Summertown Christmas Lights [3 December 2013]
The lights have gone up, and the Christmas tree will soon be arriving. Come along to the switching on of the Christmas lights on Friday 6 December at 4.15 to 5pm outside Finders Keepers. There will be music from the St Edward's Brass Band, carols from the Cutteslowe Primary choir and mince pies from the Co-op. After the lights go on the County Music Service Brass Band will be playing carols outside M&S.
Gifts from Legge Oriental Carpets [3 December 2013]
Looking for an unusual Christmas present? Legge Oriental carpets is selling cushions and small weavings from £85 and bead jewellery from £25. You can browse in a relaxed atmosphere until Monday 23 December and find that perfect gift .
Shop news [22 November 2013]
We hear that the old Curtain Shop is to become another franchise brand Winkworth's estate agent which we are sure will attract universal aclaim from Summertown residents. Of perhaps more interest is the information that Florio's, which closed so suddenly, is to be transformed into the branch of Oxford's Cooking.
Portabello reopens [21 November 2013]
Portabello is reopening this evening following its refurbishment. Cleverly demarcated areas and new lighting give it a fresh look, but it remains as warm and welcoming as it has always been.
Concert Hall for Summertown [21 November 2013]
St Edward's School has won approval for a new £6 million music school on South Parade, replacing the existing range of buildings. The Warden, Stephen Jones, hopes that this decision will pave the way for approval of a new 1000-seat concert hall that the school is planning to build on the site of the Lemon Tree restaurant. Some residents have expressed concern about noise and traffic problems but others are excited that Summertown will host the city's first custome-built concert venue.
North Oxford Medical Centre [15 November 2013]
The building housing the North Oxford Medical Centre, which is closing on 29 November, is to be put up for sale. It is currently in non-residential institution (D1) use but has the potential to revert to residential (C3) use. Agents Carter Jonas are listing the property at £2.5 milliion.
Building work [15 November 2013]
Hastings Drummond have started doing some work, including putting their name up, on the site of the former Oxford Guitar Gallery in South Parade. Just up the road, Portabello is in the middle of a major refurbishment – we are looking forward to seeing the outcome. Another restuarant, Florio's on the Banbury Road, is also being refurbished but we are not sure if this work is being carried out by the current owner or a new business.
Oxfordshire Bake-Off raises funds [8 November 2013]
The Oxfordshire Bake-Off, which was sponsored by Carter Jonas, has raised £4018 for Helen & Douglas House.
Summertown Neighbourhood Forum [3 October 2013]
The Annual General Meeting of the Neighbourhood Forum will be on Thursday 10 October at 7.30pm at the North Oxford Association, Diamond Place. The meeting will elect a new steering committee. Please do come along to support your Neighbourhood Forum.
Vanilla wins award [27 September 2013]
The Vanilla fashion boutique in South Parade has won the award of Best Women's Boutique at the Muddy Stilettos Awards 2013. Well-deserved recognition of what we all think is a great shop.
Open House Day [10 September 2013]
Strutt & Parker’s National Open House Day returns on Saturday 28th September. On this day buyers are able to view as many participating houses as they wish without having to make appointments. It is a great opportunity to get an idea of the wide range of properties avaiilable. Call Strutt & Parker’s new Oxford office in Summertown on 01865 366660 or visit this page for more details.
Oxfordshire Bake-Off [9 September 2013]
The Oxfordshire Bake-Off, 'raising dough' for Oxfam and Helen & Douglas House and proudly sponsored by Carter Jonas, will be held at Oxford High School on Saturday 5 October. Now in its second year, the Oxfordshire Bake-Off is open to all amateur home bakers of any skill level. Have no fear about entering – you simply need to love to bake! There are brilliant prizes to be won in each category and also the chance to win £150 if you are chosen as the “Star Baker”. See here for full details.
Summertown Neighbourhood Forum [29 August 2013]
The next meeting of the Neighbourhood Forum will be on Wednesday 4 September at 7.30pm at the North Oxford Association, Diamond Place. The meeting will be a workshop about the planned redevelopment of Ewert House/Diamond Place, led by the City planning officers. There will also be round table discussions to identify the main issues. Please do come along to hear what the experts say and to support your Neighbourhood Forum.
Medical Centre to close [30 July 2013]
North Oxford Medical Centre on the Woodstock Road is to close on Friday 29 November 2013. The practice explained in a letter that: “due to retirement and other changes, running the practice at 96 Woodstock Road is no longer viable”. Existing patients can continue to use the practice but must find another doctor by the end of November.
Carter Jonas expands [24 July 2013]
Nine new employees have joined Carter Jonas' Summertown offices as part of a recruitment drive. Mark Charter, head of Carter Jonas’ Oxford office said: “Our full service office, in the heart of Summertown, totals more than 70 people and we are still growing as our clients continue to demand the best possible service”.
New youth theatre company in Summertown [18 July 2013]
Flintlock Theatre, an emerging professional theatre company based in Oxford and recently appointed artists in residence at Oxford Playhouse, are launching a new youth company under their education arm.
As Artistic Director Robin Colyer told us, "The sessions will be a mixture of skill-learning, ensemble-developing exercises and project-based rehearsal and development work. Expect a playful atmosphere (how else would you develop a 'play'?) but one that comes with opportunities to challenge your skills and creative brain. The class will provide a pre-drama-school-level training, supporting outside learning in English and Theatre Studies.”
Flintlock Youth Company is for ages 15-18 and will meet on Tuesday evenings in Summertown. For more information, visit www.flintlocktheatre.com .
Charity concert at St Michael's [15 July 2013]
This year's Amphion concert will be held at St Michael & All Angels Church in Lonsdale Road on Friday 26 July at 7pm. The concert is in aid of Cancer Research UK, and in memory of Sally Payne.
The ensemble will be playing Poulenc's Trio for Oboe, Bassoon & Piano, Faure's Piano Trio in D minor (Op. 120), and Mozart's Quintet in E flat (K.452).
Admission is £10, and every penny goes to Cancer Research UK.
New estate agent [15 July 2013]
Estate agents Strutt & Parker, new to both Summertown and Oxford, have opened their doors at the old Carter Jonas offices on the Banbury Road.
Shop News [5 July 2013]
We are very sorry to see that the children's shoe shop Pasitos has closed, and that Florio's café and restaurant has suddenly closed "until further notice".
333 Banbury Road [24 June 2013]
Plans for the redevelopment of the old Masonic Lodge at 333 Banbury Road have been submitted to the Council. As Kathryn McNicholl of developers Homespace Ltd explains, they aim to keep the “1820s Italianate villa in pride of place, and to replace the existing tarmac with high quality landscaping. The accommodation consists of a mix of five-bedroom houses, three-bedroom duplexes and two- and three-bedroom flats, some seventeen dwellings in all, in keeping with the council’s wish to provide a mix of houses. The new build dwellings will consume zero net energy once completed and the gardens, with new and mature trees, will make the area a delight for residents of the new houses as well as residents living nearby”.
The Anchor to re-open [24 June 2013]
Local north Oxford pub The Anchor in Hayfield Road is to re-open in two months. Julian Rosser, owner of the Duke of Cambridge cocktail bar, has taken over the pub and plans to keep it as a pub serving high quality good value food.
Summertown Neighbourhood Forum [10 June 2013]
The next meeting of the Neighbourhood Forum will be on Thursday 13 June at 7.30pm at the North Oxford Association, Diamond Place. The theme of the meeting will be The Future of Retail and this will be presented by Jonathan Reynolds, Fellow in Retail Marketing at the Said Business School, and Iain Nicholson, PR and Communications for Business specialist. It promises to be a fascinating evening so do come along to hear what the experts say and to support your Neighbourhood Forum.
People's Power Station LCON [7 June 2013]
Barbara Hammond, a founder of Low Carbon West Oxford, will be giving a talk at the next meeting of LCON (Low Carbon Oxford North) at the Annex, North Oxford Association, Diamond Place on Tuesday 11 June from 7 to 9pm. Find out what north Oxford can do to reduce and generate power via a People's Power Station.
Play Football [7 June 2013]
Do you want to play football in the Oxford league?
Summertown Men and Women FC is looking for players who would like to join this active club. The club trains and plays at Cutteslowe Park and pre-season training starts on Wednesday 24 July 6.30-8.00pm. If you are interested please contact Jo Kalies on email@example.com or on 07867646503.
New specialist at private medical practice [30 May 2013]
Dr Sri Subramaniam has joined the Oxford Private Medical Practice above Savills in Mayfield House. One of his specialties is minor surgery, so if you have any moles or lumps that need looking at he would be delighted to see you. The Practice also has an extensive travel service and can deal with any vaccinations you need for this year’s summer holiday.
In-toto Kitchen Design Studio [30 May 2013]
It seems as though Summertown will soon cement its place as the kitchen design capital of England, as the old Westlake Pharmacy at 267 Banbury Road is converted into an In-toto Kitchen Design Studio. Franchisees Paul & Denise Howard will be offering a wide range of kitchens, from handleless glass doors to the more traditional wooden Shaker style, along with an installation service.
Shaw Gibbs Xero online accounts demo [24 May 2013]
Accountants Shaw Gibbs are holding a free demonstration of the Xero online accounting system for small businesses on Tuesday 11 June. To find out more and register, click this link.
Ducks in Summertown [24 May 2013]
A pair of ducks has taken up residence in Summertown. They fly away each night but are back bright and early in the morning and seem to like hanging out on the corner by Sainsbury's, although they sometimes make their way down to the bus stop. Perhaps they are waiting for a lift to the river.
Ferry Centre Complimentary Pass [21 May 2013]
The Ferry Leisure Centre is offering a complimentary pass to local residents. This is linked to a great membership offer with no joining fee and no contract. Click to view details on the offer.
Shaw Gibbs hold Mortgage Surgery [16 May 2013]
Accountants Shaw Gibbs are holding a special FREE Mortgage Financial Surgery on the Saturday 1 June. Full information and details on how to make an appointment can be found here.
Oxford Punt Map launched [9 May 2013]
The enterprising team at Underhill's Maps, based in Summertown, have published the first ever punting map for Oxford. The map, from a lively watercolour drawing by local artist Francesca Shakespeare, is available as a leaflet and a poster from The Bookhouse. Full details can be found at this site and see here for the news report in the Oxford Mail.
Carter Jonas helps Helen & Douglas House win funds [3 May 2013]
Teams from property consultancy Carter Jonas and solicitors Withy King were both “hired” when they took part in the Helen & Douglas Retail Apprentice Challenge in its Summertown shop in Oxford on Thursday 25 April.
