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St Giles’ Church, Oxford

Parish News

St Giles Fair, c. 1906-1908
(Picture reproduced by kind permission of Richard Merry of Australia, whose great-
uncle, Fred Merry [born 1893] is the boy near the lady with the bicycle.)

September 2017 Free
Vicar: Canon Andrew Bunch, 01865 510460
The Vicarage, Church Walk, Oxford OX2 6LY
Associate Priest: Revd Tom Albinson 01865 515409 or 07426 948251
Lay Minister: David Longrigg, 01865 576638
9 Hawkswell Gardens, Oxford OX2 7EX
Benefice Manager: Henrietta Mountain-Ritter 01865 512319
10 Woodstock Road, Oxford OX2 6HT
Maureen Chu 01865 726011
Joanne Russell 01865 760788
Acting Treasurer: Rod Nixon
Organist: Andrew Patterson
Choir Director: Nicholas Prozzillo
PCC Secretary: Sarah-Jane White
Captain of the Bells: John Pusey
Church Flowers: Mary Whitlock
Benefice Secretary: Anne Dutton
Twitter @StGilesOxford
Instagram stgileschurch
Sunday: 8:00 am Holy Communion (BCP)
10:30 am Holy Communion
6:30 pm Evensong (BCP)
Monday: 5:30 pm Evening Prayer
Tuesday: 5:30 pm Evening Prayer
Wednesday: 12:30 pm Eucharist
5:30 pm Evening Prayer
Thursday: 5:30 pm Evening Prayer
Friday: 1:15 pm Taizé Worship
5:30 pm Evening Prayer
Saturday: 5:30 pm Evening Prayer

The newsletter is free, but if you wish to contribute towards production
costs this would be much appreciated. Please put your donation in the
wall safe, and mark your envelope Parish News. (The Treasurer
received an anonymous donation last month, which is gratefully
acknowledged.) Items for inclusion in the October magazine should be
sent to by Monday 18th September.

Contents – September 2017
Well-known hymns (6) – For all the Saints Page 3
The Men Behind the Names (3) – Alison Bickmore Page 4
The Ethics of Feeding the Birds – Gill Evans Page 11
From the Parish Registers Page 12
Jazz at St Giles’ – Autumn 2017 Page 13
Secretarial Training in the 1960s – Anne Dutton Page 14
Education in St Giles’ Parish Page 17
St Giles’ Magazine 100 Years Ago and 50 Years Ago Page 18
OHCT Ride and Stride – 9th September 2017 Page 19
Dates for your Diary – September 2017 Page 20

WELL-KNOWN HYMNS (6) – For all the Saints (NEH 197)

F OR All the Saints, a wide and sweeping vision of the Church
Militant and the Church Triumphant, was written as a processional
hymn by the Bishop of Wakefield, William Walsham How, in 1864. The
hymn was sung to the melody Sarum, by the Victorian composer
Joseph Barnby, until the publication of the English Hymnal in 1906.
This hymnal used a new setting by Ralph Vaughan Williams which he
called Sine Nomine (literally, “without name”) in reference to its use on
the Feast of All Saints, 1st November. It has been described as “one of
the finest hymn tunes of the 20th century.” Although most English
hymn tunes of its era are written for singing in SATB four-part
harmony, Sine Nomine is primarily unison (verses 1,2,3,7 and 8) with
organ accompaniment; three verses (4, 5 and 6) are set in sung
harmony. The tune appears in this form in most English hymnbooks.


T HE four names from the Great War Memorial, and now
remembered together, are Ronald Poulton Palmer, Henry (Harry)
Moseley, Victor Jessel and Alban Hudson. Their deaths remind us of
the part played by inexperienced junior officers in the Great War, and
the disproportionate number of casualties amongst them, as they led
their men “over the top” in France and Flanders.
They were all junior officers in their twenties, each serving in
different regiments and, although not the only officers amongst our 18
men, represent a distinctive social group. They were all well-educated
(public school and university), from comfortably-off, middle and upper
middle-class families. They exemplified the ideals of duty,
responsibility and service to others promulgated by the public school
ethos. They reflected the social makeup and location of the parish of
St Giles’, to the north of the city with the characteristics of the low-
density middle-class suburban housing developed in the late 19th
century and now known as the “Victorian Suburb”.
Throughout the war the social and economic reality of the time
meant that recruitment of officers, particularly in the early years, was
largely from the public schools and the older universities. Research by
J M Winter and others has shown that 18-20% of public school and
university educated men were killed, compared to about 12% of all the
men from Britain who served.
Ronald Poulton Palmer and Harry Moseley were both in their
mid-twenties when war broke out, by this time launched on their
respective careers - one destined to take over the nationally known
family firm of Huntley & Palmer, and the other an already-established
research physicist. They both volunteered as soon as they could after
war was declared and both were killed a year later in 1915, Ronald in
Flanders and Harry at Gallipoli.
RONALD WILLIAM POULTON PALMER was the second son, and fourth
child, of Professor E B Poulton FRS (Hope Professor of Zoology) and his
wife Emily. Ronald was born on 12th September 1889 at the family
home, 56 Banbury Road, Oxford – then known as Wykeham House and
now the University Careers Service Office. He went to the Oxford
Preparatory School (to become the Dragon School), to Rugby School,

