Weekend History Seminar 2018

This year's OUHS weekend seminar was held on the 23rd to the 25th February 2018 with the general theme “Peace after War” . New delagate Mr David Terrell kindly provided this interesting write-up on the event.

As a first-time participant in OUHS-weekend seminars, I was struck by the welcome I received. The talks were eclectic both in their subject-matter and in the speakers’ approach, varying from two contributions by Flo Wood in the field of ancient history supported by archeological evidence; to Don Vincent’s exposition on the consequences for the German High Fleet at Scapa Flow of the uncertainty existing after the armistice in November 1918. There was also Keith Ward’s exposition on the campaign to ensure that the war crime perpetrated by the Nazis in retaliation for the assassination of Heydrich in Prague in 1942 in which the Lidice population was in part executed and in part dispersed with Lidice being expunged from maps and documents, should not be forgotten and in time would be reborn with funds from the mining community and Stoke-on-Trent; to the justice or otherwise of forced population movement as a result of conflict as exemplified by the expulsion of ethnic-German women, children and the elderly from eastern Europe by Nigel Oakley, to when WWI is deemed to have started and ended by Martin Brooks as well as the long-term effects of war upon society both after the Napoleonic Wars as it related to Bristol and after WWI by Alan Clarke and Martin Brooks respectively; to letters between Stanley Bernard’s mother on the home front during WWII and his father serving abroad recording the trials and tribulations on the home front including a London Transport bus strike.

The Forge Mill Needle Museum at Redditch, brought Adam Smith’s dictums regarding the optimization of production by splitting manufacture into multiple tasks each being optimized in a proto-industrial process lending itself to mechanization, to life. The guide was excellent and the exhibition extremely interesting showing the world-dominance of the Redditch area in the manufacture of needles up to the beginning of WWI, It brought industrial and economic history to life.