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By Kat, Feb 18 2017 06:52PM

This article in VICE magazine sums it up perfectly.

"This might sound like the kind of clichéd hyperbole you'd hear in a Happy Mondays documentary, but the joy and unity the clause aimed to destroy was something rare. All of it was exciting: the wait to hear where the party was; mass congregations in a service station; dropping a pill before joining a convoy of cars; tail lights glittering into the distance; arriving to lines of parked cars and beats in the distance, stumbling – butterflies in stomach – towards the lights and into dancing mayhem.

By Kat, Jan 31 2017 06:10PM

I also found this article written by Ann Spokes-Symonds

The Cutteslowe Walls were built in 1934, were over two metres high and topped with lethal spikes. They divided the City Council's Cutteslowe estate from private housing to the west which was developed by Clive Saxton of the Urban Housing Company.

He was afraid that his housing would not sell if so-called 'slum' dwellers were going to be neighbours, and the walls were built to separate them.

The council tenants soon raised a petition asking for the walls to be demolished and Abe Lazarus, a Communist politician, took up their cause. The residents doubted whether the interference of a left-wing politician would help their cause but In 1936 Lazarus and his supporters marched on the wall with pickaxes. The police barred their way and the attempt failed.

In June 1938 the City Council, against legal advice, took the law into their own hands and demolished the walls with a steam roller. But they were sued by the company and the city was forced to re-erect the walls.

There were various attempts during World War II to have the walls demolished for safety reasons but these also failed. A tank on a practice exercise did drive through one of the walls but the War Office had to pay for the rebuilding.

In 1953, councils were given powers of compulsory purchase and the council adopted these in 1955.

Finally, on 9th March 1959, after the city had purchased the strips of land on which the walls stood, the walls came down. Councillor Edmund Gibbs, son of an earlier campaigner for demolition, and Chairman of the City Estates Committee, took a ceremonial swipe with a pickaxe at the top of the first wall to come down.

"Later, when the official party had left I waited for the first of the walls to come down and then was able to walk through and thus be the first person to do so."

On 9th March 2006, Mrs Doris Hayle, one-time resident of Cutteslowe, unveiled a blue plaque on a former Council House in Aldrich Road next to where a wall once stood. This was to commemorate and celebrate the final demolition of these notorious and divisive walls, a monument to 20th century snobbery.

By Kat, Jan 23 2017 08:00PM

I was on the drive time show on BBC Oxford today. Was nice to talk to them about all the local history, the play and where all the parties were.

Plus, BBC Oxford was one of my first jobs.. I answered the phones on the breakfast show way back in 1998!

(they wouldn't let me play any acid house though... more's the pity!)

It starts at 2hrs 34.. Enjoy!


By Kat, Jan 22 2017 08:00PM

So, we have learned that Theresa May is the first leader Trump wants to meet. He wants to take her to watch him play golf. What fun that will be.

Well, she's got the hair for it. and from what I understand, he has this golf thing covered. Is this Maggie & Ronny 2.0 ?

We've been here before. And we've fought back before. And if the women's marches yesterday have done anything, they have reminded us how powerful we can be.

In 1982 we marched against the falklands war. In 1989 we stormed the streets against poll tax... and in 1990 we fought for our fight to party.

Our parties were so big they couldn't be touched. The police set up fake pirate radio stations, shut down entire motorways, but they were powerless. Even if it was just for a moment.

That was our moment. And we're keeping it. History is repeating itself. There are no two ways about it.

By Kat, Jan 19 2017 08:00AM

REPETITIVE BEATS is based in Oxfordshire, where I grew up.

Growing up in Oxford is unusual. Mention you grew up in Oxford and people think of cobbled streets, universities, and students in gowns on bicycles. But the reality is very different.

Just outside the city sits two of the countries largest council estates. These were build in the 1950's and 60's in an attempt by the city to create a divide between the rich folk of the university and relocate the working class people. After all, they had tourism to build up and a reputation to maintain. Oxford was untouched during the war as Hilter had his eye on it for a capital. So the city was in a great position to get visitors in.

And and old divide was enhanced. A divide that can be traced back hundreds of years... A divide that still exists today and is known as 'Town And Gown'.

It was them and us. The posh toffs of the university and the people born and raised here. Pubs, clubs, cafes, all town or gown, all sitting it one camp or the other. When I was going out in the city centre there were many pubs I didn't go in, and to this day still haven't entered.

Tommy, one of the RB characters, is from Blackbird Leys: The council estate made famous in the 90's for joyriding, petty theft and violence.

Police didn't go in... if they did, they were pelted with cans and bricks. Car shows made up of 30 or 40 stolen cars would perform displays to huge crowds in the streets. It got so bad that large employers in the city refused to employ anyone who lived there. Ironically, including the car plant.

But our character Tommy found the illegal party scene. A safe place of hedonism and love; a place where his address didn't matter, a place where opposing football fans would dance together and no one minded if you accidentally knocked someone's pint from their hand.

Tomorrow I hopefully find him. A character I know so very well .. but until now has only existed on my head!

Wish us luck!


By Kat, Jan 16 2017 08:00AM

I found this great article that charts the very long history of Town & Gown. It sums up the surprise from so many people who had never imagined there was anyone doing a manual job in Oxford, let alone the thousands and thousands of Townies that have been there, hidden away, for centuries.

"...the world was surprised to discover that Oxford had a working class, council estates, no-go areas and joy riders. The City of Dreaming Spires that had supplied the world’s establishment with tyrants, Marxist/Leninists and an intellectualised bourgeoisie has been a facade for a class war that has been waged for hundreds of years in and around Oxford. Bit over the top? Exaggeration? Let us guide you through the darker side of Oxford’s past and present."

"Students were often beaten and sometimes murdered by the ‘Townies’. By the mid-19th century the relations between the working class and colleges of Oxford became commonly known as Town and Gown; on May the 1st every year at 6 o’clock in the morning ‘Townies’ would descend on the Colleges to chuck what students they could find in the river, after the obligatory slapping of course!"

I remember the tradition of going to Magdalen bridge at 6am. Although by the mid 90's people were just jumping in off their own drunkern back! They now line the bridge with police. The rumours say someone jumped in and landed on a shopping trolley and died. Ridiculous, but not that unlikely!

Have a read HERE

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