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Women of Thame

2018 sees the centenary of the act which awarded the vote to all women over 30, who met the required property qualifications. This was a significant milestone despite the fact that universal suffrage was not awarded until 1928.

Throughout the country, this year will see the celebration of the acts of dedication and sacrifice of ordinary women, who have made a difference to their communities. In Thame there are some who are well known and many who quietly got on with their roles and made a special contribution to the life of the town.

A display at the museum commemorates some of these extraordinary women.



This lead tobacco jar was found in 1948, whilst ploughing land on the site of the Battle of Chalgrove (1643). It is more than likely from that period and was given to R.L.Willoughby, who made a study of the object. His findings can be found in a folder in the museum library.

The jar was then given to the John Hampden Society and subsequently loaned to the museum.

The Huzzar’s uniform has been replaced by a 1950s wedding dress display. We hope to see the uniform back in display for the Thame Remembers display later this year.



Celebrating royal weddings this year, we are displaying this wedding dress worn by Margaret Ann Wotton Toovey on the occasion of her marriage to John de Morgan Campbell Thompson on 22nd December 1951.

The dress was purchased with clothing coupons, as following WWII, clothes rationing was still in place until 1954. In 1960s the couple lived in Sycamore Drive Thame before moving to Little Milton.


A model of St. Catherine’s Church Toweresy is on loan to the museum whilst building work is carried out on the church.

The model was made by Robert Gatward, who lived in Toweresey and had jewellery shop in Thame. It is not known when he made the model, but if you have any information, please let us know.

The interior is very detailed and can be viewed by pressing the button to light up.

We hope you enjoy this new exhibit.

“Elizabeth” is now on display in the main gallery

This Victorian doll was donated to the museum with a small leather trunk containing clothes and accessories.

The doll was sent away for repair and was beautifully restored by Gill Richards, an award winning doll maker and restorer from Bristol.

Information included with the doll leads us to believe that it was used by a travelling salesman working for John Noble Ltd. of Manchester. John Noble was a Victorian costumier and the doll’s clothes would have been exquisite miniature samples made to scale.

The doll and the collection of clothes were owned locally, and had been passed down through the family. We have named the doll Elizabeth after the donor.

Elizabeth before her recovery

A recent donation of a horse’s head collar, which has been cleaned and conserved, now hangs near the display of agricultural objects.

 Although the windows in the main gallery are covered with a protective coating to filter UV light, as a precaution, the popular Mott wedding dress has been removed from display to allow it to “rest” for a while.


Did you know that the museum holds a magnificent collection of photographs?  Copies  are available for purchase.  Enquire at reception



01844 212801
79 High Street, Thame, OX9 3AE

Museums of Oxfordshire App

The Museum is part of the initial roll out of the Museums of Oxfordshire App being funded by the BOB Museums Development Programme. As part of this initiative, we have been given three small Asus tablets so that visitors can readily partake of the App. It is predicted that 90% of the population will be regular users of tablets and smart phones by 2016 so we cannot ignore this way of delivering our Museum to you. We hope this exciting new venture will attract a new and younger audience to the Museum. The content of the App needs further development particularly the use of video. If anyone has knowledge or experience in this area and feels that they may be able to help we would love to hear from you. You can access the App currently through the QR code on your phone or tablet.