Didcot Power Station Cooling Tower Demolition and power cuts

Cooling Tower Demolition
The fields between Sutton Courtney and Didcot Power Station attracted crowds to view the demolition of the final three cooling towers.
Cooling Tower Demolition
People had gathered from before 6 am as the expected explosion and demolition was to be between 6 am – 8 am. Then just before 7 am there was a siren, and one chap sent up a drone to get an aerial view.
Cooling Tower Demolition
At 7 am there was an explosion and the towers began to fall to the ground.
Cooling Tower Demolition
It only took a few seconds
Cooling Tower Demolition
for all three to collapse.
Cooling Tower Demolition
There was a cheer from the crowds when they were all down.
Cooling Tower Demolition
People started to head off as the clouds of dust cleared.
Cooling Tower Demolition
I heard screams and saw a yellow flash in the field behind us. Through a hedge I could see what looked like bright lights chasing people. There were rumours of a transmission explosion.

At about 7 am, there were power cuts back in Abingdon for a short while.

6 Comments August 18, 2019

Chilli Festival, Didcot Power Station and Springfield Drive Open Garden.

Chilli Festival
The Oxfordshire Chilli Festival was happening on Abingdon Market Place today.
Chilli Festival
It was also the last day that the last 3 Didcot Power Station cooling towers were visible from the County Hall roof. They are scheduled for demolition tomorrow morning between 6-8am.
Chilli Festival
This is how they looked today from the Sustrans cycle path between Sutton Courtney and Didcot.
Chilli Festival
There was also an open garden at the exotic garden at 53 Springfield Drive, and they had lots of visitors.
Chilli Festival
and lots of plants to admire for visitors, and cakes to eat. Donations and proceeds go to Maggie’s Cancer Centre and Blue Cross.
Chilli Festival
Back at the Chilli Festival there were chilli plants for sale,
Chilli Festival
chillies, and many different chilli sauces and foods cooked with chilli.
Chilli Festival
Bands played throughout the day followed by the chilli eating competition.
Chilli Festival
After all other competitors had been eliminated the last two competitors could not be separated and so they were given a pint cup full of chillies to see who could eat them the fastest.
Chilli Festival
The winner, by a half pint, was last year’s returning champion, the Queen of Chilli, Shahina.

Proceeds go to Mind – the Mental Health Charity.

2 Comments August 17, 2019

Abingdon 100 years ago – Aug 1919

Abingdon 100 years ago
August 2nd
The Rev C.S. Thomas, formerly belonging to the Abingdon Church Clergy Staff, and an Army Chaplain, has again taken up the work of promoting the Boy Scout movement in Abingdon, and offers a silver cup in memory of a former Patrol Leader, 2nd-Lieut. Tom Lodge, of Abingdon, who was killed in action in the war, to any Berkshire Boys Scouts troop who produces the fastest swimmer over 300 yards, under 16 years of age, the competition to take place at Abingdon on Saturday evening, August 16th.

Lady Norman, of Stratton House, Bath Street, Abingdon, who during the war was indefatigable in her efforts to collect fresh vegetables and send weekly to the Fleet, was an invited guest at the recent grand naval review off Southend.

An inquest was held at the Cottage Hospital on Saturday, by Mr B. Challenor, coroner, on the death of Albert William Lord, aged 11 years, son of Albert Lord, of Court 1, No 4, West St. Helens’ Street, Abingdon, who was accidentally run over by a motor lorry the previous evening. He had his tea as usual on Friday and was called for by his companions. About 5.30 the deceased and the other lads were in the Square, when George Cox, of East Hanney was returning to the R.F.A. Depot Milton, after conveying men home from work, and passed some steam ploughing tackle near Messrs Gillett’s Bank in the Square. William Percy Jackson, Bath Street, who was returning on his bicycle, saw four or five boys running away from the steam ploughing tackle, when the deceased got wedged in between the motor lorry and a trailer. A verdict of Accidental Death was returned.

The ‘D’ Squadron of the Berkshire Yeomanry met at dinner in the Abingdon Corn Exchange on Tuesday evening. The company numbered about 130, and most of those present had been through the fighting at the Dardanelles, in Egypt, or Palestine, some having been wounded in the severe fighting. At the request of the Chairman, the company, were upstanding, then drank in silence ‘the memory of our gallant comrades killed during the war’. The Mayor of Abingdon proposed ‘The Berks Yeomanry,’ whose history in pre-war days, he said, needed no words of commendation from him, while in the last five years its record was like that of all Berkshire regiments. To whatever front they looked, wherever there was a Berkshire regiment, the men of Berkshire always won renown for fearlessness and bravery.

Abingdon 100 years ago
August 9th
Mrs E. J. Hemmings. Park Road, Abingdon, for many years the greatly esteemed Head Mistress of the Abingdon Church Girls’ School, who is now retiring and leaving the town, was the recipient of testimonials of her devotion to her work. The past and present scholars, staff and parents gave her a beautiful set of silver toilet table requisites and a silver-mounted album with names inscribed. The staff at the Boys’ and Infants’ Schools gave her a pair of silver vases.

The Abingdon Football Club has been revived, and is entering in the County and District competitions.

Abingdon 100 years ago
August 16th
The Abingdon War Pensions’ Committee have now taken a permanent office for its work at 6, The Square, Abingdon.

