Across Magdalen Bridge and away from the architectural delights of the University City, there exist other areas of Oxford, less picturesque perhaps but each with a fascinating history of its own. St. Clement's developed as a mediaeval suburb which grew suddenly in the early 1800s and became part of Oxford City in 1836. East Oxford, now an extraordinarily cosmopolitan area of the city, was mostly built across open countryside in Victorian times. Cowley, still a quite separate village at the end of the First World War, became a large industrial and residential suburb of Oxford within a decade thanks to William Morris and his burgeoning motor industry. Blackbird Leys was farmland until the 1950s when it became the site for a large housing estate. The development of these contrasting areas is explored through this fine collection of over 230 photographs which compares views dating from the 1820s to the 1970s with their present-day equivalents. Well-known Oxford local historian Malcolm Graham has selected the historic images and his informative captions give a real context to the old and new views.
The modern photographs, some revealing massive change, others a surprising degree of continuity, are the work of Laurence Waters, a professional photographer and keen railway historian. Their combined efforts have created a book which will appeal to everyone with an interest in Oxford Town rather than Gown.