Summertown Christmas Lights [6 November 2017]
The Summertown Christmas Lights will be switched on at around 5.30 on Friday 8 December outside Carter Jonas. The ceremony will be performed by the Lord Mayor. There will be music from St Edward's Brass Band and choirs from Oxford High School and Cutteslowe School from 4.45, and hot mince pies will be provided by the Co-op. This is a great family and community event. Do come along to join in the singing. There are new lights this year; this picture is in memory of the old ones.
Bank branch closure [5 November 2017]
NatWest is the latest bank to announce the closure of its branch in Summertown. Following on the heels of Santander and Barclays, the branch will close on 21 June 2018. The nearest branch will be in Cornmarket.
Flash in the Pan [5 November 2017]
Flash in the Pan with its wide range of art, crafts, textiles and comestibles is back! It will be open on 9 & 10 December and then on 16 & 17 December from 10am to 6pm at 43 Oakthorpe Road. Do go along to find the perfect presents for Christmas.
and don't forget your Flash Christmas tree from the shed down the side of Oxfam and on sale from 8-10 and 15-24 December. Email: email@example.com.
Art at Christmas [25 November 2017]
This year's Art at Christmas collection will be at St Michael's Church Hall on Portland Road on Saturday 2 December and Sunday 3 December. It is open 10am to 5pm. This is a great place to find Christmas gifts for all your friends and family. Enjoy mulled wine, mince pies and live music while you browse the stalls.
Easy Hotel lodges Planning Application [21 November 2017]
Easy Hotel has submitted a planning application for the Majestic/Wallers site (276-280 Banbury Road). It was lodged with the Council on 24 October. No emails were sent to those who had registered an interest, and the statutory notices have not be put up outside the site. These apparent flaws in the notification process should mean that the consultation period re-starts after the notices have been put up, but the consultation period is given as 14 November to 9 December. If you are interested in commenting on the application so that the views of local residents and businesses are taken into account by the planning officer and members of the planning committee, you should assume that you have to do so by 9 December.
The application code is 17/02832/FUL (go to http://public.oxford.gov.uk/online-applications/ and enter that code in Search). The plans show an anodyne building, which looks like an office block, with no objectionable or redeeming features. The description reads: "Demolition and redevelopment of existing retail office, and residential premises, to provide a mixed-use scheme comprising 4 x units (use classes of either A1,A2,A3 or A4) at ground floor with a 180 bed hotel over three floors above”.
If you would like to be kept informed of developments please send your name and email address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elizabeth Jennings Way closed for chemical incident [9 November 2017]
Elizabeth Jennings Way has been closed all day because of a 'chemical incident' which resulted in the hospitalization of seven police officersand seems to be related to the arrest of a man at 5.16 this morning. The man was also injured by the substance. Police and fire crews remain in attendance and a section of the is still cordoned off.
Poppies arrive in style [6 November 2017]
Oxfordshire’s official Poppy Appeal for 2017 was launched in the grounds of St Edward’s School last week, with two Puma helicopters delivering the first of the poppies. The Royal British Legion, various dignitaries, children from several schools and RAF service personnel watched as the helicopters arrived.
North Wall Marks Russian Revolution [18 October 2017]
Lenin: Leader of the Russian Revolution is a new exhibition at The North Wall Arts Centre which will run from Wednesday the 8th to Saturday the 18th of November; admission is free. Opening 100 years after the Russian Revolution, this new exhibition brings together over 70 rare photographs and other material relating to the leader of the Revolution, Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Lenin. Drawn from the extensive archive of the British Society for Cooperation in Russian and Soviet Studies, most of the photographs are being shown publicly for the first time.
Summer Fields Pre-Prep Open House Events [16 October 2017]
Summer Fields School has arranged two Open House Events so that prospective parents can find out more about the new Pre-Prep, see the school's facilities and talk to members of staff. The Open House Events will be on Friday 3 November from 2-4 and on Saturday 4 November 11-1. The Pre-Prep opens in September 2018. For additional information please ring 01865 459204 or email email@example.com.
New Summertown Office for Oxford Firm [4 October 2017]
Mark Barclay Wealth Management has moved into the premises last occupied by Lifestyle on the Banbury Road. Mark Barclay Wealth Management is a representative of St. James’s Place Wealth Management, one of the leading such firms in the country, and a FTSE 100 company. “Our move into these new premises in Summertown reflects recent growth in our business,” Mark Barclay, told us, “we recognise the need for a personal, face to face relationship for financial, retirement, protection and tax planning.” The practice provides advice on a wide range of aspects, including inheritance tax, investment & retirement planning and strategic business planning, to private clients and business owners throughout Oxfordshire, the South East and the Midlands.
Freestyle Textile Embroidery Classes [21 September 2017]
Freestyle Textiles will be running a series of machine embroidery workshops at St Margaret's Institute on Polstead Road, on the following dates:
Saturday 30th September - 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Saturday 28th October - 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Friday 17th November - 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
Saturday 9th December - 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Contact Eleanor for more information or visit their website.
Viavi:be Formally Opened [20 September 2017]
The Viav:be Health Gym on the Banbury Road in Summertown was formally opened this week by the TV medic, writer and broadcaster Dr Christian Jessen. While open to all, the gym is primarily targeted at the 40+ age range, and has been created specifically for those who wish to address various physical aspects of ageing and feel now is the time to find a way to become more active. Viavi:be is the brain child of Dr Sabine Donnai (seen here with Dr Jessen), one of Harley Street’s leading medical practitioners in proactive health management and precision medicine.
d'Overbroeck's Open Morning [14 September 2017]
d’Overbroeck’s next Open Morning will be on Saturday 7 October from 10.00 to 1.00 at both the Sixth Form and Years 7-11 sites. The Sixth Form has started this term in their new purpose-built and remarkably good-looking building at 333 Banbury Road which is, by all accounts, an excellent space for studying and teaching. Years 7-11 remain at the site on Leckford Road. New Principal Emma-Kate Henry is also celebrating exceptional exam results, with 46% of A Level students achieving three or more A* or A grades.
St Edward's celebrates 20 years of co-education [13 September 2017]
September 2017 marks 20 years since St Edward’s became fully co-educational; the school will, in the near future, have equal numbers of boys to girls. This significant anniversary is being celebrated with an exhibition at The North Wall gallery which encompasses works from seven former female art students who have gone on to establish careers as professional artists and artisans. The wide range of styles, media and techniques on display highlight the talent of the women exhibiting their work, as well as demonstrating the exceptional state of art tuition at St Edward’s in recent years.
A further cause for celebration is the particularly strong exam results this year at GCSE, A Level and IB, resulting from the transformation of the academic life of the School over the last five years. Eleven pupils achieved 40 points or more at IB, including one who received full marks; a feat achieved by fewer than 1% of candidates worldwide. This was matched at A Level where almost half of all grades were A*/A.
Social Justice Fair [3 September 2017]
Fairplay is holding a Social Justice Fair at the United Reformed Church on the Banbury Road in Summertown on Saturday 16 September from 10.00 to 3.30. There will be lots of stalls from organisations working to acheive social justice and lots of activities for all the family.
Summertown schools arrange new school buses [29 August 2017]
Oxford High School and d’Overbroeck’s have joined forces with three other Oxford schools to form the Oxford Schools’ Bus Partnership. This will make it easier and safer for children to travel to school by bus and will also reduce traffic congestion in Summertown. They have announced a network of nine routes around the county that will operate from September 2017, serving all five schools. This map shows the routes: OSBP-2017-Busmap. To book your child’s seat, fill out and email this form: OSBP Booking Form 2017-18_26052017 to the OSBP Transport Co-ordinator on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Oxford High School's best GCSE results [24 August 2017]
This year’s GCSE results at Oxford high School show the highest number of A*s at GCSE that the school has ever achieved. Over 75% of grades were A*. More than half of the year group achieved at least 9 A* grades. 30% of girls achieved straight A*s. 94% gained A*-A grades.This is a remarkable achievement for the Year 11 girls and for the school.
Summer Fields School to open new Pre-Prep [24 August 2017]
Summer Fields School has announced plans to provide more places and greater accessibility for local boys. In September 2018 a new Summer Fields Pre-Prep, housed in a purpose-built extension and offering facilities for 80 boys aged four to eight, will open its doors to Reception, Year 2, and Year 3 boys, providing places for boys joining at ages four, five and seven. The existing prep school will also be expanding, offering additional places for eight year-olds wishing to join the school in Year 4. A Year 1 class will be introduced in the pre-prep in 2019.
