History of Royal Oak Community Centre
Started from humble beginnings in the 1930s with local residents collecting pennies each week to build a small meeting place, their efforts became known to successful businessman Noel Timpson. He pledged to provide funding for the present-day Royal Oak Community Centre in memory of his father Mr. William Timpson. Foundation stones were laid on February 23rd, 1937 by the Minister of Health Sir Kingsley Wood MP, Mrs. William Timpson - Mr. Noel Timpson's mother, and Alderman Sir Miles Mitchell. The building itself follows the Art Deco style and was designed by Mr. Leonard Heywood, who also designed the famous Kennet House flats in north Manchester.
During World War II, Royal Oak Community Centre served as a base for the Women's Voluntary Service and for the Home Office, supporting residents in need and training new volunteers. It was also a reception centre filled with bedding, games, and clothing for hundreds of evacuees escaping the London Blitz. Many of these evacuees returned within a few weeks but some remained with residents in Baguley and Wythenshawe for up to 3 years.
After the war, the centre became the main meeting point for many different community groups in the Baguley and Wythenshawe area including a day centre and school for children with disabilities, amateur dance and drama troupes, gardening societies, numerous and diverse sports teams, Rose Queen festivals, and many other community events. Between the 1960s-1970s, Royal Oak Community Centre served as the venue for actors and actresses of the famous show Coronation Street to practice their scenes and dance choreography.
It is now the home of the champion West Wythenshawe Boxing Club, our new community arts programme Royal Oak Community Centre Arts (ROCCA), and many other exciting community groups. We are also proud to be working with many other local community charities like Tree of Life and Wythenshawe Waste Warriors to only name a few!
If you would like to help our local community and support us, please get in touch and let us know!
These portraits of the Royal Oak Rose Queens are extraordinary and we are proud to display them to our community! We could use some help identifying a few of them however! Do you recognise our Queens?