The two teams took over the charity shop to compete to increase sales for the day and raise awareness of the charity. With money taken on the day in the store, at the pavement’s pop up café, tombola and including future stock sales, auction receipts and Gift Aid, the fundraising for Helen & Douglas House reached £2,085. Both teams were “hired”, as in total the combined cash takings more than doubled the highest amount ever taken in one day at a Helen & Douglas shop.
Mark Charter, head of Carter Jonas’ Oxford office thanked all involved including “the Summertown businesses who played a huge part through their kind donations". These included Eileen, Excel Dry Cleaners, Happy Cakes, Joe’s Café, JoJo Maman Bébé, Majestic Wine, Taylors, The Book House, The Powder Room and Unique Creations.
Artweeks in Summertown [17 April 2013]
Artists are getting their works ready for their exhibitions at this year's Artweeks Festival in Summertown from 4 to 12 May. The week begins with Arty Activities at the shops on the Banbury Road from 10am on Saturday 4 May. There will be live music from The Hackett's Rhythm Boys and a fancy dress parade with a mini beasts theme which will be judged by Giant Dung Beetle. Come along and join in the fun and download a pdf with full details of the artists, and the events, including the Art Forum at the Bodleian on Saturday 11 May.
Shop news [12 April 2013]
We learn that Curtain World on the Banbury Road is to close in June. A lot of interest has been shown in the site and six businesses have viewed it, including Subway and a children's clothes retailer.
Down South Parade, the old Guitar Gallery is being transformed into a kitchen and bathroom design shop. Summertown is becoming quite a hub for interior design.
Wine Café opens today [3 April 2013]
The Oxford Wine Café opens today at 5pm. No food will be served on the first evening.
Renaissance Beauty opens in South Parade [23 March 2013]
The site of the old RoseanneRuth reopened today as the beauty salon Renaissance Beauty offering high quality beauty treatments and therapies.
Powder Room promotion [22 March 2013]
The Powder Room is running a interesting promotion, offering a 20% discount while the temperature remains less than 10 degrees. Hurry down there while the freeze lasts.
Wine Café transformation [27 February 2013]
We have been watching with interest the transformation of the Summertown wine café into the Oxford Wine Café. Work continues apace and manager Louise Ferreira, from the Blue Boar at Longworth, and sommelier Callum Peaston, from The Feathered Nest, are busy getting to grips with the possibilities of this new venture.
Wine Café returns [29 January 2013]
The wine café on South Parade is returning. Ted Sandbach of the Oxford Wine Company has bought the site and work is underway to refurbish it. The new business will be known as the Oxford Wine Café. The new café will open in the first week of April with over 100 wines available, as well as hot drinks, cakes and cold food. The opening hours will be 8.30am to 11.00pm. We are sure that the people of Summertown will be delighted by this news.
Next Forum meeting [28 January 2013]
The next meeting of the Summertown Neighbourhood Forum will be on Friday 15 March at 7.30pm at St Margaret's Institute on Polstead Road.
Stevensons to take over S&W Schoolwear [24 January 2013]
The long-established Shepherd & Woodward shop in Summertown, now branded as Schoolwear Oxford, is to be taken over by D W Stevenson Ltd on 1 February. The staff and focus of the shop will be retained.
COOK launches low calorie meals - 15% off [17 January 2013]
COOK has launched a new range of low calorie meals. Mention summertown.info and you will get 15% off the cost of any of their new low calorie one pot meals.
Summertown Neighbourhood Forum [17 January 2013]
The general meeting to launch the Neighbourhood Forum was duly held on Monday and the meeting agreed to the setting up of the Forum and approved the constitution. It is to be hoped that future meetings will have the benefit of some heating and a microphone.
Shopping changes [17 January 2013]
We have heard that Country Casuals is to be replaced by yet another charity shop. We hope that this is a temporary change until the end of the lease.
Shopping changes [14 January 2013]
Following the great success of Flash in the Pan in the month leading up to Christmas, Port Meadow Designs is following suit and opening a "pop-up shop" at 9 South Parade (the ex-Oxford Guitar Gallery). The shop will be open from February to March.
Carter Jonas - 'Moving is an art' [4 January 2013]
Carter Jonas has opened their new office for residential sales and lettings at 256 Banbury Road. To coincide with the move, they have launched a ‘Moving is an art’ campaign. Mark Charter, head of residential, explains: “Our ‘Moving is an art’ campaign will span the next 12 months. We do so much with the arts in this great City and it made sense to embrace it. To kick off, we are celebrating our move by inviting budding artists from Oxfordshire to send in pictures to use in our brand new Home gallery. The theme is: “Home” – an original photograph, drawing or painting in any medium. The competition is open to all ages, 0-100+ years and prizes are to be won. Full details can be found here.
Summertown Neighbourhood Forum [4 January 2013]
There will be a general meeting to launch the Neighbourhood Forum at 7.30 pm on Monday 14 January at St Michael's Church, Lonsdale Road. The meeting will agree how the Forum should work, discuss getting moving on the Neighbourhood Plan, and decide on the programme for 2013. Please come along to take part in this community event.
Summertown "well lush" [3 January 2013]
Overheard in Cornmarket: "Summertown is looking well lush with all those Christmas lights".
Dentist changes hands [17 December 2012]
Davies & Davies, the Oakthorpe Road dental practice, has been acquired by Mrs Seetal Patel BDS MFDS. The practice has been re-named Oakthorpe Dental. Stuart and Denise Davies, who founded the practice 25 years ago, will continue to work there on a part time basis. Meanwhile Seetal Patel will be building up a patient list of her own, modernising certain aspects of the practice and increasing the range of services available. Opening hours will be extended which will increase the availability of appointments, including emergency appointments. Mrs Patel told us that she was “both honoured and delighted to be the new practice owner of Davies & Davies, a very well established dental practice with a great reputation”.
To celebrate the change of ownership Oakthorpe Dental is running a Teeth Whitening Promotion.
Summertown Christmas Lights [7 December 2012]
There was a fine crowd to watch the Summertown Christmas lights being switched on yesterday afternoon. Beautiful singing by Cherwell School and Cutteslowe Primary School, and wide selection od festive treats from the Co-op added to the occasion. spiced coffee from Starbucks. Why not come along and join the fun See the Oxford Times report here.
Summertown Christmas Lights [4 December 2012]
The Summertown Christmas lights will be switched on at 5pm on Thursday 6 December. There will be carols from Cutteslowe Primary School and Cherwell School choirs, mince pies from the Co-op and spiced coffee from Starbucks. Why not come along and join the fun.
We are very grateful to Savills, Shaw Gibbs, Finders Keepers, Knight Frank and our LibDem Councillors on Oxford City Coucil for donating the money so that the lights can go up.
Flash in the Pan returns [20 November 2012]
The stylish arts and crafts pop-up shop, Flash in the Pan, is returning to Summertown this Christmas. It opens on Saturday 1 December in the ex-Oxford Guitar Gallery at 9 South Parade, and from 11.00-12.30 that morning Philip Pullman and Will Gompertz will be signing copies of their books. Click here for details of opening hours, special events and what is going to be on sale.
Bombus Books at Summertown Library [13 November 2012]
Bombus Books, the publishing arm of the Oxford Inc writing group, will be talking about their experiences as writers, from creative writing to publishing, at Summertown Library. The group will tell their story, read extracts from their books and answer any questions people may have. The event is on Monday 19 November at 6.30-7.30pm. All readers, writers and writers-in-waiting are welcome. Free tickets (limited numbers) are available from the library.
Carter Jonas launches house swap scheme [13 November 2012]
A new service from Carter Jonas allows home-owners looking to move within Central and North Oxford to swap their homes with people living nearby. Carter Jonas Home Swap is designed to get people moving more quickly, chain-free and into the house they want. As Mark Charter of Carter Jonas explains, “We see a lot of people trading up or down and even sideways to move into a particular road or house that they want within the OX1 and OX2 postcodes. However, many people resist putting their homes on the market because they cannot find the property they want in the street they want and all too often there is a long wait for the right thing to come along. Our house swap scheme will alleviate this as people can register their homes without actively marketing them, removing any pressure to sell before they find the right place.”.
Farmer's Market celebrates 10 years [12 October 2012]
Wolvercote Farmers Market is celebrating its tenth birthday on Sunday 14 October. The celebrations which start at 10am and end at 2pm will have a great line up of producers, chefs, and activities. Celebrity chef Sophie Grigson will be presenting a cookery demonstration and Paul Bellchambers, owner/chef of The Late Chef, will be cooking a dish in the Ready Steady Cook style.
The market will, as always, have a wide range of producers offering quality local produce: meat, cheese, milk, bread, vegetables, fruits, Italian, Japanese, French, Indian style food, eco-friendly products, re-cycling, biscuits and plants.
Travel Solutions gets facelift [5 October 2012]
Travel Solutions, the travel agents on South Parade, will reopen on Monday 8 October after an extensive refit. Gone will be the walls stacked with brochures, the formica desks, and posters of exotic destinations curling at the edges. Instead, explains Manager Charlotte Findlay, "Our new-look consultancy will be very trendy and provide a haven for those wanting to book their next trip away. We are having plain white walls, dark wood desks and will be adding a touch of the exotic with material over the ceiling like a Bedouin tent and a fantastic antelope chaise longue" Sounds well worth a visit.
Summertown Wine Café [22 September 2012]
People were shocked to learn last night that the Summertown Wine Café was closing at midnight. Today the doors are locked and the café, usually full of coffee and wine drinkers on a Saturday lunchtime, is empty. The manager tells us that he hopes the café will soon reopen, albeit in a different form..
New Barber's shop [21 September 2012]
A new barber's has opened on the site of Ziggy's café. It joins A Cut Above as a place for men to have their hair cut at a reasonable rate in Summertown.
Apple Day [11 September 2012]
Low Carbon Oxford North is pleased to announce that a Summertown Apple Day will be held on Sunday 23 September 2012 from 12-4 at St. Michael’s Church on Portland Road.
Residents from Oxford are invited to attend. Bring your apples plus (if you have one) a bottle with a screw top, and we’ll help you turn them into apple juice in pasteurised bottles to take away.
Last year’s Summertown Apple Day was a great success with over 100 people attending and an estimated 100 litres of “Low Carbon Apple Juice” being pressed thanks to the help of many enthusiastic volunteers.
Engagement ring lost [27 August 2012]
An engagement ring was lost last Thursday at the Alexandra Courts car park. Please contact us if you have found the ring and we will inform the owner.
