Town Council meeting in North East Abingdon

Town Council
As work continues at the Guildhall, the Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council meeting was moved to another part of town.
Town Council
The council met at the North East Abingdon Community Centre, next to the Peachcroft Shops.

The meeting began with the presentation of grant cheques to community groups. Then members of the public were allowed to speak.

A business person gave an update about the closure of the BID (Business Improvement District) after a petition showed businesses overwhelmingly wanted the district council to wind it up. But questions remained about BID accounts and when businesses would see some of their money back.

Pat Bryden showed the maps she is a designing as a tribute to Alan Bryden, an ex Councillor. They will be the other side of the River and Rye Farm car park.

There was a question by Councillor Angela Lawrence, the one Independent on the Council, about progress on the Community Led Plan, something she is keen on. She was told that only 4 people turned up at the last meeting by the Chair of the Plan Committee, who is waiting for community groups to come back having made progress on their actions before calling another meeting. The Chair said it was a Community Led Plan not a Council Led Plan.

The Mayor announced forthcoming dates which include the Over 70s Christmas Party on 17th December, and a quiz at a yet to be decided date – due to uncertainty about the Guildhall.

There was some discussion about the Guildhall where refurbishment is over budget by over £300K due to 3 unforeseen factors: the need to remove asbestos, water ingress issues, and the biggest factor – changing regulations for fire detection and emergency lighting .

However the chairman of the Guildhall Committee said they had the money thanks to the £1.2M pot that the District Council gave to the Town Council to take over the building, and the money saved because the Guildhall has been closed for three years. The old and new parts of the building will be outsourced and run by the company who are going to open the cinema in the Abbey Hall, and that will mean reduced running costs for the council. The building will also be fit for the next twenty or thirty years. It had been neglected in the past under the previous owner – the district council.

It had been proposed that 3 flags be erected in the newly refurbished Roysse Court, at a cost of £5K, but the Council decided not. Councillor Pat Lonergan said the town was over-flagged anyway. The council are to purchase a WWI memorial bench and a WWII memorial bench for the Roysse Court.

Three silhouette soldiers have been given to the Council who wanted to find a good location where they would not be vandalised. They could go in Roysse Court or beneath the County Hall Museum.

The Council flicked through a lot more committee minutes with few comments. There are of course the upcoming 100th Anniversary of the end of the First World War Years events in Abingdon. They include a Bun Throwing on 10th November, and a special service on the same day with readings from the Roll of Honour.

4 Comments October 17, 2018

Top Hat

Top Hat
Formed in 1958, and now in their 60th year, The Abingdon Operatic Society are staging Top Hat at the Amey Theatre, part of Abingdon School, from Tue 23 to Sat 27 October 2018. (Some of the performers, pictured above, gave a preview in the Market Place recently.)
Top Hat
There is also a display of posters inside the library. The society usually perform twice a year and enjoy a loyal following from many people in Abingdon and the surrounds, and many back stage and front stage helpers.

Top Hat was originally a film with Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, and has been adapted for the stage. The musical score and songs are by Irving Berlin.

2 Comments October 16, 2018

Abingdon Runaway Fair and Abingdon Fair Photo Competition

Abingdon Runaway Fair
One week on from the main Michaelmas Fair and the Runaway Fair arrived on the Market Place yesterday (Sunday) in the rain.
Abingdon Runaway Fair
The fair was underway throughout today (Monday), and the weather was better with just fine rain as evening arrived.
Abingdon Runaway Fair
Traffic is diverted round by East St Helen Street and West St Helen Street during the Runaway Fair. It always feels strange sitting in our first floor lounge and seeing people sailing by, or halting, outside of our window – on the top deck of Oxford double decker buses.
Abingdon Runaway Fair
I have not managed to get a good photo of the bus sailing by yet.

Talking of good photos, the Friends of Abingdon have a Abingdon Fair Photo Competition. Entries need to be in by midnight on Saturday 20 October.

1 Comment October 15, 2018

Joint Harvest and Parade Service

Joint Harvest and Parade Service
Abingdon Baptist Church (ABC) are on their travels while their church building is being revamped. Most Sundays they meet at Carswell School but on one Sunday a month they join with Trinity. This morning was such a Sunday and coincided with the Harvest service and Parade Service.

Donations to the harvest this year go to Asylum Welcome (for Trinity) and The Abingdon Food Bank (for ABC).
Joint Harvest and Parade Service
There were also some excellent flower displays all round the church done by people from Trinity and ABC.
Joint Harvest and Parade Service
The church and balcony were full because the parade service brought uniformed groups from both churches together with parents.
Joint Harvest and Parade Service
The young people took a lot of the service with readings and prayers and various activities. At one stage they trailed a rope, down the aisle, and up the stairs to the balcony so that everybody was connected either with the rope or with each other. This was to illustrate Jesus saying, ‘I am the vine. You are the branches.’