These changes will make the school even more accessible to boys from a range of backgrounds as the school will also be offering an increased number of bursaries to boys seeking day or boarding places in the prep school from September 2018. Headmaster, David Faber, commented “We are now enabling boys to benefit from a Summer Fields education from the very start of their schooling”.
Roadworks [15 August 2017]
Commuters and residents are facing long delays as a result of the resurfacing of Sunderland Aveneue. This comes on top of recently released figures showing that journey times have increased on many routes, including Woodstock Road, Banbury Road, Sunderland Avenue and parts of the A40, following the £10 million scheme to improve traffic flows on the Wolvercote and Cutteslowe roundabouts. These improvements were meant to be future proof so as to to deal with the increased traffic resulting from the planned new housing developments in the area.
Revital opens [10 August 2017]
Health food shop Revital is now open for business on the Banbury Road selling a wide selection of high quality supplements, health foods and natural beauty products.
Home-Start Oxford: Calling All Parents [27 July 2017]
Home-Start Oxford – a voluntary organisation committed to promoting the welfare of families with at least one child under 5 – is currently seeking volunteers interested in providing practical and emotional support for parents. Volunteers generally commit to visiting for 2-4 hours per week. No special qualifications are necessary and full training and support are provided. If you are interested in volunteering, their next course will start on 18 September. Contact Home-Start on 01865 779991 or email@example.com.
Wild Honey celebrates 1st Birthday [12 July 2017]
Wild Honey are celebrating their 1st Birthday at 12 South Parade, on Saturday, 15 July. Between 9am and 6pm on the day, they will have lots of tasters, freebies, special offers, goody bags and demonstrations from some of their favourite suppliers, so do go along and celebrate with them. During what owner Matt Sage describes as ‘an exciting, hard-working and also hugely fun 12 months for all of us in Summertown’ he says ‘it has been wonderful to meet so many new customers and friends over the course of the past year’ and thanks everyone for their 'support, encouragement, feedback and custom'.
Summertown Library gets Tesco tokens chance [12 July 2017]
During July and August, Tesco has chosen The Friends of Summertown Library as one of three Oxford community projects it is supporting in its local stores, via the 5p bag levy. Remember to ask for a token at the till in any local Tesco store, and place it in the right-hand column of the nearby stand (you don’t have to buy a bag). This could gain the Friends £4,000 towards its target of £85,000.
Rent rise forces café sale [6 July 2017]
The Oxford Wine Café, beloved of so many Summertown residents, has new owners. Previous owner, Ted Sandbach of the Oxford Wine Company, tells us that the sale was prompted by a "huge rent increase and 87% rates rise". The new owners will continue to offer wine from the Oxford Wine Company but will increase the emphasis on food. With such excessive rents and business rates it si no wonder that there are still so many empty shops in Summertown.
NOA Community Open Day [4 July 2017 ]
A reminder that the North Oxford Association is holding an Open Day on Saturday 15 July from 12 to 4. Local residents will have the opportunity to try out some of NOA's regular activities and to find out how to get involved with our local community centre and association. There will be Arts activites, Children’s craft, Dance demonstrations, a Raffle, a Cake sale, and more. There will also be free taster sessions of regular classes such as Monkey Music, Calligraphy, Zumba and Dance Aerobics. To find out more and to book sessions please email Sarah or call 01865 552295.
New Head for d'Overbroeck's [1 July 2017]
Emma-Kate Henry took over as Principal of d’Overbroeck’s school on 1 July,. Previously Head at a 2-18 years co-educational independent school in Hampshire, Emma-Kate has spent the Summer term at d’Overbroeck’s working alongside the outgoing Principal Sami Cohen who retires after 21 years in the role.
These are exciting times for the school. The Sixth Form is moving to a new site at 333 Banbury Road over the summer and a new boarding house, Islip House, is opening just opposite the new Sixth Form site. The Hall at the new Sixth Form site is to be named The Cohen Hall to mark Sami Cohen’s contribution to the school. There will be an opportunity for the public to look around the new teaching buildings as part of Oxford Open Doors on Saturday 9 September as well as during the school’s next Open Day on Saturday 7 October.
Salsa Courses for Beginners [27 June 2017]
Super-budget Hotel for Summertown [23 June 2017]
The Majestic and Knight Frank building (see below) is to be replaced with a "super-budget" Easy Hotel, according to chief executive Guy Parsons. The 180-bedroom hotel will form part of a mixed-use development, taking up the first and second floors of the property. A 25-year lease has apparently already been granted to Easyhotel PLC, and a contract signed with 4Urban Consulting to build the hotel which will open in 2019. There will be no car parking provided. Despite the fact that no planning application has yet been submitted, Easyhotel are obviously confident that planning permission will be granted.
We can think of little that Summertown needs less than a super-budget hotel. There is already significant over-capacity at all price points (Jurys Inn, Holiday Inn, Travelodge, Galaxie Hotel, Cotswold Lodge Hotel, Linton Lodge Hotel, Old Parsonage Hotel, numerous smaller hotels and B&Bs, and a lot of AirBnB accomodation) for visitors to the north Oxford area. With no car parking, the impact on Summertown's very limited non-residential spaces and small carparks will be significant, and is likely to lead to a reduction in shoppers who are already put off by difficulties over parking. As budget hotels are known to spawn budget eateries, such as MacDonalds, KFC and Burger King, there will undoubtably also be pressure on the Council to increase the allocation of restaurant use in Summertown.
If you would like to be kept informed about this development please email us.
Cancer Research UK - Relay for Life [15 June 2017]
This is a reminder that Cancer Research UK is encouraging people to get together and enter Relay For Life, a unique celebration of life and hope which unites communities to help beat over 200 types of cancer. Teams of between eight to 15 people, of all ages, levels of fitness and from all walks of life are needed to take part at Oxford Harlequins Rugby Club on the Marston Ferry Road, Summertown over the weekend of 1-2 July.
Participants are asked to raise as much money as possible in the months leading up to the Relay through fundraising activities and donations from friends, families and work colleagues. During the Relay, team members take it in turns to walk round a track while everyone else enjoys a wide range of fun activities. As Relay For Life is non-stop through the night, those team members not on the track can take turns to rest, eat, or sleep in their tents which are set up close by. For more information visit the website, email firstname.lastname@example.org or ring Event Chair, Jacquii John, on 07990 037164.
More Development in Summertown [15 June 2017 ]
We hear that plans to demolish and redevelop the old North Oxford Garage site, currently occupied by Majestic and Knight Frank, are at an advanced stage. The landlords are perhaps overkeen to see the departure of the two businesses even though their lease has a year to run.
Opera on the River [13 June 2017 ]
Cherwell Boat House is hosting the renowned Opera Anywhere for a unique performance of opera on punts on Sunday 18 June at 5:00pm. After an opening show at the Boathouse, they will punt & sing their way upstream to the Victoria Arms, arriving around 6:00pm for some refreshments and more Opera, before making their merry way back to the Boathouse. Everyone is welcome to come along and enjoy the spectacle. You can relax with a Pimms at the Boathouse or take a punt (£18 per hour; no booking needed) and follow the opera along the river.
Portabello Tasting Dinner [9 June 2017 ]
Portabello is hosting a seven-course Galicia & Catalunya Spanish Tasting Dinner on Thursday 29 June. The wines have been chosen by Jake Osbourne from Bibendum who will be talking about the selection. The meal costs £40 and you can ring 01865 559653 to book your place.
Master Baker at Wild Honey [7 June 2017 ]
Wild Honey is hosting a demonstration by Aston's Master Baker, Syd Aston, of all things baked & organic on Saturday 10 June from 10:00-18:00 at 12 South Parade. This will be a great chance to find out more about the delicious bread sold at Wild Honey.
NOA Community Open Day [6 June 2017 ]
The North Oxford Association is holding an Open Day on Saturday 15 July from 12 to 4. Local residents will have the opportunity to try out some of NOA's regular activities and to find out how to get involved with our local community centre and association.