and then in 1907 gained an Exhibition at Balliol College. He graduated
in 1911 with a degree in Engineering and completed his engineering
training with Mather & Platt in Manchester before he joined the family
firm of Huntley & Palmer in Reading. His mother was a Palmer and in
October 1913, on the death of his uncle G W Palmer, Ronald who was
his heir, took the surname of Poulton Palmer.
Ronald had showed promise of becoming a
great all-round athlete from his early days at
the Dragon, and fulfilled this both at Rugby
and at Oxford. His outstanding success was in
rugby football and he was selected for
England aged 20, even before winning the first
of his three Oxford Blues. He was a
charismatic player, famous for his swerving
run, and playing 17 times for England between
1909 and 1914. He was captain of England in the unbeaten Five
Nations Cup team in April 1914.
It is clear from the many words written about him, both at the
time of his death and since, that Ronald was not only an outstanding
sportsman but a born leader with a social conscience. While at school
and up at Oxford, one of his great interests was in the Boys’ Clubs and
Summer Camps movements.
Whilst still at Balliol he had been a member of the University
OTC (Officers’ Training Corps), and in June 1912 joined the Royal
Berkshire Territorials. On the outbreak of war in August 1914, Ronald
volunteered for overseas service and after further training was sent to
Flanders as a Lieutenant with the 4th Battalion of the Royal Berkshire
Regiment on 30th March 1915. Less than six weeks later, in the early
hours of 5th May, he was killed by sniper fire whilst directing a working
party repairing trenches in Ploegsteert Wood near Armentières. He
was buried on the evening of 6th May in the little Royal Berkshire
Cemetery called Hyde Park Corner, greatly mourned by his men and
fellow officers, and nationally, as one of the great sporting heroes of
the day. He was 25.
The Parish Magazine records the Memorial service held in St
Giles’ on 29th May 1915, at which William Temple, a family friend and
later to be Archbishop of Canterbury, gave the address. It is moving to

find the oak cross that had originally marked Ronald’s grave in
Flanders, now in Holywell Graveyard in Oxford, close to other Poulton
family memorials.
HENRY GWYN JEFFRIES MOSELEY came from a distinguished academic
family. Both his grandfathers had been Fellows of the Royal Society, as
was his father. His parents were Henry Nottidge Moseley (Linacre
Professor of Human and Comparative Anatomy at Oxford) and Amabel
(daughter of John Gwyn Jeffreys FRS, the naturalist). Harry, as his
family called him, was the third child and only son, born on 23 rd
November 1887.
Professor Moseley died in 1891, just before Harry’s fourth
birthday, and his widow moved with the children to live near Guildford.
In 1897 Harry went to Summer Fields, the North Oxford preparatory
school, as a boarder. In 1901 he went on to Eton where he was a King’s
Scholar and the family moved back to live in Oxford, at 48 Woodstock
Road – now part of St Anne’s College. From Eton he won a scholarship
to Trinity College, Oxford and came up in 1906. In September 1909 he
was witness at his sister Margery’s wedding in St Giles’ Church.
At Oxford Harry took a First in Maths Mods but did not achieve
a coveted First in Physics finals which he took in 1910. (Only one of the
twelve students taking Physics finals that year achieved a First, and
despite his brilliance Harry seems not to have been a good examinee.)
After graduating he went to Manchester to
work as a Demonstrator in Ernest Rutherford’s
laboratory, a centre of excellence in scientific
research and, at the time, far ahead of Oxford.
In Manchester he was a member of an elite
group of young scientists, five of whom went
on to win Nobel Prizes. Harry’s early work in
Manchester was focussed on radioactivity, but
after 1912 he began work on measuring the
wavelengths of X-rays emitted by the various elements.
In the autumn of 1913 Harry returned to Oxford at the
invitation of Professor J S E Townsend, the first holder of the Wykeham
chair in experimental physics. He set up his apparatus in what is now
part of the Townsend Building of the Clarendon Laboratory. Here, in

