Category Archives: news archive

Book about East Oxford

Beyond Magdalen Bridge: The growth of East Oxford

This historical survey looks at the expansion of East Oxford during the past two centuries from a small hamlet by Magdalen Bridge before 1800 to the densely built up urban environment we know today. The book traces some of the people involved in that development and focuses on the few areas of green public open pace now remaining east of the Cherwell. It is profusely illustrated with contemporary maps,  drawings and photographs.

All profits from the sale of this book are for the preservation and management
of Warneford Meadow
Published by East Oxford Archaeology & History Project, 2010
First published by the Oxford Meadow Press, 2010
34 Hill Top Road Oxford OX4 1PE
01865 248770,
or 01865 426955


Bert Worman 1928-2009

Many residents will have known Bert, who died in June.  Even if not by name, at least by sight.  He was a familiar sight, leaning on walls catching his breath, and then lighting up another cigarette.

A convivial man, he would strike up conversation with all who had time to stop for a few moments – or longer.

His funeral at SS Mary and John Church was very well attended and conducted with great dignity by another Divinity Road resident, The Revd Martin Coombes, assisted by the Vicar, The Revd Adam Romanos.  Bert’s next-door neighbour, Belinda Coote, said a few words.  And another neighbour, and long-standing friend, John Prangley, delivered a most moving Eulogy – see Bert Worman 1928-2009.

On hearing John’s account of Bert’s life, I have some regret that I didn’t take more time to get to know him better.  RIP Bert.

Calling Oxford Mothers!

Would you be willing to take part in a research project about your experiences of motherhood in Oxfordshire during the years 1970-1990?  Based at the University of Warwick, I am undertaking a project about motherhood and am hoping to conduct about 60 interviews with women to learn about their experiences.

It is only comparatively recently that families have become the focus of historical attention, encouraged by both social history and the desire to write a “history from below” telling the lives of ordinary people.  When considering twentieth century British history, however, the family seems to be a particularly important and interesting topic for research because of the great changes in both our understanding of what the family means as an institution, and people’s experiences of family life.  In my project I want to look at women’s experiences of motherhood from the 1970s to the 1990s.  I am basing my research on oral history because I think it is important to learn from people who have first hand knowledge of the subject.  The interviews take about an hour to conduct and can be done face-to-face or by telephone.  They can be done one-on-one or people can choose to be interviewed together.  There are no set questions, but I am interested in people’s experiences of childhood and what they think it was like for their mothers, then their own experiences of having and raising children.  All the information is treated anonymously so no-one could be identified from their contribution.

If you would like to help please contact me, Dr Angela Davis, for more information.

Dr Angela Davis, Department of History, The University of Warwick, Coventry CV4 7AL.  Telephone: 07751925945 or email angela.davis[at]

OCC Planning Committee vote to register Warneford Meadow as a Town Green

At their meeting today (6th April 2009), Oxfordshire County Council Planning and Regulation Committee decided by ten votes to three to accept the Inspector’s Report and register Warneford Meadow as a Town Green.  This is the culmination of two-and-a-half years of very hard work by a lot of local residents to preserve this lovely area of open land for recreation and for its ecological and environmental values.  We are very pleased that Paul Deluce’s application has been successful.

Read about the Council vote on the BBC Local News page

Nevertheless, the objectors may request a judicial review and this may delay the registration process further.  The Friends of Warneford Meadow will be monitoring future developments, and further news will be posted when it is available.

Friends of Warneford Meadow currently has an outstanding legal bill for over £3,000, which must be paid whatever happens next.  Donations towards this expense will be very gratefully received.  Information about how to donate can be found on the FoWM website

DRARA girls win Cambridge debating competition

Alice Stott of Divinity Road and her friend Zoe Lake Thomas of Hill Top Road, both at Cheney School in the VIth form, were the winners of the Cambridge Union Society schools debating competition, emerging top in a contest involving 750 teams from 400 different schools around the country.

The majority of former winners have been from independent schools, so this was a particularly special achievement by Alice and Zoe.

See Cambridge University website for further information

DRARA member receives OBE

Patrick Gray of Divinity Road was awarded an OBE in the New Years’ Honours list in January 2009 for services to British non-proliferation initiatives in Russia and the Commonwealth of Independent States.   See article in the Oxford Mail for further information.

Since 2002, Patrick has led the programme management team for international consultancy, HTSPE’s, UK-Russia Closed Nuclear Cities Partnership and the parallel programme in other countries of the former Soviet Union to generate new jobs for former specialists in nuclear weapons. HTSPE manage the programme on behalf of the UK’s Department of Energy and Climate Change, with its partner AEA Plc.

Warneford Meadow success!

MessageThe recommendation of Mr Vivian Chapman QC, the Inspector considering Paul de Luce’s application is for the Warneford Meadow and Orchard to be registered as a new town or village green under the Commons Registration Act 1965.

This recommendation will be considered by the Oxfordshire County Council Planning and Regulation Committee – probably in January 2009.  Objectors may still appeal against the recommendation, but we are over the first major hurdle.

Thanks to all those who worked so tirelessly, and to those who paid so generously, to achieve this result.

Waste and recycling collection day changed to Tuesday

Oxford City Council is making changes to the waste and recycling collection schedules.  This will reduce the miles their vehicles travel each day.  The changes will take effect from Monday 27th October 2008.  From this date your refuse and recycling will be collected on Tuesdays.

For the DRARA area this means that all residents should put out their waste on Monday evenings, for collection as follows:

Tuesday 28th October Garden bag and Blue box

Tuesday 4th November Wheelie bin and Green box

Tuesday 11th November Garden bag and Blue box

Tuesday 18th November Wheelie bin and Green box

We are in the RED collection zone, and all residents should have received a calendar showing which containers to put out each week and for information about Christmas and New Year Collections.  If you have not received it, you can simply check the website or contact City Works on 01865 252900

The Council will send you text or email reminders every Monday, reminding you which containers to put out that evening.  If you want a reminder, text RED to 07786 200424.  If you would like an email reminder please email TUESDAY to