Talks & meetings

There are talks on a wide variety of local history subjects going on all over the county more or less every weekday. Talks which we know are happening are listed below. Note that a small charge may be made for non-members to attend (on-line or in person).

For further information, click on the name of the local society in the list below to get to its website. Contact details for societies are here.

For other events and exhibitions see this page.

June 2024

10thOxfordshire Family History Society (OFHS) – Janet Few “Ancestors on the margins”. On-line talk, 8:00pm (OFHS members only).

10thRadley – Julie Ann Godson “Memories of the Vale: a lost way of life before the railways came to the countryside”. St James the Great Church, 7:30pm.

11thThame – Melanie King “Tricks of the trade: Spying in the First World War”. The Barns Centre, Church Road, 7:30pm.

12thBritish Modern Military History Society (Woodcote) – Helen Fry “Women in Intelligence”. Woodcote Village Hall, 7:30pm; e–mail info@bmmhs.org or check www.bmmhs.org for more details.

12thBurford – Nigel Hastilow “The Man who Invented the News: Marchamont Needham, born in Burford; teacher, lawyer, spy, doctor”. Warwick Hall, Church Green, 7:30pm.

12thFlorence Park, Oxford – Stuart Ackland “The history of Oxford in maps”. Florence Park Community Centre, East Oxford, 7:30pm.

12thStanford in the Vale – Gareth Winrow “Elizabeth Wisdom, The Chipping Norton Murderess?”. Large village hall, 7:30pm.

12thUffington – Mike Heaney “The Ancient English Morris Dance”. Thomas Hughes Memorial Hall, 7:45pm.

12thWallingford – Anthony Wilder “William Wilder, POW on the Thai Burma Railway”. St Mary-le-More Church, Market Place, 8:00pm.

17thAdderbury – Mark Davis “What a Liberty! Along Oxford’s Ancient Boundaries”. The Institute, East Adderbury, 7:30pm.

17thBicester – Matthew Hathaway “Brain’s Trust”. Clifton Centre, Ashdene Road, 7:30pm.

17thKennington – Melanie King “Taking the waters: the waxing and waning of the English Spa”. Kennington Methodist Church, Upper Road, 7:45pm.

18thClanfield and Bampton – AGM followed by an lighthearted talk by historian Robin Shuckburgh”. Carter Institute, Main Street, Clanfield, 7:30pm.

18thEnstone – Melanie King “Not Just Napoleon and Jane Austen: Lesser Known Weird and Wonderful Memories from 1815”. St Kenelm’s Church, Church Enstone, 7:00pm.

19thCropredy – Marie Lou Kerr “William Morris & the other William Morris – two eminent designers in two very different fields”. Village Hall, Chapel Lane, 7:30pm.

20thAbingdon – Open Evening with presentations by members. Northcourt Centre, Northcourt Road, 7:45pm.

20thDeddington – Stephen Wass “Voyages to the House of Diversion: 17th Century Water Gardens and the Birth of Modern Science”. Deddington Primary School, Earls Lane, 7:30pm.

20thSibfords – Gillian White “1346 – Crécy”. Village Hall, Sibford Gower, 7:30pm.

24thMarcham – Hedley Thorne “The Ridgeway and Lowbury Hill from above”. Marcham Centre, Barrow Close, 7:45pm.

24thMiddleton Cheney – Steve Bacon “Dr Jenner and vaccination”. All Saints Church, 7:30pm.

25thKidlington – AGM and Bill King “WWI, part 2”. Baptist Church, High Street, 7:30pm.

27thAston – Stephen Barker “Trench Humour in the First World War”. Fellowship Centre, Cote Road, 7:30pm.

30thBartons – AGM and Simon Randall “The English Civil War in the Cotswolds”. Sports & Social Club, Middle Barton, 2:30pm.

July 2024

3rdFriends of the Oxfordshire Museum – Simon Townley “New Work on Old Places: Recent Work by the Victoria County History of Oxfordshire”. The Oxfordshire Museum, Park Street, Woodstock, 7:30pm. Also available on-line; e-mail friendsoftheoxfordshiremuseum@gmail.com for further details.

