Look back with Little - a quarter of a century of Banbury nostalgia stories by Brian Little are re-printed in a new book

A selection of nostalgia articles written by the late Banbury historian, Brian Little, for the Banbury Guardian are reprinted this month in a new book
Banbury Market Place, photographed in the early 1920sBanbury Market Place, photographed in the early 1920s
Banbury Market Place, photographed in the early 1920s

Edited by Dr Barrie Trinder, vice-president of the Banbury Historical Society, the book - Banbury Remembered, Looking back 1995 - 2019 - is a treasure trove of accounts of numerous aspects of life in Banbury over the generations.

It includes a variety of articles about business in the town, Banbury's localities, schools and colleges, pastimes and sports and World War Two. It also contains some personal recollections of Mr Little and his immense contribution by various friends and associates.

For a whole generation Brian Little’s columns about local history were among the Banbury Guardian’s most popular features. In 1995, when Brian was chair of the Banbury Historical Society and recently retired from the North Oxon Technical College, he was invited to contribute a short series of six articles to the paper.

Brian Little, whose nostalgia page, Look Back with Little, were printed each week in the Banbury Guardian for nearly 25 yearsBrian Little, whose nostalgia page, Look Back with Little, were printed each week in the Banbury Guardian for nearly 25 years
Brian Little, whose nostalgia page, Look Back with Little, were printed each week in the Banbury Guardian for nearly 25 years

That ‘short series’ continued for 24 years and only ended when Mr Little died last year. Now, with permission of the Banbury Guardian Editor, the Banbury Historical Society has produced a book containing a selection of about a hundred of the best of these weekly columns.

Dr Trinder said: "Brian’s columns attracted memories from exiled Banburians from all parts of Britain and further afield. He talked to all kinds of people. He drew out the significance of the most obscure printed matter, such as programmes of motor cycle events, amateur dramatic productions or football matches or accumulations of old bills.

"He wrote about particular parts of Banbury, including Castle Street, Grimsbury and Easingto, and described conditions in the workhouse in the 1930s and the experiences of an evacuee billeting officer in 1939.

"The articles tell how Banburians spent their leisure time dancing or watching wrestling at the Winter Gardens, playing bowls or taking part in amateur dramatics. For anyone who can remember when the ‘Ally’, the cattle market, Woolworths, Hoods, the Midland Red, Young’s Garage or Saturday night queues in Broad Street for the Sports Argus were vital parts of life in Banbury, this book is essential reading."

Banbury Remembered - the new compilation by Dr Barrie Trinder of Brian Little's articles for the Banbury GuardianBanbury Remembered - the new compilation by Dr Barrie Trinder of Brian Little's articles for the Banbury Guardian
Banbury Remembered - the new compilation by Dr Barrie Trinder of Brian Little's articles for the Banbury Guardian

Brian Little grew up in Southampton, studied Geography at the University of Nottingham and settled in Banbury to lecture at the local technical college in 1961. He remained in the town for the rest of his life and was active in many local organisations.

Banbury Remembered runs to more than 250 pages and has numerous illustrations. It is on sale at the shop at Banbury Museum. The shop opens at 10am and is entered through the Castle Quay shopping centre.

Related topics: