The latest news from the
Oxfordshire Local History Association (OLHA)
January 2021
Oxford under snow, viewed from South Park.

All members of local history societies and groups that are members of OLHA are themselves members of OLHA automatically, and this e-bulletin is for everyone. Hence, if you are on the committee of a local history group or society, please make sure that this e-bulletin is forwarded to all your members by sending them this url. Thank you.
The latest book by Oxfordshire historian and author Martin Greenwood, The Promised Land, tells the story of emigration from Oxfordshire and its neighbouring counties from 1815 to 1914. The late 18th-century voyages of Captain Cook led to the opening of new penal colonies in Australia, and free emigration gathered pace in the 1830s, followed by the Great Exodus from 1850 onwards. The book examines migrants’ experiences before and during their journeys, and on arrival. It also looks at political changes driving emigration, particularly the Poor Law and Corn Laws.

Copies of The Promised Land are available at Coles in Bicester, Waterstones and the Tourist Office in Banbury, the Old Hall Bookshop in Brackley, and Jaffe and Neal in Chipping Norton, price £9.95, and directly from the author ( for £12.95 incl. p&p.
The Land of the White Horse: Visions of England by David Miles is an in-depth cultural and archaeological history of one of England’s great ancient monuments, the White Horse at Uffington. For centuries antiquarians, travellers and local people have speculated about the age of the horse, who created it and why. Its rich history, and that of its surroundings, shed light on how people have created and lived in the Downland landscape, which has inspired artists, poets and writers including Eric Ravilious, John Betjeman and JRR Tolkien.

Further information and ordering here.
The latest edition of the Friends of the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry (OBLI)’s annual journal Bugle & Sabre is now available. It includes articles on the OBLI’s involvement in the five-month Seige of Kut in Iraq; the Royal Buckinghamshire Yeomanry in Burma; Air Transport Auxiliary Girl Dolores Sorour; and Witney Aerodrome.

Copies of Bugle & Sabre vol. XIII are free from the Honorary Secretary of the Friends Lt Col (Retd) Ingram Murray.

Past editions of Bugle & Sabre can be obtained from the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum shop.
Looking for speakers for your group’s 2021 programme? OLHA’s substantial directory of speakers and tour guides is often updated, and now shows which speakers are able to deliver their illustrated talks via Zoom or similar on-line platform.
Ed Peveler is the landscape heritage officer for the Chilterns Conservation Board’s Beacons of the Past project, in which he uses LiDAR data to investigate and map earthwork archaeology across the Chilterns Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (about a third of which is in Oxfordshire).

His doctorate was on the production, transport, and use of building materials in Roman Oxfordshire. He enjoys researching and talking about landscape archaeology, LiDAR, archaeological materials analysis, and about Roman production, trade, and architecture.

To find out about Ed’s talks (which can be in person or on-line) and how to contact him, click here.
60 Cowley Road, Oxford, 1949.

Following the launch on PictureOxon of the 1949-61 Oxford shopfronts and advertising survey (as reported in last month’s e-bulletin), the Oxfordshire History Centre’s latest blog post is by local historian Malcolm Graham, examining the background to this fascinating survey and emphasising its value to historians.

Read Malcolm’s blog post here.

Other posts in the series include pieces on Jessie Jones (1882-1945, head teacher of Idbury and Fifield school) and her village explorers; and How the corona virus lockdown revealed the history of St Ebbe’s.
Oxford’s Covered Market is one of the best-loved features of the city centre. It dates back to the early 1770s, when it was established by a committee of both town and gown to remove noxious trades from the streets around Carfax. Oxfordshire historian Malcolm Graham has researched the Covered Market for many years, and in a new short film he explores its fascinating history.

Watch the film here.
The Longworth & District History Society’s Villages at War project is making good progress. The project originated in 2012, and its aim is to research the lives of the servicemen from the three villages covered by the society - Longworth, Kingston Bagpuize and Hinton Waldrist - who died in both World Wars.

he First World War section of the project’s website is now complete for all three villages, as is the Second World War section for Kingston Bagpuize. Work is ongoing on Second World War casualties from Longworth and Hinton Waldrist.

Members of the society hope, when circumstances allow, to provide tours of the villages showing the houses where the men lived.

