Historical Society

Olveston Parish Historical Society

2014 - 15 PROGRAMME 

Please scroll down to find the programme for the 2014-15 season.

The Society 

The society was formed in 1966 to "promote interest in the history of Olveston and the surrounding areas and to collect and preserve documentary and photographic records". The Society meets at the Methodist Hall on the first Wednesday of each month from October to April with guest speakers on topics as diverse as The Severn Channel during the Ice Age and Concorde. In the summer months we usually have two or three field trips, often following up talks given during the previous winter. Visitors are always welcomed and, more often than not, recruited.

You can use the menu buttons on the left hand side (under Historical Society) to find out more about:

  • the history and historic buildings of Olveston Parish
  • the Society's publications
  • and various local historical organisations.

This photo shows some OPHS members taking part in a historical walk around Aust, guided by Society Archivist, Eric Garrett.

OPHS trip to Aust 

Contact details for Olveston Parish Historical Society

  • Chairman of Society, principal contact and holder of the society's publications:  Les Harper  01454 612304
  • Society Archivist:  Eric Garrett  01454 613019
  • Programme Secretaries:  Jenny & Richard Newley  01454 202011 
  • Membership Secretary & Treasurer: Anne Young  01454 412528  




Wed. 1 Oct 2014

Following a very short AGM, Pat Denney will tell us about the history of The Merchant Venturers of Bristol from their charter in 1552 to the present day.

Wed. 5 Nov. 2014

Note: This meeting will be held in Olveston School Hall.

Eric Garrett has been hard at work researching a new book about Olveston parish in the First World War. Tonight he'll be giving us an illustrated talk and launching his new book From Olveston to Aleppo which reminds us that this was a world war and that local people were far from home during this conflict.

Wed. 3 Dec. 2014

While strenuous efforts were being made in the early 1900s to achieve justice for women in the political arena, what were the characteristics of ordinary women's working lives? Prof. June Hannam will analyse Women's Work in Bristol in the Early 20th Century.

Wed. 7 Jan. 2015

Dr. Tim Bowly, a retired aerospace engineer, now with a doctorate in history, will tell us about The Tudor Navy from the Mary Rose to the Armada.

Wed. 4 Feb. 2015

In a change to the advertised programme, Jane Tozer will give us an illustrated talk on medieval royalty.  Stephen and Matilda: Cousins in Conflict will deal with the period covered by the Cadfael novels - but her account, though dramatic, will not be fictional!

Wed. 4 Mar. 2015

In another change to the advertised programme, tonight we shall be welcoming Sue Giddings and her Vintage Films of the South West. Settle back for an evening of nostalgia and popcorn, as Sue shows selections from her father's collection of 16mm documentary films from the 1930s to the 1960s. Remind youself of what farming in the West Country used to be like.  See the first Severn Bridge being built.  And lots more...

Wed. 1 Apr. 2015

Dr. Madge Dresser has recently been editing a book on 'Women and the City: Bristol 1400-2000' and for this meeting will share with us her own researches into Women in Bristol in the Long 18th Century, including the kinds of work carried out by women of 'the middling sort'.


All events (except that on 5 November 2014, which will be held in the Olveston School Hall) will be held at the Methodist Church, The Street, Olveston BS35 4DR at 7.30pm.  

Existing and new members are very welcome, as are visitors. 

Annual membership (which gives free entry to the entire season of talks): a bargain at just £5, payable at the door at any meeting up to and including the February one.

Entry to single talk:  £2 payable at the door. 


Following up Paul Barnett's February 2010 talk on the Purton Hulks, OPHS members visited the hulks, with Paul as a guide, in May.  This was one of our two field trips in 2010.

OPHS Visit to Purton Hulks