New shoe shop for Summertown [30 July 2012]
Cara Shoes is opening a new shop in Summertown on the site recently occupied by part of Shepherd & Woodward. This will add to Cara's small chain of shops in the South-East.
Charity concert at St Michael's [1 July 2012]
A concert is being held at St Michael & All Angels Church in Lonsdale Road on Sunday 29 July at 7pm. The concert is in aid of Cancer Research UK, and in memory of Sally Payne.
The Amphion Ensemble will be playing Schubert’s Piano Quintet in A ("The Trout"), Mendelssohn’s Konzertstck no. 1, Op.113, Schubert’s Piano Trio, (D. 897 “Notturno”), and Mozart’s Allegro in F (K. 580b).
Admission is £10, and every penny goes to Cancer Research UK.
More business moves [10 July 2012]
A Planning Application (click here to see the details) has been made to enable Carter Jonas to take over the shop currently occupied by Lyster Hair Design at 256 Banbury Road. The hairdressers will move to 272 Banbury Road, the site of the old Greek Taverna. Two changes of use are involved and Summertown high street will acquire another estate agent which we are sure is just what the residents of Summertown wanted.
Business moves [29 June 2012]
One of the branches of Rowland Pharmacy, which was in Prama House at 267 Banbury Road, has moved to the bottom of the Summertown shops on the other side of the Banbury Road at the old MK Foods site. We imagine they are hoping to fill prescriptions for the people coming from the doctors' surgeries to the south of them.
Hine Solicitors, who were in the Clarendon Business Centre at Prama House, have moved further up the Banbury Road to Seymour House.
Cutteslowe School Summer Fair [21 June 2012]
Cutteslowe Primary School, the catchment school for all of Summertown, is having a Summer Fair on Friday 29 June from 3:15 to 5:30pm. All are welcome, it's a great opportunity to come and see your local school in action.
Several local businesses have already donated wonderful prizes for our Grand Prize Raffle but we could still do with a couple more. If you have anything you would like to donate to this great cause please get in touch with the school or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summertown celebrates Diamond Jubilee [15 June 2012]
The traders in Summertown made a big effort for the Queen's Diamond Jubilee. Here are some images of the shops.
Co-op gets makeover [11 June 2012]
The Co-op is having a makeover. New store manager, Richard Clements, tells us that the "all-new refrigeration systems not only reduce the space needed for motors but also reduce the amount of electricity we use. The extra space we have gained has helped to extend the store inside. We can now give the customer a much fresher product with a greater range of choice. We have had a new floor put down and when finished we will have a modern and brighter store". The new layout certainly makes the store easier to navigate and the increased range is particularly welcome to the many people in Summertown who use the Co-op as their main supermarket.
New Café and Restaurant [10 June 2012]
Souths, the new café on South Parade opened last month and serves coffee and some food along with what they describe as "hi-power wifi". Adding to Summertown's collection of restaurants and cafés, Florio Bar and Kitchen at 215 Banbury Road is now open of business.
Neighbourhood Forum [29 May 2012]
The next Neighbourhood Forum meeting will now be held on 21 June, and will begin at 7.30 at the North Oxford Assocation, Diamond Place.
Oxford Civic Society, Oxford City Council and Oxford Brookes University are organising an event on 27th June that may be of interest to Neighbourhood Forum enthusiasts. The meeting from 6-9pm at the Assembly Room, Oxford Town Hall will include talks on “What's new in neighbourhood & community planning”, “What its like developing neighbourhood & community plans”, and “What’s happening in Oxford and the future possibilities for Oxford”.
Music recital at St Michael's [17 May 2012]
Two of the UK’s brightest young musical talents, Manus Noble (guitar) and Servane Le Moller (accordian) will be presenting a recital of music at St Michael’s Church, Summertown on Friday 25 May at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £10 and the duo will present music from all over the world including works by Bach, Piazzolla, Giuliani, Barrios, Takahashi, Britten, Gubaidulina, Ginastera and more.
Sainsbury's Local opens tomorrow [15 May 2012]
The new Sainsbury's opens its doors tomorrow. It will be interesting to see what impact this has on Tesco's.
COOK Summer menus tasting [9 May 2012]
COOK is having a grand tasting day on Saturday 19 May. Many of the items in the new Summer range will be available to taste including their new salads, galettes and cakes. Why not go along and find out how to hold a stree-free summer party.
Neighbourhood Forum Meeting [8 May 2012]
Today's Neighbourhood Forum meeting will have a report on the neighbourhood survey and will also start the process of appointing officers. If you would like to hear about the survey, or would like to take part in the Forum, the meeting is at 7.30pm at the North Oxford Association, Diamond Place.
Ferry Leisure Centre Open Weekend [20 April 2012]
Ferry Leisure Centre will be running two days of activities this weekend to “encourage and inspire the potential Olympians of the future”. Running from Saturday 21 April to Sunday 22 April there will be entertainment for all the family, FREE taster sessions for everyone to try, and exclusive membership offers.
Is your house leaking heat? [16 April 2012]
Low Carbon Oxford North (LCON) is holding a public meeting to show how thermal imaging can help you find out where your home leaks heat. The meeting will be held at the Baptist Church Hall on Thursday 3 May at 7.00 for 7.30pm. TV presenter and expert in energy efficiency, Charlie Luxton, will give a talk and after this LCON will report on the thermal imaging they did in February for four local streets (Oakthorpe, Beechcroft, Stratfield and Thorncliffe). This is a great opportunity to see the images and find out what they mean.
Neighbourhood Plan Survey [10 April 2012]
The proposed Summertown Area Neighbourhood Forum (see Developing Summertown below) is to conduct a survey of the Summertown and St Margret's wards. The aim of the survey is to gather the views of residents and businesses on the need for a Neighbourhood Plan and what the aspirations of such a Plan should be. We encourage everyone to complete this survey either in its paper form or online at this site. The next meeting of the proposed Forum is on 8 May at 7.30pm at the North Oxford Association, Diamond Place .
Flower shop to internet café [5 April 2012]
Following the closure of Emma Walker's flower shop on South Parade, signs have appeared iin the window saying that it is to become an internet café. We have been told that the intention is to create an "external common room" for St Edward's. As we await developments on this, work is progressing on converting the old La Dolce Vita restaurant on the Banbury Road into a new cocktail bar and restaurant.
Summertown Artweek is coming [29 March 2012]
Artweek in Summertown begins on 12 May. The artists are putting the final touches to their exhibitions and the organisers are busy with the final preparations. The week starts with a Street Parade on the Banbury Road on Saturday morning. Children will be making animal faces, ears, tails and crowns and then parading behind the Horns of Plenty marching band. Click to download the brochure with full details of the Parade.
Dentist registering new NHS patients [21 March 2012]
The Summertown Dental Practice at 279 Banbury Road is now taking on new NHS patients. This is a very welcome move given the scarcity of local dentists who are willing to have NHS patients.
LCON announce electric car proposal [12 March 2012]
LCON is trying to gauge interest in a new car club using electric cars. There is an article about it here. LCON need 100 people to fill in a questionnaire about using this service so, if you are interested, you might like to click this link and tell E-Car what you think. There will also be be a public meeting to discuss the electric car club proposal. LCON is hosting the session with the E-Car Club directors on 29 March at 19.30 to 21.30 at the Baptist Church Hall in Beech Croft Road for them to explain the scheme and to get your views and feedback.
Sainsbury's [15 March 2012]
Sainsbury's has begun work on fitting out the old Oddbins and Martin's shops on the Banbury Road as a new convinience store. We gather from this that their application for a liquor licence has been granted, which was the only planning obstacle in the way of the development .
North Area Forum [12 March 2012]
The next meeting of the North Area Forum will be on Thursday 15 March at 6.00–8.30 in Music 2 at Cherwell School. The main topic for discussion will be waste collection and recycling but there will also be presentations from English Heritage about the Oxford Heritage Asset Register, and an update on the work of Low Carbon Oxford North.
COOK for Mothers Day [11 March 2012]
COOK make it easy for children (and their fathers) to prepare a meal on Mothers Day. There are many dishes to choose from and if you buy the White Chocolate & Raspberry Cheesecake, COOK will donate £1 to the Yummy Mummy Week fundraising campaign run by children's cancer charity CLIC Sargent.
There was an interesting Summertown Ward meeting at the NOA last night. The main focus was the development of Summertown; how new legislation gives local people more control over planning; and the effect of the recent report on the High Street by Mary Portas. A representative of the City Planning Department outlined the process for creating a Neighbourhood Plan under the new Localism Act, which came into effect in November 2011.
The meeting was also told that the Council had approved the development of Diamond Place and Ewert House, and that the parking provision will be no lower than the current public spaces available. The plan can be commented on until the 26th of March but only minor changes will be made to it.
LibDem Councillor Jean Fookes is currently waiting for the Post Office to agree that Summertown can have a Sub Post Office. Once that happens then the search can begin for a suitable location.
Click here for a full report on the meeting.
Summertown Library [16 February 2012]
As Friends of Summertown Library have reported, the Library has reopened after getting makeover which has made it brighter and more convivial. The front desk at the entrance has gone and, instead, custmers check books in and out at self-service consoles on the left. They’re easy to use and it takes only a minute or two. Library staff hover nearby in case you need help.
You now come into an open space, as you enter the library, with a new set of bookshelves, laid out in a “propeller” shape. These shelves are on wheels and can be moved to the side to make a meeting space. So the Library becomes a place not just for books, but also for cultural events such as book-readings.
Library staff have a new welcome desk further back and they can now concentrate more fully on giving advice and assistance. At the rear on the left, a Readers’ Corner has been created with brand-new red chairs convenient for young and old alike. It’s a place where people can sit and read a book, newspaper or magazine.
This work has been carried out by the County Council with some assistance from the Friends, who will be appealing for more funds once they are set up as a charity.
Craft Fair [16 December 2011]
A 'Pop-up' Art and Craft Fair will be held at the North Oxford Association Centre off Diamond Place on Saturday 17 December. The event will be taking place between 12.00 and 16.00. Entrance is free and the organisers tell us that there will be a wide variety of high quality craft items on sale.
Greek restaurant closes [15 December 2011]
After over 20 years in Summertown the Greek Taverna has closed. It is said that the new rent demand was so high that the restaurant had no option but to close.
Sainsbury's coming to Summertown [9 December 2011]
There is a lot of discussion in Summertown about the decision of Sainsbury's to move into the combined Martin's and Oddbins site in Suffolk House. While the deal is not yet signed and sealed, and the Council has yet to grant a liquor licence, there is every likelihood that it will go ahead. The new store could be open in January. The feeling among the people of Summertown is that this is something they just do not need.
