Friends Events

We organise exclusive events for Friends 

Some events take place at the Museum, and some are online so that all Friends, wherever they are located, can participate.

Friends Evenings take place at the museum and usually include light refreshments and an opportunity to explore the museum before the main part of the evening, which is normally a talk.

Friends Live! are Zoom-based events, usually no more than one hour long, that provide information about recent developments at Pendon; a featured talk usually by an outside speaker; and a question and answer opportunity.

 Forthcoming events are detailed below. Friends book places via The Friends Place. Admission to all events is by ticket.



A talk by Dr. Michael Heaton

The interwar years were particularly harsh for farming in Oxfordshire as in most parts of the country. From the early 1920s to the end of the 1930s most farming wasn't profitable - for a variety of reasons explained in this talk, which also sets the scene back to the end of the Napoleonic Wars. Many farms responded by moving away from traditional mixed farming towards increased specialisation. An important outcome was divergence in the success and longevity of individual farms.

Michael Heaton is the author of several village and farming histories. This talk is largely based on quite recent research, using 35 case studies from ten counties, for a PhD at Leicester University’s Centre for English History. Since moving to Wheatley near Oxford, Michael has written Bygone Wheatley; created a village heritage trail; and is involved with the Oxfordshire Buildings Record.

News from Pendon: we will present some of the most recent modelling developments at Pendon.


A talk and demonstration by Stephen Williams and Rex Davidson.

Stephen Williams will explore how Pendon can inspire, by relating how his experiences as a Pendon modeller directly shaped the construction of his iconic 4mm scale model of the former GWR branch station at Faringdon. He will illustrate how the Pendon approach to modelling provided not just a palette of techniques for representing real worlds in miniature, but more importantly, instilled a particular philosophy of model making, as a process, that proved fundamental to the creation of “Faringdon”.

Stephen has been a model maker since his early youth and has been a Pendon modeller for over forty years. In that time he has contributed widely to the project as an architectural, railway and landscape modeller. Amongst more than a dozen buildings that Stephen has modelled for the Vale Scene are Duck’s Stores and the Lyford almshouses, whilst his most recent scenic projects have encompassed the Church Group and, currently, the GWR station yard. He has authored a number of landmark books on modelling the GWR and edited “In Search of a Dream” - the biography of Roye England. He has also published more than 50 articles on railways and modelling.

The museum will open at 18:30 with the talk starting at 19:15. Light refreshments available on arrival. The event finishes by 21:00.