Archiver > GEN-EVENTS > 2015-02 > 1423417137

From: Paul Gaskell <>
Subject: [GEN-EVENTS] Oxfordshire FHS meeting - Monday 23 February 2015
Date: Sun, 08 Feb 2015 17:38:57 +0000


The next meeting of the Oxfordshire Family History Society will take
place on Monday 23 February 2015. It will be held at the usual venue at
Exeter Hall, Oxford Road, Kidlington, Oxford OX5 1AB. Doors open at
7.15pm for coffee, the bookstall and computer help.

The subject of the talk at 8.00pm will be :-

From Trevithick to Barnes Wallis: tracing a family of Cornish
engineers, from Camborne to Brooklands, via the sewers of London

This will be presented by Tony Hadland.

Tony tells us that this illustrated talk demonstrates how an engineering
tradition survived in a family of Cornish origin from the mid-eighteenth
century to the present day. It also shows how, to stay in work as
technology developed, this family of engineers had to move from Cornwall
to London, Essex and Kent, then Herefordshire, Lincolnshire, Hampshire,
Somerset, Norfolk and Surrey, before one of them finally returned to
Cornwall in the late-twentieth century. In so doing, they had to adapt
their skills from steam engineering to civil engineering and then to

In the talk, Tony Hadland shows how his wife's ancestors worked with
Richard Trevithick on Britain's first steam-powered road vehicle, the
"Puffing Devil". The family was subsequently involved with engineering
at Dolcoath, one of the world's largest mines, and at Perran, a leading
Cornish foundry, before moving to London to run Cornish steam engines in
the new waterworks installed after the cholera outbreak of the mid 1800s.

Subsequently, the family was involved in civil engineering for the
Admiralty. Then came aviation and Tony’s father-in-law eventually became
chief physicist at the British Aircraft Corporation, having worked for
many years with Sir Barnes Wallis of airship, geodesic bomber, bouncing
bomb and swing-wing fame. Finally, to complete the circle, Tony's
brother-in-law returned to Cornwall, where he works in advanced magnetics.

Our speaker Tony Hadland was born in 1949 in Reading. Tony has also
lived in Oxford, South Oxfordshire and the Vale of White Horse. He spent
thirteen years in the West Midlands, literally having been sent to
Coventry by his employer. He studied architecture at the Oxford School
of Architecture and surveying at Reading College of Technology. Tony is
a Fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors; a historian
specialising in local, family, recusant and cycle history; honorary
president of the Moulton Bicycle Club; and chairman of the Oxfordshire
Local History Association. Between 2004 and 2009 he was administrator of
the Vale & Downland Museum. He has written, edited and contributed to a
number of books and has had many articles published in magazines and
journals. He has made numerous appearances on radio, particularly in
recent years on BBC Radio Oxford, and has also appeared in documentary
films and on regional TV. His most recent book, co-authored with
Professor Hans-Erhard Lessing, is Bicycle Design: an illustrated
history, published by MIT Press. He has a website at

All members, potential members and their guests are welcome.

For directions as to how to get to the Exeter Hall, please see :-

For a list of future OFHS meetings, please see :-

Any queries, please contact me.

Paul Gaskell
Publicity Officer
Oxfordshire Family History Society

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