Lord Mayor Gordon Woodward is ‘held up’ at Hinksey school fete


The Lord Mayor of Oxford, Gordon Woodward, could have been forgiven for fearing the worst when a boy called David Axe pointed a gun at him.

Thankfully, David and his fellow outlaws were not assassins and the gun was a fake.

They described themselves as the “Wild Bunch’ and confronted the Lord Mayor at the New Hinksey First School fete in 1980.

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The organisers decided that with so many fetes on Saturdays, they would hold theirs on Friday evening that year – and it was a great success.

Mr Woodward was one of Oxford’s best-known councillors, combining his council work with a career in the electricity industry.

He started as an electrician’s mate in 1932 with the City of Oxford Electricity Department.

He was the first person in Oxford to drive an electric vehicle and also drove the first radio-controlled van.

He finished his 50-year career as a service representative with the Southern Electricity Board.

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Mr Woodward, who died in 2002, represented South Ward as a Conservative on Oxford City Council for more than 20 years.

Oxford born and bred, he was first elected in 1960 and held his seat until 1983 when he was defeated by Labour.

He never claimed any expenses during his time as a councillor.

He once said: “I have never believed in taking money for something I love to do for my city.”

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Gordon Woodward Way, off Abingdon Road, was named after the long-serving councillor.

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This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

Get in touch with him by emailing: Andy.ffrench@newsquest.co.uk

Follow him on Twitter @OxMailAndyF