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Programme for 2017–2018

All meetings start at 7.30 pm in the hall at Radley Primary School, Church Road, Radley (unless otherwise stated).
Monday 11th September AGM followed by a talk by Peter Neal – MG Cars in Abingdon
MG sports cars will forever be linked to Abingdon, having been made at the MG Car Company’s headquarters and factory works in the town since 1929 until the factory closed in 1980. Peter Neal is archivist of the MG Car Club, based in Abingdon, and will tell us all about the history of MG production in the town.
Monday 9th October Joanna Matthews – Capability Brown in Oxfordshire
Joanna is Secretary of Oxfordshire Gardens Trust. Blenheim Palace is probably the best known of the Oxfordshire sites where Brown worked. Others include Nuneham Park across the river from Radley and Radley Hall (now Radley College). Joanna includes some information in her talk about Capability Brown’s work in the grounds at Radley Hall.
Monday 13th November Tim Healey – Drovers Roads in Oxfordshire and Beyond
Tim, a writer, broadcaster and musician, talks about drovers roads in the county and connecting areas used by Welsh stockmen to bring their herds of cattle and sheep to the markets of London and the south-east. The ancient Ridgeway track was just one of the routes. During the long journey, the cattle grew fatter through grazing on the roadside verges.
Monday 11th December Christmas Dinner at The Bowyer Arms, Radley
Monday 8th January Tim Jordan – Cotswold Stone Barns
Barns have been part of the landscape since the Middle Ages and can still be found throughout the Cotswolds. The structures provide clues about the region’s rural history and traditions. Tim, a retired university lecturer and member of the Oxford Buildings Record group, talks about the architecture of these magnificent buildings. Details of Tim’s book about Cotswold stone barns
Monday 12th February Katherine Bradley – Votes for Women in Oxfordshire
Katherine, a lecturer at the Open University, has a long-standing interest in the Oxford suffrage movement. She traces the history of women suffrage activists in Oxford and the surrounding area, and tells us about the leaders of the suffrage movement and the methods adopted by the city’s suffragettes to win women the right to vote.
Monday 12th March Jackie Smith – The Medieval Bridges at Abingdon and Culham
Jackie is the archivist at Christ’s Hospital of Abingdon and Honorary Archivist for Abingdon Town Council. Abingdon Bridge over the River Thames and Culham Bridge over Swift Ditch both date from the 15th century. Their building was funded by the Fraternity of the Holy Cross (the predecessor of Christ’s Hospital), which was also responsible for their upkeep.
Monday 9th April Malcolm Graham – Wonderful things: Revelations from the City Engineer's Strong Room
Malcolm. the former head of Oxfordshire Studies at Oxfordshire County Council, a local historian and author, has an extensive knowledge of all things Oxford. In his talk he reveals details of one of Oxford's secret and hidden places, and what it has stored over the years.
Tuesday 10th April 6.00 pm Club visit to the grounds of Radley College to see the work of Capability Brown
Building on the talk by Joanna Matthews in September 2017 on the work of Capability Brown in Oxfordshire, including at Radley College, the tour led by Clare Sargent, Head of Archives at Radley College, looks at features of the grounds today attributed to Brown’s influence. The visit is for Club members only.
Monday 14th May Liz Woolley ‘Oxford’s Base and Brickish Skirt’ – the Development of Oxford’s Suburbs 1850–1914
Liz is a local historian with a particular interest in the city’s ‘town’ (as opposed to ‘gown’) history. She examines the reasons why the city’s suburbs grew so rapidly, what factors affected how they developed differently to the north, south, east and west of the city, and the effects that suburban growth had on Oxford and its residents.
Monday 11th June Rod Ellis – The Life of Edward Brookes VC of Oakley and Oxford
Rod tells us how Edward won his VC in France on 28 April 1917. Edward’s home in Headington now sports an Oxfordshire blue plaque. Company Sergeant-Major Edward Brooks (1883–1944), a building labourer by trade, was the first man in the Oxford & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry to win the Victoria Cross in the First World War.
Monday 9th July Hubert Zawadzki – Invasion, Deportation and Survival: A Polish Woman’s Epic Wartime Story 1939–1945
Hubert, a former history teacher at Abingdon School, tells us of the dramatic events in his mother’s life at this time as war engulfed Poland. Hubert is an expert on Polish history and co-author of A Concise History of Poland.
August No meeting
Monday 10th September AGM followed by a talk by Stephen Barker – Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry
Stephen is a heritage adviser and military historian who has worked with a number of museums, universities, charities and other heritage organisations. The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry was formed in 1881 from the 43rd and 52nd Foot. It went on to serve with distinction across the British Empire and during the two World Wars.
Previous years' programmes