Historical Society

2016 - 17 PROGRAMME 

Please scroll down to find the programme for the 2016-17 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  




Oct 2016 - April 2017

Wed. 5 Oct 2016

A short AGM (half an hour), followed by Rose Hewlett talking about Living on the Edge: Farming & Fishing Communities along the Upper Severn Estuary from Roman Times to the Present Day.

Wed. 2 Nov. 2016

In this month of remembrance, Dr Fiona Reid will share her research on: Shell Shock, Treatment and Recovery in Britain, 1914 –1930. We’re familiar with images of shell-shocked men during the war. What happened afterwards?

Wed. 7 Dec. 2016

Pat Hase will recount tales of Transported Women,
female convicts from the West Country who were shipped off to Australia.

Wed. 4 Jan. 2017

Roger Howell will tell us about Thornbury Archaeology Group’s Excavations at Lower Hazel, where they think they’ve found the royal Norman hunting lodge at the heart of Alveston’s deer park, described in John Adnams’ talk in March.

Wed. 1 Feb. 2017

Did you enjoy ‘Wolf Hall’ and ‘Bring Up the Bodies’? In Sir Ralph Sadler - or How to Survive the Tudors without Losing Your Head, retired BBC producer Keith Sheather will tell us how Thomas Cromwell’s young protégé worked his way up the bureaucratic ladder of Tudor England to become one of the country's richest landowners (with estates which included the manor of Olveston) and survived four reigns without losing his head.

Wed. 1 Mar. 2017

Jenny Murray Band, who worked with the Royal
Collection tapestries and was awarded the MVO in 1987 for her work in and after the Hampton Court fire, will be telling us about The Cultural Significance of the Bed in Early Modern Europe.

Wed. 5 Apr. 2017

Andrew Swift’s talk will transport us along The Severn Beach Railway Line, once rated by Thomas Cook as one of Europe’s top scenic railway routes.


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):  payable at the door at any meeting up to and including the December one. The rate will be decided at the October AGM (£5 last year but due to go up).

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