Headington history: Articles in the press

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Club Feasts in Headington in 1849

Article in Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 2 June 1849, p. 3:


On Monday last, being Whit Monday, the village Clubs in almost every part of the county celebrated their anniversaries, but the weather was most unpropitious for such celebrations.

The Club feasts of Headington were held on the following day, when sunshine and a bright sky added greatly to the enjoyment of this festive occasion. In this village there are no less than three Clubs — one assembling at the Britannia Tavern, on the road side; another at the Chequers, in the Quarry; and the other at the Black Boy, in Headington. The members of the Britannia and Quarry clubs went in procession to church, the Headington band accompanied the former, and the Royal Thame Brass Band, commanded by the veteran Jacques, attended the Quarry Club. An excellent discourse was preached on the occasion by the Vicar, the Rev. Mr. Pring, who dwelt with much force and eloquence on the Benefit and Provident Societies. After service the Clubs dined at their respective taverns.

The largest number sat down at the Chequers, in the Quarry, where about 150 of the members partook of an excellent dinner provided with great abundance and excellence by the hostess, Mrs. Googdame. B. Ballachey, Esq. presided, and introduced the usual toasts with very appropriate remarks. The Thame band enlivened the proceedings by playing at intervals in their well known and superior style. Great credit is due to Mr Hampton, Mr. Coppock, and other gentlemen, who assisted in all the arrangements, and who dealt out with a liberal hand, to all visitors at their own homes, true and hearty hospitality. The Quarry Club is under the patronage of that “fine old English gentleman,” G. V. Drury, Esq., who, with his wonted liberaility and kindess of heart, has spared neither pains nor money to place it on a firm and satisfactory footing. It must be gratifying to him, as well as to all the members, to see that his wishes have been fully realized, for at the present time there are upwards of 150 subscribing members, and the Society's funds amount to above 400l.

When this feast was held, on 29 May 1849, there was only one Headington village, and one church, St Andrew's. Just six months after these club feasts, on Thursday 22 November 1849, Holy Trinity Church was consecrated and the Headington Quarry area became a separate parish.

Mr George Baker Ballachey who presided over the Quarry dinner was a solicitor who lived with his wife in Bury Knowle House.

George Vandeput Drury, Esq., the patron of the Quarry Village Club, was the owner of Shotover House, and he died there at the age of 72 the following year (25 November 1850). He was the son of Richard Vere Drury, Esq. by his first wife Frances Vandeput (the only daughter of Sir George Vandeput, Bart and Mary Schutz, who was in turn the daughter of Baron Augustus Schutz, of Shotover House).

© Stephanie Jenkins

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