Programme

We run a year-round programme of Oxford-themed talks, walks and visits aimed to encourage an awareness and understanding of our city. The talks (free and open to all) are given by leading speakers in interesting locations across the city. Topics can include Oxford’s history, buildings, arts and science, and current development projects.

The extensive programme of visits and walks (members only and usually for a small charge) is led by local experts and held both in and out of Oxford.

Accessibility

Magdalen’s Grove Auditorium has level access via the main entrance doors though the foyer. Wheelchairs may be placed in front of the front row of seats. There is an accessible toilet via the fire exit leading to Longwall Street from the front of the Auditorium. Neither venue has disabled parking spaces nearby although there are limited general pay-and-display parking places in Longwall Street near the Grove Auditorium entrance.

Rewley House is wheelchair accessible via a ramp. Once inside there is a lift to the lecture theatre and to the bar! There is limited parking in Wellington Square and more in St Giles.

Oxford Town Hall Assembly Room is on the first floor. There is a street-level entrance to the Town Hall on St Aldate’s immediately after the Edinburgh Woollen Mill shop. You may need to ring the bell to get the door opened by Reception. Once inside there is a lift to the first floor and then a level floor to the meeting room.

Open talks — all welcome

Our Autumn programme of talks-by-webinar is below. Registration information will be available shortly before each event. Members will receive a link in an e-bulletin, but if you mislay that information please contact events@oxcivicsoc.org.uk. Non-members are welcome to join these talks and should contact events@oxcivicsoc.org.uk to request the registration link. Both members and non-members may also register via Eventbrite; using this option you will receive an email with the link to join the meeting on the afternoon of the meeting itself.

We have prepared a simple guide to registering and taking part in these webinars which you can read here.

You can watch videos of earlier webinars on our YouTube channel.

  • Oxford Botanic Garden and Arboretum: a resource, an inspiration

    Tuesday 12 January 8pm

    Photo: Toby Ord

    Thanks to a gift of £5,000 in 1621, Oxford acquired the first scientific garden in Great Britain which now hosts over 5,000 plant species. Gardeners’ Question Time panellist and Deputy Director of the Botanic Garden, Dr Chris Thorogood, will explain its history and its role in research, conservation, education and public understanding. With accelerating global warming, what does the future hold?

    Eventbrite link

  • How the planning system was captured by the property lobby

    Thursday 4 February 8pm

    Bob Colenutt will explain how today’s crisis in housing and the affordability of homes relates to the residential property development business and the behaviour of its participants. Bob, an OCS member and active member of the Housing Policy Group, is the author of a book described as ‘the perfect guide’ to the complexities of the housing market, The Property Lobby.

    Eventbrite link.

  • The Low Carbon Hub: powering a greener future

    Tuesday 23 February 8pm

    Imagine the whole county being powered by an interconnected series of smart micro-grids centred around multiple smallscale, community-controlled renewable energy schemes. That is the vision of the Low Carbon Hub, a social enterprise that aims to prove we can meet our energy needs in a way that is good for people and the planet. The Hub’s CEO, Barbara Hammond, will describe how the Hub is playing a central role in developing a smarter, flexible electricity system fit for our future.

    Eventbrite link.

  • Managing Oxford in challenging times

    Thursday 11 March 8pm

    Gordon Mitchell
    Photo: The Oxford Mail

    Gordon Mitchell has been Oxford City Council’s Chief Executive since May 2017 and will be retiring from the post in April 2021. Gordon has provided strong support to the city council, including the creation of council-owned businesses, managing its finances in very difficult circumstances, addressing climate change, Covid recovery and the need to tackle inclusivity. He will describe how addressing these challenges will help us in the years ahead.

    Eventbrite link.

Members-only Walks and Visits

Due to Coronavirus restrictions we are not currently offering any walks and visits.