What’s in a name for ‘Cowley’ pub?

Ed Chipperfield at The Cowley Retreat

Ed Chipperfield at The Cowley Retreat

First published in News thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by

WELCOME to the new Cowley Retreat pub – but you’ll have to retreat more than a mile to reach the Oxford suburb it is named after.

The former Hobgoblin in Cowley Road, East Oxford, has renamed itself after Cowley, despite the fact the pub is not in or even within sight of the area.

The pub opens on Saturday after a refurbishment. Owner Punch Taverns has also applied to extend the opening hours.

Currently the pub can serve alcohol until 11pm. Managers are now seeking to keep the bar open until 12.30am from Sunday to Thursday and 1.30am on Fridays and Saturdays, with a half-hour drinking up period.

But while the plans may have gone down well with drinkers, residents have expressed reservations.

Ed Chipperfield, chairman of the nearby James Street Residents’ Association, and a spokesman for the East Oxford Residents’ Association Forum, has objected to the application, and called on others to do so.

He said: ”Cowley Road is a very attractive place with real cachet, and I am sure they are trying to tap into that. But they haven’t quite got it right.

They are quite far from Cowley itself, and this area isn’t really associated with Cowley, or the Cowley works, at all.”

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Mr Chipperfield said: “Pub kicking out time is 11.30pm round here, after which people disperse and go home by midnight. But this application means people will be leaving the venue at 1am. There is nothing to do in Cowley Road midweek at 1am, so people will congregate on the streets.”

He said Cowley Road was surrounded by a residential area filled with families.

Punch Taverns spokesman Leila Maia said: “The new licensees have decided to re-name the pub to fit in with their current business model, and we look forward to working in partnership with them to build a successful, sustainable business.

“We have applied to extend the licensing hours to attract a wider audience and we have installed a porch area to the rear of the pub to prevent any noise spreading to the local residents.”

Last summer, a closing-down party was held for regulars, and the future of the pub looked uncertain until Punch Taverns said it was looking to let the hostelry.

Former landlord Rick Windell, who ran the Hobgblin for three-and-a-half years, disappeared in May 2011 after an alleged assault at the pub. A 42-year-old was later cautioned in connection with the assault.

fbardsley@oxfordmail.co.uk

Comments (30)

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8:57pm Thu 26 Apr 12

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

This is pedantic whingeing. What next - The Cape of Good Hope should change its name because it isn't in Africa?
This is pedantic whingeing. What next - The Cape of Good Hope should change its name because it isn't in Africa? Milkbutnosugarplease
  • Score: 1

11:18pm Thu 26 Apr 12

cynicality says...

It's ON the Cowley Road, so what on earth is the objection to calling it after that?
It's ON the Cowley Road, so what on earth is the objection to calling it after that? cynicality
  • Score: 0

12:01am Fri 27 Apr 12

gymrat34 says...

I have to agree with the first two comments and add, is this actually news Oxford Mail?
I have to agree with the first two comments and add, is this actually news Oxford Mail? gymrat34
  • Score: 0

12:25am Fri 27 Apr 12

profgeof2000 says...

Good to see they have extended their hours - to cater to the binge-drinking crowd!
Good to see they have extended their hours - to cater to the binge-drinking crowd! profgeof2000
  • Score: 0

12:49am Fri 27 Apr 12

SteveOX4 says...

gymrat34 wrote:
I have to agree with the first two comments and add, is this actually news Oxford Mail?
Majority of their stories are not newsworthy.

Also if the pub was not on Cowley Road the name would have been more of an issue. They would have been better off calling it "The Cowley Road Retreat".
[quote][p][bold]gymrat34[/bold] wrote: I have to agree with the first two comments and add, is this actually news Oxford Mail?[/p][/quote]Majority of their stories are not newsworthy. Also if the pub was not on Cowley Road the name would have been more of an issue. They would have been better off calling it "The Cowley Road Retreat". SteveOX4
  • Score: 0

1:23am Fri 27 Apr 12

gymrat34 says...

SteveOX4 wrote:
gymrat34 wrote:
I have to agree with the first two comments and add, is this actually news Oxford Mail?
Majority of their stories are not newsworthy.

