Each year in late September, just before the start of Michaelmas Term, the Group holds a social event which is open to all Hampshire-based Oxford candidates who have achieved a place at Oxford (both undergraduate and postgraduate), and who will be going up to Oxford in the next week or two. The Chairman and other group members host the event, together with a few current undergraduates from Hampshire who kindly come along to chat to Freshers about their experiences at Oxford. About 30 Freshers attend and clearly enjoy and appreciate the event, which is intended to give them the opportunity to meet and chat with other Freshers, and also to hear a bit about what they will experience in their first year at Oxford from those who have just been through it themselves. In 2020 the Group managed very successfully to hold this event online with the help of Zoom and are actively considering repeating the online format, which made the event accessible to Freshers from all corners of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
Recent events, usually held in April/May, have included talks from:
- Dr Timothy Hands, Headmaster of Winchester College on a range of educational matters (2017)
- Sir Ivor Roberts, President of Trinity, on ‘Conversations with Milosevic and other war criminals’ (2016)
- Lord (Robin) Butler of Brockwell, on 'My Life with Five Prime Ministers' (2015)
The group has, in recent years, organised summer excursions to the Watts Gallery and Artists’ Village near Guildford; Chichester (for a guided tour of the cathedral and a lecture at the Pallant House Gallery); Wilton House near Salisbury, Petworth; and Chawton House Library, each with separate guided tours for participating members and including a lunch. The 2018 excursion was a day excursion to the Isle of Wight, to visit the recently re-opened home of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, Farringford, and also Osborne House.
Recent autumn lectures (usually held in October, in Winchester) have included as speakers:
- Professor Anne Deighton, Emeritus Fellow of Wolfson College Oxford, and Professor of European International Politics in the Department of Politics and International Relations at Oxford
- Dame Helen Ghosh, Director General of the National Trust
- Professor Alan Barr (Head of Particle Physics at Oxford and Fellow of Merton College)
- Dame Jessica Rawson, Warden of Merton College
- Giles Henderson, CBE, Master of Pembroke College, talking about his experiences as a Head of House (2013)