Category Archives: Club publications

Radley Heritage Walk launched

Radley History Club’s new leaflet describes a walk around the village that combines glimpses of everyday life in days gone by in Radley with an introduction to its historic buildings.

Discover the history of Radley by comparing old photos with what you see now. Pick up a free Heritage Walk leaflet from various sites around the village, including the Bowyer Arms, where the walk starts. The leaflet features 24 points of interest and includes a map.

The walk is in two halves, both starting at the pub. One half includes St James the Great church and the ancient ‘Radley Oak’ in the grounds of Radley College. The other explores some of the old farmhouses and cottages of Lower Radley, and the River Thames.

Find out more and download a copy of the leaflet

Front cover of Radley Heritage Walk leaflet

Compendium of WW2 memories published

Between April and December 2020, over 20 accounts of the World War Two memories and experiences of Radley people and life on the home front in the village were published on the Radley History Club website. The accounts were produced by Club member and former chairman, Christine Wootton, and were published initially to mark the 75th Anniversary of VE Day in May 2020. Some of the accounts are about the wartime experiences of individual Radley residents (often in ways unrelated to Radley) and some about life on the home front in the village.

The accounts are based on recordings from the Club’s oral history collection and material acquired by Christine during research on other topics.

You can read the individual accounts online here or you can now download a PDF (2.3MB) containing all the accounts grouped in the following eight categories:

  • Military service
  • Life in Radley
  • Radley Home Guard
  • Life in Oxford
  • Life in London
  • Life elsewhere in England
  • Life in Germany
  • Escape from Germany

Buy a copy of the Club’s latest book

RADLEY MANOR AND VILLAGE a thousand year story was published on 30 November 2019. Copies can be bought via the Club’s website or in person from Radley Village Shop. The book costs £15 (plus postage & packaging).

The book was researched and written as a collaboration between Radley History Club and Radley College’s archivist. It tells the history of Radley’s manor and its relationship with the village from around the time of the Norman Conquest to the present day. It explores the changing role of the manor, the people who held it, how they lived and the power they exercised, as well as how the lives of ordinary villagers were affected by the manor.
More details

Front cover of 'Radley Manor and Village: a thousand year story'
Front cover of ‘Radley Manor and Village: a thousand year story’

Exhibition: Radley Farms and Families 1600-2011

The exhibition in Radley Village Hall on 16-17 July 2011 told the story of Radley’s farms and families, past and present. Radley once had at least 17 farms, now it has just two – Peach Croft Farm and Lower Farm. The Club’s new book, Radley Farms and Families 1600-2011, charts the story of Radley’s farms and families over more than four centuries.

Display of old farming implements at the exhibition

The displays featured material from the Club archives on various farms (Walsh’s, Minchin’s, Wick, Pumney, Neat Home, Peach Croft, Park End, Church, Sugworth, Gooseacre, Home, Thrupp), the Stonhouse family, Radley people, farmhouses in the village, farming methods through the ages and aerial photographs of Radley. Rita and Brian Ford brought along many items from their collection of agricultural implements and memorabilia.

Display board about Gooseacre Farm
Display board about Church Farm

Over 300 people visited the exhibition during the course of the two days.
“A very interesting exhibition which has brought back some lovely memories”
“Very professional – an excellent farming history”

Corn grinder
Display of horse brasses

Exhibition: History of Radley Primary School

Reunions and memories were the order of the day for many of the several hundred visitors who came to Radley History Club’s exhibition on 12/13 July 2008 on the history of Radley Church of England Primary School. The School has been part of the village of Radley for over 150 years and its history is typical of that of many rural schools in the area.

Enlarged section of Ordnance Survey Map 1875 showing the layout of the school area at that time

Held in the Old School Building (first built in 1872 and extended in 1892), the exhibition used maps, photos, copies of old documents, press cuttings and extracts from the school’s log books to move through the ages from the school’s development in the 19th century, the early years of the 20th century, the 1940s/1950s, and 1960s onwards to the present day.

Display board about the early years of the school
Display board about the early years of the school

The pupils of today featured in a film made as part of the Club’s two-year project with Radley Primary School.

Visitors to the exhibition could experience a Victorian classroom complete with lamp, stove, maps and cane; children and adults could sit in an old school desk and try writing with an old-fashioned dip pen and ink well. Or ring the old school bell. Club members set the scene by dressing up in Victorian costume to greet visitors.

The exhibition saw the launch of a new book, The History of Radley C E Primary Schoolby Christine Wootton. The book describes how the school buildings changed over the years but concentrates on the people who worked and studied at Radley Primary School between 1851 and 2007. One visitor to the exhibition, Gerald Jeacock, was thrilled to find the book recorded his achievement in 1935 of winning the Bishop’s prize.

The exhibition was opened by the current headteacher, Frances Lockwood, who was presented with a copy of the book for the school by Tony Rogerson in his guise as the Rev. John Ratcliffe, the vicar of Radley at the time the school began.

From left-to-right: Tony Rogerson, Joan Gibbs, Frances Lockwood (head teacher), Christine Wootton (chairman),
Chris Gasson (Clerk of the Green Cloth), Rita Ford and Eric Blanks