Headington centre’s shops in 2012
New shops opened in 2012
  • Caffe Corsica opened in August 2012 in the former Caffe Toscano at 113 London Road
  • Lazy Gamer opened on 2 March 2012 in the refurbished former Annie Sloan shop at 117 London Road
  • Londis at 116–120 London Road reopened under new ownership on 25 February 2012
  • A “Sue Ryder” charity shop opened on 17 May 2012 in Windmill Road
  • Da Root Afro-Caribbean groceries moved into the former Africare hairdresser at 5 Simon House, Windmill Road near the end of 2012.
Shops vacant at the end of 2012
  • Cartridge World at 106 London Road (closed on 9 June 2011)
  • Oxford Design at 122a London Road (closed on 22 October 2012)
  • Today’s Local at 83 London Road (closed in October 2010, less than two months after opening in the former Nicolas)
  • Laura Loves Flowers at 126 London Road (closed in May 2011, just four months after opening in the former Matthew Clulee shop)
Dorset House development

Students started moving into Dorset House on 1 September 2012. Rents for the 316 study bedrooms were advertised as ranging from £146.50 to £180 per week on a 42-week contract.

The rooms were prefabricated boxes, which the crane dropped into place fully fitted with carpets, curtains, and furniture.

Central Headington block of shops and offices sold

The freehold of Kennett House (on the corner of Kennett Road and London Road) was sold for £2,500,000 on 3 December 2012 at an Allsop auction.

This large block comprises the HSBC Bank, Iceland, and two charity shops on the ground floor, and two floors of Oxford Brookes offices upstairs. The longest remaining lease is that of Bejam (which underlets the shop to Iceland): this had a 63-year lease from Christmas Day 1963, which therefore reverts in 2026.

Botnar Phase 2

Building of Botnar Phase 2 at the Nuffield Orthopaedic centre was completed in 2012.

Planning application 10/01709/FUL was for “Erection of two-storey research building (Botnar Phase 2). Provision of 4 disabled parking spaces, 22 cycle hoops and new barrier- controlled access road” (approved on 24 May 2011).

RH hospital buses taken over by Stagecoach

RH Buses which ran the 700 Hospital Link (Water Eaton Park & Ride to the John Radcliffe Hospital, Churchill Hospital and Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre) closed down on Thursday 4 October 2012 and went into administration. Stagecoach was given the contract for the service hospital service until March 2013, and starting running it again on Monday 8 October 2012.

Headington School
Junior School

Eight trees on the London Road were felled in April 2011, prior to Headington Junior (Preparatory) School replacing its old stone boundary wall with railings in 2012 (approved planning application 10/01541/FUL).

Work took place in 2012 on an “extension to foundation building to provide two additional classrooms, work room and link to main school buildings” (approved application 10/03214/FUL).

Senior School

Construction of a new classroom building at Headington School started on 11 July 2011 and continued for about 14 months. Temporary access was formed from Woodlands Road into the rear of the school’s property.

City Council elections 2012

There is no change in the five Headington wards, as the following all held their seats: Mike Rowley (Labour, Barton & Sandhills), Mark Lygo (Labour, Churchill), Ruth Wilkinson (LibDem, Headington), Roy Darke (Labour, Headington Hill & Northway), and Laurence Baxter (Labour, Quarry & Risinghurst).

Mick Haines (Independent) gained Marston (where Beverley Hazell stood down) from Labour.

The city council election took place on Thursday 3 May 2012. There was one seat up for election in each ward. (Each city ward has two city councillors, and the other half will be contested in 2014.)

UKIP candidate in the news

Julia Gasper, who was the UKIP candidate for Quarry & Risinghurst ward in the city council election in May 2012, claims to have received death threats following comments about homosexuals.

Wick Farm well house

The well-house at Wick Farm was added to the English Heritage (now Historic England) “At risk” register in 2012.

Although it has always been in Barton and therefore Headington, it lies just outside Oxford City Council’s boundary and (like the Bayswater Farm site) comes under South Oxfordshire District Council.

World War Two Memorial plaque on Marston Road

A memorial plaque to the men of Marston who died in the Second World War was unveiled on the Marston Road on Saturday 20 October 2012: see pictures

Headington pubs

The Black Boy was listed in the 2012 Good Pub Guide and the Masons Arms in the 2012 Good Beer Guide.

