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Headington history: Shops

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Holyoake Hall


The large art deco building of Holyoake Hall stands on the site of Holyoake Terrace (a row of houses built by the Co-op for its Headington employees in 1907 and named after George Jacob Holyoake, an important man in the Co-op movement, who had died the previous year). In 1938 the terrace was demolished and replaced by Holyoake Hall, which had shops at ground level (which were used by the Co-op) and a dance hall upstairs.

Until 1980, all the shops on the ground floor of Holyoake Hall at 126–134 London Road (then owned by University College) remained part of the Headington Co-op. The Co-op stretched around the corner into Windmill Road, with the present Buckell & Ballard offices a haberdashery on the ground floor and a ladies’ outfitter on the first floor, while Queen’s was a Co-op grocery.

In 1956 the dance hall upstairs closed, and by 1959 it was a Co-op furniture showroom (including carpets). In 1968 it opened as the Plaza Bingo Hall (later Zetter’s Bingo), and finally it was a snooker hall.

When the Co-op moved to its present site on Stile Road in 1980, the five ground-floor units of Holyoake Hall were let out separately.

Holyoake Hall in August 2007

 

Unit 5

Unit 4

Unit 3

1958–
1980

Co-op ladies’
hairdresser
& chemist

Co-op
shoe shop

Co-op
greengrocer,
later furniture

1980

Pet World

Ladbroke’s

Queenie’s
coffee room

c.1984

American
Pizza Co.

1990

Domino’s Pizza

1995

Domino’s
Pizza

Oxford
Kebab
House

1998

2001

Café
Bonjour

(renamed QL
in 2009 but
returned to
old name)


2007–
2010

Betfred

2011

2012

Domino’s Pizza

 

Unit 2

Unit 1

1958–
1980

Co-op
fresh fish

Co-op
Butcher’s

1980

Charity shop

then

Focus
Electronics

then

Cake shop

Denton’s
Greengrocer’s

c.1984

1990

1995

1998

2001

Matthew Clulee
Hairdresser

Co-op
Travel Care

Co-op
Funeral Service

2007–
2010

2011

Laura Loves Flowers

2013–
present

D.L. Hancock Ltd
Funeral Directors

 

Holyoake Hall in the 1990s

Holyoake Hall in August 2007

Two planning applications for change of use for the shops of Holyoake Hall were granted in 1977 and 1980:

  • In 1977 Ladbroke’s of 10 Windmill Road obtained advance permission to change Unit 4 from retail to licensed betting shop (77/00717/A_H)
  • In 1980 the Queen of Hearts of 3 Windmill Road obtrained permission to change Unit 3 from retail shop to coffee room, to include the sale of take-away food and party catering (80/00576/NF). Domino’s Pizza took this take-away over in 1990. Four years later in 1994 Domino’s split Unit 3 in half, and the Oxford Kebab House took the right-hand side of this A3 unit.

In 2003 Holyoake Hall was sold by University College to property developers W.E. Black Ltd of Chesham, and the following planning application was approved the following year:

  • 04/01349/FUL: Change of use of upper floor from snooker club, flat, storage and ancillary use to 10x1 bedroom maisonettes, 2x2 bedroom maisonettes, 2x2 bedroom flats and 1x2 bedroom loft apartment. Single storey extensions at roof level. New entrance screen and canopy on Holyoake Road frontage. Minor external alterations and provision of gates, bin store and covered bicycle stand.

The former dance hall upstairs was duly converted into flats.

© Stephanie Jenkins

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