The building was bought for the people of Eynsham with money raised to mark the Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II in June 1977. We have a contemporary photo of the tablet being fitted. Don Chapman tells the story behind it...
‘On 12 June 1982, the nearest Saturday to the fifth anniversary of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Day, we held a thank-you party at the Bartholomew Room for the people who had helped organise the celebrations. Our county councillor of the day, Mick Ayres, persuaded William Brown, a stonemason who used to live in the village to carve the memorial tablet on the wall of the Room – recording the purchase for free.
‘Because of repair work it was Saturday 20 October 1984 before I got to unveil it. Behind the tablet Mr Brown inserted a time capsule, the contents of which I had asked the then headmaster of Eynsham Primary School, Paul Keates, to get the children to suggest.
‘Four days before the ceremony I wrote telling them the things I had chosen: ‘A rubber, a watch battery, a BMX badge, a piece of Velcro, a piece of Sellotape, a pressed flower, a bit of newspaper, a bit of toilet paper, a halfpenny piece, a stamp, an elastic band, a digital watch (if somebody’s got a broken one), a hair from Mr. Keates’s head (I think whoever thought of the idea should pluck it out!), a picture of the children (if there is one) a drawing of Mr Tickle, and a piece of writing by one of you about the things in the box. I think you are right. These things should go in a plastic box. But it will have to be small and thin to fit in a slit in the wall.’
‘Some of the children came in the afternoon to watch Mr Brown insert it and came back later that day to watch me unveil the tablet. I wonder if some of them still live in the village and remember the occasion. If the restorers need to move the tablet, I wonder if they will find the time capsule.’