in 1843
One hundred and fifty seven years ago Bladon was a very different place. It was less than half the size with no post office, no electricity, no mains water, no gas, no street lighting and no cars or buses passing through. The only transport was the horse and cart! Carriers passed through Bladon to Oxford on Wednesdays and Saturdays and to Witney on Thursdays bring goods ordered by the villagers. It wasn't until 1853 that the railway station at Hanborough was opened. This was the only form of public transport until 1922 when the Oxford City Bus Company started a bus service which ran through the village. A post office opened in Bladon in 1853 but it was not until 1930 that electricity reached te village. Five years later mains water and gas arrived although mains drainage was not available until 1968.
Bladon past view
Entertainment for the villagers of Bladon took place in the village. Men bringing a dancing bear was a regular sight, the big brown bear being tied to a pole and made to dance on it's hind legs. Hurdy Gurdy barrel organs were often brought to the village and a common sight on top of the organ was a little monkey! On the first Sunday after 10th June, Bladon feast was held - in the 18th century it was held on the first Sunady after 11th Noember, St Martin's Day, but moved to the earlier date follwing the opening of the new Anglican church in 1804. The feast began with an open air service on The Green on the Sunday evening followed by a fair on the Monday and Tuesday. It was a very exciting time for the children in the village who saved their pennies for weeks beforehand! Bladon Feast had ceased by 1955, probably due to the increasing attractions of other forms of entertainment such as the cinema and television.
Bladon in the early part of last centuary