Fifty years ago today, the infamous Cutteslowe Walls, which divided rich and poor on a North Oxford housing estate, were knocked to the ground.

The controversial walls divided Wentworth Road from Aldrich Road and Carlton Road from Wolsey Road on the Cutteslowe estate.

The walls were built in 1934, by a private housing company, but became a source of resentment to people on the estate.

The Urban Housing Company was reacting to Oxford City Council’s decision to place slum clearance families in 300 homes next to its own – more expensive – houses in the estate.

The company built the 7ft brick walls, complete with spikes on the top, to protect their residents from their ‘social inferiors’ on the other side.

After years of battling between the housing company and the city council, on March 9, 1959, Oxford’s Lord Mayor, Olive Gibbs, took a hammer to the walls and knocked them down forever.

The life of the twice Lord Mayor of Oxford and pioneering peace campaigner will be celebrated at a Women in Politics event on Sunday at the Town Hall in St Aldate’s.