An interview with Allan Buxton

Photo:Allan Buxton

Allan Buxton

Photo:Buxton brothers training in Brixton

Buxton brothers training in Brixton

Photo:Allan Buxton with sister Doris

Allan Buxton with sister Doris

Photo:Claude and Edith Buxton

Claude and Edith Buxton

Aside from one brother, I am now the last of my family left who can talk about the family. I was born in Watford in 1927.

Our family was a boxing family of Watford. We were four brothers, known as the Buxton brothers. In the 1940's and 1950's, our family were featured in the Watford Observer nearly every week.

The best known family in Watford
My family were the best known family in Watford. My mother came from Bushey. My father came from Antigua in the West Indies. There were four boxing brothers. I was the youngest. In those days, we didn't have a lot of explaining to do. Boxing was very popular, and Watford Town Hall hosted many boxing events. All four or us Buxton brothers fought in Watford Town Hall on the same night and bill, and we all won.

From 1946 to 1954 you will find a lot in the newspaper about our family. My brother Alex was British Light Heavyweight champion. He brought the first professional title back to Watford. He lost the title to Randolph Turpin - they were a boxing family similar to us, but there was only three of them.

We grew up the only dark skinned family in Watford
When dad came to Watford, they had never seen a black man before. During his life he became so popular. He was a good man. Everybody loved him. We grew up the only dark skinned family in Watford. But my father paved the way, and we never experienced any prejudice, not like there is today. We were part of Watford and I'm very disappointed about the way life has gone because, when I read in the papers about coloured people complaining about prejudice, I have never experienced it.

My mother and father, they died within six months of each other, in 1958. Laurie, he was the first coloured officer in the British army and he went to Sandhurst."

There's not all that of the old Watford left nowadays. Most of the people I grew up with have either moved away or died.

Comments about this page

I knew this family from a very early age and a friend of mine (juanita Barnes) is a relation and is very proud to be one.

By Joe Rush
On 09/09/2007

Hi My Grandfather Joslin ( ?charles sidney ) was involved with the training of the buxton boys

By Sara Joslin
On 22/10/2007

Hi my grandmother Daisy was your mother Edith`s sister can you tell me if there are any biographies written on the Buxton family

By Wendy
On 26/02/2008

I have vague recollections of one of the Buxton brothers residing in Sydenham London SE26. Can anyone confirm if this is possible? Many thanks...

By Scott George
On 26/02/2008

Alex Buxton lived in Sydenham....We came home by bus with Alex's purse after his 1952 fight with Randy Turpin...He had two white Bank of England envelopes and I had two more, which were his purse for the fight....Alex was a great friend for over forty years, although I have lived away from England...He was unlucky to be a champion in the same era as Randy Turpin...But he will always be in boxing history as the British Light Heavyweight champion.......His two twelve round points losses to Dave Sands in Australia were two of his best fights. A friend who was a US Marine in Australia told me all the US Marines would go to his fights "to cheer for the Marine"....We played golf often and I took a photograph of Alex and I taken in the early fifties.....Just a super human being.....

By Peter Green
On 27/03/2008

Wonderful story... my parents discussed many happy memories of the buxton boxers, can anyone tell me if Laurie is still with us... very kind regards jacky

By jacky rankine
On 11/08/2008

i am laura i am the grandaughter of alex buxton my dad is his son alex i have memories of meeting my grandad when i was a young girl i am just showing my daughter olivia her family and where she comes from.

By Laura And Olivia Neave
On 11/08/2008

i grew up in the same road as the Buxton Family. They were fine people. I remember doing my paper round on a dark morning when I saw Alex out on an early morning run,now when ever I see a Rocky film I remember Alex.
I went to school with one his nephews and a good mate.

By Rob Badrick
On 22/09/2008

Hi, I too remember the Buxton family. I was born in 53a, Sotheron Road, Watford, and used to play with Allan in his back garden. His parents used to have a little sweet shop they ran from the front room of their house. After leaving Watford to live in Islington in 1934, my mother used to take my brother and me back occasionally to visit the Buxtons and other friends of hers. Allan, Do you remember the ice cream factory just across the road?

By Norman Marks
On 16/10/2008

hi
does anyone know if alex buxton is still alive, he is a legend in boxing and proper old school. they dont make the likes of him anymore.

By michael
On 05/02/2009

I would also like to know if Alex is still alive. I have many photos & press cuttings also championship fight posters signed by Alex. He was one of my Dads best friends (My Dad Ron La Castra)

By Larry La Castra
On 09/02/2009

Thank you for the wonderful comments about the Buxtons which I do forward on to the family.
I'm afraid Alex passed away last year leaving Allan as the only surviving brother.

By Heritage Officer, Watford Museum
On 11/02/2009

Hi, I'm the Daughter of MR Barry Norman also from Watford and he enjoyed boxing in and around the same years as the Buxtons and I am hoping to find some history on him to show him as he has no photos after a marriage break. Unfortunately he now suffers from MND and is losing the will to carry on and the fond memories of his boxing is all he talks about so if anyone could help me to find any history of my father i'd appreciate your help. Many Thanks

By Louisa Norman
On 26/08/2009

It is with deep sadness and regret that I learn of the passing of Alex Buxton. He worked for my family for over 25 years. He was both an an employee and faithful family friend. My dad, Alex Steene, was with Alex for his last couple of fights and then he came to work in the family business in the West End of London.

My dad ran a ticket broker and corporate hospitality business and Alex was a consultant dealing with customers and brokering deals. In addition Alex was our dear personal friend. When I was a child he took me to Pinewood Studios on the set of Moll Flanders and introduced me to the actors and I was even given a period hat from the costume department.