spite of having no financial support from the University, he completed
his work establishing a deeper understanding of the Periodic Table of
Elements, still the fundamental basis of chemistry today, and
formulating the law in physics which bears his name.
In the summer of 1914 the British Association for the
Advancement of Science held its annual meeting in Australia. Harry
travelled there accompanied by his mother, arriving on 8 th August. As
soon as he had fulfilled his obligations to the Association, he hurried
back to England to enlist. He travelled with Henry Tizard via the United
States, sailing from New York on the Lusitania (which was torpedoed
eight months later), described on the passenger list as ‘Physicist’, and
arriving at Liverpool on 28th September. Harry had been practising
semaphore and Morse code on his journey back to England and on
arrival, and despite pleadings from family and scientist colleagues,
would not be deflected from what he saw as his duty to volunteer to
fight. He succeeded in being commissioned into the Royal Engineers,
where he felt his scientific background could be of help. In December
1914, Harry was witness at his mother’s second marriage, to Professor
W J Sollas, in St Giles’ Church.
After officer training in Aldershot and further training in
telecommunications on Salisbury Plain, he was attached as 2 nd
Lieutenant to the 13th Division of the Third Army in February 1915, and
as Signalling Officer to 38th Brigade. In June they were ordered to
Gallipoli, via Alexandria, to support the ill-fated Gallipoli landings which
had begun at the end of April.
Harry first saw action near Cape Helles in July. In August he
took part in the Suvla Bay landings and the last desperate attempt to
take and hold Chunuk Bair and the Sari Bair Ridge. As Brigade Signals
Officer, Harry was occupied in the dangerous task of providing a
communications system between brigade headquarters and forward
artillery positions, using a mixture of telephone systems and wires,
messenger runners and visual signalling.
He was killed on the morning of 10th August, during a Turkish
counter-attack on the Allied positions. His mother’s diary for that day
contains the single entry: “My Harry killed in the Dardanelles - Chunuk
Bair”. His body was never recovered – his name is commemorated on
the Helles Memorial on the Gallipoli Peninsula. He was 27.

Harry’s death caused an outcry, from scientists on both sides of
the conflict, about the inflexible military organisation which allowed
the deployment of scientific and engineering personnel as combatants
at the front, and this led to a gradual change in government policy. It is
widely believed that, if he had lived, he would have received a Nobel
Prize for his work.
When war broke out in August 1914, Victor Jessel was still at
Magdalen College School and Alban Hudson was in the middle of his
degree course at Magdalen College, Oxford. Both volunteered as soon
as they could, joining different regiments, and after officer training
went to France in 1915. They both survived until 1917 – Victor was
killed in the preliminary fighting at the Battle of Arras in April, and
Alban died during the Battle of Messines in June.
VICTOR JESSEL was born Victor Albert Villiers Zacharias in Oxford on
24th January 1896, the youngest of the three sons of Joel and Rebecca
Zacharias. In common with other Jewish families of the time, and
because of the Anti-Semitism that an obviously Jewish name could
attract, the family added the name Jessel to their surname by deed-poll
in 1902. A number of references to the family use the hyphenated
Victor’s father, Joel, was a well-known Oxford business man,
owning the specialised waterproof business, Zacharias & Co, at 26/27
Cornmarket (now Pret A Manger), with its advertising slogan ZACS FOR
MACS. He was the first Jewish councillor on
the Oxford City Council. He died in 1905
when Victor was nine and his widow then
moved with her sons, who were still at
school, to 38 Banbury Road. This address no
doubt explains why Victor, a Jew, is
commemorated in St Giles’ – many Anglican
parish churches acted as the focus for local
commemoration for those who lived within
the parish boundaries, even if the person concerned was not a member
of the Anglican Church.
Victor was a pupil at the City of Oxford High School for Boys until
1905 (and he is commemorated on the School’s War Memorial). He

