Cowley Portrait

The people of Cowley photographed with an object dear to them, and their thoughts on that object. From this series of portraits and reflections a community portrait emerges that celebrates diversity and shared history.

My mother designed and stitched it herself. I take it wherever I live.

My music helps me to express my feelings and talk about things that are important to me

This tool was used by my mother to start my sister lock hair journey. It is also used to re-lock my hair  every six  weeks.

I sing from the heart

My dad bought me this, thank you Dad...

It connects me to the sea

My dad presented me this watch as a reward because I made him proud, as I am the first person from my entire family who graduated from university abroad.

I chose this papier-mache hare because I enjoyed making it and I love animals. I used it as part of the display in my jewellery shop

I carried the Olympic flame.  It was wonderful.  Many of the people I've worked with in Cowley cheered me on the way. That made it fantastic

This box is important to me as it reminds me of the past

This picture is important to me because I won first prize out of a thousand and it reminds me of Portugal

I like pictures of people holding snakes. I like the whole thing of holding a snake

I found it!

It was given to me , as a young girl, by a jewish gentleman Mr L Waltman. His family was evacuated during WWII and I'm still in touch with his niece.

Because they are blue and yellow

I use it all the time

I've had it since I was a baby

An Oxford doubledecker bus of the 1960's/70's. I was the manager of the bus company at that time and was ordained as a priest (non-stipendiary) in the Church of England and am currently part of the ministry team in the parish of Cowley (St. James)

It is very important to me – I wear it every day since I went back to church when my wife died, but my children were christened in church


This apron reminds me of the many hours spent carrying trays for the senior folk of the parish

Music has been my life for 60 years, as a player and recently as a conductor of Jubilee Brass Band (Oxford). My musicians find it easier to follow my beat with the baton

I play for City of Oxford Silver Band and the organisation is a big part of my life and now I have met a lot of friends since moving to Cowley 7 years ago

He likes the voice

 Flowers have featured throughout my life. They are the most important objects in my environment and well-being

 It’s where you can breath more freely, soar like you have wings and be at one with nature

 I remember back home

 I like music

I love gardening so it’s got to be my wellies and my bag too

 Photography is a big part of my life

 I’m making this chandelier from recycled plastic bottles – I shape them using a blow torch

Molie, my daughter, bought these pendants when she was seven, one for me and one for her, at Glastonbury festival. They represent mother/daughter love

 Guider’s badges – Guides is part of my life and the badges recognise the amount of time I have done Guides, and symbolises friendships made

 A seed purse that belonged to my grandmother

 I purchased the cat from a school outing to Cheddar Caves, for my mother in approximately 1958. She always kept the cat on her window sill and when she passed away I took the cat and now it lives with me

It enables me to breath. When I was a child they didn’t exist and I had vivid memories of nights where my parents nursed me through many asthma attacks. The inhaler also enabled me to participate in sport which I absolutely love

 John Allan’s steam roller in cross stitch. The Local firm of John Allen is a part of the history of Cowley.

He was given to me on my wedding day, listens to all my joys and troubles and never answers back

My husband bought it for me on our twentieth anniversary

 Jam dish

 This scarf was produced to celebrate Oxford United reaching the final of the milk cup at Wembly, 1986. I’m a life long supporter of Oxford United and this is the pinnacle for the club

 2 Wedgewood vases

 He is over 35 years old

 I like to keep my hair looking good.


It was made by a women’s art cooperative which I got to know when I lived in El Salvador. The cross shows how God is present in everyday life - collecting milk, sowing seed and in the home. It also shows how God is present among the poor.

Goonies is one of my favourite films, it reminds me of my childhood

They remind me of my daughter’s first dance classes

It has been a constant companion for the past eight years. My wife and band mates clubbed together to buy it for me as a birthday present

I made this with my sister

It contains the code by which I try to live by (often failing) for many years and shows the love of God

 I have chosen my colourful Unity Jill. A celebration of multicultural Britain

It belonged to my father who was a miner in south Wales for six years (1920 – 1926). During the 1926 General Strike he went to north Wales and worked in the slate quarries, then came to England and worked in Dudley, Birmingham and then, eventually, came to Oxford and worked in the Pressed Steel factory in Cowley. The coal dust he inhaled as a miner eventually contributed to his death in 1977. The miner’s lamp reminds me of the hardship and the suffering which the miners went through. Their love of singing helped them through the hard and difficult times. In the 1930’s he joined the Oxford Welsh Glee Singers and sung with them until the end of his life

It is the best silk scarf I have designed and painted and represents my skill as an artist. It was painted in 1991 or 92

 My hat because of it’s religious meaning. Wheelchair because it’s my legs and dog walker.

It was given to my mother, many years ago, who comes from an old Cowley family

stocks chairs were made from a tree that used to stand where the stocks once were in Cowley.

So little is known by local people!!!! about the Cowley villages, ie: Temple Cowley, Church Cowley, Middle Cowley.

I bought it in the1970’s – it’s a very pretty thing and I still use it

It was my grandmothers, I wear it every day

They look good and play a big part in my work as they are mannequins for wigs

It shows our son’s christening photo at St. James Church, 1969

It was my grandfather’s – he was American and couldn’t join the forces so he joined Oxford constabulary instead

 Interesting to studying, everybody has some and there is huge variety.

This photo is of Morris Motors and Cowley swamp. I was born in a cottage on Rymers Lane, there was no other houses there then – I have no family left now, I’m the last one.

My hat  is my favourite object – lucky number seven!

It promotes local history with its connections with the Florence Park Community Centre in Cornwallis Road, Cowley

Lola loves them!

The bust belonged to my grandad. It’s been broken many times by children and dogs, and sometimes we’d go round and it would have been painted again in random colours. It has never been looked after, but it’s the one object I always remember.

 I wore these gloves when I arrived in England in 1956, 30th July

I only made it last week – several people have asked to buy it!

I like games.

I’ve always got a rucksack on

I like balloons

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