What's happened to the old Headington flag?

Nick Fell outside Oxford Town Hall

Buy this photo Nick Fell outside Oxford Town Hall

First published in News thisisoxfordshire: Photograph of the Author by , Council Reporter, also covering Oxford city centre. Call me on 01865 425429

IT’S been lost for about a century but one man is hoping to uncover a missing piece of Oxford’s history.

Headington resident and traffic campaigner Nick Fell believes he knows where the lost Headington flag is and he is doing his best to help unearth it.

Council officers have been trying to track the flag down after Mr Fell, who lives in Headington, alerted them to the possibility that it might be hidden in the Town Hall’s vaults in a small box along with a seal. He said: “I first heard about this in 2006 when I was investigating parking issues in the central library. I came across a reference to the Headington flag and seal being in a locked container.

“A couple of weeks ago I was at the Oxfordshire History Centre in Cowley when I saw an entry which mentioned the locked container including various items belonging to Headington Urban District Council."

Mr Fell, who does not know what the flag looked like, said he found a document suggesting the box is in the vaults of the Town Hall.

Headington was not incorporated into the city of Oxford until 1929, when it had a population of about 5,000.

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Before 1929, the area was governed by a rural district council and then an urban district council. It was connected to Oxford’s sewage system in 1920.
It was the urban district council that began developing the Barton area when it purchased land for 60 homes there in 1927.

Two years later the whole area was incorporated into the City of Oxford and the urban district council was disbanded.

The last Lord of the Manor of Headington, Captain James Hoole, died in 1917.
The manor house and its grounds were later purchased by the Radcliffe Infirmary and the land is now the site of the John Radcliffe Hospital.

Mr Fell said: “This is a nice bit of Headington’s heritage.”

Staff at Oxfordshire County Council have also checked through the two-volume catalogue of the Oxford city archives twice but without success.

The only location in Oxfordshire recognised as having a registered flag by the UK Flag Institute is the village of Wroxton near Banbury.

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