Also if the pub was not on Cowley Road the name would have been more of an issue. They would have been better off calling it "The Cowley Road Retreat".
But it is on the Cowley Road. If it wasn't on the Cowley Road you likely wouldn't have the same comments above.
[quote][p][bold]SteveOX4[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gymrat34[/bold] wrote: I have to agree with the first two comments and add, is this actually news Oxford Mail?[/p][/quote]Majority of their stories are not newsworthy. Also if the pub was not on Cowley Road the name would have been more of an issue. They would have been better off calling it "The Cowley Road Retreat".[/p][/quote]But it is on the Cowley Road. If it wasn't on the Cowley Road you likely wouldn't have the same comments above. gymrat34
  • Score: 0

8:07am Fri 27 Apr 12

Freakazoid says...

i renamed my imaginary cat Mrs Sunshine yet it loves playing in the rain. go figures!
i renamed my imaginary cat Mrs Sunshine yet it loves playing in the rain. go figures! Freakazoid
  • Score: 0

8:58am Fri 27 Apr 12

PaulSte says...

Another cack-handed attempt at injecting controversy were there is none. Another case of the OM destroying its own credibility.
Another cack-handed attempt at injecting controversy were there is none. Another case of the OM destroying its own credibility. PaulSte
  • Score: 0

9:16am Fri 27 Apr 12

andrewt88 says...

This is the most pointless story I think I've read on here. This isn't about the name at all. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it being called 'Cowley' Retreat. This is about the licensing application and OM trying to create a controversial story. And @profgeof2000 later licensing hours does not necessarily cause binge drinking. There's just as much case to be had that pubs shutting at 11 make people go out earlier, drink faster and let everyone out onto the street at the same time, therefore increasing the chances of aggravated trouble.
This is the most pointless story I think I've read on here. This isn't about the name at all. There's absolutely nothing wrong with it being called 'Cowley' Retreat. This is about the licensing application and OM trying to create a controversial story. And @profgeof2000 later licensing hours does not necessarily cause binge drinking. There's just as much case to be had that pubs shutting at 11 make people go out earlier, drink faster and let everyone out onto the street at the same time, therefore increasing the chances of aggravated trouble. andrewt88
  • Score: 0

9:33am Fri 27 Apr 12

Black Bird from the Leys says...

I think they need to look at the business model of the Rusty Bicycle and not rely so heavily on being a warm up spot for Fuzzy Duck nights. They also need to fix the gents toilets, unless Danny Boyle is considering doing a remake of Trainspotting in Oxford.
I think they need to look at the business model of the Rusty Bicycle and not rely so heavily on being a warm up spot for Fuzzy Duck nights. They also need to fix the gents toilets, unless Danny Boyle is considering doing a remake of Trainspotting in Oxford. Black Bird from the Leys
  • Score: 0

9:49am Fri 27 Apr 12

Niko Bellic says...

Can anyone tell me whether or not they have got rid of the staff who ruined the Hobgoblin? The place went downhill rapidly after the previous owner went missing and it was left to James to run. All the staff did was spend their time getting lashed and it could take 5 minutes to get served when you were the only person at the bar and there were 6 people behind it... and even when you got served you would end up with the poops because they lines hadn't been cleaned. If the staff have changed i'll be happy to go back in
Can anyone tell me whether or not they have got rid of the staff who ruined the Hobgoblin? The place went downhill rapidly after the previous owner went missing and it was left to James to run. All the staff did was spend their time getting lashed and it could take 5 minutes to get served when you were the only person at the bar and there were 6 people behind it... and even when you got served you would end up with the poops because they lines hadn't been cleaned. If the staff have changed i'll be happy to go back in Niko Bellic
  • Score: 0

10:12am Fri 27 Apr 12

gymrat34 says...

Mr Chipperfield said: “Pub kicking out time is 11.30pm round here, after which people disperse and go home by midnight. But this application means people will be leaving the venue at 1am. There is nothing to do in Cowley Road midweek at 1am, so people will congregate on the streets.”

Why would people go straight home after 11:30 but congregate after 1 Mrs Chipperfield? And there is the O2 Academy that opens late.
Mr Chipperfield said: “Pub kicking out time is 11.30pm round here, after which people disperse and go home by midnight. But this application means people will be leaving the venue at 1am. There is nothing to do in Cowley Road midweek at 1am, so people will congregate on the streets.” Why would people go straight home after 11:30 but congregate after 1 Mrs Chipperfield? And there is the O2 Academy that opens late. gymrat34
  • Score: 0

10:46am Fri 27 Apr 12

Liskra says...

