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Speaker Report: The Wintergardens – Oct 2023

If you have only lived in Banbury since the 1990’s, the chances are that you will never have heard of the Wintergardens. Our Friday speaker, Bob Dainty, is so keen to keep its memory alive that he is trying to interest the “Powers that Be” to erect a Blue Plaque near the site.

It was entered through a passage of the Inn Within, a pub which was located just a few yards down the High Street from Banbury Cross. Built in the early 1950s, it was a large hall capable of holding an audience of several hundred and was the centre for much of the town’s entertainment. There were dances most Saturday nights which attracted nationally known dance bands from London – Ciril Fletcher et all. Jazz was also all the rage at the time, but as rock and roll took over, groups such as the Rolling Stones were introduced to Banbury audiences.

Other events at the Wintergardens included wrestling, roller-skating, Miss Banbury contests and trade exhibitions to name just a few, but in the mid 1980’s and with the owner, Mrs. Usher, unable to find a buyer, the Wintergardens closed and was demolished. We wish Bob luck in his quest for a Blue Plaque.




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