A SEASON of events celebrating the history of pubs and brewing in Oxford’s past is being staged by the city’s museum.

Pubs have been the hub of the community for generations, and Oxford has its own rich history of inn and taverns.

In 1355 a dodgy pint at the Swindlestock Tavern near Carfax sparked two days of rioting between town and gown.

Recent history has been happier - Morrells brewery was part of Oxford for over 200 years till it closed in 1998; the Inklings (Tolkien, CS Lewis and others) used to meet in the Eagle and Child, and Aunt Sally still offers a local alternative to the pub darts team in Oxford.

Museum of Oxford staff will run story collecting events to help the museum develop its digital archive.

The council, which runs the museum, says pubs are a central part of communities, and capturing stories about what they were like and events they witnessed is part of capturing the history of Oxford’s residents.

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Mary Clarkson, cabinet member for city centre and culture, said: “Whether we’re there every week or never set foot inside, we all know where the local pub is.

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“They’ve always been part of our communities, and this series of events will give a fascinating look into their history and their place today.

“I hope plenty of people will get involved to support the museum - I’m looking forward to the future display.

“Although most of my Oxford relatives were Methodists and didn’t set foot in pubs, one of my great great uncles was the architect for the Shotover Arms, now the drive-through McDonalds on the Green Road roundabout, and another relative was the landlord of the Lamb and Flag in St Giles.”

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The schedule kicked off on Tuesday with a trivia-filled history of Oxford’s pubs delivered by editor of the Oxford Drinker Dave Richardson at The Castle on Castle Street.

After becoming editor of the Campaign for Real Ale’s Oxford Drinker magazine, Mr Richardson decided to write a book called Oxford Pubs.

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He was approached by Amberley Publishing to write a book covering city hostelries – the tenth in a series.

The writer knew he was following in the footsteps of previous overviews of Oxford boozers so he was anxious not to go over the same ground they covered.

As a result, his guide does not cover every single pub, concentrating instead on those with quirky tales to tell and fascinating histories.

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Derek Honey wrote An Encyclopaedia of Oxford Pubs, Inns and Taverns, published by Oakwood Press in 1998.

This was followed by Oxford Pubs Past & Present by Paul Marriott.

Mr Richardson praised their efforts and said following the work of these authors there was no need for him to trawl back through centuries of archives.

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November will see the launch of a month-long fundraising campaign, starting at the Tap Social on November 9 with free family activities and live entertainment.

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A series of further events are planned throughout November and December.

The donations will enable the museum to create a display that captures the history of pubs and their communities in Oxford’s past.