What will become of tiled mural at Temple Cowley Pools?

From left, Rosemary Belton, Rosie Martin, Mary Sugden and Chris Coghill with the mural at Temple Cowley Pools

From left, Rosemary Belton, Rosie Martin, Mary Sugden and Chris Coghill with the mural at Temple Cowley Pools

First published in News thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by , Education Reporter, also covering West Oxford. Call me on (01865) 425437

WHAT will happen to the tiled mural at Temple Cowley Pools if plans to demolish the site go ahead?

That is the question swimmers are asking Oxford City Council as it puts the site up for sale.

Regular pool user Chris Coghill wants to know if the council has any future plans for the mural, which depicts a boating scene, if the site is demolished and turned into housing.

He believes at least a photographic record of the mural should be kept but hopes the city council could find a way of preserving the mural.

Murals by graffiti artist Banksy have been removed from their original sites and sold, and Mr Coghill believes Oxford City Council could do the same in this case.

The 32-year-old from Headington, who swims at the pool twice a week, said: “I just wonder if the city council has considered what is going to happen to the mural.

“If I was the artist I would want to know what is going to happen to my work.

“It is quite a detailed and interesting piece and it would be a shame if it went unremembered in the future.”

Last month, Oxford City Council confirmed the Temple Road site will be going up for sale to ensure a “smooth transition” to its multi-million pound Blackbird Leys replacement. The site has been earmarked for about 26 properties, half of which would be affordable.

Work is expected to finish by December on a new swimming complex next to Blackbird Leys Leisure Centre, Pegasus Road. The new facility will feature an eight-lane, 25-metre pool and teaching pool. Campaigners say the pool should be refurbished.

Save Temple Cowley Pool campaigner Jane Alexander said she still hoped the sale of the site would not go ahead.

She said: “It is not something we have really considered at the moment as we are still hoping the pool won’t be sold.”

Mike Rowley, board member for leisure services, said: “It is not something we have particularly looked at yet, but if people want to give us some ideas about how it could be preserved then I would welcome them.”

Comments (1)

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1:18pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Is it all tiled?

It looks more like the bottom part is painted onto the tiles, the rest is painted onto plaster.

Either way, it should be relatively easy to copy. Perhaps a massive version could be painted onto the side of Hockmore Tower as part of the transformation programme?
Is it all tiled? It looks more like the bottom part is painted onto the tiles, the rest is painted onto plaster. Either way, it should be relatively easy to copy. Perhaps a massive version could be painted onto the side of Hockmore Tower as part of the transformation programme? Andrew:Oxford
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