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East Oxford From Above enters its final week...

7 November 13 -- jsuess
This post was contributed by Antonia Harland-Lang, Community Engagement Partnership Officer, Museum of Oxford
Exhibition Poster

The Museum of Oxford’s East Oxford From Above exhibition is entering its final week in the Town Hall gallery.  Entirely curated by 10 local community volunteers, this exhibition of artwork, memories and historic aerial photos is the culmination of a year-long partnership project between the Museum and English Heritage.

Since its busy launch on Oxford Open Doors weekend, we have had some lovely feedback from exhibition visitors and some great stories have been shared… from the gentleman who spent 40 minutes in the gallery recalling memories of growing up beside a long-gone garage near the Plain to the visitor who wrote in the comments book that ‘We have lived in East Oxford for 7 years, it’s such a wonderful, diverse, interesting, messy, fun and sometimes noisy place to live!’

Exhibition Launch at the Museum of Oxford

Project Highlights
As the project draws to a close, we thought we’d share some highlights from what has been an exhilarating year!

A new film about the Cowley Road by the Out and About Crew 
The Out and About Film Crew are 7 adult learners from the Oxfordshire Skills and Learning Service. This spring, the film crew worked with the Museum of Oxford and freelance film maker, Suzy Prior, to produce a documentary film about life on the Cowley Road today and in years gone by. The crew worked on location in this dynamic area of East Oxford and took direct inspiration from the local area, its inhabitants, as well as the Aerofilms photos of Cowley taken in the 1920s and 30s.


Participants were involved in all aspects of making the film from storyboarding, to directing, to camera angles, to interviewing, through to the final edit. Their film aims to capture the spirit of the Cowley Road which the Out and About Crew described as ‘dynamic’, ‘colourful’ and (in places) ‘messy’!

In the participants own words:

I enjoyed today filming and directing our own interviews about Cowley Road.
I have developed my film making skills and learnt more about the film making process.

Bronze Arts Award success at The Oxford From Above Summer Club 
This summer the Museum of Oxford teamed up with the charity, VIP+, to give 9 young people the opportunity to achieve a Bronze Arts Award in a week. As part of a week-long summer club, participants created a range of aerial photo-inspired artwork, visited the Museum of Oxford and shared their skills with others. Just as importantly, they had the opportunity to try new things, to have fun and to make new friends.

VIP+ (the Vulnerable Interventions Partnership) is a collaboration between three schools: the Oxfordshire Hospital School, Meadowbrook College and the Virtual School for Looked After Children. The charity supports high quality after school and holiday activities for the children and young people of all three services.

All 9 young people involved successfully gained their Bronze Arts Awards and enjoyed visiting the East Oxford From Above exhibition to see their work on display.

In the participants’ own words:

I’ve never laughed so much before
I loved this week, I’m proud of completing my portfolio in a week
It’s been good to see good friends and make new friends


VIP+ Summer Club Poster

East Oxford From Above meets Britain From Above
On Wednesday 23rd October, the Museum was excited to welcome a large delegation from the English Heritage Britain From Above team. The team of conservators, digitizers, cataloguers and activity officers have been working tirelessly over the past 3 years to conserve and share over 95,000 historic aerial photos from the unique Aerofilms archive — a handful of which can be seen in all their glory in the Town Hall gallery. Over 20 members of the English Heritage team made the journey from their Swindon HQ to Oxford to take a tour of the exhibition, to learn more about the community activities involved and to meet some of the project participants. It was fantastic to see the Town Hall gallery full of the people who have been so closely involved in conserving the amazing photos on display for future generations. The gallery was buzzing!

Most importantly, the Britain From Above team liked what they saw. They told the Museum that ‘It’s really moving for us to see the photos which we’ve been working so hard on behind the scenes’.

English Heritage Team visiting the Museum of Oxford

Visit the Museum of Oxford Group on the Britain From Above website
The East Oxford From Above exhibition will be on in the Town Hall gallery until Saturday 9th November. Remember that you can also view and comment on historic aerial photos of locations across the UK from the 1920s through to the 1950s online at