Mr Nicolson intends to produce the spirits using traditional, pre-1940s methods and Oxfordshire rye. It is hoped that the distillery will employ around ten people. If successful, there are plans to create a visitors centre and a cafe, as well as to provide guided tours.The distillery will be on the site of an a vacant Council depot and a Grade-II listed threshing barn, with plans for a replacement barn to be built in the near future. Concerns that locating a distillery so close to a school were dismissed on the grounds that it will not actually sell alcohol. Councillor Colin Cook said: “Gin is not really an entry level drink for our fourteen-year-olds so I don’t think it’s going to be an issue.”The distillery will join Oxford’s growing artisan market. Oxford Blue is an acclaimed local cheese, whilst the Real Wood Furniture Company and the One Village shops sell independently made wooden furniture. The Covered Market has been a centre for local trade since 1772. The Oxford Artisan Distillery is the first known gin distillery in Oxford’s history. A gin, vodka and whisky distillery is to open next to a secondary school in near South Park. The Oxford Artisan Distillery is set to be operational in the new year after plans were approved by the Oxford City Council.The spirits produced there will be sold in local farmers’ markets and to Oxford distributors, with 10p from each bottle being donated to the local mental health charity Response. Balliol student Zachary Leather told Cherwell that “it would be cool if Oxford pubs and bars started supporting local business by selling local vodka.”The land that will be used, in Headington, had previously been earmarked for council housing, a plan that was resisted by the Oxford Preservation Trust, who seek to maintain the character of the city of Oxford. Nearby towns such as Carteton and Abingdon are planning to make up for Oxford’s housing shortfall with their own housing developments.Tom Nicolson, CEO of The Oxford Artisan Distillery, is an Oxford resident who has previously worked in the music business. He expressed relief that permission had been granted, stating that there had been a lot of support from the community. The distillery will begin by producing gin, in which it intends to specialise, but also plans to make whisky, vodka and even absinthe as early as 2018. The Oxford Artisan Distillery describes itself as “a rare species found in only a few very special places around the world. We care deeply about the quality of our spirits but also about the impact of their production. We oversee the entire process on our site beneath the dreaming spires of Oxford. The Oxford Artisan Distillery is in every sense of the word a true craft distillery.”
A sign from the early 1960s now resides at the Ocean City Historical Museum, but museum staff is on a quest to determine exactly which state project former Ocean City Mayor Nathaniel Smith protested.The staff at the Ocean City Historical Museum is on a quest.Firefighters at the 46th Street station uncovered a sign that somebody had taken care to preserve since the days over 50 years ago when Nathaniel C. Smith was mayor and the building served as the city’s paint shop.They called the museum and delivered a small wooden billboard that reads, “The construction ahead is a State Project being done over the protest of the City of Ocean City at this time.”The message was signed by Mayor Nathaniel C. Smith.But nobody at the museum can say with certainty exactly which state project Smith so objected to.The staff posted this placard with the sign:“Nathaniel Smith served as Ocean City’s mayor from 1959-1963. His administration was filled with challenges, from the devastating nor’easter in March of 1962 to the protests over the amendments to Ocean City’s blue laws. This sign, however, is a historical mystery. We are unsure of the exact nature of the state project under protest mentioned in the sign. Our research points to the establishment of Corson’s Inlet State Park as the most likely candidate. The southern end of Peck’s Beach Island (that now constitutes the state park, south of 59th Street) was seen as a potential site for neighborhood development. With the state claiming that land as parkland, it eliminated that possibility.”Museum Executive Director Jeff McGranahan said none of the theories fits exactly. Though planning could have occurred earlier, Corson’s Inlet State Park was not officially established until 1969, he said. And the protected open space there might not be described by “the construction ahead” that’s mentioned in the sign.The bridges on the state causeways leading to the island had been built earlier in the century. It remains unclear exactly what project prompted the protest.McGranahan asks anybody with clues or recollections of the sign to contact him at [email protected] or 609-399-1801.McGranahan calls the arrival of the sign and the subsequent quest “fortuitous.” He said it’s allowed the museum to visit an untapped part of recent history that the museum is working to bring to life.He said Smith’s single term must have been an eventful one — with the Storm of ’62 battering the city and with the city getting around to codifying blue laws that had been undefined since Ocean City’s founding.
160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! 3:00 p.m. Three Del Rio League teams will participate in Montebello High School’s 14th Annual Oiler Basball Tournament scheduled to begin Friday. Included in first round games are Santa Fe at Los Altos and John Glenn at Montebello. In first round games scheduled Saturday, Pioneer is at Gabrielino and El Rancho will host Bassett. The tournament continues with games Monday, Wednesday and Friday and winds up with the championship finale scheduled Saturday, Mar. 3.