The Manchester group organises several events for members each year – typically these include an informal meal and a speaker from Oxford, a May Bank Holiday walk, a visit to a place of historic interest and a lecture in the autumn.


The following events are being planned. 

  • Summer visits 

In July, we will be going to Bramall Hall, the Tudor Manor House in Stockport, Greater Manchester, for a guided tour followed by lunch.

We are expecting to have a further event later in the summer. 


  • Autumn Lecture 

As usual, we expect to hold an Autumn lecture given by a speaker with Oxford connections. 


Details of these events will be sent out to our membership approximately 6 weeks before each event. To find out more about our events, please email the group's Secretary, giving your contact details, Alumni number, Oxford college, subject and year of matriculation, so that we can add you to our mailing list and keep you informed.

May Bank Holiday Walk 2024

A party of almost 20 members and friends enjoyed our traditional May Bank Holiday walk, this time in the White Peak of Derbyshire near Tideswell, north of Bakewell, ably organised by our former treasurer, Chris Hirst. Once again, the weather was kind.


In a walk of 6.5 miles, we climbed gently up to Litton, a neat little village around 1,000 ft above sea level. From there it was downhill through Tansley Dale and along Cressbrook Dale to the village of Cressbrook, which overlooks the eponymous textile mill, now converted into a block of flats.



After walking up through the village, we descended to Litton Mill, another one-time textile mill, which had a particularly unsavoury record for the treatment of its workforce. After a walk along the river Wye, we returned to Litton Mill and then walked back up Tideswell Dale.

Then we had lunch, joined by a small number of other members, in the splendid Anchor Inn at Litton, which has been an alehouse since 1699. A popular calling place for carriers and pack horses, it became a principal coaching inn.


AGM and Informal Dinner February 2024

Our year got off to a strong start with our AGM on February 21st, followed by a two-course meal and a lively talk on ‘The Secret Medical History of JFK’ by Alan Silman, Professor of Musculoskeletal Health at the University of Oxford and Senior Research Fellow at Green Templeton College.  For the first time the event was held at Stockport Guildhall.

Alan is a former government adviser on chronic disorders and hugely knowledgeable about famous people’s illnesses. Alan contended that John F. Kennedy, a war hero and the youngest president in US history, had health problems so severe as to make him unfit for office, if the public had known about them. Among these was a back problem stemming from a football injury at Harvard which involved three operations, including having a metal plate fused to his spine. He wore a brace and spent the rest of his life in agony.

John F Kennedy using crutches

He also had Addison’s Disease, a disorder of the adrenal glands, causing fatigue and weight loss, plus other diseases such as osteoporosis, bowel problems and inflammation of the prostate. His problems may even have played a part in his assassination: after the first bullet struck his shoulder, his back brace meant he could not dodge the second bullet to his head.


Autumn Lecture 2023: Martin Sixsmith - Lessons of the Cold War.

Our autumn lecture was by author, journalist and Russia expert Martin Sixsmith on ‘Lessons of the Cold War’, based on his research into the psychology of leaders and the public during that traumatic era – a topic of direct relevance today as war rages in Ukraine.

While people tend to think of the Cold War as a clash of ideologies and political systems, ‘the main battle was the human mind’, said Martin to a packed lecture theatre. ‘The aim was to control not just territory and resources, but loyalties, beliefs and the nature of reality. Both sides used psychological tricks and fake news to shape thinking.’

martin sixsmith pic

Using contemporary TV clips, he examined the mental stresses of leaders such as Khruschev, Stalin, Brezhnev, Nixon, Reagan and Gorbachev. He also described the times when the world came scarily close to nuclear war during decades of mutual incomprehension. ‘Both sides were convinced that the other was bent on world domination and both insisted that their own intentions were peaceful and that their massive arsenals of guns and missiles were defensive, but neither was willing or able to accept that that might just possibly be true of the other side also.’

Martin pointed out that nuclear missiles are still pointed at our cities and ‘our lives still depend on the quirks, paranoia and anxieties of the men and women who lead us’.

Freshers Event September 2023

In September we held our annual Freshers’ Meeting, which was once again generously hosted by Eversheds Sutherland at their Manchester office. A panel of five current undergraduates gave presentations and answered questions from an excited group of thirty-six freshers representing twenty-one degree subjects and twenty-one different colleges.

freshers event sept2023

The presentations covered many aspects of academic and social life and then the floor was open for questions which this year centred on study skills and time management. After the formal proceedings there was time for lively conversations as freshers discovered others from their future subjects and colleges, or quizzed the panel members further on all aspects of Oxford life.

Visit to Haworth Art Gallery, Accrington – September 2023

A group of twenty-eight members visited the wonderful Haworth Art Gallery in Accrington, Europe’s largest collection of Tiffany glass in Lancashire’s finest Arts & Crafts house and garden – a hidden gem and a perfect place to be on a hot September day.

After a soup-and-sandwich lunch provided by the Gallery Kitchen, curators Samantha and Gillian explained the history of the house and its famous collection of glass from the studio of New York’s Louis Comfort Tiffany (1848-1933), who was associated with the Art Nouveau and Aesthetic movements.

Tiffany glass

The collection has 150 pieces comprising almost every type of Tiffany glass, the gift of Accrington-born designer Joseph Briggs, who worked for Tiffany for forty years. Briggs rose from being an apprentice to a top designer. In the dark days of the 1930s, he sent a large collection of unsold items back to Accrington.

known as ‘the Yorkshire Lutyens’ or ‘the Lutyens of the north’

The house was built in 1909 for cotton manufacturer William Haworth and his sister Anne, designed by York architect Walter Brierley, known as ‘the Yorkshire Lutyens’ or ‘the Lutyens of the north’. It was bequeathed to the people of Accrington in 1920 and stands in nine acres of handsome parkland.

If you live in or near Greater Manchester and wish to be kept in touch with OUS Manchester group events, please email the group's Secretary and ask to be added to the contact list.