Rob Forsyth

Notice1stMeeting1972A public meeting to propose the formation of The Deddington Society was held on 29 June 1972 in The Town Hall.  Geoffrey Hindley (a local author and historian) was in the chair.

It was agreed that a Steering Group be set up to decide on a Constitution (duly approved) and suggest activities for the Society such as:

  • The establishment of a Community Centre
  • Fundraising for above
  • Collaboration with existing societies & activities
  • Observing developments that might affect the environment
  • Actions needed on questions of local amenities
  • Pressure group on behalf of the parish on local authorities
  • Leisure activities for members
  • Publishing information relating to the above
Officers: Geoffrey Hindley was elected Chairman and John Morel Secretary

Membership: The files show how widely the Society was reaching out into the community. However, as a short Banbury Guardian article notes, the Parish Council declined to have a full member. 


The Societys'  activities fell under the following broad headings:

Newsletters: A number of these are in the Society's files. It is likely that more were issued but copies do not remain. Those that do can be seen HERE (pdf)

Festivals: One was held in each of 1973, 1974 and 1975. Details such as still exist at the time of cataloguing the Society's papers (2023) can be found in Fairs, Festivals, Funerals & Carnivals.

Parish matters: A selection of papers concerned with such matters as the Community Centre, street lighting, traffic, tree planting, tennis, Guy Fawkes Night and more can be found in this series of notes and letters (pdf)

Winding up and its legacy

With the coming of The Deddington News' first edition in September 1976 it was felt that the role of the Society as a voice for the Parish had now been superceded and the Society ceased to be active but was not formally wound up until July 1991 when the closing financial balance of £69.24 was donated to The Deddington News.

However, the groundwork for a Community Centre at the Windmill School had been done and in due course this project was successfully pursued. Similarly, street lighting became another successful project albeit after some controversy over the type of lighting. The coming of the M40 - for which the parish had long campaigned - eventually took a lot of traffic off the road. In June 2023, after consultation with the OCC and sounding out the opinion of the parish, it was announced that all 30 mph roads were to become 20mph. Festivals and Carnivals continued to be held periodically led by various different bodies until, for lack of volunteers they ceased in 2021.

Betty Hill suggested in 1996 that the Society be revived to manage a project to map and record the parish as it was in the Millenium Year 2000. In the end it was decided to form the 'Deddington Map Group' - another very successful project.

So in the end the vision of the Society has been realised in a variety of ways and we have much to thank it for.

Parish Archive

All the above documents, together with a folder containing three sets of minute books and various administrative papers (Box: 008/21), can be found in the Parish Archive by searching for 'Deddington Society' in its online Register.