Sun, 07/07/2013 (All day)
On a blisteringly hot July day the Cowley Road Carnival returned to it’s spiritual home on Cowley Road, stretching from The Plain roundabout to the Parish Church of Saint Mary and Saint John. This year’s theme was Wheels of Change, celebrating a 100 years of the Morris plant in Cowley. The main event took the form of a colorful procession starring different community groups from the East Oxford area.
In preparation for this year’s event the Volunteers Service of the University’s Museums and Collections secured a grant to participate, in partnership with the Cowley Road Works, Pegasus Theatre, Fusion Arts and Oxford City Council. This Van Houten funding supported workshops with local schools in the lead up to the Carnival.
Bayards Hill Primary School in Barton was selected as the Botanic Garden’s partner school for this project, and the Garden’s trainee Education Officer Tim Dobson worked closely with them during this time.
A group of Year 5 and 6 students (aged 9 – 11 years) from Bayards Hill visited the Garden in May, accompanied by artist Helen Jacobs and dancer Naomi Morris. They enjoyed exploring the Garden and gathering inspiration for their project. It was the abundant tulips that sparked their imaginations, and so these colourful blooms were nominated as the theme of their part of the carnival’s procession.
A series of weekly two-hour sessions followed back at Bayards Hill, where Tim, Helen and Naomi worked with students to create tulip costumes and a dance representing the changing seasons.
The day of the Carnival was a huge success, with the students adorned with massive tulip petals, and plenty of greenery from bamboo poles. It was good enough to catch the eye of the press, with several students being interviewed on BBC Radio Oxford, and their photo making the front cover of the Oxford Times!
Watch this space to find out what’s planned for Cowley Road Carnival 2014!
Tim with pupils from Bayards Hill.