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Programme for 2016–2017

All meetings start at 7.30 pm in the hall at Radley Primary School, Church Road, Radley (unless otherwise stated).
Monday 12th September AGM followed by a talk by Bryan BrownJohn Henry Brookes, the man who inspired a university
Bryan has written a biography of John Henry Brookes, a driving force behind education in Oxford in the first half of the 20th century and after whom Oxford Brookes University is named. Bryan is an alumnus, Honorary Fellow and advisor to Oxford Brookes University.
Monday 10th October Richard Dudding – The Civil War and Radley Church
It is generally believed that Radley’s church once had a north aisle and transept and that these were destroyed by Parliamentary troops in a Civil War skirmish in 1643. But is there any evidence to support this? Richard Dudding looks at the clues from the Church’s architecture, the archaeology in the graveyard and the Civil War military activity in the Radley area. Richard is the author of Early Modern Radley and one of the contributors to the Club’s book, St James the Great, Radley: The Story of a Village Church (published October 2016)..
Monday 14th November Julie ThorneA Berkshire village, its history and antiquities
Julie Godson’s book, Memories of the Vale, is a new edition of ‘A Berkshire Village: its History and Antiquities’, first published in 1866 by the Reverend Lewin G. Maine, a curate from Stanford-in-the-Vale in what was then, like Radley, in North Berkshire. At a time of rapid change in the English countryside, he sought to record for posterity local people’s recollections of a lost way of life. Copies of Julie’s book will be on sale at the meeting.
Monday 12th December Christmas Dinner
Monday 9th January Colin Carritt Oxfordshire's Volunteers in the Spanish Civil War
A significant number of Oxfordshire people from all walks of life volunteered and went to Spain. Colin Carritt tells us something of their backgrounds and tells the story of his father and an uncle, who both fought as volunteers for the Republican side. Colin is a supporter of the International Brigade Memorial Trust.
Monday 13th February Timothy WalkerThe University of Oxford Botanic Garden: the first 393 years
Timothy Walker was Horti Praefectus of the Oxford Botanic Garden and Harcourt Arboretum from 1988 to 2014. The Oxford Botanic Garden is the oldest in Britain. Since 1621, it has stood on the banks of the River Cherwell in the centre of Oxford. It has evolved from a collection of medicinal herbs for 17th century physicians into the most compact, diverse collection of plants in the world. Some 4,500 species can be seen in a total of In 4½ acres. Timothy’s talk details where the Garden came from and what is done in the past 393 years.
Monday 13th March Members' interests – a chance for members to give a short five or minute talk about a topic, a person or an item of interest to them and which they have researched.
Monday 10th April Rachel EverettWhat's beneath your feet: the archaeology of Radley
Rachel is a history teacher who originally studied archaeology at Southampton University. She has a particular interest in the archaeology of the area and, and among other work, has carried out excavations at Thrupp House Farm, Radley. Rachel is treasurer of the Abingdon Area Archaeological and Historical Society.
Monday 8th May Mark DaviesDaniel Harris: Oxford Castle gaoler extraordinaire
Mark Davies lives on a canal boat in the centre of Oxford and specialises in the history of non-university Oxford and its waterways. Daniel Harris (c.1760–1840) was the governor of the county prison at Oxford Castle from 1786 to 1809 but also had a wider influence on the city. During this period he played a key role of three major projects in Oxford – the building of new county prison, the completion of the Oxford Canal and work to make the Thames more easily navigable to London.
Monday 12th June Liz Woolley The Victorian and Edwardian development of east Oxford
Liz Woolley needs no introduction to members of Radley History Club having given a talk to the Club every year for the past five years. Liz is particularly interested in Oxford’s ‘town’ (as opposed to ‘gown’) history and in people’s everyday lives. In this talk she looks at the development of east Oxford. Until the mid-19th century the land south-east of Magdalen Bridge was mainly open fields with a few isolated farmhouses on the roads leading out to Bartlemas chapel and to the villages of Cowley and Iffley. Enclosure in 1853 led to the rapid development of the area and within 50 years, some 2,500 homes had been built, attracting college servants, skilled artisans, labourers and what the local vicar Father Benson described as ‘the ignorant and rambling poor’.
Monday 10th July Stephen BarkerThe Oxfordshire Home Front 1914-1918
Stephen Barker, a heritage adviser and military historian, is also making a return visit to Radley History Club. His illustrated talk features one aspect of the First World War that typically receives much less attention than the Western Front. This is another front – the Home Front and in particular what was happening in Oxfordshire during this time and what was the impact of the war on Oxfordshire residents.
August No meeting
Monday 11th September 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.
Previous years' programmes