There will be Arts activites, Children’s craft, Dance demonstrations, a Raffle, a Cake sale, and more. There will also be free taster sessions of regular classes such as Monkey Music, Calligraphy, Zumba and Dance Aerobics. To find out more and to book sessions please email Sarah at email@example.com or call 01865 552295.
Fairfield Residential home breaks new ground [5 June 2017 ]
Construction is underway on a major building project in North Oxford that will see a care home for the elderly constructed next to student accommodation. The new Fairfield residential home will share garden space with graduate students at University College, allowing for interaction between the residents of both institutions.
Located on the Banbury Road and designed by Oxford Architects, the new home will accommodate 38 residents in en-suite rooms. There will be a range of communal areas and recreational rooms that have been designed to be light and airy, with views over the mature gardens. The new Fairfield residential home is expected to open in mid-2018. Once the new home is open, Univ will convert the existing Victorian building into graduate student accommodation.
Summertown Library Talk [5 June 2017 ]
Margaret MacMillan, Professor of International History and Warden of St Antony's College, will be giving a talk on Thursday 15 June 2017 at 6pm at the Summertown Library. The talk considers how, a century after the First World War, we are still coming to terms with what that prolonged conflict meant for European society and the wider world. Entry is free. Donations of £10 at the door to the work of the Friends will be gratefully received.
Development in Summertown [1 June 2017 ]
Oxford City Council's latest draft Local Plan contains a proposal which will affect two developments in Summertown. A change to key worker housing rules would make it easier for Oxford’s two universities, the NHS, schools and bus companies to build accommodation for staff and students on their own land, exempting them from social housing requirements.
Oxford University’s pro vice-chancellor for planning, Professor William James, said that this potentially cleared the way for several schemes including the redevelopment of Diamond Place in Summertown.
There are also proposals to curb a rise in 'speculative' student accommodation developments that are not backed by either of Oxford's universities which will, we hope, reduce the likelihood of the fine buildings in South Parade being demolished to make way for student flats [see news item 21 Jan 2016].
The draft Plan does also, however, recommend that restrictions on building heights in Summertown be relaxed to increase the density of developments.
Shop news [31 May 2017 ]
The shop recently vacated by Moda in Pele at 229 Banbury Road is being taken by health store Revital. A regional chain with 14 other stores they sell vitamins & supplements, healthy food and drink, and other aids to a healthy lifestyle. With Wild Honey, Holland & Barrett, Boots, and two Rowland pharmacies Summertown is rapidly becoming a centre for healthy living.
Summertown firm wins European funding [31 May 2017 ]
Brainomix, based in Suffolk House on the Banbury Road, will be able to offer its treatment for stroke victims to many more people after being chosen for a major European project. Its medical imaging software e-ASPECTS, which automatically assesses CT scans to gauge how badly the brain has been damaged, has been selected for the Angels Initiative, which plans to improve stroke care by opening 1,500 specialist centres around Europe.
New Buildings and Head for d'Overbroeck's [26 May 2017 ]
We learn that d’Overbroeck’s new Sixth Form complex at 333 Banbury Road is nearing completion. Staff will move in over the summer holidays and the building will open at the beginning of September.
The school is also welcoming a new Principal, Emma-Kate Henry, who is spending the summer term getting to know students and staff, and tells us that the new developments ‘will provide first class facilities to add another dimension to a d’Overbroeck’s education. This is a very exciting time in the school’s development and the new Sixth Form buildings are just a part of this.' Work has also been proceeding across the road at number 376, where an additional boarding house for Sixth Form students is almost completed.
The school’s next Open Days are on Saturday 7 October; at Leckford Road for entry at year 7 or 9, and at 333 Banbury Road for direct entry to the Sixth Form. There will also be a Sixth Form Open Evening on Tuesday 14 November. Sixth Form Scholarship Exams are held in November. For more information and to arrange a visit, contact Mrs Lynne Berry on 01865 310000 or see more details here.
Colin Dexter statue for Summertown [22 May 2017 ]
Dr Antony Richards, chairman of the Inspector Morse Society, has proposed that a statue of Colin Dexter, Summertown resident and author of 13 Morse novels who died recently, be placed in Summertown. Sculptor Alex Wenham has volunteered to create the statue and it has been suggested that it could be situated in a piazza in the proposed Diamond Place redevelopment. It is possible that work will start on the redevelopment in 2020 so we may have to wait a while before we can enjoy the statue of one of Summertown's most famous residents.
COOK celebrates 20 years [18 May 2017 ]
COOK has been going for 20 years (5½ years in Summertown), and to celebrate the anniversary they are giving all of their customers 15% off everything in the shop on Saturday 20 May, and 15% off everything via click and collect all weekend. Go instore or online to take advantage of this great offer.
Summertown Artweeks Festival [17 May 2017 ]
This year's Summertown Artweek begins on Saturday 20 May. Artweeks gives you the chance to visit artists in houses, studios, workshops, exhibition spaces, shops, galleries and churches in Summertown. You can talk about their artwork and their creative lives, and buy their work if you wish to. There is so much to see – painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, ceramics, jewellery, silversmithing, glass, woodturning, sculpture, and much more. Pick up a Summertown brochure at the Library or one of the local shops, or go online to see the full Artweeks guide.
Come along on Saturday morning to listen to Jazz outside The Dewdrop. There will be a Funk band and a French Jazz band playing from 10:30 to 13:00.
Zoffany Creative talk [17 May 2017 ]
Peter Gomes, head of the Zoffany creative design studio, will be giving a talk about The Alchemy of Colour at The Curtain Shop on Tuesday 23 May at 11.30. It promises to be a fascinating talk and there will also be a preview of their new paint and wallpaper collections. Ring 01865 553405 for more details and to reserve a place.
Honey Bees arrive at St Edward's [8 May 2017 ]
St Edward’s School (Teddies) has taken delivery of 40,000 new inhabitants of its grounds. Housed in four new purpose-built hives – made by pupils Afiq Rozhan, Guy Moss, Nikita Radkevitch and Gurinder Singh – the School is now home to honey bees for the first time.
An apiary has been established in the School’s grounds next to the Oxford Canal. David Aldred, the teacher in charge of the project, and the pupils in the Bee Team expect the honey collected from the hives to be used by the School’s catering department, with additional produce being sold. A new Beekeeping Society will shortly be set up at the School to teach and promote the ancient art of beekeeping. A competition will also be launched for pupils to design the new Teddies Honey labels.
Cancer Research UK - Relay for Life [28 April 2017 ]
Cancer Research UK is encouraging people to get together and enter Relay For Life, a unique celebration of life and hope which unites communities to help beat over 200 types of cancer. Teams of between eight to 15 people, of all ages, levels of fitness and from all walks of life are needed to take part at Oxford Harlequins Rugby Club on the Marston Ferry Road, Summertown over the weekend of 1-2 July.
Participants are asked to raise as much money as possible in the months leading up to the Relay through fundraising activities and donations from friends, families and work colleagues. During the Relay, team members take it in turns to walk round a track while everyone else enjoys a wide range of fun activities. As Relay For Life is non-stop through the night, those team members not on the track can take turns to rest, eat, or sleep in their tents which are set up close by. For more information visit the website or ring 0871 641 2602.
Young Art Oxford at the Ashmolean [27 April 2017 ]
The 10th Young Art Oxford children's art exhibition will take place at the Ashmolean Museum on 4, 5 and 6 May. The theme this year is 'The World We Live In' and the organisers tell us that the exhibits are "thought-provoking and exciting".
Modern Baker cookery book [24 April 2017 ]
The recently launched Modern Baker cookery book, entitled A New Way to Bake, is a well-designed and clearly-wriiten guide to help you make delicious cakes, biscuits and breads using natural ingredients and sourdough starters.Copies are available from Modern Baker and all good bookshops.
Shop News [12 April 2017 ]
Having recently lamented the number of emply shops in Summertown we are delighted to see that three are showing signs that they may be occupied again. The shop last occupied by Moda in Pele is under offer, the one recently vacated by Lifestyle has Let signs in the window, and a licence to sell alcohol has appeared on the door of what was the Paolo Giani salon.
A-level tuition [5 April 2017 ]
Tutorious, a new tutorial agency specialising in A-level tuition, has opened at 35b South Parade (entrance from Stratfield Road). They can be contacted on 01865 604545, 07719 108957 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lifestyle closes and Cibo squatters [31 March 2017 ]
The Lifestyle shop on the Banbury Road has closed suddenly and without any notice. This could be a further sign of more difficult trading conditions and could also be linked to the imminent rise in business rates. There are now more empty retail properties in Summertown than at any any time for at least the past 15 years.
