Using Technology: Our First Online Meeting

“I was delighted to give the Wychwoods Local History Society’s first zoom talk. Good preparation on the part of the hosts meant that everything went smoothly, and I hope that everyone enjoyed it as much as I did”.

Liz Woolley, Oxfordshire Local Historian

The society made its own piece of history on October 15th, with its first venture into the world of video-conferencing – a move towards Zoom technology which for many of us is a new, or relatively new, experience.

This is a short report which we hope will encourage members to join us for future events.

Constrained as we all are these days by the restrictions around social gatherings, the society has deftly re-organised its events schedule for 2020/2021. This has been an interesting and progressive experience, with a great deal of understanding from our speaker line-up. Though it is certainly a compromise solution to current difficulties, we are delighted to be settling into a new pattern for the immediate future. We are certainly delighted too, with the outcome of our very first online Zoom session, which attracted a group of around 25 members to a fascinating and beautifully-constructed talk by local historian Liz Woolley.

Liz has in previous years given us fascinating talks in the comfort of the Village Hall, and her experience both as an expert in her field and her encouragement to us in the use of Zoom made her a perfect choice. Aware as we all are of the changes we have to address, Liz tells us: “Zoom talks are no substitute for the ‘real thing’ but until we can all meet again, lots of Oxfordshire history societies are finding that they are a good way for members to keep in touch and still be able to hear some interesting talks”.

And this of course is quite right – the technology clearly demonstrated its benefits during the online arrivals of individual visitors, many of whom had not seen friends’ faces for months on end. There was certainly plenty of “hubbub” in the lead up to the start of Liz’s talk, and people seemed more and more at ease with it all.

CND march, Kensington High St, May 1965. Olive Gibbs 2nd from left, with Marc Bolan, Joan Baez & Donovan amongst others
Olive & Edmund Gibbs at the Cutteslowe Walls Demolition1959

Liz’s talk featured the life and work of Olive Gibbs, the Oxford politician and peace campaigner whose life was a demonstration of a commitment to fairness for all, often at personal cost but always with extraordinary courage and energy. More about the talk is available here >> Olive Gibbs, Oxford politician and peace campaigner

With plenty of Q & A at the end, the evening was lively and entertaining as well as informative. We are grateful to Liz for making this a memorable start to our time with this new format – and of course to all who attended and made the experience so worthwhile.

Please look out for updated details of forthcoming talks on our events page, and please do make contact with the society (members or non-members ) should you have any questions or would like more information about how to join future events. All are welcome!

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