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No road name for U's at Manor Ground
Local residents Gill Clarke, left, with husband Bob, city councillor Ruth Wilkinson and construction site manager Ray Weston at the development
Residents have voted to name a road on the site of Oxford United’s former home after a woman who lived in the area and took in stray animals.
The U’s played at the Manor Ground in Headington for more than 75 years before moving to the Kassam Stadium and the site has already been partially developed as the private Manor Hospital.
But during a 30-minute debate, residents settled on naming the road Blackburn Close after a long-standing resident.
She lived in Sandfield Cottage in London Road between 1921 and 1960 and, according to local historian Stephanie Jenkins, was the mother of famous dog trainer Barbara Woodhouse.
Mrs Woodhouse wrote a number of books on dog training and became a household name through a TV series, Training Dogs the Woodhouse Way.
Local councillor Ruth Wilkinson, who held the meeting, said: “There has been positive feedback throughout this project and we look forward to seeing our new neighbours move in soon after Christmas.”
Mrs Wilkinson said the meeting had been advertised widely and she was surprised no one had suggested an Oxford United-related name.
Mark Sennett, of U’s supporters group OxVox, said it would have been nice to recognise the Oxford United connection.
He said: “The local residents are entirely entitled to call the road whatever they want but obviously Oxford United was an integral part of the heritage of that area.
“We had great times at the Manor Ground and we had some wonderful players.”
Gill Clarke, from Beech Road, proposed Blackburn Close. She said: “There is the Manor Hospital already and I thought it would be a nice Headington thing to have. I lived in the house opposite her and she was always feeding strays. It is good to see the idea endorsed by so many.”
Mrs Clarke said she did not know what Mrs Blackburn’s first name was, and she was just known locally as ‘old Mrs Blackburn’.
Developer GreenSquare, which is building 27 homes invited local residents to choose the name for the road.
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