Some of those properties, in South Parade, are only empty because the landlord refused to renew leases to the existing businesses as we reported on 21 January and 10 May 2016 (see below). Last week the property once occupied by Cibo! was occupied by squatters who evidently felt that such a fine building should not be left empty. The landlord, whose business is registered in Panama, is taking legal action to get them to leave.
Summertown Traders concerned by fake £20s [21 March 2017 ]
Summertown traders are becoming concerned about a group of children who have been going round the Summertown shops presenting fake £20 notes. They buy small items and distract the person on the till with lots of questions while waiting for change. The police have been informed and any suspicious activity should be reported to them.
New Health Club in Summertown [21 March 2017 ]
Nuffield Health is the latest business to run the leisure centre in the grounds of St Edward’s School, off the Woodstock Road. The Oxfordshire Health & Racquet’s Club which opened recently “has it all”, in the words of Deputy Manager Brian Quinn, “Our members can play tennis, squash or badminton, take a dip in the indoor or outdoor pools, work out in the fully-equipped gym or join friends in one of our wide range of group exercise classes. There’s also a spa, sauna and steam room to help members unwind, and the crèche, café and free parking make it easy to stay fit as a family, or find time for yourself”, continues Mr Quinn.
Membership starts with a complimentary Health MOT, helping the Club’s staff to create a tailored fitness plan for each member. The Club is offering a free one day trial. Ring 01865 318300 to book your free trial, or visit their website for more information.
Cotswold Lodge Mother's Day Lunch [20 March 2017 ]
Celebrate Mother’s Day on Sunday 26 March with lunch at The Cotswold Lodge Hotel. Book now on 01865 512121 – 2 Courses for £20.00 or 3 Courses for £25.00.
Comtes Lafon Tasting Dinner [20 March 2017 ]
The Cherwell Boat House is hosting a Comtes Lafon Tasting Dinner on Thursday 30 March at 7.30pm. Six delicious courses will be accompanied by very special matching wines from one of Burgundy's most famous producers. The dinner costs £118. Ring 01865 552746 to book.
Summertown Library Talk [13 March 2017 ]
Sir Adam Roberts, Emeritus Professor of International Relations at Oxford University, will be giving a talk entitled In the Age of Brexit and Trump: a new international order? on Thursday 16 March 2017 at 6pm at the Summertown Library. He will explore key questions about these events. What caused them? What are their consequences for the EU and the rest of the world? Are they part of a wider resurgence of nationalism? Are we now in a ‘post-truth’ world? Is there now a need to re-think liberal ideas about politics? Entry is free. Donations of £10 at the door to the work of the Friends gratefully received.
England Rugby Team train at St Edward's [11 March 2017 ]
The England Senior Men’s Rugby squad set up camp at St Edward's School ahead of their Six Nations clash with Scotland on 11 March. Their three day training camp afforded the pupils and others the chance to observe some of their training sessions as their England idols were put through their paces on the School’s playing fields.
Pupils of all ages were able to pick up hints and training tips from the sessions, coming away inspired to strive even harder in their endeavours towards their sporting and wider goals.
Family Drawing Workshop at Finders Keepers [8 March 2017 ]
Draw with Korky Paul at Finders Keepers on Saturday 15 April:
Seafood tasting dinner [15 February 2017 ]
Following on from the success of their last tasting dinner, the Cherwell Boat House is hosting a Seafood Tasting Dinner on Thursday 23 February at 7.30pm. Six courses will be accompanied by matching wines. The dinner costs £68. Rring 01865 552746 to book.
Valentine's Day Offer [2 February 2017 ]
Julia at Happy Cakes is offering a gift box of 12 buttercream topped cupcakes with handcut Valentine toppers for £30 inc. delivery within Oxford on Tuesday 14 February. To order email email@example.com or call 07814 519611.
Ken Russell Photographs [2 Febr uary 2017 ]
An exhibition of rarely-seen photographs by film director Ken Russell, of Teddy Girls and Boys taken in the 1950s, has gone on display at The North Wall Arts Centre, South Parade. The exhibition, containing 50 pieces by Ken Russell, seen here together for the first time, is open to the public until Saturday 18 February.
Burst water main in South Parade [31 January 2017 ]
The leaking water main outside A Cut Above in South Parade has finally be sealed, although the hole may not be filled in for another two days.
St Edward's new Music School [27 January 2017 ]
St Edward's School has opened the doors of its new Ogston Music School in South Parade. The brand new development provides the School with a magnificent new recital and rehearsal space able to seat up to 120 people. The new facility also features 20 practice rooms; seven ensemble rooms; a recording studio and rock room; and a new Sixth Form Music Library.
The new Music School has ambitious plans to establish itself at the heart of the local community, welcoming schools, touring musicians and community performances.
Summertown Neighbourhood Plan [26 January 2017 ]
The Summertown Neighbourhood Forum has produced a Plan which will influence all future local development in Summertown and St Margarets. The proposals in the Plan, once put into effect, will have a significant effect on our community. Please visit www.summertownstmargaretsforum.org.uk to comment on the proposals and also to add any ideas you would like to see incorparated into the Plan. The closing date is Sunday 26 February 2017.
Summertown Library talk by Sir Muir Gray [26 January 2017 ]
The Friends of Summertown Library have arranged a talk by Sir Muir Gray, CBE, MD on The NHS in 2017 - and beyond. The talk is on Thursday, 2 February from 6 - 7 pm in Summertown Library. Entry is free but donations of £10 on the door to help the work of the Friends will be gratefully received.
The Friends report that 2016 was the best ever year for fundraising and they hope to reach their initial target by the end of 2017. Then the re-modelling of Summertown Library can begin.
Rhône Valley tasting dinner and Winter Offers [24 January 2017 ]
Following on from the success of their last tasting dinner, the Cherwell Boat House is hosting a Rhône Valley Tasting Dinner on Thursday 26 January at 7.30pm. Six courses will be accompanied by matching wines. The dinner costs £68. Click here for the menu, or ring 01865 552746 to book.
You can also take advantage of these exclusive great Winter Offers.
Cherwell Boathouse offers [19 December 2016]
On Monday 19 December lunch and dinner, Tuesday 20 December for lunch or Wednesday 21 December for dinner, the Cherwell Boathouse restaurant is offering three courses with a glass of sparkling wine and a glass of recommended wine per course for £35.00 per head. You can also have two courses and a glass of sparkling for £20.00 or three courses with complimentary cheese & port for £29.75.
Christmas Trees on sale [15 December 2016]
Christmas trees are now on sale at 223a Banbury Road (down the side of Oxfam). These trees are very good quality and are highly recommended. A donation will be made to local charity Asylum Welcome for every tree sold. You can contact Flash Christmas Trees on 07846633957, firstname.lastname@example.org and Flash Christmas Trees on Facebook.
Hairdresser opens [13 December 2016]
New hairdressing salon, Bei Cappelli, has opened next to Canelle Beauty in Oakthorpe Road. They are offering new customers a 15% promotional discount until 31 January 2017.
Christmas Lights Switch-on [7 December 2016]
The Summertown Christmas lights will be switched on at 5.00 pm on Friday 9 December by the Christmas tree outside Savills. A brass band from St Edward's School will play carols, and the choir from Cutteslowe school will sing seasonal songs, before the Lord Mayor begins the count-down to the switch-on. Do come along and enjoy the music, the atmosphere and the mince pies kindly donated by the Co-op.
Paolo Giani stylists open new salon [28 November 2016]
Stylists from Paolo Gianni, which closed in October, are opening a new salon in South Parade. The salon, Pankhurst & Deane, which is opposite Renaissance Beauty will be run by Emma Pankhurst and her business partner. As Emma told us, ‘we started looking for premises and found the most beautiful shop at 34 South Parade. We hope to be up and running by 3 December and all of the staff from the old salon are relocating with us’.
Italy v France tasting dinner [17 November 2016]
Cherwell Boat House is hosting a Tasting Dinner on Thursday 24 November at 8.00 for 8.15pm. Six courses will be accompanied by matching wines from France and Italy, with guests being presented with score cards to determine which country has the best wine. The dinner costs £75. Click here for the menu, or ring 01865 552746 to book.
