Lifestyle and Entertainment

guidl, seeing your world through new eyes

Iona Ravindran
January 17, 2024
5 min read
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Oxford, once my university town, and now my family home. In fact, I now live only a few streets away from where I did as a student, and near to where I spent most of my time when not working: playing Blues hockey at Iffley Road, the university’s sports centre and campus.

Back then, I didn’t give much thought to where I was if I’m honest, focused instead on fitting in a lot of hockey into an already busy academic schedule. But this past year, as I’ve pushed a pram by the plaque commemorating Roger Bannister’s four-minute mile around the athletics track nearly every day (I’ve enjoyed a lot of walking whilst on maternity leave!), I’ve been struck by how much history there is just 100 metres from my front door, how lucky I am that’s the case, and how little I know about it.  

I met an older lady recently who was there, as a young girl and completely by chance, the day Roger Bannister entered the record books. Hearing her recollections of the race and the moment he did it was spine tingling. What a day. What an achievement for the times! Walking home, I saw the track through new eyes; full of people, full of noise, excitement and elation.  As the 70th anniversary of Sir Roger Bannister's historic sub-four-minute mile approaches, this iconic Oxford running track is set to create new stories. Oxford University is organizing a special running event to commemorate the occasion, offering participants the unique opportunity to run this legendary mile in the very same place where Bannister made history, 70 years onward. The best part? It's open to anyone! 

And that’s just one story to come out of Iffley Road, and Oxford university sport. The relatively newly built Acer Nethercott building pays tribute to the now sadly passed Blues and GB rowing champion cox. How many stories of other rowers or boat race teams are there to amaze and inspire us? Have you read the book or watched the film True Blue: the Oxford Boat Race Mutiny? Do.

Anyway, my point, using just these two examples, is to share how I see guidl completely changing, for the better and richer, the way we see a place. How brilliant would it be to have guidl tours drawing these stories, which are just waiting to be told, out, and helping all of us to stop, reflect on, and be grateful for, what’s gone before.  

Come on and join the guidl movement. We’d love to have you!

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