Art-beat 2019 at John Mason

Art-beat 2019
From 13th to 18th June there has been an exhibition of art work by GCSE and ‘A’ Level Art Students at John Mason School.
Art-beat 2019
There were several rooms full of artwork like the one above. It was amazing to see so much creativity all together. Very colourful and interesting but too much to take in all at once. It seems such a huge advance on what we did at school in my day.
Art-beat 2019
On Saturday Morning the exhibition was very popular with lots of friends and relatives looking at their student’s art work. There was also people like myself who saw the banner in front of the school and went in.
Art-beat 2019
Work included some fantastic dress creations and a portrait of Churchill.

There is still a chance to visit from 3.30-4.30 pm Monday and Tuesday. You need to bring a photo ID and report to reception.

Leave a Comment June 16, 2019

Mayor of Ock Street

Mayor of Ock Street
The election of the Mayor of Ock Street took place in Abingdon today. (The Mayor of Ock Street is the leader of the Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancers.) There were polling stations for Ock Street residents at The Brewery Tap and  Mayott House. They opened at around 10 am, and then the Morris Dancers processed into town and danced at a number of venues starting at the Black Swan.
Mayor of Ock Street
They were joined by a visting team, Mason’s Apron.
Mayor of Ock Street
The second dance was in the Bury Street shopping street.
Mayor of Ock Street
There was cloud, some showers, and sunshine later on. So flowers and wellington boots made a fitting outfit.
Mayor of Ock Street
In the afternoon the dance at the Long Alley almshouses were cut short by a downpour, then after a short time there were more dances outside Brewery Cottages.
Mayor of Ock Street
The election result was announced at 4:15 and was the closest anybody could remember. Roger Cox got 89 votes and Harry Knight 90. Mr Harry Knight is shown here being congratulated by Stuart Jackson immediately after the result. Stuart Jackson was himself Mayor of Ock Street for 11 years until 2007.
Mayor of Ock Street
The results were announced by Mr Ewart Hemmings (on the left). The sash and sword and cup of office were presented by the Mayor of Abingdon, Cllr Charlie Birks. Roger Cox, the challenger, congratulated Harry Knight. Roger was himself Mayor of Ock Street for several years.
Mayor of Ock Street
There was a big crowd to see the announcement.
Mayor of Ock Street
Mr Knight was carried by members of the Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancers along Ock Street, and back.
Mayor of Ock Street
The sun was shining and the traffic gave way for a few minutes to an old tradition on Ock Street.
Mayor of Ock Street
There followed a lot more dancing at different places, followed by an evening of feasting, singing, and quaffing at the Abbey Building.

3 Comments June 15, 2019

Abingdon on Channel 5

Abingdon on Channel 5
On Tuesday evening I went for a walk by Abingdon Lock.

Richard, the lock keeper, said hello. The Kingfisher Canoe club were out doing a training session. I took a few pictures of the meadow that leads to Swift Ditch. It was full of tall buttercups, ox-eye daisies and purple clover.

Walking back, one of the boat travellers said he was about to watch the programme about the River Thames with Richard, the Abingdon lock keeper. By the time I got home  the programme had gone beyond Abingdon and we saw them exploring a 21st Century sewage works that ferments and creates energy from Reading poo.
Abingdon on Channel 5
So we watched it on Channel 5 catch up which involves watching a few adverts first.

Richard did really well explaining to Tony Robinson, the presenter, how the lock worked and the weir. Frank was there as well, greeting people and operating the other lock gate. They gave a very good impression of Abingdon. It can be seen at the start of

9 Comments June 13, 2019

Mayor of Ock Street Preview

Last Saturday, I was walking along Hich Street when I saw Jennifer & Colin Wiggins, now residents of Port Washington, Long Island, NY. They used to live in Abingdon, and often come back, and Colin took these pictures of the Mayor of Ock Street around 1957.
This is a close up.
In 1957 there were not so many cars going along Ock Street.
This coming Saturday, the Election of the Mayor of Ock Street takes place and in Fat Face there is a fine display to let people know ahead of time.
Approximate timings taken from the Abingdon Traditional Morris Danding website look like this …

10:00 Polling Station at Brewery Tap opens, procession into town
10:15 Black Swan
10:45 Bury Street Precinct
11:30 Abbey Gateway
12:00 – 13:00 Market Place
14:00 The Broad Face
14:30 Long Alley Almshouses
15:00 Brewery Cottages, Coopers Lane
16:00 Close of Polling Station at Brewery Tap
16:15 Election of Mayor of Ock Street, followed by chairing and dancing (Brewery Tap) … Jennifer and Colin will also be there for their first chance to see the Mayor of Ock Street in a very long time.
17:15 Procession along Ock Street
17:30 White Horse
18:15 Mayott House
19:15 – 19:45 Market Place
Last year in the Fat Face window there was Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancers lego. This year they have added Mayoropoloy.

Leave a Comment June 12, 2019

Abingdon Town Mace in Black

Abingdon Town Mace
At St Helen’s Church this afternoon the Abingdon Town Mace was there at the Mayor’s pew. The Mace was draped in black for the Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Audrey Hasnip, the Mayor in 1999-2000.

Her husband, Keith Hasnip, had a similar service almost six years ago. He had also been Mayor.

Both services began with the hymn Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven and ended with the hymn Lord of all Hopefulness. Both services asked for donations for the NSPCC, and at both Reverend Dr Charles Miller officiated.

Reverend Charles gave a sermon for Keith’s service, but at Audrey’s service there was no sermon. Instead there were a lot of family tributes. There were also readings from The Wind in the Willows, Harry Potter, and Winnie-the-Pooh.

Regarding the Great Mace, Charles II’s restoration was in 1660, and from that date maces had to have the Royal Emblem again. During Cromwell’s time they bore the emblem of the House of Commons. An inscription at the base says “John Mayott, Gentleman, Mayor when this Mace was made for ye Corporation of Abingdon in ye County of Berks …” John Mayott was Mayor in 1651-1652 as well as 1659-1660. So 1660 could be when the mace was made, or remade with the Royal Emblem. (details from Abingdon and its treasures -1956)

Leave a Comment June 11, 2019

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