Summary Information

Gwent Archives
Oxford House Educational Settlement, Risca
1.0 not recorded

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Oxford House Educational Settlement , Risca

During the 1920s the Lord Mayor of London made an appeal to help people impoverished by industrial strife, particularly during and after the general strike of 1926. The worst affected areas were the coalfields and it was in response to this appeal that the Mayor of Oxford's Mining Distress Committee was formed to organize and dispatch assistance to those areas in greatest need.

Oxford's connection with Risca dates from the visit of Mr. R. R. Jordan of the Morris Motor Company, on a private mission of help at Christmas, 1928. The news which he brought back led the Mayor of Oxford's M.D.C. to decide to concentrate its efforts on Risca. Some public utility works at Risca were subsidised, relief in other forms was contributed and for over two years Mr Vyvyan Richards lived there as Oxford's representative and brought help of various kinds to the district, notably by his efforts on behalf of allotment holidays and by the work among unemployed boys carried on at Oxford House.

Just when in the summer of 1931 the Oxford Committee was seriously considering whether it would have to give up its work, an offer of a yearly grant was made by the Educational Settlement in Risca. The Oxford Committee was reorganised and in September 1931 Mr. and Mrs. David Wills took up their posts as joint wardens of the Educational Settlement at Oxford House, Risca. The Wills's were both graduates of Oxford University who settled in Risca at a place called Hillside. This was a rented bungalow-type house with an additional building which had been used by Vyvyan Richards as a club for unemployed boys. This remained the site of Oxford House until 1937, the wardens establishing unemployed men's clubs , boys' and girls' clubs and a ladies' sewing group.

In September 1935 Mr. and Mrs. J. V.Alexander became wardens and found, like their predecessors, that Hillside was too small for an increasing membership. In 1936 a large house belonging to a local doctor came on the market. The Alexanders saw it as ideal for the new Oxford House and in 1937 "The Grove" was purchased.

For history see D2357/66

Much of this collection consists of bundles of correspondence. These have been left as found and it should be noted that there is a degree of overlap in the date and content of some.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

 Gwent Archives

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Collection Inventory

Oxford House Minutes 

 D2357/1 Minutes of meeting of Oxford House Committee 1932-1934 

 D2357/2 Student Committee minute book 1935-1948 

 D2357/3 Student Management Committee minute book 1948-1953 

 D2357/4 Oxford House Settlement council minutes 1947-1965 

 D2357/5 Settlement Members' Committee minutes 1965-1975 

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Minutes of Corresponding Organisations 

 D2357/6 Minutes and reports of the joint committee for the promotion of educational facilities in the South Wales and Monmouthshire coalfields 1930-1934 

 D2357/7 Correspondence with and reports of meetings of the Educational Settlement Association 1944-1952 

 D2357/8 Educational Centres Association minutes of meetings and accounts 1952-1956 

 D2357/9 Workers' Educational Association, South Wales District, minutes and reports 1965-1971 

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Financial Records 

 D2357/10 Accounts and other financial papers submitted to the committee of the M. of O. M.D.F. re: running costs of Risca Educational Settlement. 1934-1947 

 D2357/11 Lists of subscriptions and audited accounts 1935-1942 

 D2357/12 Stock book 1937-1945 

 D2357/13 Correspondence and statements re: income and expenditure estimates 1944-1958 

 D2357/14 Oxford House trading accounts detailing stocktaking, income, imprest and salaries 1945-1948 

 D2357/15 Staff monthly salary schedules including war bonuses 1935-1948 

 D2357/16 Correspondence mainly financial including salary schedules and grants with inventory and valuation of contents of settlement 1937. 1937-1948 

 D2357/17 Imprest account book 1943-1945 

 D2357/18 Drawing account no. 1 (volume) 1946-1947 

 D2357/19 Drawing account no. 1 (volume) 1947-1949 

 D2357/20 Income account book 1946-1948 

 D2357/21 Petty cash book 1945-1962 

 D2357/22 Cash book for handicrafts account 1945-1966 

 D2357/23 Wages book 1948-1953 

 D2357/24 Wages book 1954-1961 

 D2357/25 Income account book 1949-1956 

 D2357/26 Income account book 1950-1963 

 D2357/27 Expenditure account book 1950-1957 

 D2357/28 Expenditure account book 1951-1956 

 D2357/29 Expenditure account book 1956-1962 

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Correspondence and Reports 

 D2357/30 Correspondence between David Wills, warden and A. Barrett, Ruskin College, Oxford regarding preparation of first annual report. 1931-1932 

 D2357/31 Correspondence generated by starting up of Oxford House including fund raising, committee meetings, competitions and purchase of equipment and materials for classes; also bulletins of the British Institute of Adult Education re: unemployment. 1931-1932 

 D2357/32 Correspondence between David Wills and the principal of Ruskin College, (member of the executive committee of the Mayor of Oxford's Mining Distress Fund) mainly re: Ruskin scholarships and committee matters. 1931-1934 

 D2357/33 Correspondence mainly re: Summer schools and lectures. Includes syllabuses for classes and Summer schools. 1931-1932 