Oxford Guitar Gallery closes [28 November 2011]
South Parade, Summertown, and the whole of Oxford is poorer for the closure last week of The Oxford Guitar Gallery on South Parade. We wonder how many other shops are looking at their lease renewals and deciding whether or not they should continue in business.
Christmas Lights [20 November 2011]
Summertown's Christmas Lights will be switched on on Friday 2 December. All are welcome to come to the Christmas tree outside Finders Keepers where the St Edwards Brass Band will be playing and the lights will be switched on at 5.30 pm.
Summertown Library update [20 November 2011]
Friends of Summertown Library tell us that the County Council is pressing ahead with its promised improvements and expects these to have been completed towards the end of January 2012. The Friends have provided funds to allow the new bookshelves to be mounted on wheels, so that they can be moved out of the way to provide a more flexible space for activities outside normal opening hours.
At the public meeting on September 22nd, plans were shown which would enable the library to be enlarged by moving the front wall forward to the front of the canopy, so that the space inside could be rearranged and a space provided at the front which could be used for a separately-accessed Post Office. If sufficient funds could be raised, new furniture, bookshelves and equipment could be provided.
Farewell to other businesses [19 November 2011]
Following on from the departure of ExCellar from Summertown we also have to report that Martin's newsagent has closed, as has La Dolce Vita, another long-term presence on the hight street. These closures are definitely a sign of the times, as is the closure of Hacketts café which took over the site from the equally short-lived Nosh 2 Go. There is an unconfirmed rumour that the Martin's site will be taken over by JJB Sports.
ExCellar to close [18 November 2011]
We are sad to report that ExCellar (which recently took over the Oddbins site on the corner of South Parade) is to close at 7pm on Sunday 20 November. Until that time they are offering discounts of up to 50% off wines and 20% off champagne and spirits.
"Spices" at the Summertown Wine Café [15 November 2011]
Local author Sophie Grigson's latest book, Spices, has been published and is available from the Book House and the Wine Café priced £20. We asked Sophie what part the Wine Café played in writing the book. "Nine months ago I was asked to write a book in 90 days” she told us. “I cleared the diary and moved to a quiet corner of the Summertown Wine Café. It is the perfect spot to write in. Great coffee, fabulous wine for when the going gets tough, congenial staff, and a fascinating clutch of regulars, many of whom I now count as friends. The book has now emerged just in time for Christmas. I still make regular sorties to my ‘office’ on South Parade, and the coffee still tastes every bit as good”.
Creation Theatre Celebrate in Summertown [11 November 2011]
Creation Theatre Company will be out and about in Summertown tomorrow to celebrate the fact that they will be performing A Christmas Carol at the North Wall from 8 December 2011 – 7 January 2012. There will be a huge Creation tricycle, a treasure hunt with prizes, craft sessions, a kids drama performance, a pop-up Box Office where you can buy your tickets for A Christmas Carol and start your Christmas shopping early, with tastings and giveaways in Banbury Road shops. Full details here.
COOK opens on 28 October [26 October 2011]
COOK is opening its doors in Summertown this Friday, 28 October.Kristie Davies told us, "There will be plenty of tasters in store over the weekend of our ready made meals for you to see the great quality of the food available, which can all be cooked from frozen".
St Edwards' pupil is county's top run-scorer [13 October 2011]
Joe Barrett, a 15 year-old pupil at St Edward’s School, has been named as the top run-scorer in the county for the 2011 season – including all junior and adult players. His impressive total of 654 runs included centuries v Wiltshire U15 (104), Buckinghamshire U17 (138) and Bedfordshire U17 (125) .
COOK opening in Summertown [10 October 2011]
COOK is coming to Summertown; taking over the space recently vacated by Clinton Cards. COOK is the brainchild of husband and wife team, Richard and Kristie Davies. For 15 years they have been making high quality meals with the philosophy of using the same ingredients and techniques people do at home. Every meal is prepared personally by a chef who puts their name on the pack. There is something for everyone and every occasion, from a quiet night in to catering for a large dinner party. Richard and Kristie will be providing tastings of their dishes from their new shop in Summertown from the 28th October 2011.
Barefoot Books Opening Weekend [10 October 2011]
Barefoot Books' opening weekend was a great success with all the activities being much enjoyed by all the children who came along to see what Barefoot was all about. Barefoot Books will undoubtably bring more people to Summertown and is a very welcome addition to our area.
Barefoot Books Opening Weekend [30 September 2011]
Barefoot Books is having a Grand Opening Weekend of Family Events on the 8th and 9th of October. Everyone is welcome to come along, join in the free activities and find out what Barefoot is all about. .
Events this weekend [27 September 2011]
Alcock Butchers invites you to join them at a pig roast to celebrate 25 years of trading in Summertown.
The Ferry Leisure Centre is having an Open Weekend with free taster classes, exclusive membership offers, free 7 day pass for friends & family and 2 months free when you join the Centre over the weekend.
Barefoot Books coming to Summertown [1 August 2011]
Barefoot Books, the award-winning publishers of fine illustrated children's books, are currently transforming the Twinings Building on the Banbury Road into a publishing office, flagship store and a community centre for a wide variety of children's enrichment activities from arts and crafts and cookery classes through to drumming workshops, yoga and baby massage. There will even be a storytelling throne. General Manager, Gautam Bhasin, told us that, 'Barefoot Books store will be like a version of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory, the difference being that we provide chocolate for children's minds and imaginations. You could call it word chocolate!'. We will be very interested to see the finished interior and the activities available for the children of Summertown.
Radio Oxford Saved [28 July 2011]
The future of BBC Oxford has been secured in what campaigners are calling a “victory for the people of Oxfordshire”. Plans to move TV operations from Banbury Road to Southampton to save money sparked anger in May. But in an email to BBC staff on Monday, director-general Mark Thompson said that the corporation “won’t be closing any local radio stations or television regions”.
Library meeting [21 July 2011]
Friends of Summertown Library is arranging a Public Meeting at 7.30 pm on Thursday 22nd September at St Edward’s School to discuss plans for making Summertown Library even more of a community asset than it is at the moment. All are welcome to go along to listen to the debate and add their views. More details here.
North Area Forum [20 July 2011]
The first meeting of the North Area Forum last Thursday, chaired by Cllr Mike Gotch from Wolvercote, saw some lively debate. An outline of the topics covered by the City’s Sites & Housing Development Plan document was presented by Planning Officer Mark Jaggard and two colleagues from the planning policy team. They summarised the topics covered in Part A, including policies on garden land classification, student housing, HMOs (Houses in Multiple Occupancy), car parking standards, energy efficiency and key worker housing, amongst others, but did not go into detail on the policies themselves .
Farmers' market comes to Summertown [15 July 2011]
Wolvercote Farmers' market is coming to Summertown. On Sundays between 24 July and 28 August the market will be at St Michael's Church Hall, Portland Road, from 10am to 1pm. Visitors can get a helping hand at the Bike Clinic, meet their friends and family at the market’s café, and have the opportunity to talk to local cheese producers, fruit, vegetable and flower growers, livestock farmers and a baker. The market also offers the chance to taste locally-sourced and made jams, chutneys, honey, and oils. The market will return to Wolvercote Primary School in September.
Diamond Place Redevelopment [1 July 2011]
A successful meeting was held on Monday at which Oxford City Council Planning Officer Mark Jaggard discussed with local residents and businesses the city’s suggested ‘preferred options’ for any possible development sites in Summertown. The main site of concern was naturally the combined Diamond Place/Ewert House car parks and building, and the main area of concern was the future car parking provision. Many people stressed that the existing level should be maintained with additional provision for new residents or businesses on the site.
Diamond Place Redevelopment [June 2011]
Oxford City Council has announced its preferred options for site allocations in the city. The major item for Summertown is that It has adopted the development of the Diamond Place carpark and Ewert House for a mixed development with a combination of retail units, offices, student accomodation and affordable housing. Carparking provision should be maximised and pedestrian and cycle rights retained. It is also condsidering tranforming the Five Mile Drive Recreation Ground, home of the Summertown Stars Football Club, into an extension of Wolvercote cemetry. The Council has decided not to support the the proposal from Brasenose College to turn fields east of Cherwell School into a sports ground.
Summertown Library Saved [27 May 2011]
Oxford County Council announced today that it was abandoning its plans to close Summertown Library, along with other libraries in the city slated for closure. This u-turn is a triumph for the campaign conducted by the Friends of Summertown Library (FoSL) which, along with national campaigns, convinced the Council to find savings elsewhere. FoSL will now engage with the Council to to make the library even more of a commuity resource.
Summertown Artweek Parade [21 May 2011]
Summertown's Artweek began today with a parade on the Banbury Road. Children and adults, carrying umbrellas they had decorated at a series of Saturday morning workshops, made a colourful display as they followed marching band Horns of Plenty round the shops and back to Summertown Library.
Library under threat - New event [7 February 2011]
A family event will be held on the morning of Saturday 12 February around the theme of "I love my library" in the run-up to St Valentine's day and in the shadow of proposed cuts and closures of libraries. The event will take place outside the library from 11 to 12 (midday) on Saturday morning, with music and art and lots of children! .To find out more about this, the read-in last Saturday, and about joining the Friends of Summertown Library see details here.
Library under threat - update [2 February 2011]
Around 350 people packed into the St Edward's Main Hall this evening to hear details of the planned withdrawal of funding from Summertown Library, otherwise known as closure, and the steps being taken to prevent it. The meeting, ably chaired by the Lord Mayor, Cllr John Goddard, heard excellent speeches from Colin Dexter and the leader of Friends of Summertown Library, Jonathan Hood. Representatives of the County Council made their points, before questions from the floor which included a particularly challenging one from local MP, Nicola Blackwood. The good-natured meeting ended with people feeling inspired to continue the fight to keep Summertown Library open.To find out about joining the Friends of Summertown Library see details here.
Library under threat - update [1 February 2011]
Phillip Pullman made an inspirational speech at the Town Hall on 20 January and the event was reported in The Guardian. Summertown residents are now looking forward to the meeting at St Edward's tomorrow evening at 7.30 - full details here.
Children from Wolvercote Primary School demonstrated outside Summertown library today. They waved home-made banners and chanted 'Save our Libraries!', leaving pasers-by in no doubt of the importance of the library to younger users.
Library under threat - update [19 January 2011]
Phillip Pullman will be speaking at a public meeting in the Assembly Rooms at the Town Hall at 7.30pm on 20 January. The meeting has been called by Oxfordshire Anti Cuts Alliance to protest about the proposed library closures and other spending cuts.
