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A force for good from 14 August 1935 to 29 November 2023

Bryan Duffield

Bryan Duffield (4 Oct 2018)

Shown here with a puppet likeness created by Holly, his niece, and flanked by his famous bottle collection - photo © Martin Miller. An Eynsham man through and through, Bryan was famed for his carpentry and joinery skills; while his reminiscences of the village, illustrated by images from his many postcard albums, would entertain an audience for hours. He also became a regular ‘turn’ at Eynsham Day Centre in later years. But the tribute recorded by the Eynsham Morris on Facebook can hardly be improved...

We’ve heard the very sad news today that Bryan ‘Duffers’ Duffield has passed away. Bryan was a stalwart member of the side playing the drum for many years. He will be remembered fondly for his mischievous personality, fascinating stories, fabrication skills, belly warming alcoholic beverages and sense of fun.

a final salute from Eynsham Morris - photo © Eileen Mace

Bryan’s first bottle turned up by the little old brick hut in Bitterell, that used to be a telephone exchange - Helen Peacocke reports. The hut was broken, split down the middle and bent, due mainly to the fact it was built on top of an old Victorian dump. Given that Blake & Co were manufacturing a wide assortment of aerated waters and lemonade in Eynsham from 1875 until 1960, first in a paddock to the west of Mill Street, and later in the Everleigh Works in Witney Road, the dump was a treasure trove of clay and glass bottles.

It wasn’t long before Bryan became a serious collector and a member of Oxfordshire Bottle Club. He said: “Out of all the things I have ever done in my life, the most thrilling thing was digging from that old dump”.

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