No. 17: Oxfam

17 & 18 Broad Street


No. 17 on the right of this pair of shops is part of the same building as No. 18 next door, and they are jointly Grade II listed (List Entry No. 1047347).

At the time of the 1772 Survey of Oxford the former house on this site occupied by a Mr Hawkins, with its frontage measured as 4yd 0ft 3in.

The present building dates from c.1897 and is owned by Oxford City Council.

This shop is famous because Oxfam opened its very first charity shop in this country here in 1948. It also served as Oxfam’s administrative offices in the early years, but these moved to Summertown in 1962. Until 1959 the charity, (which was founded at the Church of St Mary the Virgin in 1942) was known as the Oxford Committee for Famine Relief.


Picture from Historic England:

The 1851 census shows William Weston the hairdresser here living over the former shop on this site with his wife and five young children, and a house servant; the family is still there in 1861.

In 1881 the former building was occupied by Alfred Holliday, described as a jeweller employing two men and two boys) together with his wife, two sons, their 15-year-old nurse, and a general servant.

Occupants of 17 Broad Street listed in directories


James Marsh, Bootmaker, and
Jane Shayler, Poulterer (died age 64 21 January 1849)


William Weston, Hairdresser & perfumer


Holliday, Jewellers/Opticians

1869–1884: Alfred Holliday, watchmaker & jeweller
1887–1905: Alfred Holliday, Watchmaker, jeweller, & practical optician
1906–1913: Holliday & Son, Opticians
1914–1916: Oxford Optical Co. (formerly Holliday & Son), Opticians & Photographic dealers


Marshall & Foat, Tailors


William Marshall, Ladies’ Tailor

Upstairs 1929–1947: Pompadour, Ladies’ Hairdressing and Beauty

Since 1948

Oxford Committee for Famine Relief (Oxfam)

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