There will also be a meeting to discuss the closure of Summertown library and possible ways forward. It will be held on Wednesday 2 February at 7.30pm in the Main Hall of St Edward's school .
Parking charges to be imposed [18 January 2011]
Oxford City Council's Scrutiny Committee has voted in favour of imposing charges on people parking at Cutteslowe Park [see 10 December]. This decision will be now be taken to a full meeting of the Council where it will almost certainly be accepted.
Library under threat - update [14 January 2011]
The petition to save the Summertown library has now closed, but there was a tremendous response and when it closed it had been signed by 1541 people. We now wait to find out what happens at the Oxfordshire County Council Cabinet meeting on 25 January. We have learnt that the proposed cuts have already been agreed by the Scrutiny Committee. The weight of public opinion against closing the libraries should at least persuade the Council to help local communities to come up with an alternative management system. We have also learnt that the Council is most interested in the capital value of the buildings occupied by the libraries and we hear that the Summertown library building may be turned into an Autism Centre. It is not clear if this will be run by the Council or if the building will be sold to another organisation.
Library under threat - update [10 January 2011]
The petition to save the Summertown library has now been signed by over 1000 people. People protesting against the closure today were joined by Colin Dexter, whose support for the library was captured by a photographer from the Oxford Mail. Please continue to sign the petition and ask your friends to do the same. The petition will close on 13 January. Please sign the petition now.
Northern Gateway given go-ahead [22 December 2010]
We have just heard that, much to everyone's surprise, the Northern Gateway development has been given the go ahead by the Planning Inspector. More details here .
Library under threat - update [20 December 2010]
There is now a petition on the Oxfordshire County Council site to save the Summertown library. We appeal to everyone to go to the site and sign the petition. The petition will be live until 13 January, after which the results will be presented to the budget committee that is deciding what cuts to make. Please sign the petition now.
Snow blankets Summertown [19 December 2010]
Heavy snowfall over the whole of Oxford yesterday left Summertown with a covering of six to nine inches. The temperature remained below freezing all day and is not expected to climb above zero for the rest of the week. Traders looking forward to a busy pre-Chrismas weekend have been disappointed.
Council plans parking payments at Park [10 December 2010]
Oxford City Council is proposing to introduce car parking charges at seven car parks next to recreation parks in Oxford. Two of these car parks are at Cutteslowe Park, and Roger Parry, Vice Chair of the Summertown Stars Football Club, is leading a campaign against these charges. He points out that they will have the effect of reducing the use of the Park and increasing parking congestion in the surrounding streets. As one correspondent, Caroline Hayes, says: "This is a tax on fresh air". Mr Parry has set up an online petition and urges everyone in favour of free use of an important community space to sign the petition .
South Parade Christmas Shopping Evening [8 December 2010]
South Parade will be hosting it’s first late night Christmas Shopping evening on Wednesday 15 December 2010 from 5.30 - 8pm. South Parade, with its blend of independent shops, restaurants, cafes art galleries and theatre can now boast that it is the best independent shopping & leisure destination in Oxford. The late opening evening will see the street filled with candle lit lanterns guiding customers to the shops and restaurants.
Library under threat [8 December 2010]
The Summertown Library, which is a much-used and important resource for the community, is under threat of closure by the County Council. This would also have an impact on the Turrill Sculpture Garden behind the library. A campaign has been started to save the library - more details here.
Christmas lights switch-on [3 December 2010]
The Christmas lights were switched on this afternoon as the assembled crowd listened to carols sung by the senior choir from Cherwell School, music from the St Edward's brass band, and ate mince pies provided by the Co-op. The Lord Mayor performed the switching-on ceremony in full regalia and a good time was had by all despite the bitter wind.
St Edward's fun run [2 December 2010]
More than 300 pupils and staff dressed as Father Christmas and took part in a 2.5km fun run at St Edwards School, Oxford yesterday.
Runners were being sponsored to raise money for Helen & Douglas House, a local children's hospice, and to launch the festive season. The event is estimated to have raised £10,000 for the hospice which cares for children and young people with life limiting illnesses.
High spirits and fun conquered the chilly winter weather as young and spritely Father Christmases managed to cover the distance at great speed.
Christmas lights go up [29 November 2010]
The Christmas lights will soon be going up in Summertown. There will be a switching-on ceremony outside Finders Keepers at 4.30pm on Friday 3 December. All are welcome to listen to carols and music performed by children from Cherwell School, to eat mince pies provided by the Co-op, and to join in the fun as the Lord Mayor switches on the lights.
The lights have been organised by Summertown.info and kindly sponsored by Finders Keepers, Savills, Shaw Gibbs, and Knight Frank, with further help from NFU Mutual, Shepherd & Woodward and Bulthaup.
Diamond Place development [25 November 2010]
The proposals for the redevelopment of the Diamond Place car park and Ewert House will be presented at a meeting from 4.30 to 7.30pm on Friday 26 November at the North Oxford Community Centre. The meeting will also consider the Wolvercote Paper Mill site and the possible park off the Marston Ferry Road.
Local businessman and resident, Sydney Denton, has written to us with his views on the redevelopment:
"I personally believe the proposed redevelopment of Diamond Place and Ewert House is a wonderful opportunity to create a much larger and more vibrant Summertown. From conversations with fellow traders and neighbours the main fear is loss of parking facilities. I am sure you will be fully aware just how desperate it is to park in any side street. I am sure lots of shoppers go elsewhere. Can I propose that should this idea go forward, that two car parks be considered. One to accommodate the proposed offices/flats. The other for shoppers and visitors. One could well be below ground, the other for public use at ground level. Both could be serviced via Banbury Road and Marston Ferry Road.
The only other point I would like to mention is regarding the freehold of the land. In my book this is like selling the family silver – it is lost forever. I’m sure that granting a long lease – say 500 years or even 999 years – would fetch a similar figure, and one day it would return to base. Council land belongs to us – Joe Public."
New hairdresser opens [11 November 2010]
Popham, the new hairdresser in South Parade, opened its doors yesterday with a gala party which revealed that this new salon has a very stylish interior. Popham, which has a sister salon in North Parade, is a Sassoon Professional Partner.
Shop news update [8 November 2010]
The new home furnishings shop, Roseanneruth, has opened on South Parade. We reported below that Shepherd & Woodward was to stop selling toys. We now learn that they will be concentrating almost entirely on their main business as a schools outfitter and will carry in addition only a small selection of basic haberdashery and very much reduced range of sports equipment.
Plans to reduce car parking [5 November 2010]
Local traders have expressed concern about Council plans to build on the Diamond Place car park. They are rightly worried about any plans that would reduce the alreadly small number of parking spaces in Summertown. The Council has said that there would be parking underneath the building but the number of spaces is likely to be reduced and alternative parking is unlikely to be provided during the building work. The University offices at Ewert Place are also included in the plans. There will be a chance to comment on these plans at the North Oxford Communty Centre at Diamond Place on Friday 26 November.
Chiltern Railway link [1 November 2010]
The public enquiry into plans by Chiltern Railways for a new service from Oxford to Bicester begins on 2 November at the Oxford Conference Centre in Park End Street. The planned service, with an additional line on the existing way, would connect to the Birmingham to London Marylebone mainline. There would also be a new commuter station, Water Eaton Parkway, adjacent to the existing Park & Ride site.
Engage Oxford will be challenging the plans and will argue in favour of reduced train speeds of 30mph past houses in north Oxford, in addition to physical noise and vibration barriers. They will also push for an improved station layout to allow commuter buses and coaches priority over cars on the station forecourt as a way of reducing car access and therefore road congestion. Details of the proposed service.
Shop news [15 October 2010]
We hear that the ex-Ripples Twinings building on Banbury Road is now under offer again. Work is continuing on fitting out the new Sassoon hairdressers in South Parade; this will be the fifth hairdressers in Summertown. The ex-Joy shop on South Parade is, we learn, to become an independent home furnishing store. And finally, Shepherd & Woodward is going to stop selling toys.
Pizza Express appeal fails [5 October 2010]
Pizza Express has failed in its attempt to persuade the government inspector that it should be allowd to open in Summertown. The majority of residents who took part in our survey will be pleased at this result and will be looking forward to the fine ex-Ripples building being occupied by an organic supermarket, a hardware shop, or a fine independent trader of some other kind.
Road chaos to continue [2 October 2010]
The roadworks to install new gas pipes at the Marston Ferry lights are set to continue until 20 October. The phasing of the temporary lights has now been changed to improve traffic flow but long queues are still likely.
Liscious opens on South Parade [27 September 2010]
Liscious is now open for business on South Parade. Residents, who have been watching the transformation of the old Videosyncratic shop for several months, now have the chance to go inside and see the wonderful collection of furniture and other artefacts.
Update on Northern Gateway hearing [17 September 2010]
Details of the discussions on the second day of the hearing are available on the Engage website.
Final hearing on Northern Gateway [13 September 2010]
The final Planning Hearings on the Oxford Core Strategy, including a decision on the Northern Gateway developement, will be held in front of Stephen Pratt, the Planning Inspector, from Tuesday 14 September at 10am until Friday 17 September in the Assembly Room, Oxford Town Hall. The hearings are expected to last for four days. Engage Oxford, who are leading the opposition to the development, would greatly appreciate your support if you are able to attend.
Engage Oxford will be presenting the case for opposition to Northern Gateway alongside the Wolvercote Commoners and many others who oppose the project. The City Council, the developers and landowners are said to be pushing hard for approval. They have not withdrawn or delayed their plans, despite news to the contrary. You can read the latest documents on the Engage website.
Exhibition of new pictures of Oxford [10 September 2010]
Coming back from the summer break we were delighted to visit the new exhibition at the Sarah Wiseman Gallery. David Atkins, Alison Pullen and David Rhys Jones are all exhibiting new work featuring Oxford. The exhibition runs from the 10th to the 25th of September.
Street Dancing comes to Summertown [23 July 2010]
Street Dancing is the fastest growing dance form and is even being seen as an art form. Now Street Dancing is coming to Summertown. Steffi Hall is starting classes at the North Oxford Community Centre. The frst class is on Monday 26 July frm 6-7pm and is open to anyone aver the age of 15 and of any ability. As Steffi says, 'Its a great way to get toned and keep fit whilst enjoying yourself dancing like the guys/girls on the music videos'. Email Steffi for more information.
Last chance to comment on Alexandra Courts [20 July 2010]
The online consultation carried out by the City Council to gather residents' views on the Alexandra Tennis Courts is coming to an end. The closing day is 23 July. The questionnaire is at this site.
