Dreaming Spires? Not The Full Story... Not By A Long Way.
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!