The issue with this is that for a few years now a lot of students have called the Cowley Road area (East Oxford basically) 'Cowley' for short. It's got to the point that a lot of them think it IS Cowley, and get very confused. Students living near the Plain will happily tell you they live in Cowley because they think they do: and it's really not helping Uni/community relations.
The issue with this is that for a few years now a lot of students have called the Cowley Road area (East Oxford basically) 'Cowley' for short. It's got to the point that a lot of them think it IS Cowley, and get very confused. Students living near the Plain will happily tell you they live in Cowley because they think they do: and it's really not helping Uni/community relations. Liskra
  • Score: 0

10:53am Fri 27 Apr 12

Laco says...

Niko Bellic, you are the voice of reason.
Niko Bellic, you are the voice of reason. Laco
  • Score: 0

1:06pm Fri 27 Apr 12

cynicality says...

Liskra wrote:
The issue with this is that for a few years now a lot of students have called the Cowley Road area (East Oxford basically) 'Cowley' for short. It's got to the point that a lot of them think it IS Cowley, and get very confused. Students living near the Plain will happily tell you they live in Cowley because they think they do: and it's really not helping Uni/community relations.
I've lived in the East Oxford area for over 50 years and no-one ever objected to it being called Cowley (and in fact it often was)
[quote][p][bold]Liskra[/bold] wrote: The issue with this is that for a few years now a lot of students have called the Cowley Road area (East Oxford basically) 'Cowley' for short. It's got to the point that a lot of them think it IS Cowley, and get very confused. Students living near the Plain will happily tell you they live in Cowley because they think they do: and it's really not helping Uni/community relations.[/p][/quote]I've lived in the East Oxford area for over 50 years and no-one ever objected to it being called Cowley (and in fact it often was) cynicality
  • Score: 0

2:06pm Fri 27 Apr 12

eatmygoal says...

Oxford Mail, the Somerset Arms on Marston road wasn't in Somerset. Can you try to run a non story about this too?

Hopeless newsletter
Oxford Mail, the Somerset Arms on Marston road wasn't in Somerset. Can you try to run a non story about this too? Hopeless newsletter eatmygoal
  • Score: 0

3:04pm Fri 27 Apr 12

slygirl says...

I love it, you people always rise to the bait!!
I love it, you people always rise to the bait!! slygirl
  • Score: 0

3:25pm Fri 27 Apr 12

sparky123456 says...

first off I thin Chipperfield needs to look at his facts. Half Moon - most nights 2am. Cafe Tarifa most nights 12pm, weekends 1am. Kazbar 11pm, weekends 1am. Cape 12pm. The Library 12pm. James St Tavern 11pm week, 12pm weekends. Fir Tree 11pm week, 2am weekends. Cricketers Arms 2am weekends varying during the week.
first off I thin Chipperfield needs to look at his facts. Half Moon - most nights 2am. Cafe Tarifa most nights 12pm, weekends 1am. Kazbar 11pm, weekends 1am. Cape 12pm. The Library 12pm. James St Tavern 11pm week, 12pm weekends. Fir Tree 11pm week, 2am weekends. Cricketers Arms 2am weekends varying during the week. sparky123456
  • Score: 1

3:29pm Fri 27 Apr 12

sparky123456 says...

Now to the name. It was once called The South Park but it wasn't in sight of South Park, it was called the Hobgoblin but didn't have a goblin or was it owned by Wychwood breweries. And if anyone has bothered to walk past I don't think they're looking for the student, pre-fuzzy crowd. The refurb looks pretty classy, they've improved the whole pub, made the garden nicer, the signage is classy. It's a lot like the Oxford Retreat in town. I'll be supporting it. Look at this way, if it's supported by decent people who want a good drink and some food - as what has happened with the James Street Tavern since its excellent refurb - then students will naturally stay away. Who knows it might even improve the image of the area and attract other decent, higher profile businesses.
Now to the name. It was once called The South Park but it wasn't in sight of South Park, it was called the Hobgoblin but didn't have a goblin or was it owned by Wychwood breweries. And if anyone has bothered to walk past I don't think they're looking for the student, pre-fuzzy crowd. The refurb looks pretty classy, they've improved the whole pub, made the garden nicer, the signage is classy. It's a lot like the Oxford Retreat in town. I'll be supporting it. Look at this way, if it's supported by decent people who want a good drink and some food - as what has happened with the James Street Tavern since its excellent refurb - then students will naturally stay away. Who knows it might even improve the image of the area and attract other decent, higher profile businesses. sparky123456
  • Score: 0