Apprentice finalist supports call for reduced rents [17 July 2010]
Saira Khan, Apprentice finalist and now Summertown resident, has added her voice to our calls for reduced rents and rates for independent Summertown businesses. She fears that shopping districts in the city centre and Summertown are in danger of being swamped by chain stores because small firms cannot afford the high rents and rates. As she says in an article in the Oxford Times, “I’m fed up of high streets looking the same. I don’t think it needs to be the case in Oxford". She has called on independent local businesses to to form a network so that their voice will be heard.
St Edward's Art Exhibition [5 July 2010]
For a chance to enjoy and even buy new art by St Edward’s A-Level artists, why not visit the Emerging Talent 2010 exhibition at the North Wall Arts Centre in South Parade.
Very few schools mount professional exhibitions of final-year art work, and St Edward’s is to be congratualted for showcasing their talented young artists in an exhibition open to the general public.
The pupils are exhibiting and selling their art partly to learn what’s involved in mounting and promoting an exhibition, but also to raise funds for gap year projects, university and charities.
The exhibition opens on Sunday 11th July, 2 – 4pm, and then from Monday 12th – Friday 16th July, 11am - 4pm.
Liscious opening Summertown shop [29 June 2010]
Work has begun to convert the old Videosyncratic shop on South Parade into a new Liscious shop. Offering a collection of furniture and objects, an interior design service and upholstery, Liscious has been a welcome presence in the area for some years. The shop will formally open in September and will, for some months, be run in tandem with the shop in Jericho. This is a very welcome addition to Summertown .
Pizza Express Survey results [25 June 2010]
We have now closed our survey of how residents and businesses see the arrival of Pizza Express in Summertown and the wider issues it raises. 68.7% of respondents were against the use of the ex-Ripples showroom as a Pizza Express restaurant. Full results here.
Low Carbon Oxford North public meeting [16 June 2010]
The first public meeting of the Low Carbon Oxford North group will be held on Thursday 15 July from 7-9pm at North Oxford Association community centre in Diamond Place.
Lemon Tree granted licence [10 June 2010]
After initial pleasure at the news that the Lemon Tree was to re-open, residents who live near the restaurant were alarmed to discover that the owner, Clinton Pugh, had applied for a licence to allow music, dancing and the sale of alcohol until 1.30 each morning.
This application was considered at the City Licensing Panel yesterday and the application was granted with the following conditions. No entry after 11pm. Sunday closure at 1130, rest of the week at 0200. Entertainments and alcohol to be ‘ancillary to the restaurant use’. Noise at nearby properties to be limited to 45dB.
Clinton Pugh said he did not want to run a nightclub but did want to be able to hold events of various kinds involving dancing and music until 1.30.
Oxfam shop celebrates 25 years [3 June 2010]
Oxford residents are being invited to help create a celebration to mark 25 since the Oxfam shop in Summertown moved into its current premises at 223 Banbury Road.
On 12 June 2010 the shop will celebrate its silver jubilee year with a display of local photos showing Summertown as it was in the year when the miners’ strike ended, Live Aid raised millions for the Ethiopian famine and Margaret Thatcher was refused an honorary degree by Oxford University. There will be Fairtrade food, eighties fashion, children’s activities and music in and around the Banbury Road shop. Local people are being asked to bring photos of the shop in the 1980s.
‘We hope lots of people will look through old photo albums and bring in their snapshots showing Banbury Road and Summertown in the 1980s,’ says shop manager Janet Willis. ‘It would be great to see local people and the streets and shops as they were in those days – especially if the Oxfam shop is in the picture. If you’re passing the shop, do drop in with your photos or send them to us by email . Click here for more details.
Cherwell meadows to be preserved [29 May 2010]
The Oxford Preservation Trust is negotiating to buy land on the east bank of the Cherwell from Tesco and Oxford City Council. The land is across the river from the Summer Field playing fields and the bottom of Lonsdale Road. Both owners are willing to sell and it is likely the land will be saved as water meadows and grazing land for future generations to enjoy.
Government change affects Northern Gateway [28 May 2010]
The new Government has said that it will get rid of the South East Plan under which Councils were required to earmark land for housing development. With this obligation removed, the case for the development of the Northern Gateway site loses a lot of its bureaucratic validity.
Pizza Express Appeal [21 May 2010]
Pizza Express is appealing against the refusal of planning permission to allow them to use Twining House as a restaurant. They argue in the appeal that Council's calculation of A1 units in Summertown, a key test when assessing change of use to a restaurant (A3), is incorrect and that the Council has given insufficient weight to what they see as the benefits to Summertown of having a Pizza Express. The appeal will be heard by an inspector appointed by the Secretary of State. Full details are at www.oxford.gov.uk/planningapplications, using Application Search with the reference 10/00135/FUL.
Mark Haddon talk [12 May 2010]
Bestselling author Mark Haddon will be talking about his current show of paintings at the Sarah Wiseman Gallery on Wednesday 19 May at 6.30pm. Tickets are free, but limited to 30 places. Ring the gallery on 515123 to reserve your place.
Street Festival a success [10 May 2010]
Freezing winds, rain and thick cloud did not spoil the atmosphere at the annual Street Festival held last Saturday. Generously sponsored by Finders Keepers and d'Overbroeck's, the Festival started with a bang as Dnote took to the main stage, followed by the Immposters and Cooper Black. We were delighted to see Jez Cook with his trio and two new bands in the form of Empire Safari and Vibe. The stalls buzzed, faces were painted, and the crowd was entertained by Electric Cabaret's superb combination of mime, stiltwalking and living statue.
Lemon Tree to reopen [5 May 2010]
We learn that Clinton Pugh, the owner of the Lemon Tree, is planning to reopen the restaurant in the summer. It closed with a view to redevelopment as luxury apartments, and we imagine the current economic climate is the reason for the decision. We are sure that Summertown residents will be pleased by this news.
Summertown Street Festival [3 May 2010]
The organisers of the annual Street Festival, which takes place at the shops on the Banbury Road on 8 May from 10am to 1pm, report that everything is now in place for the usual mix of music, dance, performance and children's art activities. Everyone enjoys this lively morning which marks the beginning of Artweeks in Summertown. This year's Fancy Dress Parade will have a recycling theme.
Pizza Express refused [23 April 2010]
We hear that Pizza Express has been refused planning permission to turn the ex-Ripples bathroom store into a restaurant. The planners either think that Summertown has a surfeit of restaurants or that three pizza outlets is enough.
North Oxford Golf Course cuts rates [9 March 2010]
North Oxford Golf Club has slashed subscription rates to attract younger golfers and frozen green fee and society rates from 1 April 2010. Manager Bob Harris says, “Although the recession seems to have bottomed out we have taken steps to keep our reputation as the best value members’ club in the area”. The club has introduced two new categories to attract younger golfers – intermediate membership for 21-25 year olds for £395 and for 26-29 year olds for £595. Both categories include a £20 bonus to spend on food and drink in the clubhouse.
Opening of new Alexandra Park playground [28 February 2010]
The 'Grand Opening' of the brand new playground at Alexandra Park will be held on Saturday 27 March. Laura Evers, Chair of the Friends of Alexandra Park, tells us that ‘it will be a great fun day out for all and a chance to celebrate the successful completion of all the 'Friends of Alexandra Park' group, the council and many other organisations' hard work towards making such a great improvement to the play area’. 11am sees the ribbon cutting by the Deputy Lord Mayor, John Goddard, who will be introduced by BBC Oxford's Bill Heine. There will also be a drawing competition judged by Mini Grey, a bouncy castle, a mini-beast treasure hunt, snacks and drinks, face-painting, owls, basketball coaching and much more from 10am - 1pm.
Taize service at St Michael's [27 February 2010]
A new 30 minute candlelit Taizé service providing time and space for song, prayer, reflection, spirituality and silence is now beinig held in the beautiful Lady Chapel at St Michael and All Angels every Sunday at 6.30pm.
Susan Moxley exhibition at North Wall [19 February 2010]
Local artist Susan Moxley is holding an exhition called: The Female Form - Celebrating Women at The North Wall Arts Centre. The exhibition runs from Monday 22nd February to Friday 13th March, and includes a piece made up of the portraits of 100 women from Summertown and elsewhere. Gallery hours are Monday-Saturday, 11am-4pm.
Finders Keepers scoops four awards [19 February 2010]
Finders Keepers has won three awards in the Sunday Times 'Estate Agency of the Year' awards, one of them for Best UK Letting Agent. The also received the 'Employer of the Year' award from The Negotiator magazine.
Shop moves [18 February 2010]
We now hear that the new occupant of the Twining Building is to be Pizza Express. This will be Summertown's fourth pizza outlet. On a lighter note we are delighted to hear that Liscious may be taking over the lease for the shop in South Parade recently vacated by Videosyncratic.
Sculpture Garden is 10 years old [9 February 2010]
This year the Turrill Sculpture Garden, an oasis of calm behind the library in South Parade, is celebrating the the tenth anniversary of its opening. The current Winter exhibition is on until the end of the month and the first exhibition of the new season opens on Tuesday 2 March.
Change of use [4 February 2010]
It appears that the Twining building (294 Banbury Road) which was until recently the Ripples Bathroom showroom, and which longer-term residents will remember as Mr Denton's cycle shop, is to become a restaurant.The Council has received an application for change of use to a restaurant with 50 tables on the forecourt. There have been rumours for some time that the ASK pizza chain was looking for a site in Summertown; perhaps they have found one.
Shops closing [3 February 2010]
It is a sad day for Summertown as we learn that Joy, the lingerie boutique, and Videosyncratic, the dvd rental shop, are closing. Both shops are in South Parade and have provided a useful and friendly service to the residents of Summertown and further afield for many years. Videosyncratic is the victim in part of changing technology, but also of the ridiculously high rents now charged by landlords in Summertown. These rents are based on the sums paid by national chains such as Costa Coffee and Starbucks and bear no relation the realities of trading for small businesses.
More Snow in Summertown [13 January 2010]
Just as the streets were beginning to clear more snow arrived today causing very icy roads this morning and more problems for the shops and restaurants eager to attract customers after a slow start to the new year. Residents were starting to complain that the Council had made no effort to clear bus stops and other public amenity spaces and that those pavements that had been cleared had not been gritted. Bus stops have now been cleared and one of the pavements on the Banbury Road shops has been gritted. Council workers have been taken off refuse collection duties to help clear the snow.
Snow in Summertown [6 January 2010]
Residents woke this morning to find Summertown covered with a blanket of snow. In some places the snow was a foot deep, making this the heaviest snowfall since the 1980s. Snow showers continued during the day and temperatures are expected to fall tonight which will lead to very icy roads tomorrow.
