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.

New this year, and celebrating the 50th anniversary of Oxford Civic Society, we are presenting three OCS@50 Debates. These will cover:

  • The need for housing versus the protection of the Green Belt,
  • Cutting pollution in Oxford; the Zero Emission Zone, and
  • The Expressway.

Admission to the debates is open to all (members and non-members) by paid ticket only. Look under the ‘OCS@50 Debates’ tab for full information on these as they take shape. Booking for the Green Belt debate is now open; tickets for this event are £7 per head. Follow the link on the event page to buy tickets (maximum two per person).

Accessibility

OCS@50 Debates - ticketed events

The OCS@50 Debates are ticketed events open to everyone. See individual events for how to book.

  • Cutting Pollution in Oxford

    Thursday 16 May, 7.30pm
    Assembly Rooms, Oxford Town Hall, St Aldate’s, OX1 1BX

    Council proposals to allow only electric taxis, cars, light commercial vehicles and buses to enter parts of central Oxford from 2020 proved controversial. In this second debate to mark the 50th anniversary of Oxford Civic Society, the speakers will debate when central Oxford should become a Zero Emission Zone, and what should be done about pollution in the rest of the City. How could the various ways of reducing pollution be combined and what will be the impact on people’s lives?  Councillor Paul Harris, who drew attention to the problems of introducing a ZEZ very quickly, and Chris Church of Friends of the Earth, will offer their alternative proposals on 16 May. The audience will have a chance to have their say before the two opposing speakers wind up the debate.

    Doors open 7.00pm; debate starts 7.30pm. Tickets required – no entry on the door.

    Tickets for this event are £7. Click here to go to the Eventbrite booking page.

    Please contact us if you have any special mobility or other needs we should know about.

  • Should Oxfordshire Grow?

    The proposed Expressway and new communities

    Monday 17 June, 7.30pm
    Assembly Rooms, Oxford Town Hall, St Aldate’s, OX1 1BX

    Government proposals for significant growth in Oxfordshire in coming decades include an Expressway and several new communities.  Are these needed or can growth be directed elsewhere?  Can growth be ‘intelligent’, leading to prosperity without compromising the quality of life?  In the third and final debate to mark the 50th anniversary of Oxford Civic Society, Councillor Ian Hudspeth, Leader of Oxfordshire County Council, and Danny Dorling, Halford Mackinder Professor of Geography in the University of Oxford will contest the issues.

    Doors open 7.00pm; debate starts 7.30pm. Tickets required – no entry on the door.

    Tickets for this event are £7. Click here to go to the Eventbrite booking page.

    Please contact us if you have any special mobility or other needs we should know about.

Members-only Walks and Visits

Tickets are needed for these events. Closing date 4 April. To check availability for events in March & April please contact Alan Hobbs (details on booking form). Download the booking form

  • Historic Wantage – a walk

    Thursday 16 May 10am
    Thursday 23 May 2pm

    Wantage, the birthplace of King Alfred, is a charming market town with many historic buildings. This one-hour walking tour will take in the parish church, market square and other landmarks. It’s worth lingering to see the fascinating Vale and Downland Museum where there is also a convenient café.

  • Oxford’s ancient water boundaries – a walk

    Monday 3 June 2pm

    The outer bounds of the City of Oxford were defined on three sides by its waterways. In the second of a series of walks led by local historian Mark Davies we will explore the western boundaries, taking in the Thames and the canal.

  • Littlemore – a village walk

    Thursday 6 June 2pm

    This one-hour walk led by Sue Stewart will take in the buildings associated with Cardinal Newman who founded the church of St Mary and St Nicholas. The tour ends with tea at the church where there is a small exhibition. See also the Newman College visit.

  • Chilswell Valley Nature Reserve – a walk

    Thursday 13 June 2.30pm

    The Chilswell Valley near South Hinksey is a rare and beautiful example of acid grassland, noted for its wild orchids, reed beds and old gnarled oaks. This walk will take about an hour; strong footwear is advised.

  • Newman College, Littlemore – a visit

    Tuesday 2 July 2.15pm

    A small Catholic community, the college was founded by Newman when he was the local vicar. This one and a half hour visit to the college, led by one of the sisters, will take in the chapel, library and a museum in Newman’s room.

Open talks — all welcome

Come and learn about your city. No pre-booking, free of charge.