New hairdresser for Summertown [16 November 2016]
We learn that the premises in Oakthorpe Road, once occupied by Accent, will soon be occupied by another hairdresser. We are told that they plan to open in December.
Mama Mia wins award [16 November 2016]
Mamma Mia Pizzeria, has gained a Platinum Award and been named the UK’s ‘Best Independent Pizza Restaurant’ at the Pizza, Pasta & Italian Food Association (PAPA) Awards 2016. The judges said,“To be considered the best pizzeria in the country takes a combination of brilliant food, great service and ambience. Mamma Mia delivers on all levels and offers a truly great pizza experience”.
Game tasting dinner [18 October 2016]
Following on from the success of their last tasting dinner, the Cherwell Boat House is hosting a Game Tasting Dinner on Thursday 27 October at 7.30pm. Six courses of game dishes will be accompanied by matching wines from Germany, England, France and Portugal. The dinner costs £75. Click here for the menu, or ring 01865 552746 to book.
Moda in Pele closes [18 October 2016]
In another surprising and sudden closure, Moda in Pele (the fashion shoeshop on the Banbury Road) has shut up shop and removed all the stock.
Idlewild opens in Summertown [5 October 2016]
Oxfordshire hairdressing group Idlewild has opened at 263 Banbury Road in Summertown. This is Idlewild’s fourth salon. The Banbury Road salon will boast a seven-strong team of experienced stylists. As well as the latest professional cutting, colouring and styling services, Idlewild also offers haircare products, including Kerastase and L’Oreal Professionnel Tec Ni Art, and eco-friendly Aveda. Book your appointment now on 01865 511551 and discover what makes Idlewild special.
Paolo Gianni closed [5 October 2016]
Paolo Gianni, the hairdressers on South Parade, has closed overnight. There is simply a notice on the door thanking customers, saying the salon is now closed and giving contact details for the stylists.
Reisling tasting dinner [29 September 2016]
Cherwell Boat House is holding a Riesling Tasting Dinner at 7.30 on Thursday 6 October. Six courses of delicious food will be accompanied by matching wines from the wide range produced in the region. The dinner costs £68. Click here for the menu, and ring 01865 552746 to book.
Cake causes a stir [22 September 2016]
Julia Atkinson of Happy Cakes caused quite a stir on the set of Endeavour in Oxford when she presented the stars of the TV show, Roger Allam and Shaun Evans, with a large sponge cake topped with miniatures of the pair. Julia has taken cup cakes for the cast and crew in the past, but decided to do something different for last episode in the current series.
Wild Honey opening celebration [2 September 2016]
Wild Honey are holding an opening celebration at their organic health store at 12 South Parade on Thursday 8 September. This will be a chance to meet local organic producers, get free nutritional consultations, and explore the ever-widening range of products for sale.
Summertown Library talk by Harry Sidebottom [19 July 2016]
Author Harry Sidebottom will be discussing his Throne of Caesar series at Summertown Library Saturday 3 September at 11:00-12:00.
The Throne of the Caesars series is set in third century Rome; a dramatic era of murder, coup, counter-rebellions and civil war. Filled with intrigue, betrayal and bloody battle, Fire & Sword, the latest and final part of the trilogy, creates a magnificent world built on brutality and political games, where no one is safe from retribution – not even those who dare to rule.
Tickets for the event are free but limited, please contact the library directly on 01865 558290 or email the library.
Home-Start Oxford: Calling All Parents [19 July 2016]
Home-Start Oxford – a voluntary organisation committed to promoting the welfare of families with at least one child under 5 – is currently seeking volunteers interested in providing practical and emotional support for parents. Volunteers generally commit to visiting for 2-4 hours per week. No special qualifications are necessary and full training and support are provided. If you are interested in volunteering, their next course will start in late September. Contact Home-Start on 01865 779991 or email@example.com.
Mamma Mia 35th Anniversary [22 June 2016]
The celebration of the 35th Anniversary of Mamma Mia culminates in a prize draw this Saturday 25 June. Owner Jon Ellse says, “Thank you so much for all your support. If you live near South Parade and have a moment to pop in, we would love to raise a glass of Prosecco with you and share a slice of pizza”.
Wild Honey opening [22 June 2016]
Organic health store Wild Honey plan to open their new Summertown shop at 12 South Parade on Monday 11 July. Jessica Howy tells us that "the shop will be open 7 days a week. We will be replicating the Wild Honey store in East Oxford and we are very much looking forward to being in Summertown". They will be selling much of the same local, organic and ethical produce that they currently stock in Magdalen Road are "looking forward to meeting many new friends and customers in sunny North Oxford".
Liscious to Wild Honey [3 June 2016]
It is likely that Liscious will be closing their shop on South Parade on Saturday 11 June. Fran is planning to run a pop-up Liscious shop once a month at her shed behind Oxfam. Watch this space for more details. The South Parade shop is being taken over by organic health store Wild Honey who currently run a destination store on Magdalen Road.
Italian Wine & Dine at Portabello [2 June 2016]
Portabello is hosting an Italian evening on Friday 8 July with a delicious set meal complemented by a selection of wines from award-winning Italian maker Bastianich. Full details of the evening and the menu are here.
GAIL's owner on Summertown [20 May 2016]
Tom Molnar, co-founder of GAIL's Bakery which opened recently in Summertown, has written in The Oxford Times about the experience of opening here and the strong feeling of community that makes Summertown so special:
"I have some friends in Summertown who introduced me to the area and I was immediately bowled over by the sense of community. Local businesses and residents have welcomed us with open arms and our neighbours have really helped fill us in on the local area.
"Bread is the core of our GAIL’s story and we make sure it’s at the heart of our customer experience in our shops. The design of the bakery in Summertown centres on abundant displays of our loaves and the rest of our sweet and savoury goodies, so our customers can be tempted by the little creations our bakers have come up with that day. We like to let the beauty of the food speak for itself and keep the interior design simple.
"It’s always been part of our dream to open a bakery in a neighbourhood outside of London and we’re grateful that Summertown has received us so warmly, so far."
For our part we can say that GAIL's is a very welcome addition to our high street.
Bang & Olufsen closes [10 May 2016]
The Bang & Olufsen shop on South Parade has closed, having received one month's notice to quit from the landlord. They will continue to offer care and servicing to their existing customers and hope to set up in new premises in Summertown if a suitable site becomes available. This is a sad day for Summertown as there has been an audio business in that shop since Edwin Horn and his son Cecil started selling Isis wireless sets from the premises in 1923. It was, until yesterday, the oldest audio retailer in the country. The current landlords are decendents of Horn & Son.
This move is thought to be linked to the desire of the landlord of the Co-op building to replace both these buildings with a block of student flats (see 21 January 2016 below).
Shop News [10 May 2016]
We hear that the Twinings building, latterly occupied by Barefoot Books, is going to be leased to Breckon & Breckon estate agents. We understand that they will be amalgamating their City and Headington offices into their new Summertown premises.
Liscious Interiors, who have been trading from various addresses in Summertown for many years are finally closing their shop at 12 South Parade. Fran's collection of attractive, colourful and unusual objects has provided a welcome visual focus in Summertown.
Following the departure of Barclays, Santander is the latest bank to announce that they will be leaving Summertown. The branch will close on 11 August..
Finally, we have heard unconfirmed reports that the building vacated by Barclays is to be taken over by Waitrose for conversion into a Little Waitrose store. There have been many rumours of Waitrose's arrival in Summertown over the years; it will be interesting to see if this one is correct.
Oliver Bonas Holiday Collection [5 May 2016]
Oliver Bonas has launched their Holiday collection. "Fusing festival bohemianism and graphic tribal textures with the relaxed feel of a sun-kissed afternoon at Coachella, Holiday at Oliver Bonas is both spirited and refined in the same stroke". Click this link to see more.
Dewdrop pub reopens [4 May 2016]
The Dewdrop Inn reopened today following it's refurbishment. Now owned by Mitchell & Butler, the pub will be offering different promotions each day of the week.
Zakti opens [3 May 2016]
We hear that ZAKTI have had a very busy first few days of trading in their new shop in Summertown – the first store they have opened outside London. Following the launch of an activewear range for men just days before they opened, they are selling sportswear and activewear for both men and women.