4thOxford Preservation Trust – Veronika Vlkova “Monuments & Memorials”. All Souls College Chapel, 6:00pm.

7thBritish Modern Military History Society (Woodcote) – Graham Murchie, Baedsy Radar “ The Eyes of the Few”. On-line talk, 7:30pm; e–mail zoom@bmmhs.org or check www.bmmhs.org for more details.

8thOxfordshire Family History Society (OFHS) – Gill Blanchard “Writing your Family History”. On-line talk, 8:00pm (OFHS members only).

8thRadley – Robert Evans “The History of our Footpaths”. St James the Great Church, 7:30pm.

8thWeston on the Green – Frank Collingwood “The Oxford Bus Museum”. Village Hall, 7:30pm.9thThame – Deborah Hayter “The seventeenth-century village: who was in charge?” The Barns Centre, Church Road, 7:30pm.

10thBritish Modern Military History Society (Woodcote) – Keith Mills “Battle for South Georgia 1982”. Woodcote Village Hall, 7:30pm; e–mail info@bmmhs.org or check www.bmmhs.org for more details.

10thWallingford – Alastair Owens “Treasures from the privy: new perspectives on everyday life in Victorian East London”. St Mary-le-More Church, Market Place, 8:00pm.

15thAdderbury – Stephen Barker “Six Warrior Women of the English Civil Wars 1642-1651”. The Institute, East Adderbury, 7:30pm.

15thBicester – Matthew Hathaway “Brain’s Trust Re-enactment”. Clifton Centre, Ashdene Road, 7:30pm.

18thOxford Preservation Trust – David Radford “Recent Archaeological Discoveries in Oxford”, Oxford Castle, Key Learning Centre, 5:30pm.

18thSibfords – Marie Louise Kerr “The woman who would be Queen: The life of Empress Matilda her connections with Oxfordshire”. Village Hall, Sibford Gower, 7:30pm.

22ndMiddleton Cheney – Bob Hunter “Local geological history in Oxfordshire, Northamptonshire and nearby counties”. All Saints Church, 7:30pm.

25thAston – Carol Anderson “The Ascott Martyrs”. Fellowship Centre, Cote Road, 7:30pm.

25thBurford – Peter Radford “They Run With Surprising Swiftness: The story of 17th– and 18th– century women athletes and their athleticism”. Baptist Church, Witney Street, 7:30pm.

30thKidlington – Gordon Rogers Winston Churchill’s Toyshop”. Baptist Church, High Street, 7:30pm.

August 2024

12thOxfordshire Family History Society (OFHS) – Simon Gregor “The Great War – was nothing learned?”. On-line talk, 8:00pm (OFHS members only).

September 2024

4thFriends of the Oxfordshire Museum – John Caldicott “The History of the Foundling Hospital”. The Oxfordshire Museum, Park Street, Woodstock, 7:30pm. Also available on-line; e-mail friendsoftheoxfordshiremuseum@gmail.com for further details.

9thChipping Norton – Mark Davies “Jericho: Oxford’s ‘dangerously hospitable’ first planned suburb”. Methodist Church Hall, West Street, 2:00pm.

9thRadley – AGM followed by a presentation by the club’s Oral History Group on Radley during Covid.  St James the Great Church, 7:30pm.

10thThame – Michael Payne “The journey to Chalgrove Field”. The Barns Centre, Church Road, 7:30pm.

11thWallingford – John Painter “Reading Abbey and the Abbey Quarter”. St Mary-le-More Church, Market Place, 8:00pm.

16thAdderbury – Eleanor Townsend “Parish Church Patrons in the Oxfordshire Area”. The Institute, East Adderbury, 7:30pm.

16thBicester – AGM and Matthew Hathaway “On this Day…”. Clifton Centre, Ashdene Road, 7:30pm.

16thGoring Gap – Stuart Ackland “Treasures from the Map Room”. Goring Village Hall, 2:30pm.

16thKennington – Liz Woolley “From Axtell to Zacharias: the men who built Oxford”. Kennington Methodist Church, Upper Road, 7:45pm.

