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OUS Oxfordshire

Welcome to the Oxfordshire group of the Oxford University Society (OUS). Run by a small, enthusiastic group of volunteers, OUS Oxfordshire is focused on bringing together alumni of all ages, backgrounds and interests through activities and event and keeping you informed through our website and other channels.

OUS Oxfordshire events programme
Like other groups, each year we seek to offer a programme of events, which typically includes visits and walks and dinners and talks, drawing on the wealth of alumni and resources that the University of Oxford community offers.

Last year's Annual Dinner at Wadham College featured a short tour and talk offering a fascinating insight into the College and Chapel, followed by the dinner and guest speaker, Louise Richardson, the Vice Chancellor. We also ran our very successful historically-themed walking tours of Oxford, hosted by former OUS Oxfordshire Chairman Alastair Lack.

Other events have included quiz nights, visits to historical houses, and various sport-themed events.  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.

Hutton, who is also Principal of Hertford College and Chair of the Big Innovation Centre, spoke with characteristic passion about a range of topics, including innovation, and his views stimulated thoughtful questions and further debate. Formal proceedings at that event were rounded off by a brief update from the Oxford Alumni Office.

Get in touch and join us

OUS Oxfordshire is your platform for professional networking in Oxfordshire and we would love to hear from you, and get you involved in our work and activities. Please email group chairman Carl Wells if you are interested in volunteering at whatever level.  

We meet regularly as a group in central Oxford and welcome ideas and contributions. If you are not already a member of the group and would like to join its mailing list and receive notifications about future events, please subscribe to the group's mailing list.

Recent Events

Forthcoming Events

Friday 6 July 2018: Annual dinner
Time: 6.30pm - 10.30pm
VenueSt Edmund Hall, Queen’s Lane, Oxford OX1 4AR
Details: Join the group for their annual dinner with special guests Sir Martin and Lady Elise Smith, founder of Oxford’s Smith School of Entrepreneurship and the Environment, former Chairperson of the National Opera, City Grandee, and Conductor Extraordinaire.
The evening will comprise a prosecco reception in the college grounds, followed by a three-course meal with fine wines and port, prepared by a Michelin/Egon Ronay starred chef in the wonderful Old Dining Hall, dating from the 1650s.
Download the menu.
Cost: £75
RSVP date: Please RSVP by Friday, 29 June 2018 at the latest.
To book for the event, please download and complete the booking form and return it to the address stated on the form, together with your payment. For any enquiries, please email group chairman Carl Wells.

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!

You can find a slide show of further informal photos from the event here.


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 June 13 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 round, 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 Branch 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 branch gathered in Convocation House on 9th October, 2012 to hear Richard Ovenden, Deputy Librarian of The Bodleian, give a fascinating PowerPoint 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 thirty members and friends of the Oxfordshire branch 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 fifty- four 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.