The latest news from the
Oxfordshire Local History Association (OLHA)
July 2019
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 next OLHA study day will be on Saturday 16 November at New College, Oxford. It will be on how to use manorial documents for local and family history research. Further details will be available nearer the time.
And a reminder of other events coming up which have been noted in previous e-bulletins...
Talking Maps, a free exhibition at the Bodleian’s Weston Library in Oxford, will open on Friday 5 July and run until 8 March 2020. The exhibition will celebrate maps and the stories they tell about the places they show, and the people who make and use them. It will include historic maps of Oxford, amongst them a 19th-century ‘drink map’, a 1934 City Council map showing distances on either side of the infamous Cutteslowe Walls to bus stops and schools, and maps of Thomas Sharp’s post-war plan to redesign the city (above).

Further information here.
The 2019 Shelswell History Festival will be on the playing fields in the village of Hethe, near Bicester, from 10am to 6pm on Saturday 13 July. The festival will feature Viking, Medieval and WW2 reenactors, veteran cycles and cars, and numerous other attractions including children’s activities.

See the event website for further details.
Healing Spaces is a new free exhibition at Oxford Town Hall, examining the history of children’s and young people’s health in Oxford. It is open Monday to Saturday, 10am to 5pm, from now until 24 August.

Further details here.
Looking for speakers for your local history society, WI, U3A or other group? Don’t forget that OLHA maintains a substantial directory of speakers and tour guides.
Timothy Walker spent most of his working life at the University of Oxford Botanic Garden and Harcourt Arboretum; he was director for 26 years. (In 2021 the Botanic Garden will be 400 years old.) Since 2014 Timothy has been a lecturer at Somerville College. He presented a three-part series on BBC4 TV on the History of Botany (repeated in May 2019) and has given over 2,000 lectures to local groups around Britain and beyond.

To find out about Timothy’s talks, and how to contact him, click here.
There are talks on a wide variety of local and national history subjects going on all over the county more or less every weekday. For a detailed daily listing see OLHA’s website. Here is a selection for July:

3rdBritish Modern Military History Society – Philip K Allan “The Wooden World – life in Navy in the times of Nelson”. Crowmarsh Gifford (contact for venue), 7:30pm.

8thRadley – Ciaran Walsh “The Otmoor riots in a wider context”. Primary School, Church Road, 7:30pm.

8thWeston on the Green – AGM followed by Jamie Norris “Thatching”. Village Hall, 7:30pm.

9thThame – Victoria Bentata Azaz “Oxford in the history of medicine”. Thame Barns Centre, Church Road, 7:30pm.

10thWallingford – Tim Porter “John Leland – A Tudor traveller and what he saw”. St Mary’s Church, Market Place, 8:00pm.

15thAdderbury – Deborah Hayter “Harvest Rituals”. Methodist Church School Room, Chapel Lane, 7:30pm.

15th – Bicester – Julie Ann Godson “1066: Oxfordshire and the Norman Conquest”. Clifton Centre, Ashdene Road, 7:30pm.

17thVale of White Horse Industrial Archaeology Group – Paul Joyce “London Underground by Design”. Denchworth Village Hall, 7:30pm.

22ndMiddleton Cheney – Julie Godson “Scandal in High Society”. All Saints Church, 7:30 pm.

22ndOxfordshire Family History Society – Rebecca Probert  “Divorced, Bigamist, Bereaved – Interpreting Your Ancestors’ Second (and Subsequent!) Marriages”. Exeter Hall, Oxford Road, Kidlington, 8:00pm.

25thAston – Muriel Pilkington “The Lost Villages of Oxfordshire”. Fellowship Centre, Cote Road, 7:00pm.

29thLaunton – Stephen Barker “Oxfordshire in World War II”. Grange Farm Mews, Station Road, 7:45pm.

30thKidlington – Martin Greenwood “The Roaring Twenties”. Willow Tree Café, Moorside Place, The Moors, 7:50pm.

31stCowley – Dick Wolff “The history of Temple Cowley Church in the community”. The Venue, 242b Barns Road (opposite Templars Square Shopping Centre), 6:45pm.

The Geering Almhouses in Harwell, built between 1734 and 1743, with the village war memorial, unveiled in 1920. Harwell is two miles west of Didcot.

We’re delighted to welcome the Harwell Parish History Group as a new member of OLHA. The group, founded in 2013, is a small band of enthusiasts, currently hoping to attract more members.  They research all aspects of local history, run a popular series of evening talks, and maintain a permanent exhibition of posters in the Village Hall. These are on local topics, and on topics related to national historical anniversaries.

The group has mounted exhibitions on the general history of Harwell Village, Harwell in the Two World Wars, Three Key Anniversaries in Harwell’s History, and Harwell People, Ancient and Modern. They are currently working on Church, Chapel, Schools and Charities.

Members give talks to local groups and, with the help of the village’s family historians, can answer questions from Harwellians past and present about the history of their parish. They  publish short pieces in the bimonthly Harwell News.

The Harwell Parish History Group can be contacted via its Chairman Malcolm Thick.
TWHAS’s long-running Garden Archaeology Project has enabled hundreds of Wallingford residents to become involved in researching their local history.

Many congratualtions to the Wallingford Historical and Archaeological Society (TWHAS) which has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service for “Engaging the community with local history through research, archaeology, publications and its museum”.

Read more about the award and TWHAS’s activities here and read a report in the Oxford Mail here.
Congratulations also to Malcolm Airs (above left) and Richard Ovenden (above right) who have been awarded OBEs in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List.

Malcolm is Emeritus Professor of Conservation and the Historic Environment at Oxford University’s Department for Continuing Education, and former Conservation Officer with South Oxfordshire District Council. His OBE is for services to the historic environment, conservation and education. Richard is Bodley’s Librarian at the University of Oxford; his OBE is for services to libraries and archives.
The Churchill & Sarsden Heritage Centre, near Chipping Norton.

Oxfordshire boasts more than forty museums, all of which are open over the summer and many of which are free to visit. A useful directory can be found on the County Council’s website.
Oxford University Department for Coninuing Education short courses which start in the autumn and which are likely to be of interest to Oxfordshire historians include:

What is Local History?

The City of Oxford 1850-1914

Town and Gown: A History of Oxford Buildings

Shrines and Saints in Oxfordshire and Beyond

Family, Kin and Community: Reconstitution Techniques for Local Historians

Churches and Parishes: Buildings and People - Part 1
The Berkshire Record Office (BRO) in Reading holds archives relating to a large number of places formerly in Berkshire but now in Oxfordshire.

The BRO also has an active programme of exhibitions (as above), workshops and talks, many of which will be of interest to Oxfordshire historians.

Read the latest news from BRO here.
Please note that the Oxfordshire History Centre will be closed on the following Saturdays in 2019:
13 July,  24 August,  14 September,  5 October,  2 November,  7 December, 28 December.

The centre apologises for any inconvenience.
If you have any items for the next OLHA e-bulletin, please send brief text and low resolution images to Liz Woolley by 24 July.
Copyright © 2019 Liz Woolley, All rights reserved.

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