3:32pm Fri 27 Apr 12

sparky123456 says...

ps Ed Chipperfield, if i spot you in a pub on or near Cowley Road after 11:30pm I will call you a hypocrite and throw my pint in your face!
ps Ed Chipperfield, if i spot you in a pub on or near Cowley Road after 11:30pm I will call you a hypocrite and throw my pint in your face! sparky123456
  • Score: 0

5:12pm Fri 27 Apr 12

Liskra says...

cynicality, you're a star. I was quoting my aunt, who moans about my student friends from elsewhere calling it Cowley. She's always lived here, but she's 45, so you beat her. I will ignore her and her grumpy neighbours.
cynicality, you're a star. I was quoting my aunt, who moans about my student friends from elsewhere calling it Cowley. She's always lived here, but she's 45, so you beat her. I will ignore her and her grumpy neighbours. Liskra
  • Score: 0

6:35pm Fri 27 Apr 12

cynicality says...

Liskra wrote:
cynicality, you're a star. I was quoting my aunt, who moans about my student friends from elsewhere calling it Cowley. She's always lived here, but she's 45, so you beat her. I will ignore her and her grumpy neighbours.
Thank you, *bows*. I can go further back than that - my mum was born in the 1920s and when she taught us to say our address (pre-post code days), it was always 'Cowley' before Oxford.
[quote][p][bold]Liskra[/bold] wrote: cynicality, you're a star. I was quoting my aunt, who moans about my student friends from elsewhere calling it Cowley. She's always lived here, but she's 45, so you beat her. I will ignore her and her grumpy neighbours.[/p][/quote]Thank you, *bows*. I can go further back than that - my mum was born in the 1920s and when she taught us to say our address (pre-post code days), it was always 'Cowley' before Oxford. cynicality
  • Score: 0

9:46am Sat 28 Apr 12

Vernon Spools says...

What a pointless story, unless of course it is free advertising for the pub and to drum up trade for the opening. Perhaps it should have been named something more inkeeping with the area along the lines of Pineapple and Firkin. How about the vomit and kebab, the punch and taxi home.
What a pointless story, unless of course it is free advertising for the pub and to drum up trade for the opening. Perhaps it should have been named something more inkeeping with the area along the lines of Pineapple and Firkin. How about the vomit and kebab, the punch and taxi home. Vernon Spools
  • Score: 0

10:56am Sat 28 Apr 12

bertandernie says...

went in last night and have to say I was impressed. Decent selection of beer, lager and cider. Decor is really pretty nice, as is the outside area and the toilets so much better.

Definitely aiming for a different crowd to the old Hobgoblin.

Also looks likes the Brookes rugby boys will have to find an alternative place for their pre-fuzzy ducks schtick as I can't see the Cowley Retreat wanting them in there!
went in last night and have to say I was impressed. Decent selection of beer, lager and cider. Decor is really pretty nice, as is the outside area and the toilets so much better. Definitely aiming for a different crowd to the old Hobgoblin. Also looks likes the Brookes rugby boys will have to find an alternative place for their pre-fuzzy ducks schtick as I can't see the Cowley Retreat wanting them in there! bertandernie
  • Score: 0

2:51am Sun 29 Apr 12

Dr bob is my hero says...

Niko Bellic wrote:
Can anyone tell me whether or not they have got rid of the staff who ruined the Hobgoblin? The place went downhill rapidly after the previous owner went missing and it was left to James to run. All the staff did was spend their time getting lashed and it could take 5 minutes to get served when you were the only person at the bar and there were 6 people behind it... and even when you got served you would end up with the poops because they lines hadn't been cleaned. If the staff have changed i'll be happy to go back in
True Niko, i only ever drank out of a bottle in their, and it became increasingly tatty as the days went on, but it had the best covered smoking area on cowley Rd so it was the only place to go (is the back still smoking). And Liskra is correct, we need to keep our historical boundaries or else we may just as well call everything inside the ring road Oxford, or everything inside the south east London.
[quote][p][bold]Niko Bellic[/bold] wrote: Can anyone tell me whether or not they have got rid of the staff who ruined the Hobgoblin? The place went downhill rapidly after the previous owner went missing and it was left to James to run. All the staff did was spend their time getting lashed and it could take 5 minutes to get served when you were the only person at the bar and there were 6 people behind it... and even when you got served you would end up with the poops because they lines hadn't been cleaned. If the staff have changed i'll be happy to go back in[/p][/quote]True Niko, i only ever drank out of a bottle in their, and it became increasingly tatty as the days went on, but it had the best covered smoking area on cowley Rd so it was the only place to go (is the back still smoking). And Liskra is correct, we need to keep our historical boundaries or else we may just as well call everything inside the ring road Oxford, or everything inside the south east London. Dr bob is my hero
  • Score: 0

3:16am Mon 30 Apr 12

Kings_copse_NIA says...

