Oxford Welsh Male Voice Choir

Founded in 1928...

Book Cover

Celebrate our first 90 years.

CHAPTER 1:  ‘The Party’ is formed
“Miners of no fixed abode.” (From court reports circa 1929)

1928 was a memorable year in Oxford for many reasons.  It was the year of ‘The Great Snowfall’ (and subsequent floods), Oxford lost The Boat Race by ten lengths, The Oxford English Dictionary was completed and published …. and The Cowley Male Voice Choir, known as ‘The Party’, was formed. 
Cowley, for centuries a small village separated from Oxford by treacherous marshes, was rapidly growing to become an industrial suburb.  William Morris’s car factory had expanded during the First Word War and was joined in 1926 by Pressed Steel Ltd, makers of car bodies.  In 1928 MG opened a factory in Cowley.  The vast acres of Florence Park were lush meadows, as yet undeveloped.
In South Wales, the post-war boom was short-lived and was followed by an appalling depression.  The mining communities were particularly badly hit.  The owners were reluctant to modernise and many collieries were closed.  The General Strike of 1926 lasted nine days but few outside Wales remember that the miners remained on strike for much longer, in some areas as long as nine months. The choice for many, especially younger men, was to rely on hand-outs or leave home to seek work elsewhere.  The depression politicised young Welshmen.  Many would have been on the Hunger March to London in November 1927.  Some who marched later became trade union leaders in Cowley.................


Do you want to read much more about the choirs 90 year history and look at the many pictures?

Then buy our new choir history,... 'From The Valleys to the Spires'...

Only £5 at concerts or £7.50 by post

(Or from sharron.jenkinson@gmail.com)