Oxford will soon have a beach, with 23 tonnes of sand, deck chairs and palm fronds to be deposited in Oxford Castle.
The beach is part of a new bar created by Max Mason, a former Royal Naval officer, who set out to make Oxford home to “Britain’s most literally remote beach”. The bar will be in the old prison of Oxford’s medieval castle.
Mason commented, “Oxford’s a town overrun with great green spaces, but what we always really need is a beachside area – it’s where people look their best.”
He continued, “Right in the middle of the city, in the historic Oxford Castle Quarter, we’ll be having BBQs from The Big Bang, sausage emporium, we’ll be enjoying beach parties with music from Jack FM and we’ll be having local ‘Beach Beautiful’ sessions with local boutique hairdressers Electric Oxford. It’s going to wake Oxford up a little, that’s the aim.”
The beach bar, the latest venture of Big Bang Restaurants, will open this Saturday.
The project is being staffed by Aspire Oxford, a local company which provides sub-contracting work for those “who face barriers to securing meaningful employment”, including rehabilitated criminals and formerly homeless people.
Rick Mower, Chief Executive of Aspire Oxford, explained why he wanted the charity to get involved: “Being able to get ex-offenders working within the Oxford prison walls for an entirely different purpose is a great initiative – we love being involved”
Students have welcomed the arrival of the beach to Oxford. One student commented, “This bar might be what gets me through my finals. I’ve got ninety-nine problems but a beach aint one.”