It was an important moment in the history of the Oxford YMCA boxing club.

Members were to train and box in the ring at their new headquarters in Catherine Street, East Oxford, in a building that once housed the area’s popular slipper baths.

The official opening was performed in 1982 by the Lord Mayor of Oxford, the Rev Tony Williamson.

The YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) management committee, led by secretary Tony Heath, had raised more than £17,000 to turn the old baths into a boxing gym, complete with practice ring, punch bags and a special non-slip competition floor.

Read again: Oxford's slipper baths

Committee chairman Mr L N Parsons told guests at the opening that only the boxing and football sections had remained in existence from pre-war days when Oxford YMCA was one of the strongest sporting organisations in the county.

He paid tribute to the boxing club’s chief coach, Mick Ganley, his assistants and Mr Heath “whose faith and enthusiasm persuaded a rather conservative management committee to go in for this project”.

Oxford Mail:

Alan Haines, right, of Oxford YMCA, takes a punch from Darren King during a bout in 1982

After the speeches, Mr Williamson climbed through the ropes into the boxing ring to present a host of trophies to club boxers, who were introduced by Bill Wheal.

Read again: Free school meals - how Oxfordshire MPs voted

Boxers who received awards were Everett McLean (best boxer), Des Brackett (national championship finalist), John Doran, Carl Lawrence, Louis Blackstock, Frank Cyprien, Tyrone Monaghan, Gary Mahony and Frankie Cyprien (best performers).

They were among many boxers who performed for the YMCA, as the other pictures on this page, from the Oxford Mail archives, show.

The city’s public slipper baths had helped families with no bath at home to wash and keep themselves clean.

The city council established the baths - so called because they looked like a slipper, with one end deeper than the other and a sloping back for bathers to rest against - in St Ebbe’s, South and East Oxford, St Barnabas and Greyfriars.

Oxford Mail:

Oxford YMCA boxer Stephen Lynch after a victory in 1983

The first opened in 1852 after a cholera outbreak in the city and thousands of residents used the baths over the next 125 years.

Read more: Oxfordshire's cycling champion resigns

The South Oxford baths, in Lake Street, opened in 1961 and closed a year later through lack of use, but the others were well used.

The Catherine Street baths opened in 1959, with a bath costing sixpence and a shower fourpence.

More than 250 people attended in the first four days and within six months, 6,488 had used it.

But as the 1960s progressed and more homes had bathrooms fitted, attendances began to fall.

Oxford Mail:

Dennis Organ congratulates T Coates, left, of Oxford YMCA, on his victory over G Dobson, of Maidenhead, in 1964

Charges were increased and opening times reduced but to no avail.

The last baths to close were in Catherine Street, in March 1978. This was despite regulars launching a petition the previous year to save them. Any memories of boxing clubs or slipper baths to share with readers? Write and let me know.

Join our Facebook nostalgia group.