Army Cadet Charity Rowing on Abingdon Market Place

Army Cadet Rowing
The Abingdon Army Cadets have been on the Market Place all day with four rowing machines. The event was organised by the cadets rather than their adult instructors.
Army Cadet Rowing
They were rowing a distance of 200KM for three charities.

One of their adult instructors, a veteran paratrooper, who lost a leg in Afghanistan in 2012, recently broke the world record for rowing across the Atlantic Ocean in a pair. That challenge raised money for three charities: for Blesma (who assist limbless veterans to live normal lives), Dreamflight (who give a holiday in a lifetime to deserving children), and The Gurkha Welfare Trust.

Inspired by their instructor the cadets hoped to raise a few hundred pounds for those same three charities. Their Just Giving Page is Abingdon ACF Rowing
Army Cadet Rowing
The Town Crier not only did some cries to encourage people to donate, he also joined in with a bit of rowing.

Leave a Comment February 17, 2018

Darkest Hour Premier at The Unicorn

There was a full house at the Unicorn Cinema for the first showing of ‘Darkest Hour’ .. During the early days of World War II, the fate of Western Europe hangs on the newly-appointed British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who must decide whether to negotiate with Adolf Hitler, or fight on against incredible odds. (This picture was taken while people were taking their seats during the previews.)
Some of the audience had dressed in 1940s style clothes. The Regal Evesham staff, who run the cinema, were also dressed in 1940s garb.
There were even a group of WWII re-enactors who had come along to watch the film. So there was a great atmosphere at the first showing of what turned out to be a gripping and moving film.
My wife and me also dressed up and had our picture taken by the official photographer. The picture may well appear on the Unicorn or Regal website. I am afraid we look more like we had come out to a 1970s disco that an 1940s evening to watch ‘Winnie.’

More showings can be booked at

1 Comment February 17, 2018

Abingdon Head of the River – 8th April

Planning is progressing for the 2018 Abingdon Head of the River rowing event.

About 360 rowing crews will be attending, bringing over 2,000 people to Abingdon. Anybody local can go along to watch the rowing. The club are looking for people wanting to promote their business, and support this community event.

The majority of club members and other volunteers give many days of their time before, during and after the event helping to set-up, supervise, and put away.

It was a sunny day last year. Let us hope for another sunny day this year on Sunday 8th April 2018. Thanks to them for the email about the event. More on the rowing club website.

Leave a Comment February 15, 2018

Valentine’s Day and Hearts

The heart as a symbol of love is not restricted to Valentine’s Day as can be seen from this stone at Abingdon Stone & Marble Ltd.
There are a lot of hearts to be seen in the weeks before Valentine’s Day – February 14th. Some are fabulously inventive… Fabulous Flowers have heart shaped boughs round the door, and pelicans forming a heart in the window.
The Finishing Touch have two swans in the centre of many different sized red hearts.
There are messages on paper hearts in the window of the British Heart Foundation charity shop for Valentines Day.
Sue Ryder usually have a seasonal display, and now that Valentine’s Day is over, and the happy couple are off on their honeymoon, Chinese New Year will take its place in the window.

4 Comments February 14, 2018

Shrove Tuesday Fritters and Flinging at Cocks

“Shrove” is the past tense of “shrive” which the Collins Dictionary defines as “to confess one’s sins to a priest in order to obtain sacramental forgiveness”. When I searched for references to Shrove Tuesday in, and near, Abingdon I found no references to confession but did find the following…

1. Pancakes
Shrove Tuesday
Snick, snack, the pan’s hot,
We’re come a shroving
Strike while the iron’s hot -
Something’s better than nothing.
Flour’s cheap and lard’s dear
And that’s why we come a shroving here …
(Rhyme from Drayton near Abingdon quoted in May Day to Mummers)

2. Throwing Sticks at Cockerels
Shrove Tuesday
In Abingdon Museum there is the notice about Shrove Tuesday cockerel throwing – an old tradition abolished in 1805.

Samuel Pepys describes both these traditions in one short paragraph on Shrove Tuesday 1661. “Back to Mrs. Turner’s, where several friends … dined. Very merry and the best fritters that ever I eat in my life. After that looked out at window; saw the flinging at cocks.”

Pepy’s continues “I found my Valentine with my wife … Then I sat and talked with my Valentine and my wife a good while, and then saw her home.”

It is Valentine’s Day tomorrow, and Ash Wednesday.

3 Comments February 13, 2018

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