How we named the Jam Factory
One of the books I bought at the Oxford Indie Book Fair is Oxford Zz to AA written with a gentle humour by Richard O. Smith and illustrated with bold exaggeration by Korky Paul. I love it but when I arrived at O, I was the one with the knowing smile.
Richard tells the Story of Cooper’s Oxford Marmalade. .
‘Oxford marmalade proved so successful that within a few years production had to be moved to a special factory in Park End Street-a building that survives to this day, with oranges carved over its door, and is still known as the Jam Factory.’
What Richard didn’t know was that it wasn’t known by that name before 1987. Why?
Between 1987-1998 Gill Hedge and I ran Oxford Antiques Centre on the ground floor. I attach a pic of how it looked when we were there. Although we signed Oxford Antiques Centre around the front the building, on the side entrance we put a sign over the gate saying The Jam Factory. Gill and I thought ‘marmalade factory’ a bit of a mouthful so we promoted it as the Jam Factory in our leaflets. The centre’s 30 dealers were soon calling it affectionately the Jam Factory. We also had a café- the Marmalade Cat, a book shop and services like the Repair Shop and a reputation for knowing how to party and encouraged our customers to join in. The building has recently been refurbished by Nuffield College and the Oxford Mail/Times asked me about it.
This week at a book launch I met Chris Andrews after 20 years. Chris made a post card of the building for us. He took the pic from the roof of the Royal Oxford Hotel