Tag Archives: Oxford

Oxford Lord Mayor once snapped his tendon

RISK TAKER Colin Cook, the Mayor of the city of the Screaming Squires, revealed today that he had once snapped his tendon walking through the city.

The news came as he rounded on a kid who scaled the heights, as you can read here in the always pulsating Oxford Mail.

Best not to take too many risks, eh Colin?  You might snap a tendon. Or end up as a Lord Mayor.

 

Rusty Pole topped by Pole Dancer

So I was sitting minding my own business wasting hours trying to fix a Windows PC in my front room when my attention was drawn to a car that parked just outside number 27.

Number 27, you’ll remember, is where the saga of the Rusty Pole started, when Oxfordshire County Council kyboshed my idea of painting the very rusty pole in rainbow colours.  Here’s Lucy Pole to the rescue!


Even after appealing to my local MP, and despite her noble attempt, Ms Nicola Blackwood could only get a grudging admission from the council that yeah, I could get it painted, at my own expense, and only in regulation colours.

 

 

I think these two pictures say more than I can possibly bring myself to say right now. It’s a kind of miracle. π

Gibbs Crescent: we get the lowdown and the highdown too

So today we took ourselves to St Frideswide’s Kirk, on the Botley Road, the one that couldn’t afford to build a spire although it tried to crowdfund it back in the daze. We’d never been inside before. (See footnote after the pictures – Ed.)

We only knew there was a public consultation there this evening because we’d seen a flyer in our letterbox in Mill Street from massive housing association A2Dominion last week – there was no notice outside of the kirk, either.

Regular readers of this bog will remember that Mike Magee almost evacuated himself when he heard the explosion on St Valentine’s Day (please excuse picture).

Anyway, here below are pictures of the project that A2Dominion plans to replace and displace the current residents of Gibbs Crescent. A2D officials referred to the residents being “decanted”, which is a new one on us for people.

Once the residents have been “decanted”, which could take as long as six months or longer, A2D will set in motion an application for planning permission, for 140 units on the site, some going as high as six stories, with space for only a few car spaces for wheelchair access.

Some of the properties will be dedicated to social housing – as far as we can gather it’s a portion of the 50 percent of the properties that will be “affordable” housing. The rest of the non-affordable properties will be let. An A2D functionary said any profits will be ploughed back into the housing association. The whole process could take three or more years until completion.

And as the Said Business School is set in that “timeframe” to redevelop the Old Power Station, it will be interesting to see the trundling and the comings and goings in the narrow gauge Victorian streets.

Unfortunately, no plans are available from A2D on the World Wild Web (sic) and there were no handouts, so we took these snaps below. If you have any questions, A2D will be glad to answer them. Email Claire Bartlett – claire.bartlette@a2dominion.co.uk at A2D by Thursday, the 27th of September, the year of our Good Lord! 2018.

The redevelopment of Gibbs Crescent, of course, will further gentrify West Oxford, init?

And due to the redevelopment of the Old Oxford Power Station, there will be much trundling to and fro in the narrow Victorian street called Mill Street over the next few years, and of course the Botley Road too will, as usual, be free of traffic.

We believe that St Frideswide, the patron saintess of Oxford, and her kirk was probably based on a pagan goddess called Freya or Frigga or something. But that’s all lost in the past. Don’t mention Pusey!!!

Here at volesoft.com, we’re talking about the future. The future of Gibbs Crescent, one of the few – if any – social housing communities left in the centre of Oxford, hangs in the balance. One source at A2D whispered – of course off the record – that many of the residents will be glad to leave the centre of the City. With a little help from their friends, of course.

Smart bike gives heron a headache

On the border between New Osney and old Osney there’s a bridge where herons happily snap up fish.  But people using the multitude of smart bikes that are now available all over Oxford don’t seem to want to park them, er, responsibly.

As this picture shows.

smartbike

Colin Cook! Congratulations!

We have a new Lord Mayor! 

 

Old Power Station plans show future is in boxes

The Said Business School (SBS) held consultations last Friday and Saturday on its future plans to redevelop the Old Power Station in Oxford to transform it into a conference centre and plush accommodation for executives and MBAs.

Unfortunately, Friday and Saturday here in Oxford were affected by snow and bitterly cold weather.

We asked about the consultation and a representative from the SBS said: “Given the difficulty caused by the weather we are planning to offer an additional date for people to view the boards and have the opportunity to feedback on proposals. The exact date has to be confirmed but we will give notice to the community. Let me come back to you in the next couple of days with details.”

In the meantime, details of the plans can be found here. Those plans include detailed views of the proposals, including plans to mitigate disruption to the local community on both sides of the river.  

Frideswide Square – so good they fixed it thrice

Residents of Mill Street had a missive from Oxfordshire County Council (OCC) in early February headed “improvements at Frideswide Square” and penned by Owen Jenkins, the grandly named director for infrastructure delivery.

You can find the details of the seven week scheme to repair Frideswide Square at this link, – although you won’t find the letter, I don’t think.

West Oxford is being “regenerated” and some people might think that’s a good thing – certainly house prices here in Mill Street continue to  go through the roof.

Owen said, in his billet doux, that cyclists will “benefit” from “new dropped kerbs” while OCC is is providing “tactile paving” for “visually impaired users” at all crossing points.

Now, here’s the thing. Pedestrians and motorists don’t really know whether people or cars have any right of way, so people don’t know whether these “crossing points” are safe.

Owen is, no doubt, too young to remember this, but in the 1930s  Hore Belisha (pictured, above) had a bright idea to put lights and stripes on roads – “zebra crossings” – and introduced the driving test. The “crossing points” at Frideswide Square don’t have any stripes so we are all taking a bit of a risk, or maybe “dicing with death”.

Why does that matter? Well, because the square is close to the railway station and also funnels a considerable amount of motor traffic into Oxford using the already congested Botley Road, motorists and pedestrians unfamiliar with the weirdness have every chance of being confused by what’s going on. Even us local residents are confuseniks.

The scheme starts on the 11th of February and finishes on the 23rd of March 2018, if we’re lucky.