Cowley Road: A History

Once a respectable white working-class suburb, Cowley Road is today the heartland of alternative Oxford. Famous for its restaurants and specialist shops, the street has also developed a n enviable reputation for its music and nightlife. Half a century of immigration and student growth has transformed Cowley Road into a lively thoroughfare synonymous with youth and multicultural expression. Annie Skinner traces the development of Cowley Road, looking at the impact of changing population and tastes on an urban environment. She considers how the street survived potentially devastating planning blight, witnessed political ferment in the 1970s and 1980s, and finally became a fashionably bohemian part of Oxford. Based on interviews and local archives, she reveals a largely untold history of a street that is both typical of modern Britain and unique in its political and cultural dynamism. * Cultural melting-pot: churches and mosques; restaurants and retailing; a multi-ethnic community. * Politics and protest: revolutionaries and hippies; a tradition of radicalism; feminism and gay rights; the fight against racism; reds and greens. * Dancing in the street: Radiohead, Supergrass and the Zodiac; the street that never sleeps; the Cowley Road Carnival.