The Merry Bells
Copy of postcard (from Hinton Collection) circa 1914, also replacing the road surface in 1910 from article in Oxford Journal - original in newspaper box.
Since the building of the new turnpike road from Oxford to London in 1775, trade had slumped. The village had become a refuge for rough quarry workers, highwaymen and students. In fact, if you fancied a pint of beer and a punch-up, it seems that Wheatley had been the place to go. The change in Wheatley’s profile began by the banning guns and dogs in 1834, followed by a halt to bull-baiting and badger-baiting. Finally came the Merry Bells in 1888, provided by Mrs Miller of Shotover as a temperance place for the improvement of the social life of Wheatley. It was a coffee house with ‘two large meeting rooms, a refreshment bar, a bathroom, cubicles, commercial and travellers rooms and stable accommodation for four horses’. Bought as a village hall in 1970.
The Merry Bells Management committee were shown in the 1977 Jubilee booklet.
On its centenary in 1988, an 80-page booklet of photos, history and recollections was published. many of the photos are shown in the archive reproduced from the original prints.
See 1554 for collection of Hinton postcards.