(July 1985) Vicar Stevens’s diaries

The Reverend E.T. Stevens was, as many readers know, Vicar of Sibford between 1877 and 1900.

During the whole of his time here he kept detailed diaries which form a fascinating account of the Sibfords of the time. I am no expert but I imagine they are of little monetary worth. However, they form an invaluable contribution to the social history of the time.

A considerable number of the diaries are in the possession of Mr J.A. Oddie, whose parents lived at Sibford House in the Ferris and whose brother, Hugh, is commemorated in a window in the Church. Tony Oddie still holds these villages in high and affectionate regard. He has bequeathed the volumes of the diaries in his possession to the Bodleian Library in Oxford.

Of the many other volumes, some are known to be in the possession of present residents of these villages, and many more may be. I wonder if those who read this and who have volumes of the diaries would be willing to let me know what periods they cover so that a record can be compiled of what is still extant. Of course, if present owners were willing to bequeath their volumes to the Bodleian Library to add to the material which will be available to future researchers and historians, that would be wonderful.

I would be most grateful for any information which anybody is willing to give. If you wish it to remain confidential, of course it will. A note to Barn Close, Burdrop is all that is needed!

Thank you in advance.

Colin Frith