Ted Ogden




Many people will have heard, with great sadness, of Ted’s passing on Friday 6th February. He was a great champion of village life and activities over many years.


He was born in the Ferns in March in Cambridgeshire with a background of farming and the country life. After school he did National Service with the R.A.F. after which he went up to Cambridge to Magdalene College to read Architecture.


During his time at Cambridge he rowed, sang with the university musical society – where he met Julie – as well as getting a degree ! After that he had two years at the Birmingham School of Art in the department of Architecture before getting his first job with the Development Corporation in Harlow where he and Julie lived for 2 years following their marriage in 1954.


Ted became Architect to the Ruler of Quator and from 1956 to 1960 he designed a great variety of buildings – from an elephant house to Law Courts. Kathryn and Christopher were born in Doha and Richard in Abingdon after Ted returned to this country. He set up a private practice with two colleagues in Oxford and then in Tudine , during this period he also served as a magistrate. In 1975 he again took off for the Gulf and was Architect for the Sultan of Oman, moving on to work in Dubai until 1983. He and Julie enjoyed their experience overseas but had come to the village in 1964 and were happy once again to be here with their friends.


In 1964 Ted started the Studley Singers – having been asked to get a group to sing carols to raise money for OXFAM that first Christmas. The tradition has gone on ever since, supporting the charity, Save the children, of which Ted was the first Oxfordshire Chairman. Many concerts have been given by the Studley Singers in local village halls and Churches with madrigals in Ogdens’ garden in the summer and much fun has been had over the years.


Ted had a long association with the Otmoor Challenge. When he returned to the U.K in 1983, the Army had decided it could no longer give its support, so Ted and Basil Lyster took on the organisation and under their stewardship the event has grown to its present scale. Basil reports on this subject separately in this Newsletter.


Ted was very involved with the Old Village Hall and some will remember the Christmas carol & reading - Ted producing shortened versions of Dickens himself and others read carols from the Studley Singers and the audience. Other favourites were extracts from Thomas Hardy and from Wind in the Willows and Pooh Bear stories.

Ted was an unforgettable ‘Eeyore’, concerts were held there over the years and plays performed with Ted even building tiered seating on one occasion.


The church has always played a part in Ted’s life – from choirboy to bellringer to chorister. Long ago he ran Sunday school, helped institute family service in a long interregnum, was a regular lesson–reader and contributed in many other ways.


He had a great love of trees and planted many at Home Close, where he turned a soggy pig–turned area into a spacious greensward framed by this plantings. The younger members of his family have a lasting and very precious legacy in the individual story-books and Ogden family history which he wrote and illustrated for each of his grandchildren.


A recent development among his male friends was the monthly meeting of ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eat Out) which he thoroughly enjoyed and for which he acted as convenor at times.


Ted received whole hearted-support from Julie in all his work and activities and his friends express their great sympathy to her and to Kathryn, Christopher and Richard. Julie, like Ted, is an enthusiastic supporter of village life and we hope that she will continue to make her valuable contribution to our activities.


                        Ted’s Friends.