Tesco Express rises from the ashes of fire-wrecked pub

Oxford Mail: Tesco staff watch David Cairns, front, second from left, from Oxford Food Bank, William Rankin and Margaret Rankin open the new store Tesco staff watch David Cairns, front, second from left, from Oxford Food Bank, William Rankin and Margaret Rankin open the new store

FIVE years ago the derelict Fox & Hounds pub on the corner of Abingdon Road, Oxford, was destroyed by fire.

But this weekend, a new Tesco Express store rose from the ashes and finally opened for business after work was delayed by the recent flooding.

David Cairns and Robin Aitken, founders of Oxford Foodbank, declared the store open as it was announced the shop will donate £500 to the food bank.

Mr Cairns said: “That £500 is very gratefully received. We raise all of our own funds, so that will go a long way.”

While the store has donated money, there has been no agreement on the donation of unsold fresh food.

Mr Aitken said: “We don’t have a deal to do with food collection with the store yet. But we will be in contact in the future to see if they want to help.”

As well as the new store, there are four flats above it and a cash machine and customer parking at the front.

Since the Fox & Hounds pub closed in 2007, and was damaged by a fire in 2009, some residents have been eager to see the site in use.

William Rankin led a campaign for Tesco to be granted planning permission, and was invited to the opening.

He said: “I’m absolutely delighted, and very much looking forward to using the shop. So many people have told me how pleased they are, and what a lovely building it is. It’s not ugly. It really fits in with the area.”

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The 64-year-old, who lives on Chatham Road, said: “We have needed this. This area is starved of variety and choice when it comes to amenities. “ But Mohammad Afzal, who owns the NISA shop nearby in Abingdon Road, led a campaign against the new Tesco.

He said: “They have won, they are here. I just have to respect their business and they will have to respect mine, but I do have concerns.”

The 75-year-old added: “I may have to reduce my staff if I do too badly. But this shop has been here since the Second World War so I hope people will be loyal and still use us. I stayed open during the flooding so people could get their lunches. They should remember that.”

  • SHOPPERS found more choice in Headington last week with the official opening of the UK’s 600th Sainsbury’s Local. The new store on London Road was the fifth Sainsbury’s convenience store to open in Oxford. John Coyle, from the nearby Windmill Fairtrade store, cut the ribbon at 9am in front of shoppers and Sainsbury’s staff.

Comments (20)

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12:08pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Bart_simpsonDoh says...

mmmmmmmm.........fun
ny how former pubs get destroyed by fire then reopen as a shop!
mmmmmmmm.........fun ny how former pubs get destroyed by fire then reopen as a shop! Bart_simpsonDoh
  • Score: 6

12:19pm Tue 25 Feb 14

King Joke says...

There is a proper cash machine outside the shop, not inside it as elsewhere, so is available 24/7. I presume it's free too but I haven't checked. I'll still spend the money I get out of it in Londis though!
There is a proper cash machine outside the shop, not inside it as elsewhere, so is available 24/7. I presume it's free too but I haven't checked. I'll still spend the money I get out of it in Londis though! King Joke
  • Score: 4

12:22pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Savebotley says...

Please to see a lnew building in harmony with the surrounding area not like the dreadful doric plans in Botley. Supermarkets can get it right sometimes!
Please to see a lnew building in harmony with the surrounding area not like the dreadful doric plans in Botley. Supermarkets can get it right sometimes! Savebotley
  • Score: 4

12:54pm Tue 25 Feb 14

roboxfordshire says...

