The Abingdon Association

A visitor looking at Chastleton House, Oxfordshire

The Abingdon & District Association draws its membership from the area between Oxford and the Berkshire Downs. Our programme aims to add value and fun to supporting the National Trust.

A programme of summer coach trips and holidays allow members to enjoy some of the National Trust places further away with most visits taking place in the summer months. We also visit historic towns such as Bath and Brighton out of season.

Our talks programme, which takes place through the winter, enables us to keep in touch with one another and entertains us while the National Trust’s places are closed.

The success of our programmes enables us to fund and support a number of National Trust places and wider appeals. Amongst them are, Priory CottagesGreat Coxwell Barn, Greys Court, Basildon Park and Chastleton House.

What's On

TALKS FOR 2019: These take place in Trinity Church Hall, Conduit Road, Abingdon OX14 1DB at 2.30pm,with refreshments available from 2pm.The talks are free to members with a donation of £3 requested from non-members.The opportunity to join the Association is always available on the door, making the talks free and the possibility of joining the outings as well.For more information about these talks,please contact Ruth on 01235 524119 or email

Tuesday September 24 – Liz Woolley - “It will do him more good than going to school”: Child labour in nineteenth-century Oxfordshire. The image commonly evoked by the phrase ‘child labour’ is one of young children toiling in the grimy factories and mines of the Midlands and the North. Yet in rural counties like Oxfordshire, child labour was as much a feature of everyday life in the nineteenth century as in industrialised areas. This hour-long illustrated talk tells the story of our county’s child workers, many of whom started work part-time at the age of six or seven and, until the compulsory school legislation of the 1870s, left education for good by the age of ten to become permanently employed. Oxfordshire children worked in agriculture, in domestic service and in lace-making, gloving and in a host of other small-scale occupations. The talk highlights the differences between girls’ and boys’ experiences of work, and the particular fates of pauper apprentices. It also shows that, contrary to popular belief, cottage industry and agricultural work were by no means the ‘soft option’ in comparison with work in the factories and mines of industrialised areas.  Liz Woolley is a local historian specialising in aspects of the history of Oxford and Oxfordshire. She is particularly interested in the history of the city’s “town” – as opposed to “gown” – and in the everyday lives of rural people across the county, chiefly during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Tuesday October 22 – Geoff Dunbar - From Toulouse Lautrec to Sir Paul McCartney: The golden age of hand drawn animation in Great Britain. Geoff is an international award-winning animator whose films include Toulouse Lautrec and the Cunning Little Vixen and whose work has won the Palme d'Or and Baftas, amongst others. He has worked with Sir Paul McCartney and set up his own production company in London. From his early fascination with the Walt Disney cartoons, Geoff has built a distinguished career in both film animation and book illustration. This talk will include the showing of two short films and promises to be something special

Tuesday November 19  - Dr Tim Sellers - AGM & The Mysteries of Migration. This talk will throw some light on the knowledge we have and what still remains a mystery about migration. Migration is a critical part of the annual cycle of many animals.  They can travel ten, hundreds or even thousands of miles and the range of animals that migrate is very large.  The most spectacular migrations are found among the birds.  Human beings have known about migration since biblical times, but only recently have we begun to understand the wide range of movements made, and the effort involved in achieving them.  It turns out that the phenomenon is very complex and is really part of the whole life of an individual.  Among the birds, each individual has to prepare many weeks ahead for its journey, and can only rely on itself for finding its way.  In spite of these difficulties, many millions of birds fly thousands of miles twice each year throughout their lives.  This lecture explores the phenomenon of migration and how birds manage their amazing feats of navigation and endurance. After retiring from Imperial College London, where he had been an academic member of the Zoology Department, Tim took the opportunity to travel abroad extensively, especially in SE Asia.  He has a long term interest in promoting science to the general public and has given science courses and lectures in many countries to RSPB and similar groups for over 30 years.

VISITS: Closing dates for visit applications are always two weeks prior to the visit date. For more details about visits, please contact Barry Stayte on 01235 521372, email

Thursday, 19th September - Churchill Museum and Cabinet War Rooms, London. The Churchill Museum is full of cutting-edge technology, documents and film recording the highs and lows of Churchill’s life and it was from the underground Cabinet War Rooms that World War 2 was directed.  It is where the War Cabinet and members of his inner circle sheltered from the bombs, ate and slept.  The atmospheric corridors and rooms are full of the original features of this time.  There is cafe and a shop.

On our return journey we will make a stop for tea at Greys Court near Henley. This National Trust Tudor-style house has a courtyard and gardens. The walled gardens contain old-fashioned roses and wisteria, an ornamental vegetable garden. The house remains furnished as a family home, with some outstanding 18th-century plasterwork interiors. It is a Grade I listed building.

Cost £40.00 (35 maximum for entry at 11.00)

Depart             Stratton Way, Abingdon      8.30am; Hales Meadow car park (opposite Rye Farm), Abingdon  8.35am; Market Square, Wallingford  8.50am

Thursday, 24th October 10.00am - The Bate Collection of Musical instruments. This collection of historic musical instruments from the Middle Ages onwards is housed in Oxford University's Faculty of Music near Christ Church on St. Aldate's, Oxford.  Andy Lamb, the curator, will take us on a tour of the instruments and may even give us a chance to play some. More than a thousand instruments by important English, French and German makers, are on display, showing the musical and mechanical development of wind and percussion instruments from the Renaissance to the current day. This is a free visit and is limited to 15 members. We will meet at the venue at 10.00 am for the 90-minute tour. There is a tea room on the opposite side of St Aldates and there is a bus stop for Abingdon busses 50 yards from the entrance.


Friday 20th to Tuesday 24th March (4 nights/ 5 days).    

After many years of successful holidays interest has waned, resulting in the last two being cancelled. Several members have asked me to try again so I have looked into a visit to Cornwall where Spring should start three weeks before Abingdon. The cost includes 5 days coach travel and four nights half board accommodation at the Four-star Penventon Park Hotel, Redruth. Porter service, breakfast and dinner (3 course 3 choices) followed by tea or coffee included plus complimentary use of leisure facilities and wi-fi. There will be additional comfort stops when required on journeys.


Day 1 (Friday): Travel to Cornwall with a stop at Cotehele (NT) with time for lunch (not included). Welcome Drink and dinner at hotel included.

Day 2 (Saturday): Visit to the Lost Gardens of Heligan. Free time in Mevagissey and/or St Austell

Day 3 (Sunday): Morning visit to the National Trust’s Lanhydrock House and Gardens followed by a Train journey on the Bodmin and Wenford Steam Railway.

Day 4: (Monday) Visit to Tate St Ives and the Barbara Hepworth Museum and Sculpture Garden. 

Day 5: (Tuesday) Depart the Hotel and en route home visit the Eden Project, with time for lunch (not included). Return to Abingdon early evening

Admission to all of the properties above is included, however, admission to National Trust properties for any non-members is not included Members are reminded to take their cards.

Travel insurance and any items of a personal nature (beverages, mementos, etc).

PRICE PER PERSON: £498.00 (SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: £40.00) Deposit £50.00. For more information, call Barry on 01235 521372


Become a member

Abingdon & District NT Association 2018 Membership Form (PDF / 0.6MB) download