Historical Society

2017 - 18 PROGRAMME 

Please scroll down to find the programme for the 2017-18 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 Church on the first Wednesday of each month from October to April.  Talks usually have a local connection, either through the subject matter or the speaker.  In the summer months we usually have two trips, often following up talks given during the previous winter. Visitors are always very welcome at all our meetings.

You can use these links to find out more about:


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:

  • Chair, 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  




2017 - 18 PROGRAMME



Oct 2017 - April 2018

Wed. 4 Oct 2017

A short AGM, followed by Meg Wise giving a beautifully illustrated talk on Heraldry and Symbolism at Thornbury Castle. Discover how Edward Stafford, Duke of Buckingham, trod a very dangerous path when he advertised his royal lineage…

Wed. 1 Nov. 2017

Eric Garrett will recount The History of Olveston United Football Club from 1926 to 1976.  In 2017, the Club won the Senior Amateur Cup Final of the Glos Football Association – a long way from some mates kicking an inflated sheep’s bladder around on a patch of rough grass in the mid-20s.

Wed. 6 Dec. 2017

Nick McCamley will give an illustrated account of the history of what he calls Secret Underground Cities - factories, arsenals, treasure stores and control centres in the underground stone quarries of Wiltshire and elsewhere during the Second World War and the Cold War.

Wed. 3 Jan. 2018

Jennifer Bone and William Evans will profile a local landowner (lord of the Manor of Aust and owner of The Great House at Henbury) and explain a national constitutional crisis in their joint talk: Sir Samuel Astry of Henbury and Aust and the Glorious Revolution of 1688.

Wed. 7 Feb. 2018

Helen Thomas will reveal what she and fellow project workers discovered when they recorded the memories of people who had worked at the Wills factory: The Bedminster Tobacco Women.

Wed. 7 Mar. 2018

Dr. Cathryn Spence (former Director/Curator at the Building of Bath Museum and now at Bath’s American Museum and a historical consultant for the National Trust) will share some of the goodies from her latest book: The Story of Bath. Expect illustrations you haven’t seen before and some unfamiliar aspects of Bath’s history.

Wed. 4 Apr. 2018

Gareth Williams, former Dean of Medicine at the University of Bristol, gave us a very enlightening and moving talk in 2014 on the history of Polio. Now he’s going to tell us about Edward Jenner and John Hunter: the Apprentice and his Sorcerer.  Expect the talk to be full of interest, beautifully illustrated and entertaining.



All events 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 fee (which gives free entry to the entire season of talks):  £8, payable at the door at any meeting up to and including the December one.

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