Savebotley wrote:
Please to see a lnew building in harmony with the surrounding area not like the dreadful doric plans in Botley. Supermarkets can get it right sometimes!
Don't you think that new developments staying in harmony with the surrounding area is a bit silly? If every new development (shop, business, housing) did this then we would never progress. A street today would look exactly the same in 300 years time all because anything new needs to fit in. Surely we've got to move on at some point and leave the past behind?
[quote][p][bold]Savebotley[/bold] wrote: Please to see a lnew building in harmony with the surrounding area not like the dreadful doric plans in Botley. Supermarkets can get it right sometimes![/p][/quote]Don't you think that new developments staying in harmony with the surrounding area is a bit silly? If every new development (shop, business, housing) did this then we would never progress. A street today would look exactly the same in 300 years time all because anything new needs to fit in. Surely we've got to move on at some point and leave the past behind? roboxfordshire
  • Score: 4

1:05pm Tue 25 Feb 14

King Joke says...

roboxfordshire wrote:
Savebotley wrote: Please to see a lnew building in harmony with the surrounding area not like the dreadful doric plans in Botley. Supermarkets can get it right sometimes!
Don't you think that new developments staying in harmony with the surrounding area is a bit silly? If every new development (shop, business, housing) did this then we would never progress. A street today would look exactly the same in 300 years time all because anything new needs to fit in. Surely we've got to move on at some point and leave the past behind?
It might be worth fitting in if you were in the centre of Ludlow or Cambridge, but Botley is hardly a world heritage site. It is a completely average 1930s suburb, identical to others in hundreds of towns and cities across the UK. THere is no reason a decent modern building wouldn't be appropriate here.
[quote][p][bold]roboxfordshire[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Savebotley[/bold] wrote: Please to see a lnew building in harmony with the surrounding area not like the dreadful doric plans in Botley. Supermarkets can get it right sometimes![/p][/quote]Don't you think that new developments staying in harmony with the surrounding area is a bit silly? If every new development (shop, business, housing) did this then we would never progress. A street today would look exactly the same in 300 years time all because anything new needs to fit in. Surely we've got to move on at some point and leave the past behind?[/p][/quote]It might be worth fitting in if you were in the centre of Ludlow or Cambridge, but Botley is hardly a world heritage site. It is a completely average 1930s suburb, identical to others in hundreds of towns and cities across the UK. THere is no reason a decent modern building wouldn't be appropriate here. King Joke
  • Score: 12

1:19pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Savebotley wrote:
Please to see a lnew building in harmony with the surrounding area not like the dreadful doric plans in Botley. Supermarkets can get it right sometimes!
You have to be careful with your harmonics.

Botley, to many people, means a concrete dual carriageway and roundabout, monstrous 60s architecture and the only spire that can be readily seen from Port Meadow.
[quote][p][bold]Savebotley[/bold] wrote: Please to see a lnew building in harmony with the surrounding area not like the dreadful doric plans in Botley. Supermarkets can get it right sometimes![/p][/quote]You have to be careful with your harmonics. Botley, to many people, means a concrete dual carriageway and roundabout, monstrous 60s architecture and the only spire that can be readily seen from Port Meadow. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -2

3:04pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Oxonian says...

I have quite often shopped at Botley shopping centre and liked the free parking and the variety of shops. Will the proposed development really be an improvement?
I have quite often shopped at Botley shopping centre and liked the free parking and the variety of shops. Will the proposed development really be an improvement? Oxonian
  • Score: 3

4:33pm Tue 25 Feb 14

online_reader says...

They can't win really can they? They build a nice shop, nice flats and a nice car park in a convenient place with a free 24 hour cash machine and offer a handful of people jobs but they're the evil behemoth so no-one dare say they're happy about it. The chap at Nisa is just going to have to offer something Tesco don't, be it a different range, better customer service, a free cup of tea, or whatever. I'll use them, they're on my way home and a darn sight cheaper than the garage M&S which is my other stop off.
They can't win really can they? They build a nice shop, nice flats and a nice car park in a convenient place with a free 24 hour cash machine and offer a handful of people jobs but they're the evil behemoth so no-one dare say they're happy about it. The chap at Nisa is just going to have to offer something Tesco don't, be it a different range, better customer service, a free cup of tea, or whatever. I'll use them, they're on my way home and a darn sight cheaper than the garage M&S which is my other stop off. online_reader
  • Score: 4

5:00pm Tue 25 Feb 14

M1keez says...