Summertown Christmas Lights [8 December 2009]
The Summertown Christmas lights have gone up one day earlier than we thought. We would like to thank Oxford City Council for its generous contribution to the Lights Fund and the following public-spirited Summertown businesses who have contributed this year: Finders Keepers, Shaw Gibbs, Savills, NFU Mutual, Knight Frank, M&S, and Brecon & Brecon, and Summertown Cycles who sponsored the Christmas tree and provided the bicycle wheels . . .
Summertown Christmas Lights [1 December 2009]
The Summertown Christmas lights will be going up, although the delay, caused by long debates with the County Council, means that they will not be put up before 9 December. The Christmas tree outside Finders Keepers will be going up and the lights will be switched on on Friday 4 December at 5pm. The organisers invite you to come along to share mince pies and mulled wine, kindly provided by M&S, and to see the lights go on.
Flash in the Pan Christmas shop moves [30 November 2009]
The Flash in the Pan Christmas shop has had to move at the last moment to 35 George Street. The change of venue was caused by the sudden closure of the company which owned the premises in the Turl.
Local artists open Christmas shop [25 November 2009]
Summertown artists Susan Moxley and Tess Blenkinsop are opening a Christmas shop at 16 Turl Street. The shop, called "Flash in the Pan" will be open from 4-19 December (closed Sundays) selling paintings, prints, jewellery, ceramics, glass and many other items.
Evan Harris on Northern Gateway [5 October 2009]
Local MP Evan Harris eloquently expressed his reservations over the proposed Northern Gateway development at last week's North Area Committee meeting. Having pointed out that the development was not in accord with the regional plan for job creation and commercial development in Oxfordshire, he expressed concern that the various traffice issues, including air quality and the fact tha the A34 is at capacity, were not taken into account. He finished by suggesting that any development should be modelled on current economic conditions rather than projections from 2006.
St Michael's celebrates centenary [22 September 2009]
Summertown's parish church, St Michael and All Angels in Lonsdale Road, is celebrating its centenary. There will be a service to celebrate its 100th anniversary on Tuesday 29th September at 7.30pm. Leading the service will be the current vicar, Jan Rushton, and the former curate of St Michael’s, Bishop David Conner, who is now the Dean of Windsor. Everyone is welcome for this sung Eucharist.
Cllr Fooks and Cllr McCready spoke against the proposal at the Hearing, as did Cllr Goddard, who concentrated his objections on traffic grounds. Local MP Dr Evan Harris spoke strongly against the proposal. The Highways Agency and the County Council both opposed the scheme very strongly because of the large increase in traffic, which may amount to an extra 500 vehicles in the peak hour. It emerged that the Cherwell District Council proposals for a matching development on the other side of the Oxford city boundary had been withdrawn but no reasons for this were given. The Inspector’s binding decision will be made in October or November, but he seemed to be unimpressed by at least some of the case put forward by the city council and the developers.
Northern Gateway meeting [3 September 2009]
The well-attended meeting at Cherwell School last night had a chance to hear details of the proposed development of 'Northern Gateway'. This piece of land has been the subject of many proposals since the 1920s, all of which have been rejected. The meeting learnt that the land, which is mostly owned by the Colleges, is not Green Belt as it had been redesignated by the Council. The next stage is the Hearing by the local Inspector at Oxford Town Hall on the 10th and 11th of September from 10am. More details here. Should the Inspector approve the plan there is still the possibility of challenging it in the High Court.
Northern Gateway meeting [27 August 2009]
A public meeting will be held at Cherwell School (Main Hall, North site) at 6pm for 6:30pm on Wednesday 2nd September 2009 to discuss plans by Oxford City Council for the 'Northern Gateway'. This proposed development involves the construction of 1-2 million square feet of commercial/industrial units on green belt land at Peartree. The impact of this development on Summertown will be considerable, with some 10,000 additional cars and many lorries on the roads, a large retail park which will affect our local shops, and the loss of green fields. There has, effectively, been no consultation with the local community about this development. The meeting on 2 September, which will be attended by local MP Dr Evan Harris, will air the issues involved. It will also be a preparation for the Hearing into the plan called by the local Inspector. This will take place at Oxford Town Hall on the 10th and 11th of September from 10am. More details here.
Man hit by bus [13 July 2009]
A 19-year-old pedestrian suffered serious injuries when he was hit by a bus.The Stagecoach bus was travelling along the Banbury Road in Summertown, near Tesco Express, when the crash happened. The man was taken to the city's John Radcliffe Hospital, where he is in a stable condition. Police have appealed for witnesses, particularly anyone who was on the bus at the time of the collision at 1535 BST on Sunday.
Canalside Swap Shop [8 July 2009]
The Canalside Environment Group is hosting a Summer Swap Shop on Saturday 11th July from 10.00am -12.00 at the St Margaret's Institute on Polstead Road. Bring along your unwanted household items, clothes, books, plants, etc (no large or electrical goods) until 11.30 and take away anything that takes your fancy. All absolutely free of charge.
North Wall Summer Festival [17 June 2009]
Two works by world famous composer Sir John Tavener will make their debut at this year’s North Wall Festival which runs from 1 July to 11 July. Sir John will probably be attending the Festival in person.
Other items including film hits from award-winning composer George Fenton; cutting edge drama from Paines Plough and other leading companies; together with three great double bills of fast-paced comedy from Rhod Gilbert, Isy Suttie, Russell Kane and more award-winning stand-ups make this Festival, now in its third year, the hottest ticket this summer. Click here for more details.
Summertown Street Festival [11 May 2009]
The sun shone, the bands played, and the Street Festival on Saturday was judged to be a success. Cooper Black and The Immposters performed on the stage to large crowds, and there were long queues for face painting and the other children's activities. The first prize in the Fancy Dress Parade was won by a great clown who, the organisers tell us, will probably be booked to entertain the crowds at next year's festival. The organisers wish to thank everyone involved, with particular thanks to d'Overboroeck's Sixth Form College and St Edward's School for providing excellent musicians and activities.
Summertown Street Festival [5 May 2009]
The annual Summertown Street Festival is this Saturday, 9 May, from 10am until 1pm on the Banbury Road. There will be musicians on the pavements, street entertainers, children's activities and food stalls. Coffee and meals can be had at the many cafes and restaurants that line the street. Come along and join in the fun!
Artweeks in Summertown [5 May 2009]
Artweeks in Summertown begins on 9 May and ends on 17 May. Walk round Summertown and visit the many artists in their studios. Guides to what is available are in all the shops and the map, designed by local illustrator Korky Paul, shows all the sites.
Artweeks in Summertown [20 March 2009]
The organisers of Artweeks in Summertown are busy planning events to coincide with the annual open studios festival, when people can visit artsits in their studios. The annual Summertown Street Festival will be on Saturday 9 May and this year will once again be at the shops on the Banbury Road.
Somerfield closes [14 March 2009]
After many years in Summertown, the Somerfield supermarket has shut its doors for the last time and work will now begin to convert it into a Tesco Metro store. Tesco is expected to open in 4-6 weeks' time.
Snow blankets Summertown [6 February 2009]
The streets of Summertown are white for a second day running as heavy snowfall closes schools and makes getting to work something of an adventure.
Somerfield to close [4 February 2009]
Somerfield supermarket is to close on 14 March. It will reopen six weeks later as a Tesco Express. Coop, which bought Somerfield last year, has been forced to sell Somerfield stores in areas which already have a Coop.The staff at Somerfield will all keep their jobs. Headington is to get a Waitrose.
Gaza protest at BBC [26 January 2009]
A small but vocal group protested outside BBC Radio Oxford on the Banbury Road this evening about the BBC's refusal to air an appeal for aid for the victims of the recent conflict in Gaza.
Christmas Lights and celebrations [8 December 2008]
Summertown info has arranged for the Christmas lights to be put up in Summertown for the second year running. This have been made possible by financial support from Finders Keepers, Shaw Gibbs, NFU Mutual, Oxford City Council and the contractors for the roadworks, Enterprise.
There will be a ceremony to mark the completion of the works and the erection of the lights on Tuesday 9 December from 4.30pm outside M&S. Everyone is invited to come along to hear the band play, join in the carol singing and watch the Christmas tree lights being switched on.
Works almost finished [6 December 2008]
The work of refurbishing the pavements and road surfaces in Summertown has now almost been completed. A few paving blocks need to be laid around the new trees and some hand rails added, and then the work that has been going on for much of the year will be finished. Summertown will look much smarter as a result, and we think the contractors, Enterprise, deserve credit for their efficient management of the scheme and, given the scale of the works, the surprising lack of disruption caused to local residents and traders.
Fair Rents for Traders [25 November 2008]
Mailboxes is the latest business in Summertown to receive an exhorbitant demand that would see their rents almost double. With no Post Office in Summertown, Mailboxes is an essential resource for the local community and, as a local resident says, "should not be forced out by a thoughtless property manager in a faceless investment company". Traders are proposing to work together to demand fair rents so that they can stay in business, and Summertown can retain the wide variety of shops which help to make it such a great place to live.
Alexandra Courts [3 October 2008 - revised 7-10-08]
Councillors at the North Area committee meeting yesterday asked Council officials to prepare a proposal based on the favoured option of retaining the hard courts and six of the grass courts and creating a 'park' from the remaining grass courts, and investigate other proposals. The Councillors publicly stated that no facility for indoor tennis would be built.
Alexandra Courts [1 October 2008]
Alexandra Courts will be discussed under item 9 on the agenda at the North Area committee meeting tomorrow 2 October. A report prepared by Council officials will be considered. This can be dowloaded here. Points 44-46 of the report suggest that officials are still keen to proceed with the proposal made by Wildwood Leisure.
Summertown as part of Oxford's Core Strategy [12 September 2008]
Although Summertown is the smallest neighbourhood area in Oxford, according to the policy document Oxford’s Core Strategy (2026) issued by Oxford City Council, it is recognised as one of five district centres in Oxford, and the only one in north Oxford. These district centres ‘represent distinctive communities based on factors such as neighbourhood shopping centres, townscape character and physical features such as main roads. The document says that Summertown and the other centres provide ‘an important focus for local facilities and services. Their position within the retail hierarchy will continue to offer opportunities to enhance and strengthen their role. The distinctive characteristics of each centre will be promoted, and there is clearly scope for making significant improvements to the public realm and shopping environment to make the centres more attractive.’
