Upcoming Talks

Our monthly meetings take place at the Clifton Centre, Ashdene Road, and start at 7:30pm.

Below is a list of our upcoming talks, but for more information please contact: Mrs Sally James (Treasurer) on 01869 243804 or email: sallyjames46@hotmail.com

18th December 2023
Launton Handbell Ringers Recital
Launton Handbell Ringers

Launton Handbell Ringers were founded in 1951 by the late Frederick Sharpe, an authority on all things campanological. The bells themselves form a unique set and represent examples of known English bell founders from around 1630 to Mr Sharpe’s death in 1976. During the recital the team will not only demonstrate the art of handbell ringing but will present a history of the bells, the Launton team and its music.

15th January 2024
From Axtell to Zacharias: The men who built Oxford
Liz Woolley

We welcome back Liz Woolley with another of her fascinating talks on Oxford. Oxford’s population doubled and its footprint almost quadrupled during the Victorian period. This talk examines some of the characters involved in this enormous expansion of the city. They included builders, architects, property developers and landlords. Fortunes were made, reputations were lost, regulations were ignored, and political careers were boosted. Meanwhile grand buildings were erected and tens of thousands of incoming workers and their families were accommodated, many of them in houses which still line Oxford’s streets today, and which change hands at prices which would make the average Victorian artisan faint.

19th February 2024
Oxfordshire on Canvas
Marie-Louise Kerr

Come on a visual tour of Oxfordshire, as we look at local scenes captured by artists and art that has made an impression on our neighbourhood. This talk looks at local scenes and views that have inspired and been painted or drawn by artists (famous and less well known) over the last 200 years. There are also some artworks that are now features of our landscape.

18th March 2024
The Work of the Relieving Officer in Bletchingdon District
Charles Eldridge

The relieving officer’s role was to monitor applications for relief in his parishes and in co-ordination with other parties recommend whether the application should be approved by the Board of Guardians. His role was also to supervise any conveyancing of the poor from the parish to the Workhouse or its Infirmary or on occasion to Littlemore Asylum. Examination of the various records at the Oxfordshire archives will be examined in the talk.

16th September 2024
AGM & On this Day...
Matthew Hathaway

The AGM will be followed by a talk from our newsletter and magazine editor, Matthew Hathaway, outlining events from this day across the years.

18th November 2024
Trench Humour in the First World War
Stephen Barker

Soldiers often turned to humour to alleviate the stress of life in the trenches. Jokes, puns, and satirical songs were a part of the soldiers’ oral culture. Much of the humour was lost on those outside the soldiers’ group, but it resonated with the soldiers and allowed them to cope with the strain of service and combat. This presentation takes a light-hearted look at trench humour in slang and through tunes, cartoons, satirical journals, concert parties and in many other ways.

15th December 2024
Christmas Music & Song Through the Ages
Ian Giles