Tesco promised local people would be employed . I know of at least 7 people who applied . Not one of those shown in picture is local .
Tesco promised local people would be employed . I know of at least 7 people who applied . Not one of those shown in picture is local . M1keez
  • Score: 0

5:05pm Tue 25 Feb 14

LouiseOxford says...

online_reader wrote:
They can't win really can they? They build a nice shop, nice flats and a nice car park in a convenient place with a free 24 hour cash machine and offer a handful of people jobs but they're the evil behemoth so no-one dare say they're happy about it. The chap at Nisa is just going to have to offer something Tesco don't, be it a different range, better customer service, a free cup of tea, or whatever. I'll use them, they're on my way home and a darn sight cheaper than the garage M&S which is my other stop off.
Lol well it certainly won't be customer service! Have you been in there? All the printed off/hand written signs?? They don't accept cards less than £5, they don't accept lots of change, they don't accept this, they do accept that. It's so they don't have to speak to you, or even bother to tell you how much your items come to! They just ignore you until you present money, expecting you to guess. Bring on Tesco.
[quote][p][bold]online_reader[/bold] wrote: They can't win really can they? They build a nice shop, nice flats and a nice car park in a convenient place with a free 24 hour cash machine and offer a handful of people jobs but they're the evil behemoth so no-one dare say they're happy about it. The chap at Nisa is just going to have to offer something Tesco don't, be it a different range, better customer service, a free cup of tea, or whatever. I'll use them, they're on my way home and a darn sight cheaper than the garage M&S which is my other stop off.[/p][/quote]Lol well it certainly won't be customer service! Have you been in there? All the printed off/hand written signs?? They don't accept cards less than £5, they don't accept lots of change, they don't accept this, they do accept that. It's so they don't have to speak to you, or even bother to tell you how much your items come to! They just ignore you until you present money, expecting you to guess. Bring on Tesco. LouiseOxford
  • Score: 7

6:51pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Myron Blatz says...

How come the new Tesco on Abingdon Road got hijacked by the 'down with Doric' mob in Botley, apart from sharing the same Oxford Ring Road? Like it or not, the huge rise in major supermarket 'convenience stores' across Oxford is merely a return to 'old values' when there was either a shop or pub on every street corner for the convenience of local communities, and the extra penny or three on prices charged! But don't get carried away with retail nostalgia - all the supermarket chains are in competition to stop others 'muscling in' to their 'territory' - like the Coop has apparently been doing (seems quite legally) for donkeys years! As for that NISA person keeping his shop open during the floods, maybe he should thank locals for supporting his money-making business establishment - or was he giving everything away free to the flood victims? As for Tesco and other supermarket chains threatening the survival of locally-owned retail outlets, there can be no denying that the 'big boys' go for the retail 'throat' and dominance, if not monopoly - which rarely translates into lastong benefit for shoppers, or local communities, and the death-knell for local small businesses. In many ways, similar to the way public transport has been decimated and controlled in Oxfordshire by the big national bus and coach operators, and the way supermarket petrol stations have increasingly demolished smaller town and rural garages and filling stations, detracting from choice and convenience in communities.
How come the new Tesco on Abingdon Road got hijacked by the 'down with Doric' mob in Botley, apart from sharing the same Oxford Ring Road? Like it or not, the huge rise in major supermarket 'convenience stores' across Oxford is merely a return to 'old values' when there was either a shop or pub on every street corner for the convenience of local communities, and the extra penny or three on prices charged! But don't get carried away with retail nostalgia - all the supermarket chains are in competition to stop others 'muscling in' to their 'territory' - like the Coop has apparently been doing (seems quite legally) for donkeys years! As for that NISA person keeping his shop open during the floods, maybe he should thank locals for supporting his money-making business establishment - or was he giving everything away free to the flood victims? As for Tesco and other supermarket chains threatening the survival of locally-owned retail outlets, there can be no denying that the 'big boys' go for the retail 'throat' and dominance, if not monopoly - which rarely translates into lastong benefit for shoppers, or local communities, and the death-knell for local small businesses. In many ways, similar to the way public transport has been decimated and controlled in Oxfordshire by the big national bus and coach operators, and the way supermarket petrol stations have increasingly demolished smaller town and rural garages and filling stations, detracting from choice and convenience in communities. Myron Blatz
  • Score: 4

