Normandy 75

Karen Neville

History

A new exhibition marking the 75th anniversary of the Normandy campaign telling the courageous stories of soldiers who fought there and during D-Day, opens today.

Normandy 75: Oxfordshire to the Orne will go on display at the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum until 3rd November and will combine a travelling exhibition from the National Army Museum with stories staff at the museum have gathered from around Oxfordshire.

The stories will be told through objects, a map of key locations, quotes from Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire born soldiers who served on D-Day and beyond.

Soldiers from the Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Light Infantry were among the first to set foot in Normandy on 6th June 1944 and were instrumental in the capture of Pegasus Bridge in the early hours, before the beach landings.

Visitors can sit inside a life-size reproduction of a Horsa Gilder’s compartment and listen to recorded interviews with D-Day veterans.

The museum’s collections manager Peggy Ainsworth said: “In addition to our own regimental stories, we wanted to use this exhibition as a way to represent the local soldiers who contributed to the Normandy campaign.

“There have been many fascinating stories coming in from the public, which we will be telling through artefacts from our collection and information gained thorough our Stories of Conflict and County campaign launched last year.”

The exhibition of the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum in the grounds of the Oxfordshire Museum, Park Street, Woodstock, will end with a special collecting day on 2nd November. The We’ll Meet Again collections day will encourage the public to bring objects to the museum and tell their stories of Oxfordshire from the Second World War to the 1970s. Items donated or loaned will be used to form the Second World War and Reminiscence displays.

Exhibition

The Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum is open from Tuesday-Friday 10am-5pm, Saturday 11am-5pm and Sunday 2pm-5pm.

For more information

Medieval Jousting at Stonor Park

Round & About

History

Stonor Park are hosting the Knights of Royal England for a weekend of medieval jousting on the 29th – 30th June.

A truly memorable jousting tournament including horse riding events to test courage and skill as well as foot combat with Medieval weaponry.  Support the winners and heckle the losers – this is an event not to be missed.

There will also be falconry displays, archery and dancing dragons to add to the Medieval experience.

EARLY BIRD TIER1 TICKETS ARE CURRENTLY ON SALE AND PROVIDE A SAVING OF £3 PER TICKET.  BOOK NOW WHILE THEY ARE STILL AVAILABLE.

Pictures include those by the Knights of Royal England.

Get your tickets here

Abingdon Air Show

Round & About

History

Abingdon Air & Country Show has achieved soaring success and helped lots of good causes locally so put this year’s even in your diary…

The annual Air & Country Show at Abingdon Airfield, Dalton Barracks has reached its 20th anniversary this year, something the main organiser Neil Porter never thought would be achieved. Once the bills have been paid, over £89,000 has been donated to charities over this period, with a residue left back to help kickstart the following years event. The show relies on public footfall and exhibitors booking in to help fund each show.

The small committee of five people, including Neil, organise this in their spare time, and over time have been blessed with some wonderful attractions. This year will see, among other highlights, a World War Two DC3 Dakota paradrop, recognising the 75th anniversary of D Day.

The show is set for Sunday 5th May, starting at 10am, with various air and ground attractions.

More details can be found on the Abingdon Air Show website

Full steam ahead

Round & About

History

Step back in time as Didcot Railway Centre launches Lady of Legend

The Great Western Society will see 15 years of hard work, sweat and tears realised when Lady of Legend is officially launched at Didcot Railway Centre.

Since 2004, the society has been working to recreate an example of the iconic ‘Saint’ class locomotive and now work is complete it will be unveiled by culinary queen Prue Leith, a former member of the British Railways Board, on Friday, 5th April at 11.15am.

The GWR ‘Saint’ class locomotives, introduced by G J Churchward in 1902, represented one of the most important steps forward in railway traction of the 20th century. The class incorporated many revolutionary advances in design and the ‘Saints’ are now acknowledged to have had a huge influence on almost every aspect of steam locomotive development.

The final engine, the Saint David, was withdrawn from service and scrapped in 1953, ending the work of the service – until now.

Lady of Legend will be on display over the weekend to visitors to the railway centre as will another well-known local lady, baking icon Christine Wallace, who will be familiar to many from Bake Off.

She will be found in a marquee at the centre cooking up Edwardian dishes from the era and dressed as Downton Abbey cook, Mrs Patmore. Edwardian cookery was quite lavish so visitors will be in for an extra treat with tastings available.

Also on show will be several other engines, coaches and wagons and you can enjoy a ride in coaches from the 1930s.

For more information and to book tickets, visit Didcot Railway Centre