went on to Magdalen College School in 1906 with an Exhibition. There
he had a good academic record and was also an outstanding all-round
success as a sportsman: as Captain of Boats, a first team player in all
the major sports and a supreme athlete in track and field events. He
left school in December 1914 and enlisted in the Army as soon as he
could in January 1915, joining the Inns of Court Officers’ Training Corps
In May 1915 he took up a commission of 2nd Lieutenant in the 7th
Battalion, Durham Light Infantry and arrived in France on 10 th July. On
25th February 1916 he was sent back from the front line suffering from
shell shock and, being considered unfit for general service, returned to
England and the 3rd Southern General Hospital based in the Oxford
Examination Schools. He finally returned to front line duties in
September 1916 and was attached to the 15th Battalion of the DLI. He
was killed in no-man’s land, leading a reconnaissance patrol, on Good
Friday, 6th April 1917. He was 21 - the youngest Lieutenant in the
battalion and the first Oxford Jew to die in the War.
Victor’s body was never found and his name is commemorated
on the Arras Memorial. He is also remembered on his father’s
headstone in Wolvercote Cemetery. His mother went on living at 38
Banbury Road until her death in 1934. The house was demolished in
the 1950s to accommodate new University buildings on the Keble Road
ALBAN JOHN BENEDICT HUDSON was born in 1893 in Oxford. He was
the only child of Revd and Mrs Charles Henry Bickerton Hudson who
lived at 37a St Giles (Holy Rood) between
1894 and 1919. Charles Hudson had been
curate, and then vicar, at neighbouring St
Barnabas Church between 1887 and 1901,
when he resigned because of ill-health.
Alban was educated at Summer Fields, Eton
and Magdalen College, Oxford where he
matriculated in 1912 aged 18. He was
reading for a Pass Degree in Political
Economy but, in common with many other students at that time, he
did not complete his degree before joining up on the outbreak of war.
At Magdalen he had been a keen rower, stroking the College’s First VIII
in 1914 and he had also been a member of the University OTC.

He was commissioned into the 11th Battalion of the
Worcestershire Regiment on 4th November 1914 – his father came
from an old land-owning family near Pershore in South Worcestershire
– and was promoted Lieutenant in July 1915. The battalion arrived in
France in September 1915 where it underwent further training north of
Amiens. In October Alban contracted acute rheumatic fever and
therefore was unable to embark with his regiment for Salonika in
November 1915. He was treated in hospitals in France and England
and eventually received orders to re-join his battalion in Salonika in
April 1916. He served there until July when he again fell ill and
returned to England for further sick leave and a long period of
convalescence. Although the 11th Battalion remained in Salonika until
the end of hostilities there in 1918, Alban himself did not re-join it but
was posted to the 3rd Battalion in France in February 1917, and took
part in the Battle of Messines Ridge, south-east of Ypres, in June that
On 2nd June, during the run-up to the battle, the Battalion War
Diary describes a reconnaissance raid on enemy trenches by some 80
men under Alban’s command. For this action he was awarded the
Military Cross. The citation in The London Gazette reads:
“For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty during a raid
upon enemy trenches. He kept touch with the various parties
and maintained direction throughout with great coolness and
skill, thus ensuring the success of the raid.”
The Battle of Messines Ridge, which began in earnest on 7th June
1917, had been preceded by 18 months of tunnelling to place
thousands of tons of explosives under the German positions. At 3.10
am on 7th June simultaneous explosions, which could be heard as far
away as London, shattered the area, allowing infantry assault troops to
achieve a tactical and operational advance. Alban’s Battalion charged
forward and captured its main objective, but with heavy casualties – 10
officers and 239 men: Alban himself was mortally wounded within an
hour of the explosions. He was 23.
Alban’s body is buried in Lone Tree Cemetery, south of Ypres.
He is also commemorated in the private chapel at Wyke Manor, near
Pershore, where there is an alabaster effigy. His parents had wanted a
permanent memorial to their only child that would benefit others. This

was achieved after Mrs Hudson’s death in 1949 (her husband had died
in 1938) when her will created a memorial trust. The Memorial
Trustees were given property and endowment of £12,000 on trust for
disabled ex-servicemen of the British Empire, giving priority to men of
The Worcestershire Regiment. Two houses and two bungalows were
duly built and the first tenants moved in in 1955. The Trust continues
today, 100 years after Alban’s death, as the A J B Hudson Memorial
Trust and is still providing for the needs of ex-service personnel.
Alison Bickmore
(Illustrations: Poulton Palmer - Balliol College Archives; Moseley – Wikipedia; Jessel -
The Oxford Journal Illustrated; Hudson - Magdalen College Archives)