The Quarry gate pub was offered for sale at the reduced price of £775.000.

Dance school at Kirby House

The Step By Step Dance School moved to Kirby House in the yard at the top of Windmill Road in 2012. The owners of this warehouse were granted permission (11/02798/FUL) to turn it into a dance school and for three non-illuminated fascia signs (11/02799/ADV).

Car free development to get parking permits

It was agreed in 2012 that residents in the Holyoake Hall flats in Headington would get parking permits, even though they are not supposed to have cars.

Former shoe shop owner reached 100

Mrs Rene Bradley, formerly Mrs Wenborn, who ran Wenborn Shoes at 6 The Parade, Windmill Road from 1956 to 1973, celebrated her 100th birthday in October 2012. Her shop is now the Thong Heng Chinese Supermarket.

Water main burst in Headington

Central Headington’s water went off without warning at about 6.30am on Tuesday 24 July following a water main burst at the Old Road/Windmill Road junction.

The area without water initially included Sandfield Road area, Oxford Brookes University, Wood Farm, and Risinghurst, but the outlying districts were only temporarily cut off. Bottled water and bowsers were sent to the central Headington area, but (probably because the Churchill Hospital and Nuffield Orthopaedic Hospital were affected) Thames Water were able to redirect pipes, and the water came back to central Headington after four hours.

The water main has now been fixed, but the cause of the burst is not known.

Photographs taken on 24 July:

Posh Fish

Posh Fish at 150 London Road, Headington reopened at the end of March 2012.

The posh shark

Posh Fish erected its own shark in February 2012, and received retrospective consent for planning application 12/00809/ADV (“advertisement consent for the display of a fibreglass shark model”).

In 1996 when the business was the Mediterranean Fish Bar the same owner, Ihsan Mustafa (Manny) Malta won an appeal against Oxford City Council’s refusal of application 95/00679/A to allow him to display an illuminated whale measuring 2.5m x 1m that he had put up over the shop the previous year (95/00679/A).

The fire

This fish & chip shop suffered a fire at lunchtime on Friday 20 January 2012. Three fire engines were called and the London Road was reduced to one lane. The smoke spread as far as the Co-op, and three people were taken to hospital from the fish & chip shop suffering from smoke inhalation. This was the third fire in ten years that has started in a deep-fat fryer in this shop (formerly the Mediterranean Fish Bar).

Brookes challenge abandoned

Martin Young decided on 13 January 2012 to abandon his case in the Court of Appeal against a new development by Oxford Brookes University, taking up Oxford City Council’s offer to waive any claim for current costs if he abandoned the case.

He went to the Court of Appeal after failing in his application in October 2010 for a judicial review of Oxford City Council’s decision to allow construction of a new library and teaching building. He said that the council did not give proper consideration to noise issues, and he believed that the addition of a bar, restaurant and shops in a public square by Headington Road, near where he lives, would contravene the Local Plan.

New letter box

The Royal Mail installed a new letter box in All Saints Road in May 2012 (picture), thanks to campaigning by Ruth Wilkinson and local residents following the loss of the former box on the wall of the development site.

Brookes licensing application

The controversial licensing application for the Gipsy Lane campus was approved on 20 January 2012, with nine mandatory conditions and one condition consistent with the operating schedule.

Litter bin in Bury Knowle Park sends emails

Bin that emails

The city council hired a new solar-powered litter bin from the Big Belly Solar Compactor Bins company and placed it in Bury Knowle Park in September 2012. If the trial is successful, the bins will be used elsewhere in the city too. It can compact 800 litres of waste, and sends council workers an email when it is 85% full and then again when it is 95% full.

Domino’s Pizza expanded next door

Domino’s Pizza at 122–136 London Road reopened again in July 2012 after a major refit. It has expanded into the shop next door (which it occupied until the 1990s and then let to the Oxford Kebab House until September 2011).

The ghost sign of The American Pizza Company of the early 1990s was revealed during the work.

