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OUS Oxfordshire

Welcome to the Oxfordshire group of the Oxford University Society (OUS). The group, run by a small volunteer committee, is focused on bringing together alumni of all ages, backgrounds and interests through varied activities and events and aims to keep you informed through our website and other channels.

OUS Oxfordshire events programme
Each year, we offer a programme of events, including country house visits, themed walks an Annual Dinner at one of the Colleges, featuring an eminent guest speaker, and talks, drawing on the wealth of resources that Oxford offers.

In 2016, the guest speaker at our Annual Dinner was Michael Beloff QC and, in 2015, Will Hutton - the distinguished political economist and journalist at the Guardian and Observer. In 2017, the group had the pleasure of hosting the Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Louise Richardson; in 2018, we had the honour of hosting Sir Martin Smith and his wife, joint founders of the Smith School; and, in 2019, we were privileged to be able to entertain Professor Lionel Tarassenko CBE FREng FMedSci .

Get involved

OUS Oxfordshire is a great platform for professional networking and we would love to hear from you if you would like to get involved as a committee member. Please email our Chairman Carl Wells if you are interested in volunteering in our activities.  

The committee meets regularly in central Oxford and welcome ideas and contributions. If you are not already a member and would like to receive notifications of future events, please subscribe to the group's mailing list.

Recent Events

Forthcoming Events in 2020

Saturday, 18 April 2020 - Themed Oxford walk with Alistair Lack

Tuesday, 26 May 2020 - Visit to Ditchley Park in Oxfordshire

Saturday, 27 June 2020 - Annual Dinner at Balliol College (guest speaker TBA)

2014 events

Annual Dinner, St Edmund Hall, 11 July 2014:
On a pleasantly balmy evening, 46 members and guests enjoyed a champagne reception in Front Quad before joining an informative and entertaining tour of the Hall (a distinctive ancient title dating back to the 13th century, before most other Oxford colleges had been founded). An excellent three-course meal was served in the delightful surroundings of Old Dining Hall (1659), complemented by fine port and two excellent guest speakers, who provided further food for thought. Aularian Darrell Barnes, President of the St Edmund Hall Association, spoke passionately about the meaning of alumnism and Christine Fairchild, Director of Alumni Relations at Oxford University, reminded us of the aims of the Alumni Weekend: engage, connect and inspire. A most fitting theme for the evening!

Visit to Nether Winchendon House, 13 June 2014
Thirty members and friends visited Nether Winchendon House, near Aylesbury, on the fine hot summer afternoon of 13 June 2014. The house, a fascinating example of the smaller English country house at its idiosyncratic best - as John Julius Norwich has written - is medieval in origins, but now mainly Tudor with some eighteenth century Gothic additions. The owner, Robert Spencer Bernard, kindly showed us around, and afterwards there was tea in the stables, a chance to see the attractive grounds and to visit the fine church in the village, with its many family monuments. Everyone enjoyed the day enormously.

Real Tennis evening, 8 May 2014 
Some 25 members and guests gathered in Oxford on 8 May 2014 for an evening of Real Tennis, known as the king of all racquet sports and a game where subtlety and thought are more prized than power and fitness! After a brief introduction to the history of the game, which is the original "royal" tennis played in an indoor court with sloping surfaces, galleries, and other unusual features, there was an explanation of the rules, followed by a short demonstration game with the current OURTC Head Professional, Andrew Davis, before members took their turn on court. With all honours strictly even, the evening was rounded off by well-deserved light refreshments.

2013 events

Visit to Mapledurham House, 12 September 2013:
Some 25 members and friends enjoyed a fine outing to Mapledurham House in sunny and warm weather on Thursday 12 September 2013. Situated on the Thames, near Reading and approached down a winding road, the beautiful and relatively unknown late, Elizabethan country house - which has been in the same family since 1490 - is large, imposing and late Elizabethan and packed with interesting objects accumulated over the centuries. There are many family portraits of the Blount family and reminders of their friendship with Alexander Pope. The group also visited the working watermill and ended the visit with a delicious cream tea.

 

Annual Dinner, Jesus College, 28 June 2013:
After an informative tour of the College library and chapel, members and their guest enjoyed pre-dinner drinks in the Second Quad before moving into Hall for a superb three-course meal (prepared by the new female chef at Jesus College who is quite “an Oxford find”), accompanied by wine and ultimately, of course, a toast with port. The delightful evening was a fitting celebration of the sterling efforts of the special guest speaker, Alastair Lack, whose dedicated service over many years as former Secretary and Chair of the group has done much to ensure its present success, and diners were treated to one of his customarily entertaining talks.

2012 events

Talk by Richard Ovenden, Deputy Librarian of the Bodleian, on the future of the New Bodleian - October 2012:
Over 50 members and friends of the group gathered in Convocation House on 9 October, 2012 to hear Richard Ovenden, Deputy Librarian of The Bodleian, give a fascinating lecture on the future of the New Bodleian, which will open in 2015 as the Weston Library, housing The Bodleian's wonderful archive in particular. Richard gave a detailed and enthralling account of the restoration programme and the problems involved. Afterwards, drinks were served in the magnificent setting of The Divinity School.
It was a particular pleasure also to welcome Christine Fairchild, Director of Alumni Relations for the University.

 

Visit to Kelmscott Manor - July 2012:
OUS Oxfordshire - Kelmscott Manor tour July 2012 - The tour begins.
Some 30 members and friends of the Oxfordshire group visited Kelmscott Manor on the Oxfordshire/Gloucestershire border on a glorious day in early July. Kelmscott was the summer home of William Morris and remains a beautiful manor house much as Morris and his wife, Jane and their two daughters would have known. Following coffee and biscuits, the group were given an introductory talk on Morris and Kelmscott. Members then toured the house, gardens and village.
 
 

Annual Dinner - May 2012, Balliol College:
OUS Oxfordshire - May 2012 Dinner. Pre dinner tour of Balliol College
Some 54 members and guests enjoyed a splendid Annual Dinner at Balliol on Friday 25 May. A balmy evening kicked off with a tour of the college and chapel, followed by drinks in the Garden Quad and dinner in the panelled Senior Common Room. We were very fortunate to have Jasper Griffin, emeritus fellow of Balliol and the former Public Orator as our speaker, and he delivered a wise and witty speech on youth and age and Oxford.