The Museum of Oxford is holding a season of events celebrating the history of pubs and brewing in Oxford’s past.
Pubs have been the hub of the community for generations, and Oxford has its own rich history of pub life. In 1355 a dodgy pint at the Swindlestock Tavern by Carfax sparked two days of rioting between town and gown. Recent history has been happier - Morrells brewery was part of Oxford for over 200 years till it closed in 1998; the Inklings (Tolkein, CS Lewis and others) used to meet in the Eagle and Child; and Aunt Sally still offers a local alternative to the pub darts team in Oxford.
Pub themed events
Museum staff will run story collecting events to help the museum develop its digital archive. Pubs are a central part of our communities, and capturing stories about what they were like and events they witnessed is part of capturing the history of Oxford’s residents.
The schedule kicks off on 8 October with a trivia-filled history of Oxford’s pubs delivered by editor of the Oxford Drinker Dave Richardson at The Castle on Castle Street.
November will see the launch of a month-long fundraising campaign, starting at the Tap Social on 9 November with free family activities and live entertainment. A series of further events are planned throughout November and December. The donations will enable the Museum to create a display that captures the history of pubs and their communities in Oxford’s past.
“Whether we’re there every week or never set foot inside, we all know where the local pub is. They’ve always been part of our communities, and this series of events will give a fascinating look into their history and their place today. I hope plenty of people will get involved to support the museum, whether it’s contributing to the digital histories collection or supporting our fundraising.
“I’m looking forward to the future display. Although most of my Oxford relatives were Methodists and didn’t set foot in pubs, one of my great great uncles was the architect for the Shotover Arms, now the drive-through MacDonalds on the Green Road roundabout, and another relative was the landlord of the Lamb and Flag in St Giles.”
Councillor Mary Clarkson, Cabinet Member for City Centre and Culture