The following two approved planning applications relate to the current work:

  • 12/00695/ADV: “Erection of 2 x internally illuminated fascia signs, 1 x internally illuminated projecting sign and 1 x internally illuminated sign in window”
  • 12/00696/FUL: “Alterations to shopfront as a result of expansion of Domino’s Pizza into adjacent unit”
Fees protest at Brookes

About 25 students erected banners and tents at the Brookes’s Gipsy Lane campus on Wednesday 18 April 2012 in protest against rises in fees. They planned to stay “as long as it takes”, but gave up a month later on Sunday 20 May.

Woman in charity shop attacked

A day-release prisoner working in a charity shop allegedly attacked a female co-worker, Juliana Nergreiros, with a razor on 9 May 2012 and then absconded.



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Photographs of events in 2012
Headington beer festival
Shark’s Birthday

Bill Heine held a party in New High Street on 9 August 2012 to celebrate the Shark’s 26th birthday.

Family FunDay in Bury Knowle Park

Oxford City Council held a Sports Day on Sunday 12 August 2012

Diamond Jubilee Street Parties: Pictures
Ruskin College’s move to Headington

Photographs of Grand Opening
of college on Saturday 26 October

In the autumn of 2012 Ruskin College became a Headington institution, when Exeter College took over its old premises in Walton Street and it moved into its new £17m campus in Old Headington.

Walled garden

In 2009 Ruskin College renovated its eighteenth-century walled garden at the Rookery in Stoke Place at a cost of £400,000. The walls were repaired, the children’s nursery and old hard tennis court were removed, and the terraces restored.

Local residents have formed the Crinkle Crankle Club (named after the crinkle crankle wall on the north side of the walled garden) and started work on the garden in the autumn of 2011.

Bungalow allowed on appeal

The building of a bungalow to the rear of 42 Windmill Road (11/02147/FUL) was allowed on appeal in 2012.

Sikh temple in Headington

The Sikh temple at 295–297 London Road opened in August 2012, following approval of planning application 12/00990/FUL (“change of use of ground floor from class B1 to class D1 (place of worship). Provision of 10 car parking spaces at rear. New entrance to London Road frontage”).

Retrospective planning application 12/01978/FUL for change of use of the ground floor of the part of the building to the right of the Gurdwara from an office to an HMO with five bedrooms was refused on 24 October 2012.

The shop at 291–293 London Road to the left of the Gurdwara (on the corner of Northfield Road) is now a convenience store, the Oxford Food Center [sic].

Thornhill Park & Ride: New charge for over 11 hours

Charge for long-stay parking at the Thornhill Park & Ride started on 10 December 2012. Motorists can still park free for up to 11 hours, but have to pay £3 per day after that, up to a maximum of 72 hours. This is likely to deter the people who are using this Park & Ride to catch the bus to London.

Three other park & rides started charging for all parking on Monday 3 October 2011, but Thornhill remains free for those parking for under eleven hours because it is run by the county rather than by the city. As a result more people appear to be using it, and it is often full by 7am.


Headington and the Olympics

The Olympic flame duly arrived in SoutExcellent performance from Out of the Blue  on Twitpich Park from Warneford Lane in Headington on Monday 9 July.

There were many performances, including Out of the Blue (right).

Headington Olympians
  • Bryony Shaw, who attended Cheney School, competed in the windsurfing event on 7 August.
  • Mara Yamauchi pulled out of the women’s marathon with an injury after running 5km on 5 August. She trained with Headington RoadRunners, and her father, the environmentalist Norman Myers, still lives in Headington.
  • Lily van den Broecke who attended Headington School coxed a boat that won a gold medal in the Paralympics, and so Divinity Road now has Oxford’s only gold postbox
Headington Waitrose

Headington Waitrose took advantage of the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s special “Olympic Sunday” extension by opening from 9.30am to 5.30pm on eight Sundays to 8 September

Oxford Design closure

In October 2012 Oxford Design moved from Headington to the Green Hangar, Stanton St John, OX33 1AG on 22 October 2012. Its telephone number remains the same: 01865 769606.

Application to convert two Headington Road houses into flats refused

Planning application 12/01170/FUL was refused to convert 184 and 186 Headington Road (each of which is at present a five-bed HMO) into two one-bed and two three-bed (duplex) flats, with a single-storey extension to each property.

Accident at junction of Osler Road

A cyclist was injured outside the Shell garage in Headington at 5.45am on Wednesday 6 November.