A VAST range of supermarket choice faces the bird-lover who wants
to take up feeding bird-visitors to the garden. There are special
mixes for robins and other selections for tits. There are sunflower
seeds with the husks taken off, and the dried corpses of maggots and
insects and fat-balls (with no warnings about any consequences for the
cholesterol levels of feathered consumers). So far all is gift and
generosity, and the ornithological enthusiast looks forward to a garden
full of birds and the enjoyment of their antics.
Then you learn that this is a minefield of ethical choices. There is
going to be no equality of opportunity for all garden birds after a free
lunch. You will have to
discriminate. The
supermarket knows that
there is no future for
widening access in bird
feeding. It has lots of aids
for you to buy to make
sure only your favoured
birds get the benefit. For
as soon as you begin to
put offerings on a bird
table squirrels will find
them. If the squirrels find
them they will eat the lot
and come back next

morning to push and shake until they get anything that is going. For
the discouragement of squirrels you may buy various cunning devices
which will not hurt them, just leave them hungry. Then the magpies
will arrive. The magpies will eat your smaller visitors and their eggs, if
they survive to lay any. Other corvids will follow. Then come the gulls,
which will grab anything they can catch hold of with beak or claw.
So you buy an expensive metal tree with hooks, from which to
hang specially-designed containers which only the littlest birds can
reach inside to eat the seed purchased especially for them. The robins
and the blackbirds then have to go hungry, for they are ground-feeders
and if you put anything on the ground the squirrels and the gulls will be
back in a trice, and also the magpies and jackdaws and jays. The
starlings, on the other hand, perform extraordinary acrobatics in order
to get at the hanging seed containers and once you have one of those
you have many. They can empty a container in no time.
Even among your little favourites, for whose access to
refreshment you have gone to all this expense and trouble, there is a
variety of table manners. The sparrows will arrive at the feeder, stick
their heads inside and wolf down seed, pausing only to throw over
their shoulders any item they do not fancy. The tits take a single seed
away to an adjacent perch, where they examine it closely and eat such
parts as they fancy.
Throughout this human ornithological learning process the
don’t-care local pigeons sit about in pairs, wood pigeons and rock
pigeons and the more welcome ring-necked doves, watching for
anything that drops to the ground. You have to buy special netting
with the right sized holes to make them unable to squat comfortably
on your lawn. They do not like spikes either.
There is clearly a moral here. Perhaps that kindness is not
always simple? There seems to be an intractable problem about
fostering equality and diversity too. Gill Evans
13th August 2017 Emily Rose Garner
5th August 2017 Nicholas Currie and Emma Gibbons

30th September: Celebrating Hoagy
The Chris Ingram Quartet
Their sell-out programme at Ronnie
Scott’s brought rave, 5-star reviews in the
national press. With Georgia on your
mind, you’re in for a Stardust of an
evening celebrating the musical genius of
Hoagy Carmichael.
14th October: David Gordon Trio Speaks Latin
There would be a revolution if we didn’t invite back JASG’s favourite
Jazz pianist and supreme composer David Gordon and his Trio for an
evening of Latin rhythms from their top-selling CD.
28th October: Ben Meets Benny
Jazz violin virtuoso Ben Holder pays tribute to the clarinet playing of
“The King of Swing”, Benny Goodman.
4th November: Simply Marvellous – Tommaso Starace
Sensational alto sax player Tommaso Starace and his Blue Note Milan
Trio are back to delight their numerous fans at St Giles’.
18th November: The Oxley Meier Guitar Project
International guitar supremos Pete Oxley and Nicholas Meier (joined by
Raph Mizraki on acoustic/electric bass and Paul Cavaciuti on drums)
will entertain you with fabulously rendered “standards” and some of
both Pete and Nicholas’s wonderful compositions.
9th December: Brickwork Lizards
This band’s exotic and intoxicating fusion of Arabian/Turkish/Balkan
gypsy music had people dancing in the aisles at their 2016 JASG

All concerts are on Saturdays at 7:30 pm at St Giles’ Church.
Tickets (£15/£12 concessions/£5 students and children) are available at
the door or online from Eventbrite at
Proceeds from the concerts go to War Child, Save the Children,
and Project 900.


