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Thursday, 6 September 2018

Council is slammed for 'reigniting neighbourhood class war' that dates back to 1930s after workers resurface 'posh end' of Oxfordshire road but leave the other completely untouched

  • Residents accused Oxford City Council of reigniting a 'class war'
  • The council resurfaced only the posh end of a street which splits into two roads 
  • Developer who built the road and the estate in 1934 put a wall to keep them apart
A council has been accused of reigniting a 'class war' after only resurfacing the posh end of a street - to the spot where a wall once divided council houses from the rich. 
The suburban street splits into two ends - the wealthy Wentworth Road which meets the less-so Aldrich Road, in Sunnymead, Cutteslowe. 
Built in 1934, the developer of the estate decided to put a wall up to keep the roads apart - spikes were even placed on top of it.   
And while this was taken down 60 years ago, a stark reminder has emerged of that class diversity -as workers repaired only the posh end of the street.
Residents at the spot in Oxfordshire where a council resurfaced only the 'posh' part of a road
Residents at the spot in Oxfordshire where a council resurfaced only the 'posh' part of a road
The developer who built the road and the estate in 1934 put a wall to keep them apart and even put spikes on the top
The developer who built the road and the estate in 1934 put a wall to keep them apart and even put spikes on the top
An aerial view of the two roads which were not both freshly resurfaced 
An aerial view of the two roads which were not both freshly resurfaced 
This is the spot where the two streets join and a vandal armed with a spray can added their own addition - the words 'class war' sprayed in block capitals in bright blue paint
Local residents at the spot in Oxfordshire where a council resurfaced only part of a road
This is the spot where the two streets join and a vandal armed with a spray can added their own addition - the words 'class war' sprayed in block capitals in bright blue paint
The other half was left untouched with the dividing line being where the wall once stood.
Now a vandal armed with a spray can added their own addition - the words 'class war' sprayed in block capitals in bright blue paint.
Naomi Langlais, who lives on the working class side of the street, said: 'It was around April or May time that they decided the 'middle class' side deserved to be resurfaced.
'So we waited patiently for our end to be resurfaced too and thought it was just taking time as they had run out of money or something.
'But we soon realised it was just the one end they were doing, apparently we should put up with potholes and uneven surfacing.'
She said neighbours had long joked about 'class war' on the street, and attributed the graffiti to what she perceived to be differing treatment from the highways team.
The mum-of-four added: 'We have not moved on at all - now we have a visual divide. It is just so weird it stops at the exact spot that used to occupy the wall, half way down the road.
Archive photo from the Oxford Mail in 1959 showing the demolition of a wall that divided two ends of the street
Archive photo from the Oxford Mail in 1959 showing the demolition of a wall that divided two ends of the street
The wall was knocked down 60 years ago as reported by the local newspaper at the time
A plaque now sits on the house which neighboured the wall, and reads: 'Here stood one of the two Cutteslowe Walls erected 1934 and finally demolished on March 9, 1959'
A plaque (right) now sits on the house which neighboured the wall (knocked down 60 years ago as reported by the local newspaper at the time, left), and reads: 'Here stood one of the two Cutteslowe Walls erected 1934 and finally demolished on March 9, 1959'
'The resurfacing is desperately needed on our end as well. It does make you feel second class and it is no longer a council estate, people have paid a lot of money for houses this end.'
A plaque now sits on the house which neighboured the wall, and reads: 'Here stood one of the two Cutteslowe Walls erected 1934 and finally demolished on March 9, 1959.'
Oxford City Council said the only reason that its services company resurfaced one side of the divide was that the two streets - Wentworth and Aldrich - are still classed as separate roads.
A spokesman for the city council said: 'Oxford Direct Services resurfaced Wentworth Road earlier this year. The decision to resurface this road was purely based on need.
'The structural condition was far worse in Wentworth Road and this led to the decision to resurface this road first.
'Wentworth and Aldrich are different roads and the need to resurface Wentworth was greater.
'Oxford Direct Services will be inspecting Aldrich Road to assess the need for pothole repair.' 

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