From CowleyRoad.org
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This is the page for 300 Cowley Road.

288 >>

2017: Christian Life Centre
2006: The disused bingo hall, shortly before refurbishment. Photo by Cashen at geograph.co.uk
1995: Photographed by Martin Stott


This building is occupied by the evangelical Christian Life Centre church. The organisation was founded by Pastor Grady Reid in 1996 elsewhere in Oxford [1].


The building operated for a few years as a concert venue after being acquired by Oxford-based firm Solarview and undergoing refurbishment [2].

The murder of 'Wycombe Jay'

On 18 May 2009, Devon McPherson, a father-of-eight, nicknamed 'Wycombe Jay', collapsed in the Regal after having been stabbed in the neck on nearby Ridgefield Road. He later died in hospital.[3] His last word was 'Champagne', the nickname of his murderer, Robert Chin. Chin, a drug dealer, was later sentenced to life imprisonment.[4]


The 1937 building was granted Grade II listed status [2].


The Regal Cinema was converted into a bingo hall in 1970. In 2004, Gala Bingo vacated the building [2]. You can see a photo of the interior during this time at the site Play Bingo [5].


The building opened on April 19, 1937 as The Regal cinema. It was designed by Robert Cromie, a noted architect of cinemas in England during the inter-war years [6].

82-year old Graham Wintle, still resident in Oxford in 2008, was projectionist at the Regal in its early days. He recalls that "although colour films had already arrived before the Second World War, the hues were garish" [6].


It seems likely that the Regal is the first building ever to be built on this site. This plot, along with much of the land east of the Regal (now covered by 1930s semis), was a field before it was built on for the first time in the early 20th Century. In her Cowley Road history, Annie Skinner writes that part of this plot was Cowley Common Land, used in the 1800s by Magdalen Choir School for playing cricket [7].

Before then?

Cowleyroad.org is a DIY community history - help us write it!

Do you know more about this business, or remember what was at this address before? Do you have any old photographs or memories to share? Please add them to the site! Here is a how-to guide.