Oxford Floods!

A few photos from yesterday afternoon…

Flooded allotments along the Botley Road.

Although the Osney Industrial Estate has flooded, the waters haven’t yet reached the Alden Press, who print the New Left Review. (What a blow that would be to working class struggle.)

Where do kebab vans go during the day? Mehdi’s — also known as the Brasenose kebab van — parks itself down Ferry Hinksey Road; and if the water levels rise higher there might be severe disruption to Oxford’s food supplies.

The Oatlands Recreation area has become a nice new lake. When I passed by some chap was very sensibly trying out his remote-controlled boat.

This last pic’s from this morning, as the people of Osney Island continue to watch the water levels in the river channel. The Environment Agency says water levels will continue to rise until some time tomorrow morning.

Enkidu’s Stamping Ground

Recently the Google Earth images of Oxford got much, much better. This, for example, is the part of town where you might run into Enkidu on your travels. That’s the canal going down the left-hand-side, where he’s been spotted on a number of occasions now; and there’s St Barnabas Church along the bottom edge, with Jericho’s Albert Street cutting through the top right-hand-corner.

Dead Socialist Watch, #280

William Ballinger, trade unionist, ILPer and anti-apartheid politician. A blacksmith, Ballinger joined the ILP in 1916 and became secretary of the Motherwell and Wishaw trades and labour council in 1921, later serving as a parish and town councillor. He emigrated to South Africa in 1928 to be adviser to the largest black trade union there, the Industrial and Commercial Workers’ Union. The union collapsed shortly thereafter, but he continued to work with black trade unionists, publishing a series of 1930s pamphlets on the politics and economics of race in South Africa.  His wife Margaret was elected as a native representative for the Eastern Cape in the House of Assembly, going on to become the first president of the South African Liberal Party; William was elected as a native representative in the Senate in 1948; both Ballingers left parliament in 1960 when the Nats abolished the system of native representation. Born Birmingham, 21 September 1892, died Cape Town, 20 July 1974.