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Clanfield and Bampton Historical Society

2015/2016 Season

The society was founded as the Clanfield Historical Society on September 26 1960 at a meeting in the Methodist Hall chaired by Rev. Oxley.

Ernest Pocock was elected the first treasurer and Dorothy Wise in her absence was elected as secretary.

Bampton was added during 2010/11.

Although Mrs Wise only stayed in the position of secretary for two years, her pearls of historical wisdom have over the intervening years graced the pages of the Clanfield What!

​The Historical Society was once described as being a "friendly meeting of like minded people with a common interest". That remains its objective with everyone welcome.

Clanfield and Bampton Historical Society


The society’s programme of talks for the season 2015-16, which are listed below, will, I hope, provide something for everyone with an interest in history, travel, the county’s social life – or drinking. 


We have kept the membership fee for the season at £20, with visitors welcome to individual talks at £4 a time: both include a glass of wine or soft drink at our usual get-together at the end of each meeting.


All meetings start at 7.30pm, and will be in the Carter Institute, Clanfield, except for those on March 16th and May 18th, both Wednesdays, which will be in the Bampton Village Hall. Whether you are a regular, or merely want to look in and see if this is for you, I shall be delighted to see you.

For further Information please contact either Alan Smith(Chairman) on 01367 810245 or Raena Farley(Hon.Sec and Treasurer) on 01367 810604




October 20 –Muriel Pilkington: ‘The Lost Railways of Oxfordshire’.

Muriel Pilkington, who has entertained the society with talks on subjects as diverse as the Mitford sisters and the Burford Mutiny, will talk about ‘how the railways came to Oxfordshire, and the gradual development of the branchline network across the county. We look of the heydays of the system and then the reasons for its gradual demise. However, the story is not ended and railways may still have a future’.


November 17 – Andrew Sargent: ‘The Observer Observed: the photography of John Gay’.

Andrew Sargent, who wrote a book on John Gay for English Heritage, says: ‘John Gay (1909-1999) was one of a generation of German émigrés who made an immense contribution to British culture and academic life and at the height of his career he was one of the most respected photographers in the country. His stimulating perspective was to see England through the eyes of a foreigner, an observer on the outside looking in. Many of his photographs can be read as attempts to capture the essence of Englishness’.


February 16 – Martin Way: ‘The Golden Age of Coaching’.

Martin Way, a local historian whose popular talks range chronologically from the Romans to the early days of RAF Brize Norton, and just as wide in context, says: ‘The height of the coaching era is generally reckoned to be from 1784, when the first Royal Mail coaches ran, to 1823, and the opening of the Stockton and Darlington Railway. My talk, which will extend beyond those dates, will make special reference to the Oxford-Gloucester road, highwaymen and turnpikes’.


March 16 – Christine Gadsby: ‘The Ladies of Blenheim’.

Christine Gadsby, a long-serving lecturer and guide at Blenheim Palace, notes that: ‘The Ladies of Blenheim have always played a large part in the history of this great house, which was the prize to John Churchill for his great victory over Louis XIV at Blenheim in 1704. The fascinating and engaging stories of the Ladies of Blenheim, of royal favourites, artists and writers, dedicated wives and mothers and society hosts throw a new light on the times in which they lived.


April 19 - Anthony Hall: ‘The History of Champagne’.

Anthony Hall, among other things a stalwart of the Bampton Classical Opera, is more usually seen (or rather not much seen) by members of the society manipulating the splendid sound and vision system at Bampton Village Hall, but will come front of stage in Clanfield to explain: ‘Who put the bubbles in the bottle? Learn how the English have played a leading role in the development and consumption of Champagne’.


May 18 – Mark Davies: ‘A Literary Tour of Oxfordshire Waterways’.

Mark Davies, a popular Oxford historian and guide whose last talk to us was about the Welsh connection to Jesus College, writes: ‘From Chaucer’s pilgrims to Jerome’s ‘Three Men’ and Tom Brown’s higher education, via the children’s classics of Alice and The Wind in the Willows, and the more recent ‘gyptians’ of Philip Pullman’s Dark Materials, the rivers and canal of Oxford feature in innumerable works of classic and lesser-known literature. An alternative, sometimes whimsical, history of Oxford, revealed in a virtual cruise inspired by the descriptions of writers across the centuries.


June 21 – AGM and dinner.


Contacts: Alan Smith (chairman: tel. 01367 810245. Email: Raena Farley (Hon. Sec. & Treasurer: 01367 810604)


Clanfield and Bampton Histoical Society 2015/2016 Season

Following Liz Woolley's talk on 21 October 2014, Janet Rouse has kindly allowed us to place the following interviews made with past evacuees to Clanfield and Bampton on our website. The recordings were made during 2003.

Special Feature. Interviews with Evacuees to Clanfield and Bampton.

Albert Chambers. An Evacuee to Clanfield .

A Personal Record.

1 Hour

Joyce Cotter. An Evacuee to Bampton.

25 Minutes

Nellie Newman(nee Beckinsale)

Below Stairs at Weald Manor.

The War

Wellington Crash.Evacuees

American Children

Recorded September 9 2003 .40 Minutes

Edie Quick with Ruth and Cyril Wheeler

The downside of evacuees

Edie on the bombing of Plymouth

German bodies an a Norfolk beach

Cyril on cobbling

Recorded 2003 37minutes.

Ruth Wheeler & Edie Quick talk about Evacuees who came to Bampton.

Recorded November 6 2003. 25 Minutes

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