Police Commissioner elections

Anthony Stansfeld (Conservative) won the election on Thursday 14 November 2012 to be the first Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner.

Coco Noir gets alcohol licence

In October 2012 Oxford City Council granted Coco Noir a licence for the sale of alcohol for consumption off the premises Monday to Saturday from 10.00 hours to 20.00 hours and Sundays 10.00 hours to 19.00.

Road works in Old Road/Highfield area

These works, which began on 26 September 2011, continued until March 2012.

The strange double-yellow lines painted across road junctions were shown on local television, and even made the national press:

The main changes (aimed at reducing traffic speeds in the Highfield area and improving pedestrian and cycle facilities in Old Road) were as follows:

• A cycle lane was added to the south side of Old Road between the junction of Gipsy Lane and Windmill Road.

• Pavement cycle lanes were added on part of Old Road, near the junction with Windmill Road, with three pedestrian crossings over the roundabout.

• A zebra crossing was installed by Old Road’s junction with Stapleton Road, and the centre-line road markings were removed from Old Road in a bid to slow down cars.

• The road was raised at nine junctions including that of Lime Walk and Old Road. The raised junction at the crossroads of All Saints Road and Lime Walk was “enhanced”.

Earlier ideas from the county council (preventing a number of right turns in Highfield) were not well received and were abandoned:

Londis shop

Headington Londis was the first shop in the country to install the i-viewer, a shelf-mounted magnifier to help people read small print.

A community launch for Londis shop was held on Friday 30 March 2012:

The Londis shop at 116–120 London Road opened under new ownership on 25 February 2012. Its new opening hours are 6am–11pm Monday to Saturday, and 7am–11pm Sunday.

The premises are still owned by Budgens, which used to have a 7–11 shop (later renamed B2) there. The former Londis went into receivership on 18 February 2011 and Budgens repossessed the premises on 26 April 2011.

Lazy Gamer

The Lazy Gamer Comic Book and Video Gaming Centre opened in the refurbished shop at 117 London Road (formerly Annie Sloan, in the row beside Bury Knowle Park) on 2 March 2012.


Peacocks Stores Ltd was bought by the Edinburgh Woollen Mill, and the Headington store was not on the list of closures.

Sue Ryder charity shop

The “Sue Ryder” shop in Windmill Road opened on 17 May 2012, becoming central Headington’s ninth charity shop. It occupies the former Clovers shop (which closed on Saturday 3 September 2011 after thirty years in Windmill Road).

Six Bells

The Six Bells in Quarry reopened on 3 March 2012 as a “Meet & Eat” pub, and a planning application for a new porch at the rear of the building (11/03203/FUL) was approved.

Headington Hill Conservation Area

The public consultation on the draft conservation area appraisal closed on 24 July 2012 and the revised draft was approved by the City Council’s East Area Planning Committee on 10 December 2012.

Café Noir

Café Noir suffered electrical fire in mid-March 2012, and was closed for about a month.

Café Bonjour

Planning application 11/02944/FUL by Café Bonjour of 136 London Road for “retention of premises for use as Class A1/A3 (shop/cafe)” was approved in January 2012.

Anniversary of the Titanic sinking

April 2012 marked the hundredth anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. One of the eight bandsmen who carried on playing as the liner sank was Wesley Woodward of Windmill Road, Headington.

Robin Gardiner, a plasterer who lives in Barton, has written three books about the Titanic, and is now working on an American-made documentary, which he claims “will completely lift the lid on what happened with Titanic, once and for all”.

Other approved planning applications
  • The Crown Group newsagent (now W. H. Smith) at 99 London Road was granted planning permission in May 2012 (12/00681/FUL) for “Erection of single-storey rear extension to provide additional retail space, store and staff facilities”.
  • The Black Boy at 91 Old High Street was granted planning permission in August 2012 (12/01801/EXT) to extend the time limit for application 09/01218/FUL, approved in July 2009, for “Change of use of first floor to provide 5 en-suite guest bedrooms and a studio flat. New external door to replace existing window and new external fire escape”.
Storybook Tree

The base of the Storybook Tree in Bury Knowle Park is rotting, and the sculpture may have to be put on a new base.