Tag Archives: book launch

Exhibition and launch of Club’s book about Radley Church

When: Saturday 1 October: 10.30 am to 5 pm and Sunday 2 October: 1.30 pm to 5 pm
Where: Radley Church, Church Road, Radley
About the book: The Story of a Village Church: St James the Great, Radley
Price: £12 plus P&P – available to buy online or at Radley Village Shop

Front cover of the Radley History Club book, 'The Story of a Village Church: St James the Great, Radley'

Carefully researched and recorded by various members of Radley History Club, the book tells us about the building itself, the church history which influenced it, and the people who were involved in it, right up to the present day.

Some 150 people visited the exhibition at Radley Parish Church over the two days/ The pews and chairs were cleared away to the sides of the church to create a welcoming space containing a series of displays based on various aspects of the Church and its history. Refreshments were kindly provided in the adjourning Church Room by Radley Women’s Institute.

‘Fascinating’, ‘excellent’, ‘informative’ and ‘very interesting’ are words that crop up time and time again in the comments in the visitors’ book at the exhibition.
Wonderful exhibition – so much we didn’t know. Thank you History Club.

What a fantastic display and I found out something I didn’t know about my grandfather.

View from the balcony of the church set up for the exhibition
View of the church set up for the exhibition

Topics covered by displays included:

  • Parish boundary
  • Origins and buildings
  • Patrons of Radley Church
  • Inside the Church
  • Clergy who have served Radley Church
  • The churchyard and cemeteries
  • The life of the Church today
  • Radley’s bells
  • Radley Church Choir

A timeline from 600 to 2016, which compared events in Radley with linked events in the wider world, attracted particular interest.

The exhibition was opened on the Saturday morning by Revd Pam McKellen who was presented by Club chairman, Richard Dudding, with a copy of the book signed by all the authors. On both days Radley Church’s bell-ringing team rang a short peal before the exhibition opened.

Richard Dudding and Revd Pam McKellan
Visitors study the display material

Floral arrangements around the Church illustrated key aspects of the life of a village church.

Adding further colour were the Sunday School banner and banners dating back to the late 19th century belonging to the Mothers’ Union in Radley and the Girls’ Friendly Society.

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