18thCropredy – Bert Manton “Highlights from my autobiography, Bottom Rung of the Ladder, based in Woodford Halse”. Village Hall, Chapel Lane, 7:30pm.

18thLittlemore – Mark Davies “Beating the ancient bounds of Oxford city: memorable moments from the last 500 years”. Giles Road Community Centre, 7:30pm.

18thHarwell – Stephen Barker “Trench Humour in the First World War”. Village Hall, 7:30pm.

19thLongworth – Antonia Keaney “Passion for Fashion: an amusing look at some of the clothes, underclothes, shoes and accessories worn by many of the more colourful characters in Blenheim Palace’s 300-year history”. Southmoor Village Hall, 7:30pm.

19thSibfords – Alastair Lack “CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien”. Village Hall, Sibford Gower, 7:30pm.

25thDorchester – Ed Caswell “An introduction to the Portable Antiquities Scheme”. 7:30pm Dorchester Abbey.

26thAston – David Knight, a Pole Lathe Demonstration”. Fellowship Centre, Cote Road, 7:30pm.

26thBurford – Julie Ann Godson “The Water Gypsy: How a Thames fisher girl became a viscountess”. Baptist Church, Witney Street, 7:30pm.

27thBensington – Richard O Smith “Z-A of Oxford: 1000 years of history in 26 letters”. Benson Parish Hall, 7:30pm.

30thCumnor – Bill King “The Roman invasions, occupations and colonisation of Britain”. Old School, 7:30pm.

October 2024

1stBritish Modern Military History Society (Woodcote) – Peter Green “Captured at Arnhem – the men’s experiences”. On-line talk, 7:30pm; e–mail zoom@bmmhs.org or check www.bmmhs.org for more details.

1stHenley – Andrew King “Policing in Henley”. Chantry House, St Mary’s Church, 7:45pm.

2ndFriends of the Oxfordshire Museum – Gareth Winrow “Lawyer, Town Clerk and Ruthless Land Speculator? The life of Henry John North of Woodstock”. The Oxfordshire Museum, Park Street, Woodstock, 7:30pm. Also available on-line; e-mail friendsoftheoxfordshiremuseum@gmail.com for further details.

8thThame – Simon Wenham “The pursuit of pleasure: Victorian and Edwardian leisure”. The Barns Centre, Church Road, 7:30pm.

9thBritish Modern Military History Society (Woodcote) – Annabel Venning “To War with the Walkers”. Woodcote Village Hall, 7:30pm; e–mail info@bmmhs.org or check www.bmmhs.org for more details.

9thFlorence Park, Oxford – Anna Eavis “The city of Oxford: what the future holds”. Florence Park Community Centre, East Oxford, 7:30pm.

9thWallingford – Steve Capel-Davies “’Ways over Water, A history of Thames crossings”. St Mary-le-More Church, Market Place, 8:00pm.

14thChipping Norton – Helen Castle “A Shepherd’s Stone: How the headstone of Great Rollright shepherd Richard Widdows sparked a local history blog”. Methodist Church Hall, West Street, 2:00pm.

14thOxfordshire Family History Society (OFHS) – Sue Gibbons “Conserving your Family Archive”. On-line talk, 8:00pm (OFHS members only).

15thClanfield and Bampton  – Kathy Haslam “The ladies of Kelmscott Manor”. Carter Institute, Main Street, Clanfield, 7:30pm.

16thCropredy – Stephen Barker “Trench Humour in The First World War”. Village Hall, Chapel Lane, 7:30pm.

16thHarwell – John Harrison “English style bells and the historical development of bell ringing”. Village Hall, 7:30pm.

17thLongworth – Katharina Ulmschneider “The Ashmolean Tang Camel: Symbol of the Silk Road”. Southmoor Village Hall, 7:30pm.

17thSibfords – Tim Healey “The Trail of the Green Man in Oxfordshire”. Village Hall, Sibford Gower, 7:30pm.

21stAdderbury – Sean Callery “A Cotswold Cornucopia”. The Institute, East Adderbury, 7:30pm.