6:51pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

That portico/canopy in the photo looks rather unstable because the pillars seem too far apart. The heavy top part is not fully resting on them. Are Oxford City Council's Building Control involved in the project?
That portico/canopy in the photo looks rather unstable because the pillars seem too far apart. The heavy top part is not fully resting on them. Are Oxford City Council's Building Control involved in the project? Milkbutnosugarplease
  • Score: 0

6:51pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Milkbutnosugarplease says...

That portico/canopy in the photo looks rather unstable because the pillars seem too far apart. The heavy top part is not fully resting on them. Are Oxford City Council's Building Control involved in the project?
That portico/canopy in the photo looks rather unstable because the pillars seem too far apart. The heavy top part is not fully resting on them. Are Oxford City Council's Building Control involved in the project? Milkbutnosugarplease
  • Score: -3

8:00am Wed 26 Feb 14

Geoff Roberts says...

"Hurrah for Tesco!"
"Hurrah for Tesco!" Geoff Roberts
  • Score: -1

9:13am Wed 26 Feb 14

Andrew:Oxford says...

Milkbutnosugarplease wrote:
That portico/canopy in the photo looks rather unstable because the pillars seem too far apart. The heavy top part is not fully resting on them. Are Oxford City Council's Building Control involved in the project?
It helps if you understand the difference between load bearing steels and decoration.
[quote][p][bold]Milkbutnosugarplease[/bold] wrote: That portico/canopy in the photo looks rather unstable because the pillars seem too far apart. The heavy top part is not fully resting on them. Are Oxford City Council's Building Control involved in the project?[/p][/quote]It helps if you understand the difference between load bearing steels and decoration. Andrew:Oxford
  • Score: -1

10:22am Wed 26 Feb 14

King Joke says...

Hideous po-mo decoration at that. I despair at this country. There was more up-to-date stuff being built in Germany and Czech in the 1920s.
Hideous po-mo decoration at that. I despair at this country. There was more up-to-date stuff being built in Germany and Czech in the 1920s. King Joke
  • Score: 1

12:21pm Wed 26 Feb 14

robbo81 says...

roboxfordshire wrote:
Savebotley wrote:
Please to see a lnew building in harmony with the surrounding area not like the dreadful doric plans in Botley. Supermarkets can get it right sometimes!
Don't you think that new developments staying in harmony with the surrounding area is a bit silly? If every new development (shop, business, housing) did this then we would never progress. A street today would look exactly the same in 300 years time all because anything new needs to fit in. Surely we've got to move on at some point and leave the past behind?
Couldn't agree more. To be honest building properties that touch the ground in areas known to flood and making them from porous brick and cement instead of other materials seems crazy. All just to keep in character. Oxford seriously needs to begin moving forward with it's architecture and planning controls if it ever wants to keep up with rival towns let alone to avoid being usurped by local towns such as Bicester or Abingdon for county dominance.
[quote][p][bold]roboxfordshire[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Savebotley[/bold] wrote: Please to see a lnew building in harmony with the surrounding area not like the dreadful doric plans in Botley. Supermarkets can get it right sometimes![/p][/quote]Don't you think that new developments staying in harmony with the surrounding area is a bit silly? If every new development (shop, business, housing) did this then we would never progress. A street today would look exactly the same in 300 years time all because anything new needs to fit in. Surely we've got to move on at some point and leave the past behind?[/p][/quote]Couldn't agree more. To be honest building properties that touch the ground in areas known to flood and making them from porous brick and cement instead of other materials seems crazy. All just to keep in character. Oxford seriously needs to begin moving forward with it's architecture and planning controls if it ever wants to keep up with rival towns let alone to avoid being usurped by local towns such as Bicester or Abingdon for county dominance. robbo81
  • Score: 3

7:22pm Thu 27 Feb 14

cedric557 says...

