Tag Archives: Arthur Street

Oxford University’s Old Power Station is a dangerous place

Old Power Station

AFTER the recent explosion in Gibbs Crescent, following hard on the discovery of dangerous seeds the week before, I decided to exercise my rights under the Freedom of Information (FOI) act and ask the University what is stored in the Old Power Station (OPS).

The OPS is a stone’s throw if you’ve got a pitcher’s arm from Mill Street. I’d say the University’s reply is more than equivocal – you can read it here – and it does confirm the place contains many dangerous substances, including the fascinating element we now call Mercury.

Still, to look on the bright side, the University doesn’t have any radio isotypes stored in there.  It probably has asbestos though.  Ruskin used to hold its annual exhibition in there. I wonder if Ruskin College was informed about the dangers of “falling masonry” which prompted the University to obtain a pretty fast anti-squatting order?  

Oxford University reacts to power station squat

Last week, a group of homeless people known as the Iffley Open House (IOH), occupied a space in the Old Power Station – by the river and just yards from what was The Kite.

Homelessness has become a big problem in Oxford, with numbers of poor people being forced to sleep on the streets.

Now we local residents have received a letter from the University – reproduced below. The University wants to develop the power station into luxury flats for the Said Business School, which is now too far from Mill Street.

The University wants to kick out the IOH because, it claims, the building is unsafe.  Us people in Mill Street know it’s unsafe because just a couple of weeks back two people touched some deadly seeds in the power station and had to be hosed down.

It is quite an adventure living on Mill Street, what with explosions, poisonous seeds, unexploded bombs and other goings on. ♥ 

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Said Business School makes bid for Osney Power Station

Old Power StationAS WE mentioned a week or two back, Oxford University – which last year had zero plans for the Old Power Station (left)  in Arthur Street, Old Osney, suddenly did a u-turn and said it would be leased to the Said Business School for 30 years.

You can see what the “congregation” said here. We are so looking forward to executive accommodations…

Anyway, down in Mill Street – we were written up in Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales you know – and us moderns describe the shenanigans as Carry On Mill Street, we  received a paper missive from the Said Business Centre inviting us to air our views.

Here’s what they had to say, sort of…. 

OsneyPowerStation2

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How many bricks, exactly?

It’s been a while since I’ve Volesofted, I’ve been on Defacebook a lot, but it occurs to me that Volesoft is worth keeping going.

Oxford power stationNow this picture, taken here this morning, is of the west side of Mill Street, and looming over Arthur Street is what once was the Oxford Electric Power Station – it brought light to Oxford and beyond it is the river, where the barges brought coal and the stokers worked day and night to keep the juice pumping.

Other elements in its existence include being a testing place for Concord engines – heck that must have made quite a racket. And, right now, it is a repository for books, books and more books and is under the stewardship of Oxford University.

But the thing that intrigues me more is the number of bricks that make up this imposing edifice. I wouldn’t know how to begin to count them or their weight.

And talking about bricks, if I find the vandal who has started demolishing my front garden’s brick wall, I can assure you you will be well treated to Mageek justice… ♥