Archives – November, 2012

Old Gaol – First Residents move in

Old Gaol - First Residents
I hear that the first people moved into the Old Gaol a week or so ago. You can see that there are now rising bollards to control access to the underground carpark
Old Gaol - First Residents
The Old Gaol website says “Providing superb contemporary accommodation alongside a cafĂ© and restaurant quarter – the first of its kind in Abingdon – the Old Gaol will remain very much in the hearts and lives of Abingdon’s residents as well as those lucky enough to live in the new development itself.”

We hope they enjoy living in Abingdon and don’t only get to visit the shopping centres listed on the Old Gaol website, namely
Bicester Village and Swindon Designer Outlet.

3 Comments November 30, 2012

Soldiers homecoming … Diamond Champions … Host UK

Heroes welcomed Home
I’m sorry that I got no pictures of the Soldiers homecoming parade yesterday. I have my excuses, but more importantly the BBC got a picture. As did the printed Abingdon Herald.

There is more than one way of being a hero….
Heroes at Home
Nan Draper, who I know from Trinity, (in red) will be meeting Prince Charles tomorrow (Thursday) for a celebration of Diamond Champions. On retiring from nursing in 1989 she got involved in lots of community and voluntary activities. What I remember best, was her running all the catering at Trinity from 1990-2010. I read in the Trinity Triangle (our church mag) she also got involved in so much else. Hence the award. You can also see her on the WRVS website with lots of other Diamond Champions.
Heroes at Home
Margaret, a volunteer host, sent me an email and a picture of herself with Jing Jing in 2010. She has a plea “‘Are you spending Christmas at home this year? Could you share it with a Chinese (or other) student at a UK university? HOST has been linking international students with volunteer hosts for Christmas for many years, and is urgently looking for more invitations due to an unprecedented number of students hoping to spend a few days with friendly people, rather than on a deserted university campus. Please see www.hostuk.org and ask to be put in touch with the local organiser. THANK YOU!’”

1 Comment November 29, 2012

Flood Pictures from Kim, Bob, Spike, and Luke

I’ve been working away from Abingdon this week so I was grateful to be sent some daytime pictures by kim, Bob, Spike, and Luke.
Flood Pictures
Kim sent me “a couple of people making the best of the floods.”
Flood Pictures
Bob sent me ‘My Scots mate is saying”I’m marooned!”‘
Flood Pictures
Spike sent me this pictures taken from his canoe – at 4pm today.

When I got home about three hours later water was washing over the pavement of St Helen’s Wharf.
Flood Pictures
The River Thames has finally reached the O and the Old Anchor Inn has not Opened. The Ock water levels are going down apart from the lower end. St Helen’s Mill is surrounded by water worse than I’d imagined.
Flood Pictures
Finally I was sent this dramatic picture from Luke’s iPhone. I’d like to feature more pictures but could run out of bandwidth this month. It was very close last month. If that happens back on December 1st with the Extravaganza.

5 Comments November 27, 2012

Water levels and anxiety levels still rising

Last night I heard a lot of rain on our velux window. During the day the level of the River Ock and the River Thames in Abingdon have risen again.
Water levels
Alongside St Helen’s Wharf a blue door has been in position since Saturday but has only really been needed today where the water has crept up another 3 or 4 inches.

The Ock Valley walk has been closed.
Water levels
Water from the River Ock is lapping against St Helens Mill, which should be well protected given all the work done below and above ground to waterproof it since the last floods.

People are worried though, and on the Ladygrove Estate and Meadowside Estate some residents go out with torches before bedtime to check water levels. There is an anxiety after the 2007 floods that it might happen again.

14 Comments November 26, 2012

Public Meeting concerning 160 additional houses in South Abingdon

160 additional houses
At 10 am yesterday, a public meeting in the Guildhall, Abingdon, allowed people to express their views on the proposed development of 160 houses in South Abingdon.

I estimate 150-160 people were in the room. No developer representative admitted to being present and the public who spoke were all against the proposal. The central problem for most people in the room was that there is already a lack of infrastructure (roads, schools, health care) in South Abingdon without adding 160 houses more.
160 additional houses
A number of people, living in Metcalf Close, were also worried about the increased risk of flooding. They live downhill (in the picture) from the proposed field (seen in the foreground). Local people also said that the developer’s studies of the ecology of the area were inaccurate. There are lots of bats and badgers.
160 additional houses
We learned from the platform that the developers, Hallam Land Management from Sheffield,  did not hold any pre-planning talks with either the district, town  or county council, or the local MP. For such a large development that is suprising.

A local person, and a person from another town affected by Hallam, said that if not successful initially “Hallam always appeal and are often successful as there are no local plans about how to meet national housing targets.”

The chief planning officer for the district council, did not want to pre-judge the planning application, but said there should be a draft local plan by Spring 2013. That would be before any appeal is likely. At an appeal, a draft plan will be better than no plan at all but won’t have as much weight as a full plan.

Responses to the planning application should be made via http://www.whitehorsedc.gov.uk/java/support/Main.jsp?MODULE=ApplicationDetails&REF=P12/V2266/FUL .

16 Comments November 25, 2012

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