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Cox Lane and the Community

Port of Call site - The Maverick 3.jpeg

The Port of Call pub on the estate later went by the name 'The Maverick'

A byproduct of Cox Lane’s economic activity was its function as a social hub for so many of its workers. Many of the businesses had their own social club and organised sport and other recreational activities, whilst Gala Cosmetics’ multitude of Christmas parties were the stuff of legend.

The estate had its own pub, The Port of Call, which became something of a Cox Lane melting pot, as well as a venue for catered events and parties for its businesses. Meanwhile the purpose built adjacent housing estate on Sanger Avenue meant that huge numbers of workers on the estate lived within walking distance of their employers, fostering a closer sense of community for Cox Lane workers. At work many locals would mix from those from further afield – Gala and other businesses would lay on coach travel for those travelling from other parts of London or Surrey.


A group of women from Siebe Gorman playing football on the nearby King George’s fields, circa 1960/61

The Industrial Estate in the Community
- Andrew & Ruth Mackinlay

Andrew and Ruth Mackinlay have lived in the south side of the borough for their entire lives, with Andrew having grown up on the Sunray Estate in Tolworth and Ruth on Chessington’s Sanger Avenue. As well as being married, both have a link to Gala Cosmetics: Ruth’s mum worked at the Hook Rise factory in the early 1960s, while Andrew had a lift operating job for a short while as a 15 year old.

Andrew went on to have a career in politics, serving on the Kingston council in the 1970s and later became MP for Thurrock from 1992 to 2010.

Ruth's mum and GalaAndrew & Ruth Mackinlay
00:00 / 00:54
The industrial estate and town planningAndrew & Ruth Mackinlay
00:00 / 01:29
The Sanger Avenue housing estateAndrew & Ruth Mackinlay
00:00 / 00:56

Cox Lane, Socialising and Society - Various

Listen to a selection of clips below from our interviewees about the community aspects to the Cox Lane industrial estate.

The closure of Galafeat. Helen Bettell-Higgins, Pat Cann, Angela Hilton
00:00 / 02:06
Socialising at Galafeat. Tony Peake
00:00 / 01:55
Braham mixing with other companies and George's Blue Moon Cafefeat. Tony Jardine
00:00 / 01:20

Discover more about Cox Lane Industrial Estate

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