April 2015 | Banbury Museum

April 2015

Historical Artefacts Quiz

Our next activity takes place next week when we are holding a Historical Artefacts Quiz and I hope that lots of you will be coming and bringing lots of interesting objects for others to identify.

There will be a small prize for the most interesting object and another for the best set of guesses. We will start at 7.30 but if you are bringing something please arrive with it between 7 and 7.30 pm. We would like to have the tables complete with all the mystery artefacts by 7.30. There will be a glass of wine on offer and we hope that fun will be had by all.

The Parsons Street backsides redevelopment:  there is progress on this front and we are hoping that volunteers from the Oxfordshire Buildings Record will be able to begin some surveys of the buildings there soon.  You will all be aware that the frontages in Parsons Street are mostly 19th and 20th century, but we think there may be older buildings hidden behind or within and we are hoping there will be some interesting discoveries. Members of the society have already put together data from some of the documentary sources, such as the census, which give us information about some of the trades and businesses being carried out there, and we have scoured the archaeological record, but we have very little information so far about what was going on there in the medieval and early modern periods.

Have we any steam engine enthusiasts among our members? I have been sent some information by Rob Kinchin-Smith of the Civic Society about the proposed demolition of Banbury’s last substantially intact Victorian agricultural engineering works – Barrow’s Cherwell Iron works. The building is only locally listed, but is in the Oxford Canal conservation area. Banbury Civic Society has lodged an objection, as has the Association for Industrial Archaeology, the National Traction Engine trust and English Heritage. BHS does not normally get involved in planning matters but it would be helpful for any interested members to point out the historical significance of the site to Banbury’s lost agricultural engineering industry. Comments may be made via Cherwell’s planning portal or by email. It will go before the planning committee on 16th April but it would be good to comment ASAP.

The British Association for Local History will be holding their Local History Day on Saturday June 6th  in Birmingham when the annual lecture will be given by Professor Angus Winchester of the University of Lancaster. His subject will be ‘By ancient right or custom’: the local history of common land in a European context.’ He is an excellent speaker and it is a fascinating topic. To find out more about the day, and how to book, go to the BALH website.

Our first summer outing will be on Thursday14th May at 2.30 pm a the National Waterways Museum at Stoke Bruerne. The museum holds a fascinating collection relating to the Grand Union Canal and the Oxford Navigation. This visit will include (if wanted) a half-hour trip on a narrow boat to the entrance to Blisworth Tunnel and/or walks along the towpath.

Full details about access and directions to get there are on the back of the current Cake & Cockhorse.

Those of you who heard Stephen Wass’ terrific talk about the garden archaeology in the grounds of Farnborough Hall will be looking forward to our visit on June 18th at 2.30 pm, when he will be leading a walk around it, starting at the carpark. For those not wishing a long walk there will be an initial short walk followed by a longer exploration. Rough grass is to be expected so boots or stout shoes recommended.

Our AGM will take place in July – date and place to be confirmed.

Best wishes Deborah Hayter

Deborah Hayter