 D2357/34 Correspondence and notes re: meetings and activities including syllabuses 1932-1933; E.S.A. conference programme 1933; proposed constitution and minutes of the South Wales and Monmouthshire Council of Social Services Education Committee and posters advertising dances, plays, weekend schools and concerts (including visit of Mrs. John Buchan). 1931-1934 

 D2357/35 Correspondence with Mrs Bailey and her daughter, of Oxford (executive committee member of O.M.D.F.?) 1931-1934 

 D2357/36 Correspondence mainly with Will Noble, warden of Maes yr Haf Educational Settlement, Trealaw, Rhondda re: talks, camps and settlement activities. 1931-1934 

 D2357/37 Correspondence with Bowen and Son, solicitors, Pontypool, re: occupation of Pugh's shop St. Mary Street, Risca, by unemployed men's club. 1931-1934 

 D2357/38 Correspondence between David Wills and William Hazelton, secretary of the Educational Settlements Association mainly re programmes and courses. Including E.S.A. minutes. 1931-1934 

 D2357/39 Correspondence re: classes and projects at Oxford House including university extra-mural depts., E.S.A. and secretary of Mayor of Oxford's Mining Distress Fund re: meetings and purchase of furniture for David Wills. 1931 

 D2357/40 Correspondence re: classes and projects at Oxford House including warden's report to secretary of Oxford City Education Committee and report of E.S.A. Committee. 1932 

 D2357/41 Correspondence re classes at Oxford House including boys' club premises, E.S.A., O.M.M.D.F., Oxford Education Committee. 1933 

 D2357/42 Correspondence re: courses including camp application form, and social fund. 1933-1934 

 D2357/43 Correspondence re: classes at Oxford House including estimates re: Oxford House camps with names of campers; income and expenditure 1934. 1934 

 D2357/44 Oxford House warden's reports to the committee of the Mayor of Oxford's Mining Distress fund. 1934-1941 

 D2357/45 Correspondence re: Summer camp includes details of food and equipment. 1935 

 D2357/46 Correspondence, plans and specifications re: additions and alterations to Grove House and warden's new house. Including abstract of lease 1845 and drawings and specifications by T. Alwyn Lloyd, architect, Cardiff 1937 1936-1939 

 D2357/47 Notes and statistics on unemployment in Monmouthshire, mainly the Risca area including sketch maps of industrial area; also expenditure estimates and circulars re: Summer camps and membership figures of first men's inter-club conference held at Oxford House. 1937-1940 

 D2357/48 Oxford House annual reports nos. 5-8, 11-12,14, with syllabuses 1937-1939, 1945-1946, 1956-1960. 1937-1960 

 D2357/49 Warden's reports to Oxford Committee including war-time material such as statistics of citizens, advice bureaux in Risca and Newbridge 1942-1943 1938-1947 

 D2357/50 Schedules of officers and members of women's groups with details of courses and activities including questionaire re: post-war homes and minutes of the South Wales and Monmouthshire Council of Social Services make do and mend advisory committee 1943-1944. 1939-1953 

 D2357/51 Miscellaneous papers mainly warden's correspondence re: lectures, courses and camps including food accounts, expenditure estimates and notes re: preparations for Oxford House camps; finance committee papers; list of books suggested for library and letters from Susan Buchan mainly re: visits to Risca. c.1930-c.1940 

 D2357/52 Correspondence with the Workers, Educational Association, South Wales District including W.E.A.minutes. 1945-1952 

 D2357/53 Correspondence mainly with M. of O.S.F. secretary re: accounts. 1945-1950 

 D2357/54 Settlement Council papers re: classes, meetings and membership committee. Mainly Warden's correspondence including account of the work of the Settlement. 1947-1959 

 D2357/55 Correspondence with the Wales and Monmouthshire Association of Women's Social Service clubs including minutes and constitution. 1948-1950 

 D2357/56 Oxford House warden's reports to Settlement Council. 1951-1965 

 D2357/57 Correspondence and papers re: repairs and improvements to premises. 1955-1960 

 D2357/58 Notices, newspaper cuttings and correspondence re: "at home" open days at Oxford House. 1959-1969 

 D2357/59 Notices of forthcoming classes and events at Oxford House. 1966-1972 

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Newspaper Cuttings 

 D2357/60 Newspaper cuttings 1931-1933 

 D2357/61 Newspaper cuttings 1936-1959 

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 D2357/62 The 1938 "daily dozen" for girls and women (central council of recreative physical training London, 1938) [presumably for class use]. 1938 

 D2357/63 Dorothy Clark, "Simple skipping steps for recreational classes" (ca.1938) [presumably for class use]. 1938 

 D2357/64 Articles for "The Centre", Settlement magazine 1947-1948 

 D2357/65 Oxford House News, the newsletter of Risca Educational Settlement. 1953-1956 

 D2357/66 G Owens, "The History of Oxford House Adult Education Settlement, Risca 1931-1941" [unpublished. B.Ed. dissertation, 1981] 1931-1941, [1981] 

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