Forty Years of Oxford Planning
by Mark Barrington-Ward, Editor of The Oxford Mail 1961 - 79 and `OCS President 2004 - 2010
14 June 2015
This booklet – the latest in the Oxford Civic Society’s current series of occasional publications – is of very special significance. As the President’s Address of 2009, it marks the fortieth anniversary of the Society’s foundation. But it is far more than this.
Mark Barrington-Ward returned to Oxford as editor of the Oxford Mail in 1961 and from then on he was not only a penetrating observer and commentator on all aspects of the city’s development, but through his paper’s active campaigning and encouragement, he played a significant part in its shaping. In fact it was largely due to the publicity he gave to the issues he describes that the Civic Society came into being.
His formidable memory – I think he can recall virtually every leader he wrote during his editorship – backed by the characteristic thoroughness of his research, gives us a unique insight into the ebb and flow of transport and planning policies, their successes and failures, as they have affected and moulded the city we experience today.
For those who want to understand today’s Oxford, and to attempt with Mark to look into its future, this is essential reading.