Special Sub-Topic: The City Of Oxford
|From which London railway station would you catch a train to Oxford?|
Paddington. First Great Western and Thames Trains run regular services to and through Oxford.
|What is Carfax?|
The city centre. The name is said to be derived from the Latin "quadrifurcus", meaning "four-forked". Carfax is the meeting of the four streets that run into the city from the sites of the former east, south, west and north gates, i.e. High Street, St Aldate's (formerly Fish Street), Queen Street (formerly Great Bailey) and Cornmarket (formerly Northgate Street).
|The Martyrs' Memorial commemorates the burning at the stake of three prominent English clerics in the reign of Mary I. Which of the following was NOT one of them?|
Thomas More. Ridley (Bishop of London) and Latimer (Bishop of Worcester) were burned outside the north wall of the city in what is now Broad Street, in 1555. Cranmer (Archbishop of Canterbury) was burned outside St Mary's Church in the High Street in 1556. Their heresy consisted essentially in refusing to accept Roman Catholic teachings about the nature of the Mass. The Memorial, at the southern end of St Giles, was erected in the early 1840s and was designed by Sir George Gilbert Scott, whose other works include the Albert Memorial and St Pancras Station in London. Oxford graduates sometimes claim to have adorned the Memorial with chamber pots or items of feminine apparel in their university days, and one or two of them are actually telling the truth.
|What is the name of the area of common land to the north-west of the city?|
Port Meadow. The city freemen's right of "common of pasture" on Port Meadow is mentioned in Domesday Book. The meadow measures about 340 acres (140 hectares) and has always been a popular place of recreation. Having never been put to the plough, it has also been designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
|Which river is spanned by Magdalen Bridge?|
The Cherwell. The Cherwell (pronounced Charwell) rises in Northamptonshire and flows southwards for about 45 miles. It joins the Thames (which is sometimes known at Oxford as the Isis) about half a mile south of Magdalen Bridge. The Windrush flows into the Thames several miles upstream from Oxford. "Cherwell" is also the name of an Oxford student newspaper.
|Oxfam, one of Britain's leading charities, was founded in Oxford and still has its headquarters in the Summertown area of the city. In which decade was it founded?|
The 1940s. The inaugural meeting of the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief was held in the Church of St Mary the Virgin in 1942, during the Second World War. The British Government was trying to weaken Germany by preventing the importation of food supplies into mainland Europe, which was largely under German control. The Oxford Committee was one of many local committees which urged the Government to allow the distribution of food to civilian populations in Europe under the auspices of the International Red Cross. Later they were able to organise their own collections of food and clothing. When conditions in Europe improved after the war, most of these committees were dissolved, but the Oxford body continued in being, widening its sphere of operations until, by the late 1950s, it was active in most of the poorer parts of the world.
|Frank Cooper Ltd is a company which is closely associated with Oxford, even though it has not manufactured in the city for more than three decades. What does it make?|
Marmalade. Frank Cooper began selling his wife's marmalade at his shop at 84 High Street in 1874. It caught on with Oxford dons and undergraduates, and in 1900 a sizeable factory was built. Somehow, Cooper's Oxford Marmalade found its way into the farthest outposts of the British Empire (which was of course largely governed by Oxford men). The company was acquired by Brown and Polson in 1967 and moved out of Oxford. Since then, ownership of the company and brand has changed more than once. The shop in the High Street was re-acquired in the late 1980s and opened for a few years as a company museum, but it is now (I think) a café.
|What is the name of the fair held in Oxford in September each year?|
St Giles Fair. The fair is not as ancient as some others: the first mention of it is found in 1625. It began as a parish wake, i.e. a vigil held by the parishioners of St Giles's Church on the eve of the saint's feast (September 1st). By the 1780s it had become a toy fair, and by the 1830s it was a typical British fair, mixing commerce with entertainment. Unlike many other fairs, it survived all attempts to suppress it and is still held in the wide street of St Giles on the Monday and Tuesday following the first Sunday after St Giles's Day. If you go there, you'll meet townspeople and visitors from the surrounding Oxfordshire countryside; but you won't meet many academics, because the university is in the middle of its 16-week-long summer vacation.
For the sake of completeness, the Goose Fair is a 700-year-old fair held in Nottingham in October, the New Fair is held in Appleby in June, and Bartholomew Fair was an old London fair, suppressed in the mid-19th century.
|Which English poet first used the phrase "dreaming spires" in connection with Oxford?|
Matthew Arnold. Towards the beginning of Arnold's "Thyrsis" come the lines "And that sweet city with her dreaming spires,/She needs not June for beauty's heightening,/Lovely all times she lies, lovely tonight!" The poem is a lament for the death of Arnold's friend Arthur Hugh Clough. The poet looks down on Oxford from the hillside on which he used to wander with Clough, but which he now seldom revisits.
|In which season did Oxford United Football Club first appear in the Football League?|
1962-63. Known as Headington United until 1960, Oxford had headed the Southern League in 1960-61 and 1961-62. In 1963-64 they reached the quarter-finals of the FA Cup. Since then their career has been a bit of a roller-coaster. From 1985-86 to 1987-88 they were in the First Division (the equivalent of the present-day Premiership): at present (December 2002) they are in the upper half of the Third Division. For a time in the 1980s their chairman was Robert Maxwell.
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