Gala night for GF Club’s Golden anniversary


The GF Sports and Social Club was built to provide a members’ club for General Foods staff moving to the area

Banbury’s GF Club will celebrate its golden anniversary tomorrow at a Gala night featuring four bands and plenty of memories of the fifty years the club has kept Banbury entertained.

The club was built in 1972 after it was realised many of the workforce from General Foods had moved from the industrial midlands to a market town with no local equivalent of a members’ club.   The opening took place on the 26th of October, performed by the then Minister for Sport, Eldon Griffiths.

At the time the building stood in open fields next to the Oxford canal with what is now the JDE factory clearly visible in the distance.   The original intention was that the GF Club would form part of a new Spiceball Park sports complex, complete with an arts centre and marina.

Fifty years on and the GF Club is now surrounded by the new Castle Quay development, a supermarket and accommodation for the elderly.   It continues to thrive offering bingo, darts, a snooker room, aunt sally and a meeting place for a variety of local clubs.

Linda Hollies served as a manager at the GF Club from 2004 to 2018 and still covers the role when needed.   It’s a job she really enjoys.   Linda said: “Its like a family here.   It’s a wonderful way to keep in touch with people and the community.”

Recently the club raised enough money to purchase a lifesaving defibrillator, which will be installed soon.

Tomorrow’s celebration is expected to see 200 people attend a sell-out Gala night.   The line-up includes The New Casuals, who were born from the 60s band The Casuals – best known for their hit “Jesamine” which reached number 2 in 1968.   Little Miss 60s, The Stingrays and Now & Then will also perform sets.

Published: by Banbury FM Newsteam

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