Archives – January, 2016

Very Good of Sir Terry Wogan to visit Abingdon Twice to see friends

Sir Terry Wogan
There was a large queue outside the Bookstore when Terry Wogan came in November 2009 to sign his autobiographical book ‘Where was I?!”
Sir Terry Wogan
I heard him say on BBC 2 National Radio beforehand “look forward to seeing you at Abingdon. I will be at the Abingdon Bookstore at around 12:30 this afternoon and remember … it is the rare unsigned ones that raise all the money but anyway I’m looking forward to seeing all my friends there.”
Sir Terry Wogan
He was back 5 year later in November 2014 to sign copies of his book “The Little Book of Common Sense: Or Pause for Thought with Wogan”.
Sir Terry Wogan
It was Very Good of him to visit Abingdon twice, and to support his friends at the Bookstore and meet lots of his Old Friends who knew him through the BBC Radio 2 Radio morning show.

Thanks to Malvin for the first two pictures.

1 Comment January 31, 2016

Here We Come A-wassailing in Caldecott

Wassail
Next to the Local Excellence Market, this morning, campaigners, intent on saving the Oxfordshire Children;s Centres from closure, were asking people to pledge not to vote for ANY County Councillor who votes for the closure of the Childrens Centres in next week’s budget meeting.
Wassail
At South Abingdon Children’s Centre this afternoon there was a Wassail. It was the second year this event has taken place.
Wassail
The children;s centre was open for activities and free refreshments. It often acts as a Community Centre as well as a Children’s Centre.
Wassail
Outside in the grounds of Caldecott School there was dancing by the Vale Islanders and Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancers.
Wassail
Mulled apple juice was heating on an open fire in the forest school area.
Wassail
and down in the orchard area a traditional wassail poem was recited to the apple trees.
Wassail
Trees were festooned with ribbons and hung with toast for the birds to feed on. Then everybody made a loud noise to awaken new life in the trees.
Wassail
The loudest noise came from the Vale Islanders who have obtained a couple of muskets.

4 Comments January 31, 2016

The Black Swan @ Abingdon

No, not a new pub, but a genuine black swan
The Black Swan
I first saw him on December 5th  in South Abingdon on the gravel pit lake nearest to the Marina and he is still there and very much at home with the mute swans (of which there are 2 large families) and a wide variety of other water birds.
The Black Swan

(Many thanks to Elizabeth for the report.)

7 Comments January 30, 2016

Abingdon Aunt Sally League needs committee members

Abingdon Aunt Sally League
Brian has an appeal for help for people to help run the Abingdon Aunt Sally League. He says …

I draw your attention to an immediate crisis facing the Abingdon Aunt Sally League where following their recent A.G.M. the very existence of the League is in question following the resignations of several Committee members.

Abingdon Aunt Sally League
Whilst I appreciate that Aunt Sally is not for everyone, in the Abingdon League last season there were 65 teams ( Pubs or Clubs) that registered and approximately 800 players that had an interest in the game.

For anyone interested the current League address is to be found at abingdonauntsally.com and for anyone wishing to learn the origins of the League Basil Collins a founder member, who is still with us today, writes …

Abingdon Aunt Sally League
As Licensee of the ‘Black Swan’ Abingdon during early February 1960 my interest regarding pub sports was 100% participating in playing darts, when one Saturday morning two customers came into the bar, whom I knew later to be a Sid Green and Ron Farrell, purchased drinks and making general conversation about pub activities, asked me if I would be interested in forming an Aunt Sally League, to which I replied, “What the hell is Aunt Sally?”

Read on … abingdonauntsally.com/history/the-first-30-years

Leave a Comment January 28, 2016

Abingdon Town Council Meeting – 27th Jan 2016 – Gets Political

There was a meeting of Abingdon Town Council this evening to consider reports from the council’s sub Committees, and agree next year’s budget.
Abingdon Town Council Meeting
The meeting began with a prayer from Revd Charles Miller where he prayed among other things “Inspire the council with a right judgement in all things, and … a zeal for the common good.

Councillors expressed concern about the mud on the road left be lorries leaving the Drayton Road building site, and the danger presented sometimes by lorries turning into the site. The Mayor undertook to write to the district council to express the town council’s concern.

There was then a heated debate about setting up a working group to consider the council’s future carbon cutting. Conservatives first suggested postponing the working group agreed at a previous town council. They then proposed it be set up under Widdecombe rules so that the ruling Conservative party have 3 members, and the opposition Lib-Dems 2. This left the independent Angela Lawrence out in the cold. But the Widdecombe rules were voted through by all the Conservatives; all the Lib-Dems abstained, and only Angela voted against. She appeared to be the one most passionate about making things happen in this working group.

A decision was made to allow a 2nd monthly Farmer’s Market. There was also a discussion of Market fees. On this occasion it was Conservative Councillor Vicky Jenkins who was a lone voice. She said that the town council was subsidising the Farmer’s Market whose rents were 38% less. Both Markets should be treated the same.

Other committee papers were all agreed including those on the Guildhall which I will return to soon.
Abingdon Town Council Meeting
There followed a party political discussion on the budget. The Lib-Dems proposed some amendments to the budget. These included adding £60K to the Community fund to help save Abingdon’s Children’s Centres, and £30K not £10K towards pushing ahead with the Neighbourhood Plan. To pay for these changes they wanted efficiency savings, charging more for some council services, and not putting quite so much towards the future cemetery fund, or buying additional Christmas lights.

In the end this amendment was voted down largely on party lines with Angela Lawrence the independent and another councillor choosing to abstain. The main Conservative argument was that the Lib-Dems should have thought of these ideas earlier and got it properly discussed through committees beforehand.

But it did produce a good lively debate. When everything is agreed beforehand town council meetings can be as dull as next year’s budget sheets.

43 Comments January 28, 2016

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