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banbury old town hall

Banbury Town Hall

Marjory Lester

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extract: -
Banbury Town Hall was the hub of town life. All the business of the town was conducted there. There was the police station, the magistrates court, the lock-ups on the ground floor; the public toilets in the basement, the rates office, the council chambers, where all the council meetings were held. The Mayor's inauguration ceremony and banquet were held there, also town proclamations, declared either from the balcony or from the large double doors leading from the town hall steps, exhibitions, lectures - indeed all social, administrative or educational events.

Whenever there was a new town Mayor there was great festivity. The Mayoress would hold, what was called an 'at home', an afternoon tea for the local ladies. The catering would be supervised, as a rule, by Brown's Cake Shop. Browns would provide the best china, silver teapots and tea urns, with the tea laid out on beautiful white table-clothes. The Mayor's Banquet, invitation only, was a very grand and prestigious affair. Chapmans, the best local furnishing shop, would provide drapes for the windows, gilt chairs and little tables, carpets for the main room, red carpeting for the stairs and corridors, decorations, flowers, potted palms and long dining tables with snowy white clothes. Music would also be provided by Mr. Webb or Mr. Chidzey's orchestra.