Abingdon Area Archaeological and Historical Society

  Meetings Programme 2020-21

Welcome to our meetings page. Our year runs from September through till June. At the moment all our presentations will be on Zoom and are open to members who will be sent invitations to join. We plan to have live meetings again as soon as we feel they will be viable. 

We will be adding to this page with updates and further information as soon as we have it. 

 Thursday 17th September 2020 

This will be our first online meeting and will be via Zoom. Invitations will be sent to members the day before. Please make sure we have your latest email. 

Annual General Meeting (AGM) starting at 7.45 with sign in starting at 7.35 p.m. 

The AGM will be followed by the talk by Bob Evans

 'The Bayworth Coal Mine Débâcle. The Cautionary Tale of a 19th-Century Local Landowner'. 

Bob Evans

Bob was Regius Professor of History at Oxford until his retirement, and specialised in the post-medieval history of east-central Europe. He has now added to this a current interest in the past of Abingdon and its area, especially the village of Sunningwell. He is a past Chairman of AAAHS. 

 
 

 

 


Thursday 15th October 2020 

This online meeting will be the second of our Society's Zoom talks available to our members. It will take about 30 minutes. Invitations will be sent to members the day before, do look out for them.  Please make sure we have your latest email. 
Have you investigated if you can plug your computer into your television? You could then watch from your lounge.

A talk and presentation by John Foreman starting at 7.45 p.m. with sign-in starting at 7.40 p.m. 

 'The history of the Spring Road Cemetery and a detailed look at a few of the graves there'. 

The Spring Road Cemetery in Abingdon is typical of the many municipal Victorian graveyards that were established around the same time. This talk will look at why this is so and also look in detail at a few of the graves there.

John Foreman

 

John Foreman is the Chairman of AAAHS and is interested in family and social history, which both feature strongly in this talk.

 
 
  
 

 Thursday 19th November 2020 
 
This online Zoom presentation is available to our members. It will take about 50 minutes. Invitations will be sent to members the day before, do look out for them.  Please make sure we have your latest email. 

We will start letting members in from the waiting room at 7.40 p.m. and the meeting will start at 7.45 p.m.

AAARP 

The Appleton Area Archaeology project is a large landscape archaeology project focusing on the ridge area south-west of Oxford. Until recently almost no archaeological research at all had been done in this significant Thames-border region and the results of the project’s work so far have challenged many assumptions made about the area. It is unusual in its lack of Roman archaeology, early Anglo-Saxon potential, mix of village types and wealth of moated manors. Has this character been shaped by the area’s strategic location by the Thames and across some of the most important approaches to the Oxford area?

J Harrison

 

Jane Harrison is Senior Tutor and Research Associate at OUDCE and a Visiting Fellow at the University of Newcastle and has run excavations across the UK, in particular in Orkney and Oxfordshire. She specialises in the Viking/Early Medieval period, in buildings and landscape archaeology and in the creation of major community-focused research projects.

 
 

Thursday 17th December 2020

A Zoom talk and presentation starting at 7.45 p.m. with sign-in starting at 7.40 p.m. The invitations will go out the day before.

Martin Buckland: Canal People

Canal People
 

Martin Buckland

 

Martin Buckland has been interested in Industrial Archaeology from the age of 4 when watching Great Western trains with his Dad at Iver where he was born. Nearly seven decades later he is involved with the Great Western Society at Didcot Railway Centre and with the restoration of the Wilts & Berks and other canals.He gives talks at Abingdon Museum to primary school children about what it was like to live on a working narrow boat and leads walks along the historic and proposed routes of the Wilts & Berks Canal and another covering the rivers of Abingdon. He is a valued member of AAAHS.

 


 Thursday 21st January 2021 

This online Zoom presentation is available to our members. It will take about 50 minutes. Invitations will be sent to members the day before, do look out for them.  Please make sure we have your latest email. 

We will start letting members in from the waiting room at 7.40 p.m. and the meeting will start at 7.45 p.m.

Ian Wheeler: Four Generations at Fairmile

Fairmile hospital ward

If the term ‘lunatic asylum’ sends shivers of dread down your spine, be ready to adjust your perceptions. Consider the alternatives and try to understand that the Victorian asylum system was a well-founded effort to tackle mental illness head-on through compassion, diligent care and research. No mental institution was ever entirely sweetness and harmony but these places made possible valuable and largely unrecognised advances in mental health care. This illustrated talk examines Fair Mile’s foundation, growth and methods through the eyes of nine of its former employees. 

