August 2015 | Banbury Museum

August 2015

We welcomed David Pym and Susan Walker

We had a good finish to the society’s activities with our AGM on the 23rd July at Tudor Hall, in the 19th-century ballroom.

Jeremy Gibson and Beryl Hudson both stood down from the committee and we welcomed David Pym and Susan Walker.  Our President, Lord Saye & Sele, paid tribute to Jeremy as a ‘legendary figure’ in Oxfordshire and Banbury history. Jeremy was a founding member of the society and he was largely responsible for ensuring that the research that was being done got published. The impressive number of records publications produced by the society we think is extremely unusual, if not unique, for a society smaller than county-wide. He will still be working on his volume on Georgian Banbury, and luckily the computer and the internet mean that distance doesn’t matter in many ways, but we shall miss his presence at meetings and his skills. We wish him well in his ‘retirement’ to Romsey.

The society is also grateful to Jeremy for the donation of his extensive Banburyshire and Oxfordshire library which he has decided to hand over now rather than moving it all to Romsey. Some of us spent a busy morning packing it all up and transferring the boxes to the Museum. We have yet to discuss with Simon exactly how it is going to be housed and how to organize access to it, but it will be a marvellous resource for BHS members. I had to exercise extreme self-control not to keep dipping into interesting volumes as they went into the boxes. I could see that I could produce Snippets from the Archives for several years from these.

At the AGM we also thanked Beryl Hudson for the many years that she had organized summer outings and excursions for us. Society members were given the opportunity to visit many good country houses and other interesting historical sites, and we plan to continue this tradition. 

We look forward to seeing lots of members at the first meeting of the new season on September 10th, when we have Dr. Jonathan Healey, from the Oxford University Dept of Continuing Education, to talk to us.  His title is ‘The Tymes being soe Hard with Poore People’ : Economic crises and poor relief in England 1598 -1730′ . They didn’t talk about ‘benefit dependency’ then and there were no official ‘food banks’ but in many ways the problems remain the same – a fascinating topic. Don’t forget we begin the season with a glass of wine from 6.30 pm.

I have a few messages to pass on to members:

I have been contacted by Paul Boscott ( This Alcan Die making milling machine has now been replaced in my workshop by a CNC machine. I have offered it to Banbury Museum but they do not want it. Before I scrap it has anyone got a sensible home for it? It was Made by Krupps in 1930’s and was part of their installation of number 3 Press. The story goes that the technicians that installed it were interred for the duration of  WW2. I bought it from Alcan in 1965 when the tool room was moved and by then the Sparkatrons and NC milling had taken over the task of die making.  Contact him if you are interested. He sent a photo too which he could send to anyone who wanted to see it.

From the National Archives:  In 1939, on the eve of the Second World War, the government introduced an act that would allow them to gather vital information about the country’s population. This information would inform decisions on identity cards and rationing.

In 2015 Findmypast, in partnership with The National Archives, are publishing the Register online, for the first time. The 1939 Register provides unprecedented insight into a country on the verge of war, and bridges the gap in Census records caused by this war. You can sign up to receive updates on the release of the Register from Findmypast.

Antony Farnath ( is convening a international conference of the Blencowe Families Association at the Whately Hall Hotel in Banbury from the 24th to the 28th June 2016.  He would like to hear from anyone with Blencowe (Blencoe/Blinco etc) connections or interests. The University of the Third Age (U3A) Banbury Group would welcome BHS members to their meetings, where they have a variety of speakers, some of them on historical subjects.  Their first meeting is on September 14th,  at St. Joseph’s Church Hall, Edmunds Road, when they will have Roger Shaw talking about the Oregon Trail, describing how 400,000 pioneers spent 6 harrowing months making their way 2000 miles over the mountains with 20,000 dying of cholera on the way. Meetings start promptly at 2.30 with doors open from 1 pm.  More information from their website. 

Have a happy summer and I look forward to seeing lots of you at meetings through the next year.

Deborah Hayter