12 Comments October 14, 2018

Abingdon: 100 Years On

Abingdon 100 Years On
Abingdon is coming together in a Festival of Remembrance marking the centenary of the end of World War 1. The Festival, with music by The Waterloo Band and Bugles of The Rifles, is taking place on Saturday November 3 at St Helen’s Church. It will focus on the role that Abingdon played in the war and look at individual sacrifices made by soldiers from the town.
Abingdon 100 Years On
Thanks to the Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette for the following news from Abingdon 100 years ago in October 1918. ( © Successor rightsholder unknown. All Rights Reserved.)

5th October

Private A. J. Brett, Hampshire Regiment, son of and Mrs Brett, 41 Ock Street. Abingdon, is reported seriously wounded in both thighs by shrapnel in France.

Mr F. Aldworth. baker, West St. Helens Street, has had six sons serving in the current war. Captain William Aldworth. Essex Regt., awarded the D.S.O. for clearing a village with 17 men, though held by the enemy; Corporal Arthur Aldworth, 21, youngest son, killed in action on September 11th; Sapper Frank Aldworth, 30 killed in action in June; Lieutenant Tom Aldworth, Canadians, wounded; Private George Aldworth, Cameron Highlanders, wounded; and Private Edward Aldworth, R.G.A., still serving with the Colours. All of them were Abingdon Church Schoolboys.

12th October

Mr Charles Hartley and Miss Ethel Gordon Pauli gave an excellent humourous, musical, and dramatic entertainment in the Abingdon Corn Exchange on Thursday evening, when part of the proceeds were given to the Local Red Cross Hospital.

The Abingdon and Wantage motor bus met with a somewhat alarming accident on Wednesday evening of last week. It appears that when at Cold Arbour, on the Abingdon Road, the driver drew the bus to the side of the road to allow a motor cycle to pass, when the steering rod broke and the bus ran up the bank into the hedge, and turned over into a field, which was flooded at the time, and the 25 passengers were considerably frightened, but happily no one was seriously injured.

Private Harry Messenger, 19, of the Hampshire Regt., son of Mr Thomas Messenger, of Spring Road, Abingdon, is reported as having been killed in action on Sept. 4th.

Lance Corporal G. Townsend, of the London Regt., Q.V.8., son of Mr W. Townsend, East St. Helen Street, Abingdon, has been wounded for the second time, this time by a serious wound in the right leg.

ln last month’s published list of M.C.’s awarded appears the name of acting-Captain Tom Lodge, of the Oxford and Bucks LJ. aged 21, youngest son of Mrs Lodge, of Tesdale Terrace, Abingdon, who died of wounds on May 21st last. When his senior officers had been wounded he immediately took command, and by persistence obtained the objective, and on another occasion, on his own initiative, he led a counter attack, capturing a machine gun and killing several of the enemy.

17th October

Private A. C. Carter, 19, Hampshire Regt., son of L. Carter, 44, Vineyard, is reported killed in action on Sept. 13th in France.
Norman Leach,18, son of Mr T. Leach, 53, Ock Street, was a wireless operator on oil transport ship which has been sunk

The Michaelmas Runaway Fair was held on Monday last when a few stalls filled the Market Place. The day was very wet and the attendance very small.

The death of Mr Bromley Challenor, the Abingdon Town Clerk, at the age of 67, occurred after a long and painful illness, at his residence, The Firs, Marcham Road, Abingdon. Two years ago he underwent an operation for appendicitis, and was able afterwards to continue his work, but his health was not fully restored. For some months he had been an invalid, suffering from a painful illness, which he bore with much fortitude. Although a somewhat stern disciplinarian in practice, nevertheless at all times he showed a sympathetic and kindly spirit in his private capacity. He was for over 40 years Town Clerk of Abingdon, and for over 30 years Coroner for Abingdon and a wide district.

26th October

Private Alfred C. Badcock, Royal Fusiliers, only son of Mr and Mrs Charles Badcock, Broad Street, Abingdon, is reported killed in action in France. He was formerly apprenticed at Hughes’ Printing Works, Market Place, and afterwards worked in London, and on joining up he was working at Mrs Hookes, Abingdon, joining the Royal Fusiliers when billeted in Abingdon in 1915. He was very useful member of the Young Men’s Social Club.

Private W. J. Hearne, Royal Fusiliers (London Regiment), of Bath Street,’Abingdon, reported missing on October 26th, 1917, at Passchendale, is now presumed to have been killed on that date.
Private A. Wiblin, Royal Berks, son Mrs Wiblin, Court 6, Ock Street, Abingdon, is reported missing since March 21st.
Private G. A. Wiblin, son of Mrs 6. Wiblin, West St. Helen Street, Abingdon, previously reported as missing, is now stated to be prisoner in Germany
Private F. G. Tarry, East Yorks, son of Mrs Tarry, 18, West St. Helen Street, Abingdon, posted missing on May 27th, is now a prisoner of war.
Private G. Sparrow, Royal Berks, son of Mrs Sparrow, 159, Ock Street, Abingdon, has been mentioned in a regimental report for his gallant conduct and devotion to duty in the field August 24th, near Boisselle.

(News from https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/)

5 Comments October 13, 2018

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