Agree with milkbutnosugar the column tops should surely line up with the canopy roof?
Agree with milkbutnosugar the column tops should surely line up with the canopy roof? cedric557
  • Score: 1

11:25am Fri 28 Feb 14

Dilligaf2010 says...

"The 75-year-old added: “I may have to reduce my staff if I do too badly. But this shop has been here since the Second World War so I hope people will be loyal and still use us. I stayed open during the flooding so people could get their lunches. They should remember that.” "......
.......For a shop that's been there for nearly 70 years, it's clearly not made much progress in that time, where have the profits gone, certainly not on expansion, or customer satisfaction, I've been in there twice in the 10 years I've been in Oxford, and neither visit has been seen as appreciated. I got the impression that the money was welcome, but they'd prefer not to have the customers.
"The 75-year-old added: “I may have to reduce my staff if I do too badly. But this shop has been here since the Second World War so I hope people will be loyal and still use us. I stayed open during the flooding so people could get their lunches. They should remember that.” "...... .......For a shop that's been there for nearly 70 years, it's clearly not made much progress in that time, where have the profits gone, certainly not on expansion, or customer satisfaction, I've been in there twice in the 10 years I've been in Oxford, and neither visit has been seen as appreciated. I got the impression that the money was welcome, but they'd prefer not to have the customers. Dilligaf2010
  • Score: -2

4:17am Sun 2 Mar 14

The New Private Eye says...

LouiseOxford wrote:
online_reader wrote:
They can't win really can they? They build a nice shop, nice flats and a nice car park in a convenient place with a free 24 hour cash machine and offer a handful of people jobs but they're the evil behemoth so no-one dare say they're happy about it. The chap at Nisa is just going to have to offer something Tesco don't, be it a different range, better customer service, a free cup of tea, or whatever. I'll use them, they're on my way home and a darn sight cheaper than the garage M&S which is my other stop off.
Lol well it certainly won't be customer service! Have you been in there? All the printed off/hand written signs?? They don't accept cards less than £5, they don't accept lots of change, they don't accept this, they do accept that. It's so they don't have to speak to you, or even bother to tell you how much your items come to! They just ignore you until you present money, expecting you to guess. Bring on Tesco.
i agree Louise, after the kind of customer service that you describe, i left my shopping on the counter that had been scanned, but no communication offered by the assistant and walked out.
[quote][p][bold]LouiseOxford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]online_reader[/bold] wrote: They can't win really can they? They build a nice shop, nice flats and a nice car park in a convenient place with a free 24 hour cash machine and offer a handful of people jobs but they're the evil behemoth so no-one dare say they're happy about it. The chap at Nisa is just going to have to offer something Tesco don't, be it a different range, better customer service, a free cup of tea, or whatever. I'll use them, they're on my way home and a darn sight cheaper than the garage M&S which is my other stop off.[/p][/quote]Lol well it certainly won't be customer service! Have you been in there? All the printed off/hand written signs?? They don't accept cards less than £5, they don't accept lots of change, they don't accept this, they do accept that. It's so they don't have to speak to you, or even bother to tell you how much your items come to! They just ignore you until you present money, expecting you to guess. Bring on Tesco.[/p][/quote]i agree Louise, after the kind of customer service that you describe, i left my shopping on the counter that had been scanned, but no communication offered by the assistant and walked out. The New Private Eye
  • Score: 1

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