Ian Wheeler picture

 

 

Ian Wheeler was not only a Cholsey kid, but actually lived at Fair Mile Hospital for the first three months of his life. This distinction, plus long-term family associations with the hospital, led to the publication of his book Fair Mile Hospital: a Victorian Asylum in 2015. Now busily retired, Ian’s ‘portfolio’ career has included sales, purchasing, computer systems, train driving, health & safety, quality assurance and editing for a major academic publisher. In quieter moments, Ian is a performing folk musician and enjoys model railways, morris dancing and good beer – although not necessarily in that order. 


Thursday 18th February 2021 

This online Zoom presentation is available to our members. It will take about 50 minutes. Invitations will be sent to members the day before, do look out for them.  Please make sure we have your latest email. 

We will start letting members in from the waiting room at 7.40 p.m. and the meeting will start at 7.45 p.m.

 David Taylor: The Army in Didcot

soldiers in didcot

This talk explores the reason why in 1914 Didcot was chosen by the Military for the Ordnance Depot and Army Barracks  and its use during both World Wars. The demilitarisation and its post-war rundown and how it became becoming the site of the Power Station will be covered along the with the present Army Barracks in Didcot.

 

David Taylor

 

After working for 42 years mostly in the Cryogenic Engineering industry, for the past 5 years David worked part time in various disciplines, one being 10 years as a tour Guide with City Sightseeing. He has lived locally all his life and has lived in Didcot for the past 40 years. David is currently Chairman of the Didcot and District Archaeological and Historical Society. 


Thursday 18th March 2021

This online Zoom presentation is available to our members. It will take about 50 minutes. Invitations will be sent to members the day before, do look out for them.  Please make sure we have your latest email. 

We will start letting members in from the waiting room at 7.40 p.m. and the meeting will start at 7.45 p.m.

Marie-Louise Kerr: Oxfordshire on canvas

The landscape and cityscapes of Oxfordshire have inspired artists for centuries. In this talk, Marie-Louise Kerr will explore a selection of artwork connected to our local area by a range of artists, from oil paintings and pencil sketches, to sculpture and stained glass. 

Marie Louise Kerr

 

After studying at the Universities of St. Andrews and Newcastle Marie-Louise Kerr has had a very interesting career working as a Curator at Hampton Court Palace, Special Exhibition Curator at the History of Science Museum, and a Museum Officer at Chester Museum and is now a Museum advisor at Wallingford Museum.

 

 


 Thursday 15th April 2021

This online Zoom presentation is available to our members. It will take about 50 minutes. Invitations will be sent to members the day before, do look out for them.  Please make sure we have your latest email. 

We will start letting members in from the waiting room at 7.40 p.m. and the meeting will start at 7.45 p.m.

Salt ProductionDr Janice Kinory: Salt Production, Distribution and Use in Prehistoric and Roman Britain

Nowadays we rarely think too much about salt unless we are told we need to cut back because of our health. In the past access to salt could be a matter of life and death. This talk will discuss the archaeology of salt in prehistoric Britain from the Bronze Age to the arrival of the Romans. Topics covered include how salt was made, how it may have been distributed and its many uses in the distant (and not so distant) past.

Janice Kinory

 

Dr Janice Kinory is a Research Associate at the University of Oxford School of Archaeology.

 

 


 Thursday 20th May 2021

This online Zoom presentation is available to our members. It will take about 50 minutes. Invitations will be sent to members the day before, do look out for them.  Please make sure we have your latest email. 

We will start letting members in from the waiting room at 7.40 p.m. and the meeting will start at 7.45 p.m.

Railway to OxfordLiz Wooley: The coming of the Railway to Oxford

The railway arrived relatively late in Oxford, partly due to the objections of the university, which feared for the morals of its students. When it did come, however, it had profound effects on the city physically, economically and socially. This talk includes the story of how a house made of paper almost delayed the building of Oxford’s first line; of the station erected by the engineers of Crystal Palace; and of how the railway affected the coaching, river and canal trades, industries like brewing and marmalade-making, and the development of Oxford’s “base and brickish skirt”.

Liz Wooley

 

Liz has lived in Oxford since 1984. She completed an MSc in English Local History (with Distinction) at the University of Oxford’s Department for Continuing Education in 2009, having gained a Diploma (also with Distinction) in the same subject in 2007. She is an experienced speaker, guide, tutor, researcher and writer who is keen to help individuals and groups to enjoy finding out about the history of their local area.