Historical Society

2018 - 19 PROGRAMME 

Please scroll down to find the programme for the 2018-19 season.



Scroll down the page to find the 'Graveyard Survey' link.  Here you can find out all about the Historical Society's project to transcribe and digitise the transcriptions of all the graves and memorials in Olveston church and churchyard.


The Society 

The society was formed in 1966 to "promote interest in the history of Olveston and the surrounding areas and to collect and preserve documentary and photographic records". The Society meets at the Methodist Church on the first Wednesday of each month from October to April.  Talks usually have a local connection, either through the subject matter or the speaker.  In the summer months we usually have two trips, often following up talks given during the previous winter. Visitors are always very welcome at all our meetings.

You can use these links to find out more about:


This photo shows some OPHS members taking part in a historical walk around Aust, guided by Society Archivist, Eric Garrett.

OPHS trip to Aust 

Contact details for Olveston Parish Historical Society:

  • Chair, principal contact and holder of the society's publications:  Les Harper  01454 612304


  • Society Archivist:  Eric Garrett  01454 613019


  • Programme Secretaries:  Jenny & Richard Newley  01454 202011 


  • Membership Secretary & Treasurer: Anne Young  01454 412528  




2018 - 19 PROGRAMME





Oct 2018 - April 2019

Wed. 3 Oct 2018

A short AGM (half an hour), followed by Richard Newley and Eric Garrett telling Tales from the Graveyard. Hear about the gravestone inscription digitisation project and how to access St Marys Olveston grave details online.  Then hear something of the history of the churchyard and its inhabitants.  This project is proving to be a great boon to family history researchers from around the world.

Wed. 7 Nov. 2018

Dr Evan Jones from the University of Bristol describes how, as a young man trying to research Cabot and his transatlantic voyages, he came up against some very strange problems indeed - a modern-day human mystery -  which he did his best to unravel.  Discover all, when he tells us about Rediscovering Cabot: the Bristol Voyages of Discovery, c.1470 - 1508.

Wed. 5 Dec. 2018

In Underground Bristol, local civil engineer Hamish Orr-Ewing will share with us his inside knowledge, gained from his experience of burrowing under the city…  Discover what lies beneath your feet as you travel across Bristol.

Wed. 9 Jan. 2019

Louise Ingsley is an experienced tour guide on open-top bus tours of Bristol.  What better way to spend a winter’s evening than coming to the warm Methodist Church and being taken on A Virtual Tour of Bristol?

Wed. 6 Feb. 2019

In A Monstrous Commotion: The Mysteries of Loch Ness, popular speaker Prof. Gareth Williams will be regaling us with his immaculately researched study of Nessie hunters, naysayers and advocates (sometimes quite unexpected ones!).  There’s also a local Thornbury connection…  As always with Gareth Williams, you can expect a lively and humorous talk, alongside good science. 

Wed. 6 Mar. 2019

You’re probably familiar with Slimbridge, the Rushy Pen where the wild swans arrive every winter, and the family home of Sir Peter Scott, overlooking the lake.  Curator Helen McConnell Simpson is going to tell us about Starting from Scratch: Creating a New Museum - Scott House at Slimbridge.

Wed. 3 Apr. 2019

Alan Freke, a popular past speaker, recounts the history of GWR - the Badminton Line, a lively, informative, often humorous, account of creating a new railway route in 1903 to speed up journey times between London and South Wales. The talk includes some fascinating tales of the local aristocracy.












































All events will be held at the Methodist Church, The Street, Olveston BS35 4DR at 7.30pm.  

Existing and new members are very welcome, as are visitors. 

Annual membership fee (which gives free entry to the entire season of talks):  £8, payable at the door at any meeting up to and including the December one.

Entry to single talk:  £2 payable at the door.