Here we feature photos of the Cowley Road in east Oxford over the decades. While some shops and businesses - and the city’s traffic regulations - have changed over the years it remains the beating heart of the local community.

Packed with a diverse range of restaurants and shops, Cowley Road is the heart of the area's social scene.

It is packed with shops. and restaurants serving food from around the globe.

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These images from our archives, taken over many decades, reflect how the street has changed over the years.

Oxford Mail:

One photo shows the Excelsior cafe which served customers for many years until the owner decided to close it in 2014.

For 53 years Andreas Kuomi served the people of Oxford everything from English breakfasts to his trademark Greek coffee.

He closed the doors of The Excelsior for the last time after finally deciding to retire at the age of 80.

After moving to Britain from Cyprus in 1954 in the hope of a better life, Mr Kuomi moved to Oxford two years later and bought The Excelsior in 1961.

More than half a century on, he said it was time to call it a day.

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Oxford Mail:

He said in 2014: “I have decided that the time has come to close. I have enjoyed it but it can’t be helped. You can’t stop the march of time.

“Back in 1961 I decided I wanted to set up my own business so I thought I would give a cafe a go and see how it went. It must have gone pretty well because we’re still here today. I will definitely miss it, I have made lots of friends here who I will miss quite a lot, but the time is right to move on.”

Mr Kuomi added: “Cowley Road has changed a lot since I first came here. It wasn’t as busy in those days and there weren’t as many shops.

Oxford Mail:

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“So many have come and gone in my time here and I have seen so many generations and nationalities pass through."

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This story was written by Andy Ffrench, he joined the team more than 20 years ago and now covers community news across Oxfordshire.

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