Access Hall Areas 2019

Access Hall Areas was a new event for 2019 that took place across the May Bank Holiday weekend. St Edmund Hall was opened up to the wider Oxford community for this free event, with the purpose of showcasing the College’s ‘Hall spirit’ and the diverse day-to-day life of the members of Teddy Hall.

Guests were invited to hear about some of the ground-breaking research taking place across the College community in the latest series of Teddy Talks; experience a showcase of artistic, musical and dramatic talent with events taking place across the weekend; gain access to areas of St Edmund Hall not normally open to the public – explore the beautiful buildings of our Queen’s Lane site while learning about the history of the College.

Watch a video about the Access Hall Areas weekend

The Front Quad during Access Hall Areas
Professor Cameron Hepburn gives a Teddy Talk at Access Hall Areas
Professor Cameron Hepburn gives a Teddy Talk at Access Hall Areas

The Teddy Talks ran in 45 minute sessions across the weekend (usually with 3 short talks per session). Each talk was given by one of our academics or postgraduate students on an aspect of their research. Lasting around ten minutes each, these accessible talks were  aimed at a non-specialist audience.

To view details of the speakers and their topics, please visit our dedicated Teddy Talks page.

Please note that the talks were aimed at an adult audience.

Dr Tom Crawford giving a talk at Access Hall Areas
Dr Tom Crawford presenting at Access Hall Areas

On Saturday 4 May Dr Tom Crawford ran an interactive talk on Maths v. Sport, suitable for ages 10+ 

How did England beat Colombia on penalties? What is the fastest a human being will ever run a marathon? And where is the best place to attempt a world record? Maths has all of the answers and I’ll be telling you how to use it to be better at sport (results may vary).

Tom Crawford is a maths tutor at St Edmund Hall with a mission to share his love of maths with the world. His award-winning website features videos, podcasts, articles and puzzles designed to make maths more entertaining, exciting and enthralling for all. Whether he’s performing live as the Naked Mathematician with Equations Stripped, telling you the fun facts about numbers that you didn’t realise you’ve secretly always wanted to know with his Funbers series on the BBC, or getting another maths tattoo (6 and counting), it’s safe to say Tom is always finding new ways to misbehave with numbers! Follow him on FacebookTwitter,Instagram and YouTube @tomrocksmaths for the latest updates.

Linda Davies at Access Hall Areas
Linda Davies, alumna of St Edmund Hall

Seven Secrets: How to Write. An interactive workshop for children/adults

Creative Writing Workshops with Linda Davies – St Edmund Hall alumna and former Writer in Residence.

Linda gave two interactive workshops on Saturday 4 May – one for children and a second for adults, to discuss the most important lessons she has learned over her writing career. She also read from two of her books, one of which is set in St Edmund Hall!

Linda is a bestselling and prize-winning author of fourteen books across a broad spectrum of genres. An alumna of St Edmund Hall, she read Politics, Philosophy and Economics, and worked as an investment banker for seven years before escaping to write. She is a winner of the Philip Geddes memorial prize for journalism and has written for the National Theatre and all of the broadsheet newspapers, but it is for her fiction that she is best known.

Her first novel Nest of Vipers has been published in over 30 countries, sold over two million copies and has been optioned five times. Her novel for children, Longbow Girl, won the Mal Peet Children’s Book of the Year award in 2016 and is in pre-production to turn into a TV series. She has also written a non-fiction memoir, Hostage, which is the story of her kidnap and detention in Iran.

Robin De Meyere performs at Access Hall Areas
Robin De Meyer performs at Access Hall Areas

Oxford University Pole Sports Society (OUPSS), which was set up by postgraduate student Robin de Meyere (2017, DPhil in Materials), showcased the mechanics and technicalities of pole fitness at this year’s Access Hall Areas.

OUPSS had performers on rotation demonstrating a few moves whilst explaining the more scientific aspects and the bio-mechanics behind the discipline. OUPSS is an official (and new in 2018) registered University society which aims to promote pole sport throughout Oxford University. Pole and the aerial arts (silks, hoop, trapeze, etc) are exciting new sport ventures which are now on the verge of accreditation by Sports England, and are growing in popularity across the fitness world.

OUPSS offer weekly classes, socials and performance opportunities – but also compete nationally at the annual IUPDC competitions to represent Oxford at the wider level. We welcome all levels of polers and aerialists as most people first attempt the disciplines at university-level.

Choir rehearsal during Access Hall Areas
St Edmund Hall choir rehearsal during Access Hall Areas

A range of musical performances took place in the Chapel and the Crypt curated by our Director of Music, Christopher Bucknall

Saturday Chapel:

  • 10:30-12:00 Choir practice
  • 12:00-12:30 “Come and Sing!” open choir session
  • 13:30 Harpsichord demonstration – Chris Bucknall, Director of Music
  • 15:30 Organ recital – Viraj Alimchandani, undergraduate Organ Scholar

Saturday Crypt:

  • 12:30 Solo classical guitar – Gregory Ball
  • 14:30 Viola and Rebec recital – Andrea Fortier
  • 16:30 Solo Guitar and Voice – Raven Undersun

Sunday Chapel:

  • 14:45 Harpsichord demonstration- Chris Bucknall, Director of Music
  • 15:30: Choir practice
  • 16:45-17:15 “Come and Sing!” open choir session
  • 1730: Evensong

Sunday Crypt:

  • 14:15 Solo classical guitar – Gregory Ball
  • 16:00 Viola and Rebec recital – Andrea Fortier
Brain Games at Access Hall Areas
Brain Games at Access Hall Areas

There was a variety of interactive stalls for visitors of all ages to get involved with over the weekend 

  • Guests could try their hand at printing with a medieval printing press.
  • On Sunday 5 May we welcomed Oxford Hands On Science, a student-led science outreach society who run experiments aimed at children and families, covering a wide range of subjects and abilities.
  • Examine fossils under a microscope and learn how they form.
  • Get involved with “Brain Games” and learn how our brains work!
The Crypt beneath St Peter-in-the-East, at St Edmund Hall
The Crypt, beneath St Peter-in-the-East

Visitors were given the opportunity to gain access to areas of St Edmund Hall not normally open to the public.

Tours were led by students and staff, offering a look at some of our historic buildings and points of interest, including:

The entrance to St Edmund Hall, on Queen's Lane
The entrance to St Edmund Hall, on Queen's Lane

How to find us

St Edmund Hall is located on Queen’s Lane, just off Oxford’s High Street. If approaching from Magdalen Bridge direction, Queen’s Lane is the first turning on the right after Longwall Street. Our postcode is OX1 4AR.

The College is very central and has no parking facilities for visitors, so we recommend that you travel by public transport wherever possible.

Further details of how to get to the College