Wallers wins UK award [21 April 2016]
Rowan Waller of Summertown-based Wallers of Oxford has won one of six 'Highly Commended People' Awards in the annual Estate Agent Of The Year Awards. The choice of winners is based entirely on feedback received from the agent's own clients, so winning this national award is a signal achievement. Rowan was presented with the award by TV's Phil Spencer at a ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane.
Zakti opening [20 April 2016]
Women's activewear brand, ZAKTI, will be opening its doors at 231 Banbury Road on Saturday 30 April. Brand manager, Jon Franklin, tells us that the brand provides 'new ranges of clothing for yoga, gym, ski, dance, swimming and cycling using carefully chosen performance fabrics that will allow you to look as good as you feel'.
Artweek in Summertown 7-15 May [15 April 2016]
Artists and craftspeople all over Summertown, Wolvercote and Wytham are putting the finishing touches to their work before mounting their exhibitions ready for the launch of Summertown's Artweek on Saturday 7 May. There will be information and brochures, and two jazz bands, at the Farmers Market on Sunday 8 May, and you can get a preview of the art that will be on offer by clicking this link (5mb pdf file).
Mamma Mia at 35 [7 April 2016]
Mamma Mia, the much-loved pizzeria on South Parade is celebrating its 35th Anniversary (or Anniversario) this year. The Anniversary coincides with Mamma Mia featuring on Trip Advisor as one of the UK's top 20 pizzerias, as well as being named the Best Italian Restaurant in the south of England at the Food Awards.
As owner Jon Ellse says, 'In the restaurant world 35 years is a very long time indeed. Over the years we’ve kept to an authentic pizza style and taste – the best and freshest ingredients need little intervention. It’s a pleasure to see customers who were regulars in the 80s bringing along their own children and continuing to enjoy Mamma Mia as a family restaurant'.
The celebrations will run from April to June, culminating in an Anniversary Prize Draw for customers. Prizes will include a weekend trip for two to Florence to stay in a 5 star hotel, tickets to see Italy play England in the 2017 Six Nations, school fund raising vouchers, cases of Italian wine from the Mamma Mia list and lots of complimentary meals at Mamma Mia. Click this link for more information on the prizes and how to enter.
Building news [6 April 2016]
Work has begun on renovating and fitting out the old Cargo shop on the Banbury Road as a ZaktiActive store selling a women's sportswear brand called Zakti which includes gym, cycling and yoga wear. At the same time, the Dewdrop pub on the opposite side of the road is having an extensive makeover and re-branding with a complete internal and external refurbishment. The pub is expected to reopen on 4 May. Further up the Banbury Road the old Masonic Lodge at 333 is being transformed into a new sixth form centre for d'Overbroeck's school. As well as teaching rooms the centre will include five laboratories, suites for art, music and drama, and communal and recreational space.
French Café conversation [11 March 2016]
Join a French group with a difference. Speak French in the convivial atmosphere of the Oxford Wine Café. The group is for all francophiles interested in discussing topical issues in France and other francophone countries, while sampling fine French wines and learning about them from the experts. Native speakers and anyone who wishes to improve their French are very welcome. The group will meet once a month on Wednesdays from 18:00-19:30. The first dates are: 6 April, 4 May, 1 June and 6 July. There is no need to book, just turn up for the first meeting.
Fashion Show at St Michael's [11 March 2016]
A reminder of the fashion show being held at St Michael & All Angels Church in Lonsdale Road on Saturday 19 March. Designer wear from smart casual to wedding day frocks will be being modelled, and there will be an auction and a raffle with amazing prizes. Doors open at 7pm. Tickets cost £5 and are available by ringing Leah Mattinson on 01865 311762 / 07745130956 or emailing this address.
Ex-care home fire [7 March 2016]
More than 40 firefighters were called to a suspected arson attack on the unoccupied former care home at the junction of Banbury Road and Hernes Road on Saturday night. Six fire engines plus incident command units from Eynsham and Woodstock and a cherry-picker were sent to the scene. Firefighters wearing breathing apparatus searched the property but did not find anyone inside. An investigation was continuing this morning into the cause of the care home fire.
Wallers shortlisted for prize [4 March 2016]
Wallers of Oxford have been shortlisted for ‘Best Estate Agent for the Southern Region’ in the national Estate & Letting Agent Awards. The award scheme, known as the ESTAS, measures the quality of customer service provided by agents. The awards ceremony is at the Grosvenor Hotel in London and is being hosted by TV Property Expert, Phil Spencer.
Fashion Show at St Michael's [17 February 2016]
St Michael & All Angels Church in Lonsdale Road is holding a fashion show on Saturday 19 March. Doors open at 7pm. Tickets cost £5 and are available by ringing 01865 311762 / 07745130956 or emailing this address.
Gail's Bakery opening [10 February 2016]
Gail's Bakery will be opening its doors at 251 Banbury Road on Thursday 18 February. The bakery’s beautiful displays will be made up with loaves including Gail’s French Dark Sourdough, Mixed Olive Sourdough, Quinoa Sourdough and Honey & Almond Sourdough. The bakery also specialises in morning pastries, yogurt pots and toast. A hot brunch menu will be served until 3pm, offering eggs, French Toast, shakshuka and more. Lunch includes seasonal soups, sandwiches and salads, as well as quiches and sausage and vegetarian rolls. Cakes will be served all day, with afternoon tea bakes including brioches and delicate cakes.
Parking space available [27 January 2016]
There is a parking space for one car available to rent in Portland Road. Please let us know either via our contact page or email if you are interested, and we will pass your details on to the householder. This has now been taken.
Orchestral concert at St Michael's [22 January 2016]
St Edward’s Orchestral Concert will take place on Sunday 31 January at 8pm in St Michael’s Church, Lonsdale Road featuring a formal programme of popular classical music performed by the Symphony Orchestra: Rossini’s Overture to The Barber of Seville, Haydn’s beautiful Trumpet Concerto (Tom Powell, trumpet soloist) and Schubert’s Symphony no 8 ‘Unfinished’. Entry is free and there are no tickets.
Cibo! to close [21 January 2016]
Cibo!, the much loved Italian restaurant on South Parade, is being forced to close after 15 years in Summertown. The landlord has exercised his right not to renew the lease, on the basis of wanting to re-develop the site. We learn that he proposes to demolish the fine Victorian building and replace it with a block of student accomodation. It is possible that the Georgian house next to it is also under threat.
Shop news [20 January 2016]
Cargo on the Banbury Road is to close by the end of March, at the latest, but may close earlier if all stock is sold. Various Cargo stores across the south east are being closed by owner Steinhoff UK, while others are being re-branded as Bensons for Beds.
Shop news [16 December 2015]
We learn that the shop recently vacated by Johnson's Cleaners at 251 Banbury Road is being fitted out to be a Gail's Bakery. This chain of artisan bakeries has a large presence in London.
Christmas Trees [2 December 2015]
Christmas trees are now on sale at 223a Banbury Road (down the side of Oxfam) and from 5 December outside the pop-up Flash in the Pan shop in the Studio at Oakthorpe Place. A donation wil be made to The Art Room charity for every tree sold. You can contact Flash Christmas Trees on 07846633957, firstname.lastname@example.org and Flash Christmas Trees on Facebook.
Barclays branch to close [2 December 2015]
Barclays Bank has announced that their branch on the Banbuy Road is to close on Friday 4 March 2016. The nearest remaining branches are in the city centre and Headington.
Christmas Lights Switch-on [30 November 2015]
The switch-on of the Summertown Christmas lights will take place outside Mayfield House, just by Savills on the Banbury Road, on Friday 4 December between 5:00 and 5:30pm. A St Edward's School brass band will play carols and will be joined by a choir from St Michael's. The children from Cutteslowe School will then sing some festive songs before the countdown to the switch-on begins. Do come along to this festive community treat and sample the fine mince pies provided by the Co-op.
Carter Jonas expands sales team [20 November 2015]
Carter Jonas, which was already the largest Carter Jonas office in the country, has just taken on a new sales negotiator to join its team. This follows the recent appointment of four graduates who are working towards becoming chartered surveyors, and the expansion of the firm's national GIS and mapping team by the appointment of Andy Williams. Mr Williams joined the company from the Royal School of Military Survey in Thatcham where he was a senior instructor and also chief geographic officer for the MOD’s support in the 2012 Olympics. Carter Jonas's mapping team also provides direct consultancy services for developers, investors, landowners, and the professional services industry.
