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More than your average bank manager...

Dennis Mason

Dennis Mason (19 Nov 2000)

Dennis and Edna Mason lived in Eynsham from 1972-2018 and both died in 2019. They loved the local community spirit and friendly vibe and returned that through their own involvement here.

Dennis was born in Scarborough in 1928, when times were tough and families stuck together to survive. His experience of national service in the late 1940s never left him yet he rarely mentioned it. Having messed up theological studies at Durham University, where he met Edna, he got a job with The Yorkshire Penny Bank before moving south to marry.

Transferring from Barclays Bank in Botley, he opened and managed a new branch in Eynsham (image below) on the later Emporium site. He even had exotic visitors from Japan and Saudi Arabia, who preferred a genial and gentle manager in Eynsham to the corporate services in Oxford. He was finally ordained an Anglican clergyman at 57, just before retiring from the bank.

He continued being active, whether as Father Christmas for Eynsham Playground Association, supporting Eynsham Boxing Club in the 1970s or, with Edna, as part of the early Eynsham Choral Society.

Edna Mason with the cake she made for Barclays Bank on Mill Street

Edna (née Stew) was born in 1931 in Witney (while a raging fire took hold in Smith’s Mill behind the house in Bridge Street). As a child during the war she had some great tales to tell of that period in Witney such as diving into a ditch while some Italian fighter planes were dogfighting above.

She pursued a fascination for local history through membership and chairmanship of the Eynsham Local History Society. Her further studies at Oxford University helped her shape the programme of talks for a while. In the 1970s she played an active role in protesting against the expansion of gravel extraction that was prominent at the time.

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