Open top bus company launches Black Oxford: Untold Stories

1 week ago Tue 7th May 2024

Black Oxford City Sightseeing

City Sightseeing Oxford is launching a new tour to celebrate black history in the area.

Oxford Bus Company has teamed up with the author of Black Oxford: Untold Stories, and award-winning creative producer, Pamela Roberts to offer people a unique trip back in time, unlocking the secret histories of Oxford’s black scholars.

The tour will bring unknown local stories to life including that of pioneer Christian Frederick Cole, the University of Oxford’s first black scholar and Britain’s first black barrister.

Passengers will be treated to previously untold stories celebrating Oxford’s black history at some of the city’s most iconic locations, including the Radcliffe Camera and the Bridge of Sighs.

The exclusive tour will take place on fixed dates across the summer and will also operate across two weekends in October to mark Black History Month.

Visitors can enjoy the experience via City Sightseeing Oxford’s hop-on hop-off bus tour, take in the breath-taking views of Oxford's picturesque spires from the top deck, and get up close with a walk through the city’s historic streets. Guides will be present on the walking stops while Pamela will personally narrate the bus tour.

Pamela Roberts, founder, and director of Black Oxford: Untold Stories said: “The tour sets out to challenge the misconception that historically black students never studied at the University of Oxford.

“When it comes to the University of Oxford’s historic alumni, the names of Oscar Wilde, C.S. Lewis, Margaret Thatcher, Harold Wilson, and Bill Clinton are familiar to many. But what about its Black scholars?

“Guests will learn about the lives of the university's black presence. For example, James Aurther Harley, who became the first black scholar at the Pitt Rivers Museum and Kofoworola Moore, Oxford University’s first African woman scholar at St Hugh’s College.”

Luke Marion, City Sightseeing Oxford Managing Director, said: “We’re proud to have formed such an innovative partnership that enables us to offer our customers a unique insight into Oxford’s history.

“The visitor economy is vital to the overall economic well-being of the city and the addition of this unique tour forms part of our on-going strategy to deliver a world-class welcome to Oxford, and to showcase the diverse history of our great city.”

City Sightseeing Oxford recently transformed its fleet to all-electric as part of Oxford Bus Company’s roll-out of zero emission vehicles across the city.

Tickets for the tour cost £20 for adults and £11 for children with student and senior tickets priced at £15. The tour lasts 90 minutes and will take place on July 27th, August 10th, September 14th, plus across two weekends in October.

Tour participants have the option to enhance their experience by including City Sightseeing’s Hop-on Hop-off bus service as an add-on, available at a discounted rate of just £5.

“City Sightseeing Oxford has been a pleasure to partner with,” added Pamela. “We share the same values, including diversity and true inclusion, plus community and sustainability.”

City Sightseeing Oxford’s hop-on, hop-off bus tours of the city’s most famous landmarks with audio commentary in 14 languages.

It operates the visitor information point on the High Street, providing information on everything there is to see and do in the city and the greater Oxfordshire area. It supplies travel timetables, maps and books. Plus, discounted tickets for attractions, gifts, and souvenirs. It also delivers private group walking tours which run throughout the year. 

For more information and to book a tour visit the City Sightseeing Oxford website here:

Pamela has written for BBC History Magazine, Royal Anthropological Journal, and Oxford University Press. She is a member of the Royal Society of the Arts, the Royal Historical Society and an Alumnus of the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library.