigs being held at The Mill, will go ahead but that it is likely to be different to previous years.

The club is currently updating its website at with all the new location information and will be publishing details of the opening night and its forthcoming programme shortly.