S OMETIMES when I am working in the church office the computer
develops a mind of its own, the broadband is unbearably slow, and
the printer seems to take
as long to produce one
page as a monk working
on an illuminated manu-
script. But the other day I
started thinking how
much things have
changed since I first
learnt to touch-type, as
part of a two-year course.
My parents not having
At the typewriter – Yemen, 1966
approved of any of the
careers that I thought I would really like (physiotherapy, the WRNS or
becoming a nun!) it was decided that I should train as a secretary.
So in August 1966 my mother, sister and I travelled back to
England by sea from Aden and I was duly enrolled at Swindon College.
Although we studied other subjects including British Constitution,
Accounts, Economics, Commercial French and English Law, we spent a
great deal of our time each week learning shorthand, typing, Office
Practice (in Year 1), and Secretarial Duties (Year 2). The Swinging
Sixties hadn’t really reached Swindon – in many ways, I don’t suppose
our course had changed since the Fifties – so, in order to prepare for
the world of work, I was always addressed as “Miss Lawrence”; and we
were encouraged to dress very conservatively in, for example, twinsets
and tweed skirts with neat court shoes.
I have forgotten the names of most of our teachers but the
redoubtable Miss Church – who took us for all the secretarial subjects –
has had a very formative influence over the years. She seemed old at
the time, but was probably only in her fifties, and had rigidly permed
grey hair over which there was (I think) a hairnet. She was well-
corseted and invariably wore a high-necked, long-sleeved Crimplene
dress with a Cameo brooch or pearl necklace: definitely nothing showy.
In winter a Bri-Nylon or Orlon cardigan in a suitable muted colour
would be added to complete the ensemble.

Miss Church wanted to mould us into young ladies who could be
trusted to work loyally for our Chief (never “Boss”: she disapproved of
the word) – who would, it was assumed, be male - and be tirelessly and
unobtrusively efficient and supportive. We slogged through Pitman’s
Commercial Typewriting and used manual Imperial 66 typewriters. The
first thing was to learn the names of various bits of the machine such as
platen, bails, tabulator set key, and ribbon spools: the office equivalent
of the poem Naming of Parts. It was vital to develop a very even touch
so that all the letters would print in alignment. (Back then you could
tell if something had been typed by a professional!) It was also
important to try to get a good speed and rhythm, so sometimes we had
the fun of a session where 20 girls were typing one of the exercises
while trying to keep in time with the William Tell Overture which was
being played on a gramophone! For anyone too young to remember,
there was a little bell which sounded when you were nearing the right-
hand margin, to alert you to use the carriage return lever to move on
to the next line, so there would be a great crashing of typewriter
carriages in unison each time.
In due course we progressed from exercises to business letters.
Miss Church had very firm views about layout: “a nice spacy letter” was
one of her favourite phrases. We then learnt how to type up
memoranda, balance sheets, and play scripts; and memorised useful
things like printers’ correction signs or what the correct salutation for a
Bishop would be. By the time we took the RSA III typing exam at the
end of the course, we could set out tables with the columns ruled in
red ink (using ruler, bottle of ink and dip-in pen, of course); and
produce posters where each line had to be centred and you might vary
the look by doing some lines all in upper case, or perhaps typing a
border of XXXs. You had to do a lot of counting and subtracting
margins so that everything was equally balanced: I was quite good at it
back then, but have completely forgotten how to do it now.
Paper sizes were different: Octavo, Quarto and Foolscap instead
of A6, A5 and A4; and typewriters were either manual or electric. The
only choice was between a machine with Elite type (12 characters to
the inch) or Pica type (10 characters to the inch). We didn’t have
photo-copiers, so you probably had to type several copies of a
document by interleaving carbon paper with the sheets of paper