Mamma Mia Pizzeria re-opens to prize announcement [11 November 2015]
Much-loved pizzeria Mamma Mia on South Parade re-opened today after being closed for a facelift. The restaurant looks very smart with its fresh paint, 'Mamma Mia red' outside, and new floors throughout but still reassuringly familar. As the restaurant opened, owner Jon Ellse was told that it had won the Food Awards England award for Best Italian Establishment in Southern England.
Oxford Parkway stations opens [26 October 2015]
Commuters will be travelling from Oxford Parkway station at Water Eaton, just north of Summertown, to London Marlebone for the first time today. This is the first new rail link between a major British city and London for over 100 years The service, with a journey time of about an hour (see timetable), will make Summertown an even more attractive prospect for people who want the benefits of living in Oxford while working in London.
Oliver Bonas reveal Christmas range [21 October 2015]
Oliver Bonas has launched their new Christmas range of products. Click here for full details.
LiveSTYLE boutique coming to Summertown [20 October 2015]
A new LifeSTYLE boutique will be opening its doors on 12 November in the shop recently vacated by Eileen. The boutique is expected to offer, amongst other things, organic baby wear, a large range of household products and organic scenting and skincare products.
New bus service to both Oxford stations [16 October 2015]
When the new Oxford Parkway station opens at Water Eaton on 26 October, the Park-and-Ride 500 service will be extended. The revised service will run between the city centre and Water Eaton from about 5.30am to midnight on weekdays and there will also be a new Sunday service. The buses will also run from and to the main Oxford Station, providing a link between Summertown and both stations.
Summertown concert hall plans cancelled [9 October 2015]
St Edward’s School has announced that plans to build a new concert hall on the old Lemon Tree site on the Woodstock Road have been abandoned. A study carried out for the school found the venue would have needed a subsidy of more than £400,000 a year and would been in direct competition with places such as the New Theatre, the Sheldonian and the Oxford Playhouse. It is a pity that Summertown will not be the site of Oxford’s first purpose-built concert hall.
Barefoot Books to close [1 October 2015]
We are sad to hear that Barefoot Books, the colourful and lively children's book and events centre in the old Twining's Building on Banbury Road, is to close at the end of the year. We understand that a large increase in the rent demanded for the building is the reason for their departure. We wish that landlords would not raise rents to a level that is unaffordable for independent businesses.This will be a loss for Summertown and we can only hope that an equally useful and engaging shop opens in its place.
Riding for the Felix Byam Shaw Foundation [21 September 2015]
After a disappointing summer, the sun shone on over 200 cyclists meandering through Oxfordshire villages on Sunday 6 September. The group set off from Islip, all riding for a common cause, raising money for the Felix Byam Shaw Foundation. Rewards awaiting the cyclists on their return to the Village Hall included a fantastic barbecue with donations from local butchers, Alcocks and Fellers, and a brilliant raffle with prizes donated again from local North Oxford businesses, including Pophams, The Oxford Kitchen, The Old Parsonage, Daisies Flowers and a host of others. A substantial amount of money was raised for the causes close to Felix’s heart and the Foundation, friends and family would like to thank everyone who took part or contributed to this successful event.
Christie's at Strutt & Parker [18 September 2015]
Four of Christie's specialists were at Strutt & Parker last night for a valuation evening accompanied by drinks and canapés. Information and valuations were given by the specialists on Chinese Art, Books, Maps, European Furniture, Sculpture and Jewellery. Guests were also able to view details of stunning properties, including ones offered by Strutt & Parker affiliate, Christie's International Real Estate. Please contact them if you would be interested in attending a future valuation event.
Shaw Gibbs raises funds for NOA [17 September 2015]
Accountant Shaw Gibbs has raised over £2,500 for its chosen Charity of the Year, the North Oxford Association (NOA). The funds, which were presented to the charity by Shaw Gibbs Managing Director Peter O’Connell, have been raised over the last twelve months from an array of activities organised by Shaw Gibbs employees. NOA Chairman David Potts said on receiving the funds, “We are thrilled to receive such generous support and are deeply grateful for the time and effort everyone from Shaw Gibbs has put in to raise these funds”.
Summertown Neighbourhood Forum meeting [15 September 2015]
The next meeting of the Summertown Neighbourhood Forum will be at 7.30pm on Monday 21 September at the Baptist Church on Woodstock Road. Sir Muir Grey will be speaking on the links between a healthy environment, green spaces, and well-being. The organisers anticipate a lively discussion after the talk and all views and ideas will be taken into account in the compilation of the Neighbourhood Plan.
New Alliance Française d’Oxford Opens [3 September 2015]
The new, and officially recognised, Alliance Française d’Oxford opened its doors on 1 September. It offers French classes for all ages and abilities, and organises cultural events. The Directrice, Florence Rossignol, told us that the centre is open “for adult, teenage and children’s classes, for conversation classes or last-minute revisions, all conveniently located at our premises in North Oxford. Our friendly teachers, who are all French speakers and qualified to teach French, can also organise private classes for all ages. This term we have a selection of cultural events, from a book club to readings for children, a film showing and museum visits in French! Please visit our website for more information or send us an email”.
Oxford High School gains great A level results [14 August 2015]
Girls at Oxford High School in Belbroughton Road have bucked the national trend once more and achieved an increase in A* and A grades at A level with 54% of the Sixth Form achieving a clean sweep of A* or A grades. In addition, 75% of all the OHS students’ A Level grades were A* or A.
Oxford Wine Festival [14 August 2015]
A reminder that The Oxford Wine Festival starts a week today, on Friday 21 August, with 40 exhibitors including many of the UK's leading regional specialists, multi-award-winning English Vineyards, and hundreds of wines from the classic regions of the Old and New World. A full exhibitor line up is on their website.
Savills raises funds for The Gatehouse [12 August 2015]
Savills in Oxford has nominated The Oxford Gatehouse as its charity of the year. The charity, based at St Giles Parish Rooms on Woodstock Road, has been supporting Oxford's homeless and poorly housed population since 1988. The team at Savills, which covers disciplines from residential and commercial property management and sales through to planning, development and rural services, has pledged to support the charity both through fundraising and ‘in kind’ donations. Fundraising kicked off this summer with, among other events, a star baker competition, plant sales, book shop and tuck shop. A Spinathon was held where 48 staff and guests pedalled 137,000 miles over 12 hours. More than £1000 has so far been raised and lots of other events are planned.
Local MP Donates Pay Rise [17 July 2015]
Our local MP, Nicola Blackwood, last night criticised the 10% pay rise awarded to MPs and pledged to donate her extra income to local community causes.
Sculpture Demonstration [17 July 2015]
Tinei Mashaya will be demonstrating his beautiful Zimbabwean-style carving at the Turrill Sculpture Garden on Saturday afternoons from 2-4pm from tomorrow until 15 August.
Travel Solutions Closing [10 July 2015]
Travel Solutions, the travel agent on South Parade is closing tomorrow, Saturday 11 July. A letter from the owner explains that they have been unable to renew their lease because of development plans being pursued by the landlord. Customers with existing arrangements can still ring on 01865 310600 or email Charlotte on email@example.com.
North Wall Autumn Season [6 July 2015]
Tickets for the North Wall Autumn 2015 season are now on sale covering a wide range of theatre, dance and music events that “pick controversial subjects, defy genre, mix things up and keep audiences on their toes”. Visit the North Wall site to view the programme and buy tickets.
Legge Oriental Carpets Summer Sale [6 July 2015]
The Legge Oriental Carpets Summer Sale has begun with generous reductions of up to 50% off current prices. The sale ends on 25 July so visit soon to take advantage of the offers.
Oxford Wine Festival [1 July 2015]
The second annual Oxford Wine Festival will be taking place on the 21st and 22nd of August this year. The event will be bringing together leading wine merchants and specialists, and offers a great day out with live music and artisan food stalls at the Oxford Union. Chris Bowling, the managing director, told us that it will feature “an even wider range of wines and tutored tastings” than the year before. Early bird tickets are now available; visit the festival site to find out more.
