May 2017 | Banbury Museum

May 2017

Dear all

Tony Baldry was a very splendid quizmaster at our first history quiz on April 20th – should we be embarrassed that the joint winners were the teams from Bloxham and from Deddington?   I was very surprised at how few people knew where Browns’ cakeshop had been, and again, many of those present couldn’t complete the famous rhyme:

To Banbury came I, O profane one

And there saw I a puritane one.

Who hanged his cat on a Monday

For killing a mouse on a Sunday.’

It was only for fun and I think everyone enjoyed it:  if we ever do this again it would be good to have more BHS members there.


It is May already and our summer visits are filling up but there are still some places available for the following:

Tour of “the Bod” Oxford  2pm Thursday 18th May

The Bodleian Library is one of the oldest libraries in Europe, and second in size only to the British Library with over 12 million printed items. Known to many Oxford scholars simply as ‘the Bod’, these buildings are still used by students and scholars from all over the world.

The  tour will go inside the buildings that form the historic heart of the University, including the 15th century Divinity school, Convocation House, Chancellors Court and Duke Humfrey’s medieval library.

The tour lasts about 60 minutes and there’s a café in the new atrium in the Weston building, Blackwell Hall, where there are temporary exhibitions, and there is also an excellent shop with prints, books, home and fashion items.

Even if you think you know Oxford well there will be surprises on this tour – it really is good.

Cost: entrance and tour £10 .  Places are limited to two groups of 13 – please book with Susan Walker on


Guided Visit to Historic Warwick 10.30 am Saturday June 10th

 led  by Graham Sutherland, A Blue Badge Guide
Meet at the Cape Road Car Park (free at weekends) at 10.30 am.

Cost:   £5 per person for the tour with an additional £2 for admission to St Mary’s Church, both  payable on the day.     Members may bring guests.

Places are limited to 20 so please book with  David Pym on


Kenilworth Elizabethan Gardens tour  2pm Thursday 6th July

A guide will lead our group through the Norman Keep and into the newly recreated Elizabethan Garden, just as Queen Elizabeth I would have entered the private garden created in 1575 by Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester. Our guide will explain the inspiration behind this project and the recreation of the 16th-century fountain, aviary and four obelisks, as well as the search for Tudor plants, flowers and birds. This tour will also shed light on the love story between Elizabeth I and Robert Dudley and her spectacular visit to Kenilworth Castle, when Robert would attempt to win his Queen’s heart. 

The tour lasts around 45 minutes and afterwards you will have the opportunity to explore the remains of the castle including John of Gaunt’s Great Hall, one of the finest of its kind;  tea will be available in the Stables Tearoom, a magnificent Tudor timber-framed building.

Cost: entrance and tour £12 and for English Heritage members (entrance is free) £3 for the tour.   There are 30 places- please book with Susan Walker on


Our final event of this season (we’re all allowed to have August off) is the Annual General Meeting which will take place on Tuesday  11th July 2017 at 5.30pm in the church of St Peter and St Paul, Swalcliffe, (by kind permission of the rector) followed by refreshments in Swalcliffe Barn.

Swalcliffe church is one of Oxfordshire’s oldest.  There are only a few architectural clues to its Saxon origins inside but it was a Saxon ‘minster’ at the centre of a large ‘parochia’ and it continued to have a very large parish into modern times.  The huge tithe barn is one of the best in the county and dates from c.1400.

Directions:  Swalcliffe is on the B4035 Banbury to Shipston-on-Stour road.  The church is in the middle of the village – you can’t miss it. NB there are 17 steps up to the church.  Parking is difficult near the church but the tithe barn is 150 yards further up the road and has plenty of parking so we suggest you park there and walk back down. 

You will all have received the official notice and agenda in Cake & Cockhorse.   This will be my third AGM as Chair so my term of office will be coming to a close and we shall elect another chair at our first committee meeting in September.  At the AGM we shall elect our secretary, treasurer and the committee, and I am hoping that Simon and Geoff will continue in their respective roles, but if there are any other nominations for Secretary, Treasurer or Committee members please send them to Simon Townsend,  Secretary  (c/o Banbury Museum or   New ideas and fresh faces are always welcome on the committee, so if you have a bit of time and are interested in taking the society forward do please get in touch.

Your committee will be meeting at the end of next week and we would welcome any feedback from members:  the last season of lectures;  the summer outings offered;  the Museum as a venue;  the website which has just been redesigned and updated;  Cake & Cockhorse;   we shall also be considering how to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the society so any ideas for this would be welcome too.


Now for some other events which you might be interested in:  on Sunday, May 14th, between 2 and 4pm, in the Village Hall, for the first time in three years, Eydon’s Historical Research Group will be holding an exhibition.  Photos from our latest research; a chance to browse the Photo Archive Albums, and videos from recent fetes and street parties.  Admission is free.  They will be launching their 10th booklet of local history research.

All BHS members are automatically members of OLHA and there are still spaces left on OLHA’s Spring Study Day and an extra illustrated talk has been added to the programme (at no extra cost):  This study day is in Stanford-in-the-vale on Saturday 20th May.
OLHA’s Chairman Tony Hadland will speak on
Papists at the Manor: The Catholic Gentry of the Vale of White Horse.

Click here for a revised programme, and here to book (or download a booking form here)

I am also highlighting this link to OLHA’s latest bulletin, which has all sorts of good information about events, conferences, talks and exhibitions happening in Oxfordshire. 


with best wishes

Deborah Hayter