Those Summer Nights – tell me more

The Oxfordshire Museum (TOM) and the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum (SOFO) in Woodstock have joined forces to offer visitors the unique opportunity to explore the museums on Wednesday evenings in August, extending their opening hours until 8pm.

Their ‘Summer Nights’ promotion will enable visitors to make the most of the long, light summer evenings with a series of one-off evening events and activities.

The Oxfordshire Museum is putting on live music from local musicians, as well as taster gallery talks and object handling. Visitors can enjoy the beautiful museum garden with Pimms and nibbles from the café, enjoy a freshly made crêpe or bring their own picnic.

Its new summer exhibition, Treasure from Trash, will also be open to explore. The exhibition showcases rubbish in a new light, with a colourful display of the endlessly creative and innovative ideas for re-using your rubbish to create beautiful recycled objects.

Miss Oxfordshire, Layla Claridge, will attend on 26 August to meet visitors wearing a dress she made for the competition using recycled materials.

The Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum will be opening its new exhibition for August, The '66 Men of Grandpont 1914-1918, to complement its Great War programme. It tells the stories of the men who went off to war from this Oxfordshire parish.

On August 12 and 19 volunteers will also be on hand to talk to any visitors wanting to find out more about the museum’s extensive archive and help them with their own research. And author Bruce Duncan will be sharing his adventures of a military man abroad on Wednesday 26 August.

Councillor Lorraine Lindsay Gale, Oxfordshire County Council’s Cabinet Member for Cultural Services, said  “We are excited to be offering a new experience to visitors with our first summer evening openings.

“The museums and garden are a really atmospheric place to enjoy on a summer’s evening with live music and a glass of Pimms, and I would encourage everyone to come along.”

Details of each evening as follows:

Wednesday 5 August

  • Jack Walker: Woodstock-based singer and harmonica player Jack’s performances have supported a number of the County’s charities. He will be performing a varied mix of folk, blues and songs ‘with a comic twist’.

Wednesday 12 August

  • Mandolirium: John Somerscales and Rod Craig put their shared passion for the mandolin together with the guitar in an exhilarating blend of moods and styles. From 16th century dance tunes through the Bluegrass and Irish traditions to contemporary originals from Carolan to JJ Cale. Mandolirium showcases the spirit and energy of tis most captivating of instruments.
  • Research Pod open where visitors can talk to SOFO volunteers on what the archive holds and how we can help them with their own research.

Wednesday 19 August

  • John Somerscales: Local artist and musician John plays and teaches the mandolin and guitar as well as being a regular volunteer at the Oxfordshire Museum.
  • Research Pod open at SOFO.

Wednesday 26 August

  • Joely Rendle: Oxford born Joely is a young performer with a great voice, no stranger to performing in unusual venues…her first public performance was at a similar event in a museum in Germany.
  • Miss Oxfordshire, Layla Claridge, at TOM wearing recycled dress worn for the competition.
  • Author talk by Bruce Duncan at SOFO.


Admission is free to the Oxfordshire Museum and garden. Admission charge applies to Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum. For more information, visit The Oxfordshire Museum website and the Soldiers of Oxfordshire Museum website.