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The Joy of Quiz 27 Jan 2024 (Eynsham News Group) A good pub quiz highlights just what is so special about our village: our cover story for January 2024

There's a quizzing revolution going on in Eynsham. Jon Young investigates the post-Covid boom in local pub quizzes.

What was your lockdown pleasure? For some, it was walking (remembering to stay two metres apart, of course), taking up that long-forgotten hobby from your youth, or watching Indian street food videos on YouTube. (OK, maybe that was just me.)

For me, it was playing online quizzes, and once the restrictions were lifted, I couldn't wait to get out and play and run pub quizzes once again. A good pub quiz highlights just what is so special about our village: well-run, well-attended events that attract players from across a range of ages and backgrounds.

well-run, well-attended events... © Jon Young

The longest quiz night?

Eynsham now has nearly half a dozen regular quiz nights in operation, with pubs and organisers careful not to clash. Any week of the month, you can compete to work out the answers to humdingers like these:

1) Who was the first ever Radio 1 Breakfast presenter?
2) In which county does the M25 start?
3) Who was born in 1958 in South America before moving to the UK and settling in Notting Hill? They had their big TV break in the 1970s before appearing in a popular 2014 film.

And the style and range of quizzes is broad, to say the least. The Swan hosts both a general knowledge and music quiz during the month—complete with full use of the overhead projector! - while both The Red Lion and The Evenlode have jumped into the space with quizzes that span a range of topics.

"I started writing music quizzes with my late father back in the early 90s," says Rich Craven, who has been running a quiz at The White Hart for 10 years.

"There's a nice crowd of people who enjoy having their general knowledge and often patience tested over a few drinks."

SE2023 Club Leader winner Graham BridgesThe White Hart is also home to one of the village's longest-running quizzes. The pub's quiz team, co-captained by Eynsham Runners head honcho, Graham Bridges, competes in the Oxfordshire Quiz League which has been pitting pub against pub for decades.

Every Thursday, county pub teams do battle in a head-to-head format with some seriously fiendish questions on the table. One team boasts a player who appears regularly on ITV's The Chase. The competition each season is as fierce as the questions, and many of the players have been taking part for 20-30 years.

Your starter for 10

With pubs now keener than ever on broadening their appeal, it's never been a better time to get your quiz team together. Entry fees are low (around £1-£2 per person), and cash prizes are usually offered on the night.

Even the local schools are getting involved. Bartholomew School has held charity quizzes for up to 100 people over the past year, while Eynsham Primary School will host a fundraising quiz of its own in the spring.

The task for quizmasters like me is keeping things fresh (the new buzzers are in the post) and attracting new players. So, if you've ever fancied playing quizzes, or you're looking for a new quiz to try, contact one of the Eynsham pubs today.

Quiz calendar

  • The White Hart: 1st Wednesday of month, prize: cash/lucky dip
  • The Swan Music Quiz: 2nd Monday of month, prize: cash / LPs
  • The Red Lion: 3rd Monday of month, prize: cash / jackpot
  • The Swan Rotary Club Quiz: 4th Monday of month, prize: cash / jackpot bonus
  • The Evenlode (the pub, not the DIY!): TBA, prize: TBA
  • Oxfordshire Quiz League (see link above)

Answers

1) Tony Blackburn 2) Kent 3) Paddington Bear


Jon Young is an editor and writer who runs two quizzes a month at The Swan. He's also a fresh faced member of the White Hart quiz league team.

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