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). This present building dates from the late nineteenth century and is owned by Oxford City Council and is in St Michael-at-the-Northgate parish.

At the time of the 1772 Survey of Oxford the former house on the site of No. 17 was occupied by a Mr Hawkins, with its frontage measured as 4yd 0ft 3in.

The 1851 census shows William Weston the hairdresser living over the former building with his wife and five young children, plus a house servant. The family was still there in 1861.

In 1871 the old shop numbered 17 was occupied by the jeweller Alfred Holliday and his wife and son, plus a servant. He was still here in 1881, a jeweller employing two men and two boys, with his wife, two sons, their 15-year-old nurse, and a general servant. The pair of shops appears to have been rebuilt during his occupation (probably in 1895–8), and the photograph below (Historic England HT13867) shows the present No. 17 occupied by Holliday in 1911.

Oxfam opened its very first charity shop in this country here in 1948. In the early years the building also served as Oxfam’s administrative offices, 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.

Occupants of 17 Broad Street listed in directories


T. W. Martin
Tailor, and gown & cap maker


James Marsh, Bootmaker, and
Jane Shayler, Poulterer (died age 64 on 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 (to 1926)

William Marshall, Ladies’ Tailor (1927–1945)

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

Since 1947

Oxford Committee for Famine Relief (Oxfam)
The shop was used as a collection point for donations in 1947, and the first permanent charity shop in the country opened here in February 1948

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