Historical Society

2020 -21 PROGRAMME 

Regretfully, we have decided that, due to Covid-19 restrictions, we shall be unable to offer our usual programme of monthly evening talks, running from October 2020 to April 2021.

We sincerely hope that the situation will ease in 2021 and that we shall be back to offering a full programme of talks for the 2021-22 year. 

Meanwhile, if you'd like to see the kind of programme we have offered in the past, please scroll down to find the programme for the 2019-20 season.



Scroll down the page to find the 'Graveyard Survey' link.  Here you can find out all about the Historical Society's project to transcribe and digitise the transcriptions of all the graves and memorials in Olveston church and churchyard.


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 an OPHS trip to Owlpen Manor in Gloucestershire

OPHS visit to Owlpen Manor



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  



2019-20 PROGRAMME   Please note - we shall not be offering a 2020-21 programme, due to Covid-19.


Oct 2019 - April 2020

Wed. 2 Oct 2019

A short AGM (half an hour) will be followed by the latest on Excavations at Lower Hazel from Roger Howell.  Roger, a retired professional archaeologist, has been exploring the former Royal Deer Park of Alveston. 

Wed. 6 Nov. 2019

If you want to be well and truly inspired, come and hear Mary Wright outline the life of Elizabeth Blackwell of Bristol who, 170 years ago, became the first woman in the world to qualify and register as a doctor, battling prejudice all the way. It’s quite a story.

Wed. 4 Dec. 2019

Any idea how many bridges Bristol has?  Jeff Lucas can tell you.  His talk, From Bricgstow to Bristol in 45 Bridges, will showcase some of the most interesting bridges in Bristol - and will reveal the answer to Bristol’s Königsberg Bridge Problem!

Wed. 8 Jan. 2020

Local resident and former Dean of Medicine at the University of Bristol Gareth Williams, always a popular speaker, will talk about Unravelling the Double Helix: The Lost Heroes of DNA. Expect lively and fascinating tales.

Wed. 5 Feb. 2020

John Strachan will give a beautifully illustrated talk on Advertising in Late Georgian England, using many examples from Bath, where he is the Pro-Vice Chancellor of Bath Spa University. 

Wed. 4 Mar. 2020

Mabel Tothill (1869 - 1964), Quaker peace campaigner, socialist and Bristol’s first woman councillor, worked tirelessly for women’s suffrage, education for all, workers’ rights and conscientious objectors and their families. June Hannam will outline her pioneering work.

Wed. 1 Apr. 2020


An evening of Severn Salmon Fishing: besides photographs of Severn salmon fishing taken by the late Nick Large in the 1960s (and now captured in a new publication by our local museum), Christabelle Tymko of Oldbury-on-Severn will share some of her experiences of working on the Severn with the salmon putchers.









































Events are usually held at the Methodist Church, The Street, Olveston BS35 4DR at 7.30pm.  

Existing and new members are welcomed, as are visitors. 

Annual membership fee (which gives free entry to the entire season of talks):  has, until now, been £8. 

N.B. We predict that our October 2020 AGM, which will be conducted by email with existing members, will decide to set a nil subscription for the 2020-21 year. 

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