The document also sets out the Council’s position on the possibility of building houses on the playing fields of Summer Fields School. In brief, the land will be protected from any development apart from housing, but provided other housing sites in Oxford remain viable then this land will not be built on.
Alexandra Courts [5 September 2008]
The future of the Alexandra Courts was discussed again at the North Area committee meeting on 4 September, and Council officials were asked to present a report on the future use and management of the courts to the next meeting of the Committee on 2 October. It now seems highly unlikely that the courts will be leased to a private company but the Council has apparently not ended its discussions with Wildwood Leisure.
MEB merger [12 August 2008]
Local architects MEB P+P have joined forces with MHB Design Limited to create a new company, MEB Design Limited, with offices in Kent, London and Surrey as well as here in Summertown. Local director Charles Darby said that this move, together with membership of the Keystone Domain association of practices, would enable MEB to be "locally sensitive and yet with the resource and capability of a national practice".
Estate Agents' Moves [7 August 2008]
While Savills prepares to move into larger premises in the same block as its current showroom, Knight Frank has decided that Summertown is the place to be and has submitted a planning application (08/01617/FUL) to alter the frontage of 280 Banbury Road. This is the office area of the old North Oxford Garage (shown as 278 on the map).
Alexandra Courts [7 July 2008]
The leasing of the Alexandra Courts will be discussed again at the September meeting but Cllr Stuart McCready's proposal that the future use and management of the courts be completely re-examined and openend to full public consultation was agreed by the Committee.
North Area Committee Meeting Tonight [3 July 2008]
The issue of a lease on the Alexandra Courts is due to be discussed tonight at the North Area committee meeting. With no separate agenda item it is expected that it will be raised under Open Session and Updates which should begin around 6.30. The agenda can be viewed here.
Alexandra Courts Play in [23 June 2008]
The Alexandra Courts were packed with local tennis players on Sunday for the "Play-in". The organiser, Chris Goodall, said that this demonstrated the commuity's desire for the courts to be retained as a public resource. It was also a great community event with young and old enjoying the tennis, tea and cakes.
Alexandra Courts Play in [16 June 2008]
A "Play-in" is being organised at the Alexandra Courts on Sunday 22 June to demonstrate the community's desire for this to remain a public facility. See here for more details. Chris Goodall who is helping to orgaise the event can be contacted on 01865 339967or by email at email@example.com
New John Lewis of Hungerford showroom opens [12 June 2008]
John Lewis of Hungerford opens its Summertown showroom this week. The latest in its expansion plan for the UK, this ‘new look’ Oxford showroom showcases existing and new ranges including the Cool Kitchen, bringing together under one roof both strong colour palettes and natural wood collections.
Alexandra Courts Public meeting [30 May 2008]
The future of the Alexandra Courts was discussed at a packed meeting of concerned Summertown residents last night. Three Oxford City Council officials were present, along with two Councillors and a director of the developers, Wildwood Leisure Ltd.
The meeting was told that the planning application had been withdrawn and that the granting of the lease would be considered at the North Area Committee meeting on 3 July. Comments on the proposal were still welcome and should be sent to the Parks Manager, John Wade, by 6 June.
The meeting also learned that if the proposal was not successful there was no alternative plan; the Council has not approached the Lawn Tennis Association for funding; the tree preservation officer is concerned the development will harm the trees; Oxfordshire County Council is worried by the traffic implications; and that the proposed courts complex would be as high as the Esporta building.
Andrew Parsons of Wildwood Leisure confirmed that a club would be run from the site with 500-700 members and that all courts would be pay-and-play unless there was a club fixture in which case only one or two courts would be available. All courts would be bookable via a website. Access to the circular walk round the site would be retained.
Councillor Jean Fooks, who arranged the meeting, said the proposal contravened so many aspects of the Local Plan, especially in relation to retaining open air sports facilities and green spaces, that it would be have to be specifically waived to allow this proposal to go ahead.
Councillor Stuart McCready agreed and warned local residents to be on their guard about all such developments to make sure their voice was heard. But he told the meeting that something would have to be done to increase the income from the site, as the Council could no longer afford to fund the annual loss. One answer may be the proposal to transfer the management of all Oxford’s leisure facilities to a not-for-profit leisure trust.
All comments on this are welcomed by the Council and will be taken into consideration at the meeting on 3 July.
North Wall announces details of Summer Festival [16 May 2008]
The North Wall, Summertown's excellent new performing arts centre, has announced the line-up for this year's Summer Festival. It includes cutting-edge drama, world-class musicians, a vibrant selection of satire from the Fringe, student jazz and late night comedy. Click for full info and booking or ring 01865 319450.
Summertown gets ready for the Street Festival [15 May 2008]
The organisers of the Summertown Street Festival are gearing up for this year's event on Saturday 17 May. The Festival, which marks the beginning of the annual Artweeks in Summertown, will be held in South Parade this year because of the roadworks in the Banbury Road. The street will be closed to traffic and a stage will be erected outside the Oxford Guitar Gallery.The musical entertainment will be kicked off by Cooper Black at 10am followed by The Immposters at 11.30, kingB at 1pm, Dnote at 2.30 and, closing the show at 4-5pm, will be Disclosure. The ever-popular Capoeira will be dancing from 2 to 3.30pm.
Alexandra Courts Public meeting [9 May 2008]
There will be a Public meeting to discuss the plan for Alexandra Courts at the Summertown Church Hall, Portland Road on Thursday 29 May at 7.45pm
Alexandra Courts meeting tonight [8 May 2008]
Alexandra Courts will be discussed at the North Area Committee meeting this evening, despite earlier denials by Cllr Jean Fooks who said it had been removed from the agenda. Everyone who is concerned about the privatisation of the Courts is urged to attend the meeting at the North Oxford Association Community Centre next to the Ferry Centre. The meeting starts at 5pm and the Courts are likely to be discussed shortly before 6.30pm
Alexandra Courts petition [2 May 2008]
An online petition has been set up to ask the Council to reconsider granting a lease on the Alexandra Tennis Courts to a private company.You can sign the petition here.
NFU Mutual sets up in Summertown [30 April 2008]
Major insurer NFU Mutual is opening a new local office in Summertown.
The new office forms part of the insurer’s plan to increase its network of local offices and offer more customers the opportunity to benefit from NFU Mutual’s personal service.
Harvey Merrins, who has worked for NFU Mutual for 12 years, will run the new office. Harvey commented, "I am delighted to be opening the new office in Oxford and helping to expand NFU Mutual’s customer base. We offer quality advice and customer service and we look forward to delivering this to the local community.”
In addition to providing general insurance for homes, vehicles and businesses, NFU Mutual also has a wide range of pensions, investments and life protection products. NFU Mutual also offers Finance and Risk Management Services.
Plans for Alexandra tennis courts are made public [29 April 2008]
After months of speculation some information has emerged about the plan to privatise the municipal tennis courts off Middle Way. The proposal is that the City Council enters into an agreement with Wildwood Leisure Limited to develop the tennis court area. The proposal is a fairly fundamental change to the site and includes changing rooms and possibly floodlights. No mention has yet been made of the plan to cover the courts. While it is anticipated that the charges for using the complex will be much increased, no figures have been made public. It is unlikely, however, that this is a philanthropic venture.
It is notable that no public consultation has been carried out to ascertain the views of the local residents who use the courts and for whom the area, including a children's play area and a basketball court, is the only public open land in Summertown. If you have an opinion on this and would like our local councillors to know it, they may be contacted at the following email addresses:
Alan Armitage Oxford92@aol.com
Jim Campbell firstname.lastname@example.org
Jean Fooks email@example.com
John Goddard firstname.lastname@example.org
Weekend fire damages wall [28 April 2008]
A fire and explosion in one of the flats above Costa coffee on the corner of Banbury Road and Oakthorpe Road has caused a large crack at the corner of the front and side walls. Safety officials were concerned that the entire front elevation might fall into the street. The wall has been stabilised with scaffolding but the road is still closed to through-traffic from Stratfield Road to Banbury Road.
John Lewis of Hungerford [11 March 2008]
There is still no date for when the new John Lewis of Hungerford shop will be opening in South Parade but MD Jon Rosby says of the move to Summertown: "Summertown and the surrounding areas present an exciting opportunity for John Lewis of Hungerford. With homes of distinction and an eye for bespoke design and hand finished quality, residents of Oxford and the Cotswolds are the ideal fit for the John Lewis of Hungerford brand."
A New Future for North Oxford Garage [6 March 2008]
More businesses will be moving to Summertown as the fate of the old North Oxford Garage becomes clearer. It seems the site has been acquired by Majestic Wine Warehouse who plan to use part of the front, and let the remainder as offices or other shops. The old car workshops at the back will be occupied by Kwik Fit who will operate their usual exhaust and MOT service.
Planning permission has been granted for the change of use to the front (07/02270/FUL) and the maximum level and duration of noise permitted is being amended (08/00471/VAR). The amendment slightly reduces the level but significantly increases the duration of maximum noise. Planning applications can be viewed here.
John Lewis of Hungerford [5 February 2008]
The latest firm to decide to move to Summertown is the bespoke kitchen and furniture business John Lewis of Hungerford who will be opening in South Parade. They will be moving into a shop which has had three very different occupants in the past five years: a pet shop, a Council parking & payments shop, and Printing.com. No news yet on when they will be opening.
Starbucks coming to Summertown [28 January 2008]
Starbucks is coming to Summertown and will open in the former Bakehouse café on the Banbury Road which closed when Costa Coffee arrived. The opening date has not been confirmed but when Starbucks opens Summertown will have 12 coffee outlets. Read what the Oxford Mail has to say about it here.
Final Plan for New-look Summertown [18 January 2008]
There will be an exhibition of the final agreed plan for the restyling of Summertown, and changed parking arrangements, at Summertown Church Hall (corner of Banbury Road and Portland Road) on Friday 25 January 16.00-20.00 and Saturday 26 January 10.00-14.00. Everyone is welcome to go along, and representatives from the County Coucil will be there to answer questions.Details of the scheme can be viewed here.
New Light on the Banbury Road [15 January 2008]
The Banbury Road in Summertown is getting new lamp standards. We can say goodbye to the sodium glare and enjoy white light. The works, which will last a week, involve replacing all the lamp standards between Diamond Place and South Parade with tapered aluminium columns and white light lanterns. These will, according to Tim Parker who is the Assistant Principal Engineer for Electrical Services at Oxfordshire County Council, "provide improved colour rendering properties and better uniformity". Phase 2, which will see the replacement of the lamp standards from St. Margaret’s Road to Diamond Place will take place in May/June 2008.
For news entries from 2007 please click this link