21stBicester –  Bob Hessian “Bicester Shops and Shopping”. Clifton Centre, Ashdene Road, 7:30pm.

21stGoring Gap – Katrina Cooper “The archaeology of Newbury Reinforcement (Ipsden to Bucklebury) Pipeline”. Goring Village Hall, 2:30pm.

21stKennington – Bill King “The Roman invasion, occupation, and colonisation of Britain”. Kennington Methodist Church, Upper Road, 7:45pm.

23rdDorchester – Wendy Morrison “Archaeology in the Chilterns: the tip of the iceberg”. 7:30pm Dorchester Abbey.

25thBensington – David Solomon “The Importance of the Brook in Benson’s History”. Benson Parish Hall, 7:30pm.

28thCumnor – Mark Davies “Binsey and Medley: Treacle, cheesecakes, miracles ,and nabobs”. Old School, 7:30pm.

31stAston – Karen & Brett Wiles “WWII Rationing and Cooking for Victory”. Fellowship Centre, Cote Road, 7:30pm.

31stBurford – David Cohen will lead group reminiscences of Burford prompted by old images, inviting the audience to share their memories. On-line, 7:30pm, further information at https://www.burfordtolsey.org/events.

November 2024

5thHenley – Ron Baxter “The Rediscovery of Reading Abbey”. Chantry House, St Mary’s Church, 7:45pm.

6thFriends of the Oxfordshire Museum – Deborah Hayter “The Lost Villages of Oxfordshire”. The Oxfordshire Museum, Park Street, Woodstock, 7:30pm. Also available on-line; e-mail friendsoftheoxfordshiremuseum@gmail.com for further details.

11thChipping Norton – Stephen Barker “ The Battle of Cropredy Bridge and the Oxford Campaign 1644”. Methodist Church Hall, West Street, 2:00pm.

12thThame – John Lowe “Always Ready, Always Willing: The story of fires and firefighting in the city of Oxford from 879 to 1874”. The Barns Centre, Church Road, 7:30pm.

13thBritish Modern Military History Society (Woodcote) – Chris Finn “First Gulf War Air Campaign”.  Woodcote Village Hall, 7:30pm; e-mail info@bmmhs.org or check www.bmmhs.org for more details.

13thWallingford – Malcolm Airs “From Berkshire to Oxfordshire – Conservation as a force for change in Wallingford”. St Mary-le-More Church, Market Place, 8:00pm.

18thAdderbury – Brett & Karen Wiles “1940s Girl Guides”. The Institute, East Adderbury, 7:30pm.

18thBicester – Stephen Barker “Trench Humour in the First World War”. Clifton Centre, Ashdene Road, 7:30pm.

18thGoring Gap – Julian Rose “The local resource base for locals: Reclaiming our destinies”. Goring Village Hall, 2:30pm.

18thKennington – Trevor Jackson “RAF Brize Norton – over 80 years of flying operations”. Kennington Methodist Church, Upper Road, 7:45pm.

20thClanfield and Bampton  – David Palfreyman “The Bampton Railway”. Carter Institute, Main Street, Clanfield, 7:30pm.

20thCropredy – Gill White “Bess of Hardwick and Hardwick Hall”. Village Hall, Chapel Lane, 7:30pm.

20thLittlemore – Timothy Walker “Oxford Botanic Garden: more than 400 years of history”. Giles Road Community Centre, 7:30pm.

20thHarwell – Jane Card “The Gunpowder Plot: who, why and a tiny local link”. Village Hall, 7:30pm.

21stLongworth – Sarah Somerville “A Guide’s Guide: working in historic houses in the 21st century”. Southmoor Village Hall, 7:30pm.

21stSibfords – A performance by the Launton Bellringers. Village Hall, Sibford Gower, 7:30pm.

25thCumnor – Ann Ford “William Morris and his versatile Minor vehicles”. Old School, 7:30pm.

27thFlorence Park, Oxford – Olaf Bayer “The archaeology of East Oxford”. Florence Park Community Centre, East Oxford, 7:30pm.

