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Community asked to back a project to promote canal
MEMBERS of the Jericho and North Oxford community are being asked for their help in a project to promote Oxford Canal.
From next month a series of community meetings will be held where people in the area can find out more about the Oxford Canal Heritage Project.
The Oxford City Canal Partnership has been given £65,000 by the Heritage Lottery Fund to draw more people to the three-and-a-half-mile stretch of canal that runs through the city.
People who live in the communities beside the canal can come to the meetings to find out more, as well as to contribute their own ideas.
Local historian Mark Davies will give a talk about the history of the canal while project manager Maria Parsons will talk to residents about the project.
Tony Joyce, chairman of Jericho Living Heritage Trust, said: “It is an important part of the project that there is a lot of community involvment. We are hoping to have members of the community involved in quite a lot of the activities and we are getting local schools involved.
“This is partly celebrating the existence and the history of the canal, and that really relates to the communities along it.”
The partnership is made up of Oxford City Council, Oxfordshire County Council, the Environment Agency, the Inland Waterways Association, Jericho Community Association, St Edward’s School and Worcester College.
Once completed next spring, the heritage trail will lead from Hythe Bridge Street to Duke’s Lock, north of Wolvercote, and a podcast audio trail will be created.
Visitors will be given information about the surrounding areas of Jericho, Summertown, Wolvercote and Port Meadow.
The Oxford Canal was opened in 1790 and became a key trade artery, but declined with the development of the railway network in the mid-19th century.
In the 1950s the poet John Betjeman joined a successful campaign to save the canal from closure, which led to Minister for Transport Barbara Castle intervening.
The meetings will take place at St Margaret’s Institute, in Polstead Road, on October 1 at 7.30pm, in Wolvercote village hall on October 2 at 6.30pm and in Jericho Community Centre on Monday, October 7 at 7.30pm.
- For more information, call Ms Parsons on 07801509993 or email mariastparsons @gmail.com
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