I feel deeply embarrassed now and may never show my face around Oxford ever again, for I (51 year old) have always referred to this area as Cowley. My work colleagues and neighbours must have been laughing behind my back for all these years. Thank you OM for correcting my stupid geographical error.
Yours,
W.T Bullington
I feel deeply embarrassed now and may never show my face around Oxford ever again, for I (51 year old) have always referred to this area as Cowley. My work colleagues and neighbours must have been laughing behind my back for all these years. Thank you OM for correcting my stupid geographical error. Yours, W.T Bullington Kings_copse_NIA
  • Score: 0

3:23am Mon 30 Apr 12

Kings_copse_NIA says...

Kings_copse_NIA wrote:
I feel deeply embarrassed now and may never show my face around Oxford ever again, for I (51 year old) have always referred to this area as Cowley. My work colleagues and neighbours must have been laughing behind my back for all these years. Thank you OM for correcting my stupid geographical error. Yours, W.T Bullington
I even got my name wrong I was so upset.
Yours faithfully
Mt W.T Bullingdon
[quote][p][bold]Kings_copse_NIA[/bold] wrote: I feel deeply embarrassed now and may never show my face around Oxford ever again, for I (51 year old) have always referred to this area as Cowley. My work colleagues and neighbours must have been laughing behind my back for all these years. Thank you OM for correcting my stupid geographical error. Yours, W.T Bullington[/p][/quote]I even got my name wrong I was so upset. Yours faithfully Mt W.T Bullingdon Kings_copse_NIA
  • Score: 0

7:38am Mon 30 Apr 12

cynicality says...

I noticed that in another report by the OM, the top end of Iffley Road has now become Cowley, so boundaries are pretty fluid...
I noticed that in another report by the OM, the top end of Iffley Road has now become Cowley, so boundaries are pretty fluid... cynicality
  • Score: 0

9:22am Tue 1 May 12

A Scroat says...

The Punter on Osney Island is in an area with no punts. Should be called The Sandal Knitters.
The Punter on Osney Island is in an area with no punts. Should be called The Sandal Knitters. A Scroat
  • Score: 0

9:22am Tue 1 May 12

L0RD PETER MCVEY 0X2 6EG says...

Kings_copse_NIA wrote:
I feel deeply embarrassed now and may never show my face around Oxford ever again, for I (51 year old) have always referred to this area as Cowley. My work colleagues and neighbours must have been laughing behind my back for all these years. Thank you OM for correcting my stupid geographical error.
Yours,
W.T Bullington
The big clue is in the name Cowley Rd OXFORD, it goes to Cowley and changes to Oxford Rd at Marsh Rd so if Cowley is off of Cowley Rd is Oxford, off of Oxford Rd, and what about Cowley Rd Littlemore, are you saying that this is COWLEY as well? It is like my neighbours saying that they live in Jericho when they are far north of the boundary. Historical borders are important, just ask the people of Kuwait when their border was suddenly moved and saddam made them part of Iraq.
[quote][p][bold]Kings_copse_NIA[/bold] wrote: I feel deeply embarrassed now and may never show my face around Oxford ever again, for I (51 year old) have always referred to this area as Cowley. My work colleagues and neighbours must have been laughing behind my back for all these years. Thank you OM for correcting my stupid geographical error. Yours, W.T Bullington[/p][/quote]The big clue is in the name Cowley Rd OXFORD, it goes to Cowley and changes to Oxford Rd at Marsh Rd so if Cowley is off of Cowley Rd is Oxford, off of Oxford Rd, and what about Cowley Rd Littlemore, are you saying that this is COWLEY as well? It is like my neighbours saying that they live in Jericho when they are far north of the boundary. Historical borders are important, just ask the people of Kuwait when their border was suddenly moved and saddam made them part of Iraq. L0RD PETER MCVEY 0X2 6EG
  • Score: 0

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