South Oxhey

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South Oxhey
Oxhey Chapel, Herts - geograph.org.uk - 350520.jpg
Oxhey Chapel
South Oxhey is located in Hertfordshire
South Oxhey
South Oxhey
 South Oxhey shown within Hertfordshire
Population 12,373 
OS grid reference TQ115925
Civil parish Watford Rural
District Three Rivers
Shire county Hertfordshire
Region East
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town WATFORD
Postcode district WD19
Dialling code 020
Police Hertfordshire
Fire Hertfordshire
Ambulance East of England
EU Parliament East of England
UK Parliament South West Hertfordshire
List of places
UK
England
Hertfordshire

Coordinates: 51°37′13″N 0°23′27″W / 51.62029°N 0.39082°W / 51.62029; -0.39082

South Oxhey is a suburb of Watford in the Watford Rural parish of the Three Rivers district of Hertfordshire, England. It is located in the south western corner of Hertfordshire and close to the boundary with Greater London.

History[edit]

South Oxhey is a large estate built on land that was formerly part of the Oxhey Hall Estate.[1] There was a manor house here, Oxhey Place, and a chapel.[2] The manor house was owned by the Blackwell family of Crosse and Blackwell fame. It burnt down in 1960. Oxhey Chapel dates from 1612 and is still standing to the south of the parish church of All Saints.[3][4] The church was opened in 1957 to serve the new estate built after the Second World War by the London County Council. The church was demolished and rebuilt in 2000.

South Oxhey is almost exclusively made up of council built properties. This is in stark contrast to the neighbouring estate of Carpenders Park, whose dwellings were predominantly built privately.

Since the introduction of the nationwide Right to buy policy in 1980, many South Oxhey residents have bought their homes from the local council, meaning that by 2007, some 70% of houses on the estate are privately owned. The estate was built after the Second World War to help alleviate the housing pressures thrust upon London during the Blitz as well as general inadequate housing. South Oxhey was originally built and managed by the London County Council and later the Greater London Council. In 1980 the ownership and management of the estate was transferred from the GLC to Three Rivers District Council. Following changes to financial regulations in 2008, the remaining social housing was transferred to Thrive Homes housing association.

Over the years, South Oxhey gained a reputation as a crime and anti-social behavior hotspot. South Oxhey is patrolled by the Hertfordshire Police Safer Neighbourhood Team which has seen crime rates drop significantly and South Oxhey is currently seeing the lowest crime rates in its history[citation needed].

South Oxhey Choirs[edit]

South Oxhey featured in the BBC television series The Choir: Unsung Town which was first broadcast on BBC Two on 1 September 2009. The programme featured a project by Gareth Malone to assemble a community choir in the town by recruiting local residents and encouraging them to take part.[5] A legacy of the programme was the foundation of two groups, the South Oxhey Community Choir and the South Oxhey Youth Choir.[6][7]

As part of the TV series, the choirs performed at venues including the Watford Colosseum, St Albans Abbey, and headlining at Sox Fest '09 in May 2009.[8] In April 2009, the Community Choir made their debut recording at Abbey Road Studios.[9]

Gareth Malone continued as choirmaster for two years following the conclusion of the TV recording and now maintains his support as patron.[10] The current musical director is Simon Wookey [11] and both the Community and Youth choirs continue to make regular performances about three to four times per year at events around Hertfordshire and the South East of England.[12]

Notable people[edit]

Local facilities[edit]

The main shopping precinct in South Oxhey town centre
  • SO Youth (The Centre, Gosforth Lane) - Youth Project - Youth Connexions Hertfordshire - For Young People aged 13 to 19 [14]
  • Pedestrianised shopping precinct
  • Oxhey Library (Bridlington Road) [15]
  • Extensive local playing fields
  • Oxhey Woods/Oxhey Nature Reserve
  • Golf Driving Range
  • The Consulting Rooms - Community GP surgery
  • The Centre (Gosforth Lane) - A community and leisure facility[16]
  • Sir James Altham Pool (Altham Way)[17]
  • South Oxhey Army Cadets Detachment, 3 Coy, Gosforth Lane
  • All Saints Church (Church of England)[18]
  • ASCEND
  • Oxhey Jets football club
  • South Oxhey Baptist Church
  • 2384 Bushey and Oxhey squadron (Gosforth Lane) - Air Cadets
  • South Oxhey Choirs
  • South Oxhey Labour Party

Transport[edit]

Carpenders Park station

South Oxhey is served by London Overground rail services from Carpenders Park railway station which is on the Watford DC Line. Trains run from Watford Junction to London Euston every 20 minutes in either direction. Until 1982, Carpenders Park was part of the London Underground network, on the Bakerloo line.

A number of local bus routes also pass through South Oxhey.[19][20] Buses are managed by Hertfordshire County Council's Intalink transport service. One service is provided by Arriva Shires & Essex: The No. 8 runs from Northwood (Mount Vernon Hospital) to Abbots Langley running along Fairfield Avenue, Gosforth Lane and Hayling Road - the route vacated by the cessation of the 503 service. In addition, there are two limited 'shopper' services, to North Watford and Hatch End one of which, the W19, runs to North Watford and North Bushey via Carpenders Park, Oxhey Village and Watford Town Centre.

The No. 503 used to operate in South Oxhey running via Watford Town Centre, zig-zagging across the northern part of the estate before running in a loop around the southern area and terminating in Hemel Hempstead. However, from September 2014, the service was cut in South Oxhey with the 8 running over its old route. Passengers who used the 503 route beyond Watford are advised to pick up the 500 bus from Watford Town Centre for Kings Langley and Hemel Hempstead. There are no bus services on the number 8, however, after 6.30pm.

