Issue 34 — January 1996
Ghostly presence at the Press
Recently, I was shown round by Mr Galvin Reeves of the University Press, who invited me to learn more about the time when he heard unusual voices in the Press building.
One Saturday morning in the early 1 960s, Mr Reeves visited the Store Room, which was situated below the library, now a snack bar. He heard happy laughter and children's voices coming from the library and climbed the stairs to investigate. On opening the door, the voices ceased and all was quiet.
On this particular site in the early nineteenth century, two houses were built to accommodate the families of the Printer to the Press and the Controller of Wolvercote Paper Mill. It is thought that during the 1830s or 1840s one of the wives had a little school up in the library where she taught the two families' children. It may have been the voices of the school children that Galvin Reeves heard that Saturday morning.
The houses are now incorporated into the Press building and a passageway connects them on the first floor. Mr Reeves can still feel the temperature drop and a cold chill creep up on him as he walks down that passage, but he hears and sees nothing.
Galvin Reeves sadly never heard the voices again. A serious fire occurred on the 18 July 1974, and the library floor was covered by water several inches deep. It seems that the fire and flood have 'disappeared' the ghosts forever.
Jane Pollock, Richmond Road