The book published by the Olney and District Historical Society in 2008 was a reproduction of Oliver Ratcliff’s book ‘Olney, Bucks’, colloquially known as his ‘1907 Olney Almanack’. It was published to commemorate the centenary in 2007 and provides readers with an insight into many aspects of life in Olney one hundred years ago. In particular, the social conditions prevailing in Olney during the late Victorian and Edwardian periods can be readily appreciated from the wide range of topics covered by Ratcliff. Although the authenticity of the detail in Ratcliff’s 1907 publication cannot be guaranteed, it is considered to provide a realistic view of life in Olney at that time.
Mr W I Knight produced a series of Almanacks. This one, for 1899, was the 31st year of publication but at one time they were published in association with Mr Lyon. Although this almanack is not as comprehensive as the one published by Oliver Ratcliff in 1907 and reproduced by the ODHS in 2008, it nonetheless provides an insight into the daily life of Olney during the late Victorian period. The ‘Local Addenda’ and ‘Local Jottings’ sections are of particular interest as these detail the scope of the public offices and social life in Olney, the ‘Who’s who’ of the time.