Headington Headlines #306

Your weekly round-up of local news for 20 – 26 February.

There was a further heatpipe meeting with Vital Energi on Thursday. They are making good progress with just a few delays. My note about this and how they will manage the London Road work is here.

All my posts about the project are under the ‘Energy Project’ tab in the main menu, and there’s a page of links and contact details here.

After Jacobs Chop House became Jacobs Brasserie, another restaurant has changed its name. What was Bar Meze is now Desi Lounge Thali & Grill House. According to Wikipedia, thali is an Indian style of serving a selection of sweet, salt, bitter, sour, astringent & spicy foods on one plate. The Oxford Times carried an article about it including some words from the owner.

Vandals did some damage with cans of paint and smashed a defibrillator at Marston Saints Football Club in Boults Lane, Old Marston last week. It happpened overnight on 13/14 February.

At its meeting on Tuesday the West Area Planning Committee approved the installation of a memorial to Oxford men who died in the Spanish Civil War. The memorial will be erected at the bottom of South Park by the International Brigades Memorial Trust (IBMT) @IBMT_SCW who are raising funds to pay for it.

Artist's impression of IBMT memorial

As expected, the County Cabinet voted to sell the Harlow Centre site in Marston to the Government and contribute £2m towards the construction of a new free school – the Swan School – on condition that the Education Secretary seals a funding agreement with the River Learning Trust.

The roadworks at the junction of Old Road and Gipsy Lane are virtually complete, but there are a few snags which I think could have been avoided with better supervision of the work.

The new Aldi is going to open on 9 March. It’s where Curry’s used to be on the small trading estate on Horspath Driftway where Homebase is.

I don’t know when it started, but Aviva are running a ‘new’ bus route through Headington, the X8. It follows a similar route to the 280 joining Thame to Oxford Railway Station, but unlike the 280 it misses out Wheatley. Two early buses run Aylesbury – Thame – Oxford, missing Haddenham as well as Wheatley, with two making the return trip to Aylesbury at the end of the day. The Aylesbury – Oxford journey is 7 minutes shorter than the 280; the Thame – Oxford trip 6 minutes shorter.

Bus stop showing X8 bus route
X8 bus route through Headington. And X13?

This twitter conversation harks back with regret to the good old days of the Manor Football Ground and the pubs fans used to visit.

Police helicopter action over central Headington on Saturday prompted some chat on twitter, culminating in an appeal from the police for information about a missing man. He was found safe on Sunday.

Active posts on the Headington & Marston e-democracy forum this week:

  • Hospital Parking
  • London Road cycle path
  • Disruption

Headington Headlines #304

Your weekly round-up of local news for 6 – 12 February.

The @HeadingtonPlan has been through its final inspection and has been approved by the Headington Plan Forum. It’s now up to @OxfordCity to approve a referendum which if all goes well could be held in May at the same time as the County Council elections.

Three men were jailed for carrying out an armed robbery at Lloyd’s Bank in Headington in January last year.

The east Area Planning Committee approved @ScienceOxford‘s plans for the Stansfeld Field Centre site in Quarry.

The Oxford Mail carried a report about the City Council changing its mind over the demolition of a block of flats on Underhill Circus in Barton. The general regeneration programme there is still continuing.

We already knew that the City Council will take over a proportion of the new housing in @BartonPark_. It’s now reported that the City’s wholly-owned housing company which was set up last year will take over 95 units when they become available next year.

@BBCBentham on @BBCOxford radio did an item on Thursday about the suggestion that there should be a multi-storey car park at the JR. You can hear it on catch-up until 10 March. The first slot with Headington Cllr Altaf Khan starts at 39’10” and the second, with a multi-storey car park enthusiast from Birmingham (yes really), at 1h39’20”.

In other car park news, the patients’ car park at the Manor Surgery is open again at last. It looks well laid out with clear paved footways, disabled parking spaces and hopefully no more puddles!

Although Headington & Marston have a lively presence on the e-democracy forum some people have also subscribed to local messaging site Streetlife. This operation has been taken over by another, Nextdoor, which offers a similar platform for local discussion and exchange of information. Anyone thinking of signing up would do well to read the thread on the e-democracy forum, especially Stephanie Jenkins’ experience of being automatically designated “lead member”. And although it’s probably no worse than facebook, twitter or any other social media operation, you might like to read their privacy policy, especially as they require real names and actual street addresses.

There’s an online petition to save The Somerset pub on Marston Road, which closed in 2014. It was the last pub to survive in New Marston. The petition was started by Susannah Wilson and is supported by Councillor @joemcmanners. The Somerset is already listed as an Asset of Community Value, which gives locals first refusal if it is put up for sale provided they can raise the money

My favourite Headington-related tweet of the week:

Active posts on the Headington & Marston e-democracy forum this week:

  • Disruption
  • New Recycling promotion
  • Proposed abolition of Oxford City Council
  • Headington Plan – what’s next?
  • I see Streetlife a rival discussion site is merging with another site
  • Events on Oxford
  • Good neighbours in Headington
  • Using stocks as punishment in 19th century Oxford

Headington Headlines #301

Your weekly round-up of local news for 16 – 22 January.

@HistoricEngland‘s campaign to list all England’s WW1 war memorials continues, with both Old Marston and New Marston memorials being given grade II listed status.

Twitchers have been excited by sightings of waxwings in and around Headington & Marston.

Headington cemetery appeared very briefly as a location in Sunday’s episode of Endeavour.

Headington Hill bridge joined in the “Bridges not Walls” day of action on Friday.

The Very Reverend Bob Jeffery, Vicar of St Andrew’s in Old Headington from 1971 to 1978, has died aged 81.

My favourite Headington-related tweet of the week – chainsaw artist Matt Cave has created Aslan from a tree stump in Bury Knowle Park:

There’s another pictureof Aslan, this time by @rossmackenzie here on instagram.

Active posts on the Headington & Marston e-democracy forum this week:

  • Hedge vandalism