Memories of Odney and meeting Stanley Spencer

Stanley Spencer's boyhood home in Cookham
John Lewis Partnership Archives - Ref. 4524/j/ii

Retired Partner Joyce Smith shares some of her memories of the Odney Club, as well as meeting Cookham’s most famous celebrity artist:

Ah! Odney! I think the very idea of having a country club to go off to was a novelty, especially for me as a 24 year old from a London-born working class family! The Partnership offered us a subsidy on the train fare and very reasonable charges at the club. I have many lovely memories of weekends spent at the club with Sabeema Art Club – meeting Stanley Spencer the local famous – though slightly eccentric – artist, who lived in Cookham and painted pictures of Jesus Christ, as if He also lived in Cookham!

Later on spending lovely Christmas holidays at the club, being able to take relatives and friends as guests – not all at once! – and gladly paying the extra for these guests – it was worth it for the privilege of seeing the pleasure on their faces. Not many work places at that time – the 1950s – had a subsidised Country Club!

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