28thAston – Simon Wenham “Crime and Punishment in Victorian Britain”. Fellowship Centre, Cote Road, 7:30pm.

December 2024

3rdHenley – Catherine Sampson “Berkshire and South Oxfordshire Churches”. Chantry House, St Mary’s Church, 7:45pm.

5thLongworth – Sean Callery “Christmas in the Cotswolds”. Southmoor Village Hall, 7:30pm.

6thBensington – “A Christmas Theme” (to be confirmed). Benson Parish Hall, 7:30pm.

9thChipping Norton – John Graves “The Romano-British Settlement in Chipping Norton”. Methodist Church Hall, West Street, 2:00pm.

11thBritish Modern Military History Society (Woodcote) – Guy Walters “Hunting Evil – Bringing Nazi War Criminals to Justice”.  Woodcote Village Hall, 7:30pm; e-mail info@bmmhs.org or check www.bmmhs.org for more details.

15thBicester – Ian Giles “Christmas Music & Song Through the Ages”. Clifton Centre, Ashdene Road, 7:30pm.

16thGoring Gap – Edward Casswell “The Bronze Age”. Goring Village Hall, 2:30pm.

16thKennington – Sean Callery “Christmas in the Cotswolds”. Kennington Methodist Church, Upper Road, 7:45pm.

January 2025

15th – British Modern Military History Society (Woodcote) – Mike Walsh “ Battle of Kursk”. Woodcote Village Hall, 7:30pm; e–mail info@bmmhs.org or check www.bmmhs.org for more details.

20thGoring Gap – Melvin Seaborne “Morris Dancing. What is it and where did it come from?”. Goring Village Hall, 2:30pm.

27thCumnor – Marie-Louise Kerr “Oxford’s pencillin: The forgotten WW2 story of the development of penicillin by scientists in Oxford. Old School, 7:30pm.

February 2025

10thChipping Norton – Jonathan Maisey & Joe Duxbarry “The History of the Windrush Stone Quarries”. Methodist Church Hall, West Street, 2:00pm.

24thCumnor – Martin Harris “My dad Francis Harris (1925-2010): Growing up in Cumnor and Farmoor”. Old School, 7:30pm.

27thAston – Trevor Jackson “The Oxford to Fairford Railway”. Fellowship Centre, Cote Road, 7:30pm.

March  2025

10th  – Chipping Norton – AGM followed by Neil Datson “Elsie Corbett – Pioneering Nurse and Benefactress”. Methodist Church Hall, West Street, 2:00pm.

12th – British Modern Military History Society (Woodcote) – Tim Saunders “The Peninsular War – The making of the Light Division”.  Woodcote Village Hall, 7:30pm; e–mail info@bmmhs.org or check www.bmmhs.org for more details.

27thAston – Mark Davies “Artists in Wonderland: the Pre-Raphaelites in Oxford”. Fellowship Centre, Cote Road, 7:30pm.

31stCumnor – Ciaran Walsh “The ups and downs of Ruskin College: a history of the college”. Old School, 7:30pm.

April 2025

9thBritish Modern Military History Society (Woodcote) – Philip K Allan “Wellington’s Navy”.  Woodcote Village Hall, 7:30pm; e–mail info@bmmhs.org or check www.bmmhs.org for more details.

14thChipping Norton – Malcolm Rogers “The Broadway Colony of Artists and Writers”. Methodist Church Hall, West Street, 2:00pm.

24thAston – AGM followed by Stephen Wass “The Peculiar History of Fishponds and Fishing in Oxfordshire”. Fellowship Centre, Cote Road, 7:30pm.

28thCumnor – Martin Buckland “Canal history: The world to Wiltshire from 502BC to the present day”. Old School, 7:30pm.

May 2025

12thChipping Norton – Matthew Armitage “Tooley’s Boatyard, Banbury”. Methodist Church Hall, West Street, 2:00pm.

14thBritish Modern Military History Society (Woodcote) – Robert Lynam “ Bill Slim and Burma”.  Woodcote Village Hall, 7:30pm; e–mail info@bmmhs.org or check www.bmmhs.org for more details.

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