Oxford and Cambridge – A Tale of Two Cities – a Martyr Worthy Lecture



Dr John Davies is a particularly welcome guest in the Valley.  He has spoken to us twice before in his specialist area – architecture.  After 34 years practising medicine in Winchester, he knows us very well and knows exactly what will make a fascinating talk.



John contrasted the architectural history of Oxford and Cambridge.  He particularly brought to light the monastic style of architecture in Oxford, contrasted with the country house style in Cambridge, which made me think that Oxford is designed really for priests and Cambridge for gentlemen, so perhaps the architecture itself was making a subtle impression on me during time in Oxford in the 1970s…

He also brought out the fascinating contrast between the relationship of each university to its river – Oxford seeming to avoid it and Cambridge embracing it.  It’s not entirely clear whether this difference has played out in success in the university boat race over the years – unless of course ’embracing the river’ includes sinking…..as happened in 1984 to the Cambridge blue boat.

A wonderful evening – hundreds of slides – a talk given with great fluency and clear passion and understanding of the subject.  Thank you John so much for speaking to us again.

Thank you also to the amazing Martyr Worthy ladies and their men folk who put the evening on – so essential is this fundraising for our parish to meet its annual expenditure.  These lectures are always incredibly well organised and presented – a model of how to do fundraising in a rural parish.  Thank you so much Joanna Lang, Liz Platt, Verity Coleman and Gilly Greenwood and all the other volunteers.

Revd. Alex Pease

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