Although quite some distance away from the main shopping precinct, Moor Park tube station located in Sandy Lodge (near the top of Hayling Road connecting onto Hampermill Lane/Sandy Lane) and bordering the Moor Park estate, also serves a number of commuters and general passengers from South Oxhey.

Education[edit]

Primary Schools[edit]

  • Colnbrook (Special School)[21]
  • Greenfields[22]
  • Oxhey Wood[23]
  • St. Josephs[24]
  • Warren Dell Primary[25]
  • Woodhall Primary[26]
  • Little Furze* (*closed around 2004/05 after being placed under 'Special Measures' by Ofsted in November 2003, and a decline in numbers which made it financially non-viable).[27]

Secondary Schools[edit]

South Oxhey has no secondary schools. However, from the early 1950s, there were two Secondary modern schools – Clarendon, on Chilwell Gardens, and the smaller Hampden School, on Little Oxhey Lane. Built to cater for the post war 'baby boom', both schools eventually combined to form Sir James Altham Comprehensive (upper and lower schools) and eventually closed as a result of the continual selling of public amenities to developers by Three Rivers Council.

Future Developments[edit]

In 2012, the Three Rivers District Council proposed a redevelopment of the local shopping and business area known as 'The Precinct'.[28] The initiative was devised after 130 flats between Fairfield Avenue and Oxhey Drive were identified by the council as being beyond repair and in need of replacing. However many residents were against the idea of knocking down the old Precinct favouring refurbishment of the existing buildings. Many of the local shop keepers formed a pressure group against a full redevelopment.[29]

In November 2013, political support for the South Oxhey Initiative fractured as the local Conservative Party withdrew their backing for the regeneration scheme. This followed the decision by two housing associations to pull their support as development partners. One of the main areas of political disagreement is the level of social housing to be included in the proposed development. In January 2014, Three Rivers Council announced that they intend to continue with submitting an outline planning application in June 2014, in the hope that a developer will show interest in the scheme after planning permission has been granted.[30]

Healthcare[edit]

South Oxhey has a number of doctors surgeries based on Oxhey Drive, the largest being The Consulting Rooms. Since the onset of Clinical Commissioning Groups in 2013, services have been expanded to included the wider community enabling patients to have more choice in their care. There is also a surgery near the top end of Prestwick Road.

Nature reserve[edit]

Oxhey Woods Local Nature Reserve is on the western border of South Oxhey.[31][32]

Oxhey Jets Football Club[edit]

Oxhey Jets football club were established in 1972 as a boys team, eventually moving to the local Watford leagues when they became a men's team. The club are now in the Spartan South Midlands League Premier Division and made their debut in the FA Cup for the 2005–06 season. They play their home games at the Frey Bentos stadium which has maximum capacity of 1500 when full.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Map of Oxhey, early 20th century
  2. ^ Watford - Manors (British History online) accessed 4 May 2008
  3. ^ Churches Conservation Trust accessed 4 May 2008
  4. ^ satellite view from Google maps accessed 4 May 2008
  5. ^ "The Choir: Unsung Town". Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
  6. ^ "South Oxhey Choirs". Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  7. ^ "The Choir III: Unsung Town". Gareth Malone official website. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  8. ^ South Oxhey Festival
  9. ^ .The South Oxhey Community Choir record The Beatles at Abbey Road, Watford Observer Friday 24th April 2009
  10. ^ South Oxhey Choirs - Patron
  11. ^ South Oxhey Choirs - Musical Director
  12. ^ South Oxhey Choirs Forthcoming Events
  13. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2013/feb/08/nick-moran-my-family-values
  14. ^ (Youth Connexions Hertfordshire)
  15. ^ hertsdirect.org Oxhey Library
  16. ^ hertsdirect.org Centre, The (South Oxhey)
  17. ^ hertsdirect.org Sir James Altham Pool (South Oxhey)
  18. ^ All Saints Church (Church of England)
  19. ^ "Watford transport map". Hertfordshire County Council/Intalink. Retrieved 10 December 2010. 
  20. ^ "Bus services – Area 1: Watford". Hertfordshire County Council/Intalink. Retrieved 10 December 2011. 
  21. ^ Colnbrook School - Home Page
  22. ^ Welcome to Greenfields Primary School
  23. ^ Oxhey Wood Primary School - Home page
  24. ^ St Joseph's Catholic Primary School
  25. ^ Warren Dell home page
  26. ^ Woodhall School - Home Page
  27. ^ "Proposed closure of Little Furze Primary School". Hertfordshire County Council. September 2004. 
  28. ^ http://www.threerivers.gov.uk/Default.aspx/Web/South-Oxhey-Initiative Three Rivers Council Website - South Oxhey Initiative
  29. ^ http://www.watfordobserver.co.uk/news/9955891.Council_unveils_redevelopment_plans_for_South_Oxhey/ Watford Observer article dated 28 September 2012
  30. ^ http://www.watfordobserver.co.uk/news/10926803.__600k_South_Oxhey_Initiative_has__achieved_nothing_/ Watford Observer article dated 10 January 2014
  31. ^ "Oxhey Woods". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 
  32. ^ "Map of Oxhey Woods". Local Nature Reserves. Natural England. Retrieved 25 September 2013. 

Further reading[edit]

A book South Oxhey : "a giant on their doorstep" author Rose McNamara-Wright tells a brief history of South Oxhey for children growing up during the war as told through her own experiences.