before feeding it all into the typewriter with a backing sheet. Carbon
paper was dirty to handle, but the worst
part was if you made a mistake: correcting
it was a very tedious operation, and a
good incentive to be as accurate as
possible. If you needed more than about
five copies of a document – but not
enough so that it went away to be
professionally printed – you would have to
type it onto Gestetner stencils (the
correcting fluid smelt like nail varnish) or
spirit masters. Another difference back
then was that everyone would have a
dictionary on their desk as there wasn’t a
built-in spellchecker.
Although I didn’t achieve the high-powered Secretary/Personal
Assistant position that Miss Church envisaged for all her students, I
have done some varied and interesting jobs, and have been able to
update my skills as time has gone by. I first came across a Photostat
machine in the Seventies – it had a dark room all to itself and as the
copy developed you had to peel away a sheet and then leave it to dry –
and I learnt how to use a telex. I moved on to an electric typewriter;
and in due course – in the mid-Eighties – had the chance to learn how
to use a word processor: it took me a while, but I am very glad I
persevered. I think one of the most marvellous things now is that if
something needs to be changed you don’t have to start from scratch
and retype the whole thing. Eventually I got a computer, and a whole
new world of internet access and Google opened up!
I came to St Giles’ and St Margaret’s in 2001. I didn’t think I
would be suitable, as the specification stated that the successful
applicant must be conversant with Word and Excel, as well as using
Email – none of which applied to me at the time. However, the Vicar
bravely took a chance and offered me the job (and also encouraged me
to accept it) for which I am very grateful. And so next time I feel like
shouting at the computer or the printer, I will just say to myself
“carbon copies”, “stencils”, “manual typewriters” ………
Anne Dutton

(At the start of the new school year, it seemed appropriate and interesting to look at
education in the parish in earlier times.)

I N THE 18th century the education of the poor of St Giles’ was
neglected: thus £50 bequeathed by Elizabeth Rowney to clothe poor
girls and teach them to read was simply given in sums of £2 to girls in
service; of the interest on £100 left for a similar purpose by Mrs.
Bridget Gardner in 1780 only 30 shillings a year was devoted to
schooling. A beginning was made, however, in 1802 with a small
school supported by the vicar; two day-schools were reported in 1808,
but they had ceased to exist by 1814. Sunday schools, first mentioned
in that year, were the most important means of educating the poor for
the next 20 years. Penny clubs connected with the schools were
designed to teach the children economy. By the addition of
subscriptions to the weekly pence it was possible to provide salaries of
£8 8s each for the master and mistress, and leave a considerable
residue for clothing the children; £100 a year was being collected in
1818. In that year 12 children were being educated with ‘the
sacrament money’ and with the help of Mrs Gardner’s bequest, but it
was thought that those who desired daily education could attend the
Greycoat school in the city.
Although 13 schools, including two boarding schools, were
reported in the parish in 1833 probably all were small private schools,
the poor relying on Sunday schools; there were 32 boys and 41 girls in
the vicar’s school, and a second school, managed by the Revd D Allen
of St John’s College, taught 20 boys and 30 girls. Penny clubs flourished
in both schools, but after the establishment of a National day-school at
34 Banbury Road in 1837 it became impossible to raise enough
subscriptions to cover the expenses of both in spite of urgent appeals.
In the day-school special attention was paid to the training of girls for
service as well as to reading and arithmetic. Writing was taught at an
extra charge. In 1853 there were 61 boys and 60 girls in the school; a
new classroom built for the boys in 1855 and enlarged in 1867 made it
possible to teach infants in their old rooms.

Eleanor Chance, Christina Colvin, Janet Cooper, C J Day, T G Hassall, Mary Jessup and Nesta
Selwyn, ‘Education’, in A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 4, the City of Oxford, ed. Alan
Crossley and C R Elrington (London, 1979), pp. 442-462. British History Online http://www.british- [accessed 1 August 2017].

In 1869 the infant school was separated from the girls’ school: it
started with an average attendance of 49 which had increased to 90 by
1875 and did not receive very satisfactory reports at the annual
inspections. From 1883 the schools became practising schools for
Felstead Teacher-Training College, which had started in 1876 at 23
Banbury Road. Even so the boys’ school closed in 1885; the girls’ and
infant schools, sometimes called Felstead House Practising schools,
continued under the management of the college, but in other respects
were considered as public elementary schools supervised by the school
committee of the parish. In 1923 the two schools were reorganized
under one headmistress. The site was purchased by the university in
1936, the school closed, and the 40 children transferred to the convent
school in St Philip and St James parish.
[The old buildings were initially used by the Institute of Experimental Psychology; but in
the 1960s Nos 2-42 Banbury Road were demolished to make way for the Department of
Engineering Science.]