Alex was a gentleman in every sense of the word. A non drinker or smoker. He was the perfect role model for me as I was growing up. Always kind and never a bully in any situation. Alex became part of our family and part of our lives. In any significant family event Alex was there with us. Christmas, holidays etc.

When Ron and Reg Kray were looking after former world Heavyweight Champion Joe Louis in Manchester they were told to leave the city by the police. My dad Alex Steene and dear Alex Buxton were given the jobs of looking after the iconic ex-champion by the twins. Joe really liked Alex because they both had the same unassuming manner.

When I grew up and took over the family business Alex fully supported me and never ever took exception to carrying out a duty I wanted him to perform. When I became a professional Boxing promoter Alex was there to support me. He took out 2 BBB of C professional licenses that of Ring Whip and International agent.

He performed those tasks admirably on all my early promotions. He had a nice kind way about him and everybody he came into contact with respected him.

There were lots of funny stories over the years. Despite having driven all over the south east of England most of his adult life he kept getting lost and like most men wouldnt ask directions.

On saturday 23rd March 1985 I promoted a boxing show at the Lyceum Ballroom in the strand featuring Dennis Andries who was British and World Light Heavyweight Champion, whom I managed, against Belgian Light Heavyweight Champion Jose Seys. I had given Alex the task of being their Agent and looking after them here in the UK. They were staying at a nice hotel in Morden South London. On the day of the weigh in the Belgian boxer was over an hour late for the weigh in at the Henry Cooper pub in the Old |Kent Road. Alex had gone the wrong way in the car and the belgians were spitting feathers as they weighed in. We couldnt help see the funny side although it was serious too.

In my office Alex and another former champion who worked for me, Bruce Wells, former 6 times ABA Champion, former combined services champion and former European Games Gold Medalist and world Amateur champion formed a great comedy double act. They teased each other and played around to the constant merriment of everybody in the office. Alex always even when playing though kept a certain admirable dignity.

Alex was an honoured guest at my wedding, my 40th birthday party, my childrens christening. I loved that man, we all did. It was such a sad day when Alex had to go into nursing care. I kept him on full pay on the payroll until he could no longer look after himself. He is on almost every family picture of my children and I growing up. He is forever in my heart and my thoughts.

I well remember Laurie Buxton too. His voice was so posh he sounded like a Duke. I also well remember Allan frequently speaking with him and remember him coming to our office.

I am delighted to see that Allan was able to go to Antigua. I remember it was also dear Alex's wish to retrace the steps of his father too. He was very proud of his antigua anchestry He was also proud of his name Alex Laurell Buxton. There is a statue of a man in parliament with that name also.

When Alex was young he had the most wonderful physique. He modelled for epstein the sculpter who created the figure outside the adelphi hotel in Liverpool. The torso is an exact copy of Alex's torso at that time.

All in all a remarkable man from a remarkable family. It has been good to write these things down about Alex. A man I admired respected and loved. Alex you will always have a place in my heart.

By Greg Steene
On 26/08/2009

there are my uncles

By kirstyleigh buxton
On 01/03/2010

I boxed at the Harrow Boxing Club with Alan and knew the family well. I also sparred with Laurie a few times, a true gentleman both of the ring and outside of it. I wish Alan well, I hope he remembers me. I knew Sid Joslin also, he was friend of my dad's; he was in my corner at the Poly Boxing Club in Regent St. Very glad to know you are still around, Alan. I now live in Tasmania. cheers jim

By jim howes
On 01/03/2010

I work for a television production company called True North. We're making a history documentary about Manchester and I've been trying to find out which year the Kray twins came with Joe Louis to Manchester. The programme is looking at crime rather than boxing but if anyone has an idea when this happened it would be really appreciated. Thanks, Carla

By Carla Wright
On 15/03/2010

Hi Just looking through some old photos of my late mum. Betty Allen (nee Kempster) and found two signed photos of Alex.

By Paul Ernest Allen
On 30/08/2010

I read about the Buxton brothers; very fine fighters. Laurie's daughter Lacey used to look after me, she had a massive book and I would always read it. Lacey always told me stories about her dad and uncles.

By Paul
On 27/11/2010

John Dobson, I remember the ring cafe being opened in Garston by Randolph Turpin he opened it for the Buxton family. Laurie taught me to box when he lived in Watford I often watched Allan box. Would love to hear of any news on the Buxton family.

By John Dobson
On 12/09/2011

Hi, Laurie Buxton was looked after/fostered by my nans sister, Eunice. My grandad used to tell me about him but i would love to know more. My nan has a scrapbook of his newspaper cuttings that her sister had kept somewhere which i need to get her to find. would love to hear from people who watched him fight. paulsi26@yahoo.co.uk

By Paul Hawkey
On 10/08/2012

Hi all I am a local born and bred watford boy, I am also a boxer and accidently stumbled on some watford boxing history, does anyone know where buxton used to box, like what road? Is his brother still alive or anyone who knew him well? I'd love to find out more, he is so inspiring as a watford man and fighter, I hope I can emulate him!

By mohammad
On 01/10/2012

my father arnold duckworth severed in the marines with alex and he had many stories to tell of their times in australia he named me after him. Alex Duckworth Preston Lancashire

By alex duckworth
On 28/05/2013

Laurie was my dad allan, alex, joe are my uncles. anyone wants to contact contact my daughter kirstyleigh buxton if you want to speak about the buxton family also would like to know any relations I don't know about. Email: bobmarley420xo@hotmail.com

By lacey buxton
On 28/01/2014

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