Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.
Allow me to be your guide... and discover the history of Oxford with an Oxford historian.
I offer a wide range of guided walks around the city and university. These can be a general introduction to the history and architecture or looking at specific themes and subjects.
I am a Catholic and a historian based in Oxford, where I am a member of Oriel College. My research, for a long delayed D.Phil., is a study of Richard Fleming, Bishop of Lincoln in the second decade of the fifteenth century. I also work as a freelance tutor in History and as an independent tour guide.
I was received into the Church in 2005 and am a Brother of the External Oratory of St Philip Neri at the Oxford Oratory.
Yesterday evening I went with a friend to see the 60th anniversary production of Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap" at the Oxford Playhouse. The play actually opened in Nottingham in 1952, and originated as a shorter radio play in 1947 as part of Queen Mary's eightieth birthday celebrations. It has, of course, having broken all records for length of production, become a national and theatrical institution.
I had never seen it before and went with another Christie enthusiast, who also had not seen it before. The theatre appeared to have sold every seat and we settled back into the world of Agatha Christie. At one level a murder is a social inconvenience for those caught up in it, whilst at another one is given glimpses into some very dark deeds.
At the end of the production the audience are asked by the cast not to give away the plot, and I have no intention of spoiling anyone else's enjoyment of "The Mousetrap ", but I will say it does contain several classic Christie features - it does not disappoint.