100 Years Ago – St Giles’ Parish Magazine, September 1917
Vicar’s Letter: When I come back [from holiday] I hope to make
arrangements for preparing ourselves for the Missionary Effort, in
which we shall take part at the end of October. I propose to call
together those who are already keen on the cause of Missions to
consider what we can best do to extend and deepen our knowledge
and zeal throughout the parish. We are fortunate in having a promise
from the Bishop of Oxford to preach at the Evening Service on the
opening day of the Effort, October 28th.
50 Years Ago – St Giles’ Parish Magazine, September 1967
From the Vicar: The new Communion Service: Considering the time – 6
o’clock in the evening – it was good to see so many of our people
accepting the Modern Churchman’s Union’s invitation to join its
Conference’s worship. The reason for the invitation was that the
service in question was the new Communion rite and obviously the
more people use it the more informed their discussion of it will be. For
the facts about this service compel our attention. It is now, in a slightly
amended form, authorised for experimental use by clear majorities in
the Convocations and the House of Laity. Experimental use for four
years. It may not be used in any parish without the consent of the PCC.

Therefore the PCC will need to have time to study it. ….. The Bishop of
the Diocese, Dr Carpenter, writes that in his opinion the service “is not
likely to get a fair trial unless it is used regularly at the principal
Communion Service on Sundays where the largest body of
communicants is present. I hope that most parishes in the diocese will
decide to take part in this experiment.” Though we have carefully
adhered to the lawful rite as we have it in our Book of Common Prayer
at the 9.45 celebration of Holy Communion, we have nevertheless
prepared the way a little by our experiments for this new step. Those
who came to the new service in St Giles’ as used by the MCU
conference should remember that standing for communion is no part
of the service – it was a necessity in our church if the altar was to stand
where it did. Nor is the westward position – with the celebrant facing
the people. I think most of you who were there were impressed
favourably with it ……. This is an exciting and historic moment – nothing
like it has happened since 1549. Then our new “Common Prayer” was
given us without any opportunity to experiment, discuss and comment.
We must take this duty seriously – just think, we may be saddling our
children and our children’s children with something they won’t be able
to change for another 300 years.

T HE Ride and Stride is an annual sponsored event. People are
invited to cycle, walk or horse ride to as many churches, chapels
and meeting houses as they wish on any route of their choice. Do take
a look at the website to link to the Oxford Walk map featuring St Giles’.
This year one of the leading participants on the Oxford Walk will
be Revd Canon Edmund Newey, Sub Dean of Christ Church, who will be
walking, with his family, to six churches in central Oxford. Joyously he
will be celebrating that OHCT supports congregations of all Christian
faiths, so his walk will include a Baptist and Methodist church. The
walk is less than three miles so is ideal for families or those who are
limited by time available or their knees or hips or both! If you would
like to participate in Ride and Stride and join Edmund to raise essential
funds for OHCT please go to
walk/ to sign up and download the Oxford Walk route

Sunday 3 The Twelfth Sunday after Trinity
10:30 am Patronal Festival Holy Communion followed by
Interment of Ashes of Prof Dennis Shaw CBE
7:45 pm Priest and Pints at The Royal Oak
Monday 4th (SG Fair) St Birinus Church open 11 am till late
12:30 pm Eucharist
Tuesday 5th (SG Fair) Church open 11 am till late
12:30 pm Eucharist
Saturday 9th Charles Fuge Lowder, 1880
10:00 am-6:00 pm Ride and Stride; and Oxford Open Doors
Sunday 10th The Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity
10:30 am Holy Communion and Baptism
followed by Shared Parish Lunch at the Vicarage
2:00-4:00 pm Oxford Open Doors
Thursday 14th Holy Cross Day
9:00 am Eucharist at St Margaret’s
Sunday 17th The Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity
Sunday 24th The Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity
10:30 am Harvest Thanksgiving Holy Communion
Friday 29th St Michael and All Angels
8:00 pm Eucharist with hymns at St Margaret’s
Saturday 30th Ember Day
7:30 pm Celebrating Hoagy – The Chris Ingram Quartet
Sunday Readings at 10:30 am Holy Communion
3rd September (Trinity 12/Patronal Festival)
Jeremiah 15:15-21; Ps 26:1-8; Romans 12:9-end; Matthew 16:21-end
10th September (Trinity 13)
Ezekiel 33:7-11; Ps 119:33-40; Romans 13:8-end; Matthew 18:15-20
17th September (Trinity 14)
Genesis 50:15-21; Psalm 103:1-13; Romans 14:1-12; Matthew 18:21-35
24th September (Trinity 15/Harvest Thanksgiving)
Deuteronomy 8:7-18; Psalm 65; 2 Corinthians 9:6-end; Luke 12:16-30


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