Find out more about the project here.
Until the rearrangement of the county boundaries in 1974, substantial parts of what are now south Oxfordshire were in Berkshire. Our colleagues at the Berkshire Local History Association (BLHA) have been busy scanning and uploading back issues of their journal Berkshire Old and New, and those dating back to 1983 can now be read in full on BLHA’s website.

Moreover, the latest BLHA newsletter can be read here.
The Royal British Legion will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2021. The British Association for Local History (BALH) has asked its membership (which includes us) to help with a local history project Telling Our Story which will commemorate this major landmark.

Find out more about the project, and how you can get involved, here.

The British Association for Local History (BALH) is also asking all local historians – whether members of BALH or not – to respond to a short survey to help the association understand whether it is meeting historians’ needs, and if there is anything more it could do.

The survey is open to anyone, and you can respond as a non-member, an individual, or as a representative of your local history society or group.

Take the survey here.

If you have any items for the next OLHA e-bulletin, please send brief text and low resolution images to Liz Woolley by 25 January.
Many Oxfordshire history societies are offering talks on-line or, if circumstances allow, in person. For a detailed daily listing see OLHA’s website.

Here is a selection for January:

6th - Friends of the Oxfordshire Museum - Marie-Louise Kerr “The Oxford Struggle to Develop Penicillin in World War II”. On-line talk, 7:30pm, register by e-mailing

7th - Charlbury - Clare Shakya “Climate Ambition in the time of Covid-19”. On-line talk, 8:00pm, register by e-mailing

11thRadley – Dick Richards “Unknown and yet well known, the Final journey of the Unknown Warrior”. Online talk, 7:30pm, for registration see the club website

11th - Weston-on-the-Green - Liz Woolley “Beer, sausages and marmalade: Food, drink, politics and tourism in 19th-century Oxford”. On-line talk, 7:30pm, register by e-mailing

12th – Oxfordshire Architectural And Historical Society (OAHS) – Michael Redley “At the Centre of the World: Henley-on-Thames and the Olympic Regatta of 1908”. On-line talk, 5:30pm, further information at (OAHS members only).

13th - British Modern Military History Society (Woodcote) - Nicci Pugh “White Ship – Red Crosses. A hospital ship at war in the Falklands”. Woodcote Village Hall, 7:30pm.

13th - My Jericho - Mark Davies “Another slice of Jericho history”. On-line talk, 5:30pm, book via

14thBanbury – Wendy Morrison “Beacons of the Past – investigating a prehistoric Chilterns landscape”. Banbury Museum, Spiceball Park Road, 7:30pm, and streamed live via Microsoft Teams. For further information e-mail

14thWootton & Dry Sandford – Victoria Bentata “Oxford’s Jewish Heritage”. Community Centre, Wootton, 7:30pm.

18thAdderbury – Simon Wenham “The rise and fall of pleasure boating on the Thames”. On-line talk, 7:30pm, register by e-mailing

18thGoring Gap - Ian Keable “The History of Cartoons from William Hogarth to Private Eye”. On-line talk, 2:30pm, register by e-mailing

19thIffley –  Bruce Levell “The Geology of Iffley - a Virtual Tour”. On-line talk, 7:30pm, register by e-mailing

20thBloxham - Stephen Barker “Five RAF Indian Pilots of the Great War”. On-line talk, 7:30pm, register by emailing

21stAbingdon – Ian Wheeler “The Fairmile Hospital”. On-line-talk, 7:45, members only.

21st – Wychwoods – Simon Batten “The Prebendal”. Milton-under-Wychwood village hall, 7:30pm.

25thCumnor – Simon Wenham “Power and personalities - politics in Victorian and Edwardian oxford”. Cumnor Old School, 7:30pm.

26th – Oxfordshire Architectural And Historical Society (OAHS) – Peter Steere “The League of Beleaguered Gentlemen: Three Medical Officers of Health in Berkshire 1873-1908”. On-line talk, 5:30pm, further information at  (OAHS members only).

28th - Kirtlington & Bletchingdon - Marie-Louise Kerr “Oxford’s Penicillin”. On-line talk, 7:30pm, register by e-mailing

Copyright © 2021 Liz Woolley, All rights reserved.

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