Here we feature Oxford Mail archive photos from 1989.

It was the year when Princess Diana opened the Oxsrad sports pavilion in Marsh Lane, Marston, Steve McClaren turned out for Oxford United, and Humphrey Carpenter was an author and radio presenter.

There was a blindfold challenge in the Horse and Jockey, and Freddie Garrity was the star at the Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime, alongside some Vera Legge dancers.

Oxford Mail:

READ MORE: Oxford LTNs set to stay after key decisions 

Princess Diana visited Oxford on a number of different occasions and delighted well-wishers wherever she went.

Her first solo visit to the county was in December 1983 when she opened Wantage adult training centre for the handicapped.

Cheering, flag-waving crowds, including all 180 pupils at Charlton primary school, turned out to greet her as her red helicopter landed on the school playing field.

In February 1985, she visited Sir Michael Sobell House at the Churchill Hospital, Oxford.

Oxford Mail:

Two hundred patients greeted the Royal visitor, who told one of them that young Prince William was involved in “all kinds of mischief”.

When Dora Jones, of Abingdon, presented her with a toy elephant for Prince Harry, the Princess told her that she doubted that “Prince Harry would get the chance to play with it with Prince William around”.

READ MORE: Village pub with new landlords reopens 

The Princess was back in Oxford in January 1986 visiting the John Radcliffe Hospital. She was shown the delivery suite before moving on to the special care nursery.

In October, she was in Oxford again, opening the Harris Birthright Centre at the John Radcliffe Hospital, which researched medical problems of babies.

In December 1986, Diana took the city by surprise when she arrived for a family get-together.

She watched her brother, Viscount Althorp, get his Oxford University degree at the Sheldonian Theatre. Earlier, staff at La Sorbonne restaurant in High Street were stunned when the family dropped in for lunch.

Oxford Mail:

The Princess opened the Oxsrad sports centre pavilion in Marsh Lane, Marston, and Glebe House old people’s home in Mill Street, Kidlington, in August 1989 and later that year, attended a dinner at Blenheim Palace, in aid of Sir Michael Sobell House.

READ MORE: Co-op announces store closure in Oxford 

On February 6, 1990, she packed four engagements into a hectic five-hour schedule in Oxford, visiting the Chilton clinic for alcoholics at the Warneford Hospital, Oxfam headquarters in Summertown, Townsend House old people’s home at Headington and the Relate offices in Iffley Road.

Another hectic day followed in November 1990 when she visited the Deaf Centre in St Ebbe’s, Ormerod School, Headington, and the John Radcliffe Hospital, where she opened a new £4m scanner.

Her last official visit to Oxford was in May 1993 when she dropped into a support centre for low-income families in Didcot, took a walkabout in Catte Street, and celebrated Oxford Brookes University’s promotion from polytechnic to university.

After her death in a road accident in Paris on August 31, 1997, the Oxford Mail produced a special edition - only the fourth time it had published on a Sunday in its 70-year history.

Help support trusted local news 

Sign up for a digital subscription now: 

As a digital subscriber you will get: 

  • Unlimited access to the Oxford Mail website 
  • Advert-light access 
  • Reader rewards 
  • Full access to our app 

About the author 

Andy is the Trade and Tourism reporter for the Oxford Mail and you can sign up to his newsletters for free here. 

He joined the team more than 20 years ago and he covers community news across Oxfordshire.

His Trade and Tourism newsletter is released every Saturday morning. 

You can also read his weekly Traffic and Transport newsletter.