EIGHTY years ago a new housing estate sprang up in Oxford as workers flocked here to work in the booming car industry.

This year, the community in Florence Park will mark the birthday of the estate with a series of events – kicking off on Saturday with a 1930s-style tea dance.

The Florence Park estate was built in 1934 to meet growing demand for family housing, following the rapid expansion of William Morris’s car factory and the Oxford Steel Company.

The park itself was given as gift to the city council by Frederick Moss and named in memory of his sister, Florence.

Stella Bell, chairman of the Florence Park Community Association, said: “I have only lived here a few years, but I have fallen in love with the area.

“We want to make this year really special and there will be events across the year to help everyone celebrate the birthday.

“The estate has been known for its street parties and we will make sure that continues with one this year, probably in the summer months when it is, hopefully, a bit warmer.

“The dance on Saturday should be really great. It seemed so appropriate to have it in the 1930s theme and we really hope people will come in their best 1930s garb to kick the celebrations off.

“It is such a lovely and active community, so I am sure the events this year will be of huge interest to those living here. Many people have lived here for a very long time and this will be a special time for them.”


  •  M Goldsmith, M Barson and E Davies playing draughts in the community centre in 1963

The Florence Park Residents’ Association was formed in 1949, and work started on the community centre in 1952.

The ticketed event is open to all and will be held this Saturday from 3pm to 6pm. It will include a dance class, a cream tea and a sing-song round the piano.

There will be a prize for the best-dressed guest.

  • For further details of planned events and activities for the rest of the year see florencepark80th.weebly.com Contact the community centre at florenceparkcommunity centre@gmail.com or call 07864 028591. For tickets visit wegottickets.com/event/255761

FURTHER events planned for the year include:

  • Street Party (residents only)
  • Party in the Park on Saturday, June 21
  • Best Front Garden Competition (residents only)
  • Florence Park Art Trail – “a celebration of residents’ creativity”
  • A gathering and exhibition of 80 stories for 80 years