Northern Gateway Go-ahead [23 June 2015]
The Planning Inspector has given the City Council and St John's College the go-ahead for the development of the Northern Gateway site to the south of the A34/A40 Peartree interchange. The scheme involves building 500 homes, a science & research park and a hotel. The inspector dismissed concerns about building on the Green Belt, the increased traffic on the already over-full A40 and A34, and residents' concerns about the alteration to local amenity caused by this significant development. This decision could pave the way for the Council to pursue plans to build up to 4000 homes on land to the north-east of this site. Work on the Northern Gateway is expected to begin in 2018 and could last until 2026.
Shop News [22 June 2015]
We are sad to report that Eileen, the women's clothes shop on the Banbury Road, is closing down in two day's time after many years in Summertown. Further down the Banbury Road the shop which was occupied by The Powder Room is being converted into a shoe and accessories shop for the Moda in Pelle chain.
Writing for Business [16 June 2015]
A reminder that Robert Bullard will be passing on his tips for writing effective copy for websites, reports and press releases at a free talk at the Summertown Library on Thursday 18 June at 5.30 – 6.30pm. Donations are invited to support the fund-raising campaign of Friends of Summertown Library.
Disruption from roundabouts scheme [10 June 2015]
Drivers have been warned to expect more than a year of delays as roadworks begin at the end of July on both the Wolvercote and Cutteslowe roundabounts. Work on the £9m scheme could last until November 2016 according to the County Council. The scheme will see both junctions becoming controlled by traffic lights, with approaches widened and new pedestrian and cycle crossings added. This could have a severe impact on local traders and businesses.
Tennis Open Day [8 June 2015]
The North Oxford Lawn Tennis Club is holding an Open Day with free coaching at the Banbury Road North Sports Ground, OX2 8EG on Sunday 14 June 9.30am-2pm. Click this link to book your space .
Cracking Cryptics: the mysteries of cryptic crosswords [5 June 2015]
All crossword enthusiasts are invited to Cracking Cryptics – a humorous and informative show about solving cryptic crosswords presented by Tony Long to be held at the NOA Community Centre, Diamond Place, on Saturday 13 June from 7.30pm. Tickets for the show cost £7.50 (including a glass of wine) and are available on the door, or click here to buy online.
Climate Change Talk [4 June 2015]
As part of Low Carbon Oxford Week, LCON are organising a talk by James Painter, Director of the Journalism Fellowship Programme at the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism, who will talk about whether the upcoming climate change talks in Paris will make a difference to the future of climate change. The talk will take place at the North Oxford Association annex, Diamond Place, from 7pm on Wednesday 17 June, and will be followed by the LCON AGM.
Butler Sherborn move [3 June 2015]
We gather that estate agents Butler Sherborn are moving from the The Studio in Grove Street to 216 Banbury Road which was recently vacated by Hamptons.
Writing for Business [1 June 2015]
Robert Bullard will be passing on his tips for writing effective copy for websites, reports and press releases at a free talk at the Summertown Library on Thursday 18 June at 5.30 – 6.30pm. Donations are invited to support the fund-raising campaign of Friends of Summertown Library.
Oliver Bonas opens in Summertown [25 May 2015]
Oliver Bonas opened the doors of their new Summertown shop last Thursday and are now getting ready for their Celebration Weekend on the 30th and 31st of May when they will be giving away a limited edition 'OB Oxford' tote bag to every customer who spends over £25. Students can also always get a 10% discount in store with their NUS card.
Oxford Parkway Station opening October [19 May 2015]
Oxford Parkway, next to Water Eaton Park & Ride just off the A34, is the first new railway station to open in Oxfordshire since 1944. The first trains will run from the station to London Marylebone on Monday 26 October. The new station will have disabled access, 150 cycle spaces, 800 car parking spaces and access to buses serving the park and ride site. The launch will also see the opening of Bicester Village station, which will provide Bicester with more trains to London in addition to those currently running from Bicester North.
Oliver Bonas coming to Summertown [15 May 2015]
Oliver Bonas, the well-known fashion company which designs and makes its own goods, is coming to Summertown. They are moving into 219 Banbury Road, next to Boots, and will be selling their eclectic range of women's clothing & accessories, jewellery, things for the home, furniture, and unusual gifts. This is a very welcome addition to Summertown, especially following the closure of The Powder Room
They are also recruiting so, if you would like a job in the new shop, email your details to firstname.lastname@example.org.
St Edward's produces a star [12 April 2015]
St Edward's School's former student Florence Pugh has landed a major role in a new drama series to be screened on US TV. She will star next to Will & Grace star Eric McCormack in Studio City to be aired on Fox. .
Dry Cleaners closing [12 March 2015]
Johnson's Dry Cleaners on the Banbury Road have announced that they are closing on Monday 16 March. Any clothes uncollected at the date can be collected from their shop on the Woodstock Road.
Win a top-of-the range road bike [11 March 2015]
St Edward’s School has announced an amazing prize for its annual “Teddies 2-Wheeler” fundraising bike ride on 26 April. The person who raises the most sponsorship money for children's charity See Saw, will win a road bike worth £1400. Get that sponsorship rolling in!
Carter Jonas has "Best Woman Agent" [20 February 2015]
Country Life magazine has named Juliana Markeson of Carter Jonas as Best Woman Agent. She won the mock award following a freak event that left her blinded for a week. Just before a viewing, Juliana was hit by a stone thrown up by a lawnmower and sent crashing to the ground. Worried that her eye was bleeding, but reassured that it was simply streaming tears, she conducted the appointment and it wasn’t until the viewers had gone that she went to A&E.
Northern Gateway proposals [20 February 2015]
St John’s College, Worcester College and the property group Kier Ventures Ltd, are holding an exhibition at the Oxford Hotel, Godstow Road, Wolvercote, today from11am to 8pm and tomorrow from 9.30am to 6pm on the Northern Gateway proposals for 500 new homes, a hotel and 90,000sq m business park.
Did you 'Have Your Say'? [15 February 2015]
The Summertown Neighbourhood Forum is anxious for everyone in our area to respond to the 'Have Your Say' leaflet which was delivered to every house. You can either return the paper form (which was part of the leaflet) or answer the questions online. The results of this survey will form part of the Neighbourhood Development Plan, and that Plan will be taken into account by the Council in planning decisions - so please do Have Your Say!
Diamond Place Redevelopment [5 February 2015]
New plans released by Oxford City Council reveal that the Council is now proposing extra parking spaces, shops and housing for the redevelopment of the Diamond Place site. Traders and shoppers will be delighted to hear that all the current public parking spaces will be retained, using a multi-storey car park, and about 20 more spaces will be added for new shops, restaurants and cafés. See here for more details.
Summertown sought-after shopping location [5 February 2015]
Summertown is one of the most sought-after shopping locations in Britain according to a report by The Local Data Company. Just 1.9% of shops and cafés are vacant compared with an average of 10.9% in the south east. See this article in the Oxford Times for more details.
Teddies 2-Wheeler [27 January 2015]
St Edward’s School has announced its annual “Teddies 2-Wheeler”. This sponsored bike ride, on Sunday 26 April, is great for the family, as the entrance fee includes breakfast, refreshment and entertainment throughout the day. You can choose to ride 100, 50, 25 or 5 miles to raise money for See Saw, the grief counselling charity for children, which is the school’s chosen charity this year. The first 200 people to raise over £50 will win bespoke cycling jumpers, provided by the professional team Tinkoff Saxo.
Oxford Wine Festival [27 January 2015]
Organizers have announced that the second annual Oxford Wine Festival will be taking place on the 21st and 22nd of August this year. The event will be bringing together leading wine merchants and specialists, and offers a great day out with live music and artisan food stalls at the Oxford Union. Chris Bowling, the managing director, told us that it will feature “an even wider range of wines and tutored tastings” than the year before. Early bird tickets are now available; visit the festival site to find out more.
Shop News [13 January 2015]
Hamptons have closed their estate agency at 216 Banbury Road and are now concentrating all their resources at their outlet at 257 Banbury Road. Shoe shop Charles Clinkhard, which has been been closed since before Christmas as a result of fire and smoke damage, is planning to re-open on Monday 2 February.
Banbury Road Roundabout [12 January 2015]
Plans to convert the Cutteslowe roundabout at the top of the Banbury Road into a hamburger or donut junction, with traffic on the A40 going through the middle have been scrapped by Oxfordshire County Council. The report by The Oxford Times says that the roundabout will instead be controlled by traffic lights.