General Wigan, M.P. for the Abingdon Division of Berks, has informed the Executive that he had wished to reside in the Constituency, but that he had been unable to obtain a suitable house and therefore had taken one outside the Constituency — at Danbury, in Essex. General Wigan therefore placed himself in the hands of the local Unionist Executive, who were unanimous that he should continue to represent the Division.

Memorial Services Requiems for those Abingdon men who fell in the war were celebrated at St. Helen’s Church and St. Michaels on Sunday morning last, and a special memorial service was also held at St. Helen’s Church in the evening.

Abingdon 100 years ago
August 23rd

The graded supplies at Abingdon Cattle Market on Monday last were 12 butcher’s beasts and 40 fat sheep, the whole being allocated to Abingdon.

The late train from Oxford to Abingdon suspended during the War was reinstated on Saturday last, leaving Oxford 9.40 p.m., and arriving Abingdon at 10.2 p.m.

The Abingdon Town Council’s quarterly meeting was held in the Council Chamber on Thursday evening, the Mayor presiding. In reply to a petition by 68 allotment holders of West Field’s Allotments who are under notice to quit, the Council agreed to try and secure 20 acres near West Fields belonging to the Duchy of Cornwall. The Farm Committee were given power to purchase a motor tractor for use on the farm at a cost of £385. A letter from the Ministry of Health had been received asking the Council to stock a quantity of coal for the winter, and it was agreed to purchase 500 tons, to be stocked by the local coal merchants and ear marked for disposal by the Council. It was stated by the Mayor that the Housing Commissioner had that day sent a letter approving the site on the Oxford Road, by the side of the Boxhill Path, for the erection of workmen’s dwellings by the Council.

Abingdon 100 years ago
August 30th

The members of the congregation of the Abingdon Trinity Wesleyan Church have made a presentation to the Rev Charles Pengelly, before leaving to take up his duties at Market Drayton Wesleyan Church. The gift took the form of a case of Treasury notes, and the presentation was made in the Schoolroom after his farewell service. The Rev Herbert Ashby, of Glasgow, who has been in the Wesleyan ministry for 26 years, will commence his ministry at Abingdon Wesleyan Church, Sunday, September 7th.

It is stated that over 1,000 women and girls employed at the R.A F. Depot Milton, near Steventon, have received notices to terminate their employment within the next few weeks. It is understood that only those members of the Force willing to reside in camp will be retained in their present employment.

The Abingdon Pavlova Leather Works held their programme of sports in a field near the works on Saturday afternoon last, the prizes being given by Mr R. A. Fraser, Director of the Works. The Reading Silver Band was in attendance and there was a large number of spectators.

The Abingdon Horticultural Society revived the holding of their annual show at Abingdon on Thursday last, when the weather was very favourable. The Show was held in the Caldecott Grounds, the residence of Mrs Bailie, whose late husband. General Bailie, was always a valued friend of the Society. The exhibits were not on a large scale, but to counteract this several gentlemen sent some beautiful items from their greenhouses and gardens. In addition the show of flowers, fruit, etc., there was a fete and carnival, and the programme consisted of a fairy play, competitions for decorated bicycles, bowling, and fancy dress parade, and in the evening there was dancing in an illuminated enclosure, the music being supplied by the Abingdon Town Band.

Thankyou for the extracts to the Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette – Adverts were taken from old North Berks Heralds and the picture of the 1919 Abingdon War Memorial, and the children going on a boat trip from Abingdon to Wallingford, came from the Oxford Journal Illustrated. The homecoming celebrations on 4th August did not get a mention in the Advertiser which reported on the Wantage homecoming event.

Leave a Comment August 16, 2019

Aspects of Abingdon – art and photographs

Aspects of Abingdon
There is a new temporary exhibition in the County Hall Museum showing photographs and paintings of Abingdon – thanks to the Abingdon Museum Friends.
Aspects of Abingdon
The Abingdon Museum Friends helped to pay for some of the exhibition including a copy of Turner’s painting The Thames at Abingdon from 1805. There are also some stunning large reproductions of Francis Frith photographs.
Aspects of Abingdon
A lot of visiting artists came to Abingdon and portrayed well known views of Abingdon’s historic buildings and the River Thames , in their own way. There are more intimate pictures by Oswald Couldrey who knew the town well. He painted the cattle market shown above. Couldrey left Abingdon to establish an art school in India. Deafness forced him back to Abingdon where he read, wrote, painted, and played a soundless piano.
Aspects of Abingdon
There are also lots of paintings and photographs from the museum’s own collection playing on a loop on the monitor. It took about twenty minutes to view them all and many I had never seen before. In the cabinet below are picture by Harry Lucy who, after retiring from working for Amey in Abingdon, became involved with Abingdon Artists.
Aspects of Abingdon
There are also pictures by Fetherstone Robson who travelled the country in the 1920s and painted many popular scenes which were mass produced as prints. His output included several paintings of Abingdon.

This makes a very interesting exhibition, and a good way to pass a half hour.

3 Comments August 15, 2019

Black and Red Berries on the Ock Valley Walk

Black and Red Berries
Berries can be rich with sugar and, at this time of year, provide a great source of food for birds. Birds have competition from humans when it comes to blackberries.
Black and Red Berries
Humans also go for elderberries although they don’t agree with everybody and are best made into drinks.
Black and Red Berries
Not many humans would try the red berries even if they came from the Guelder Rose.
Black and Red Berries
The Mountain Ash berries will probably not be eaten by birds until they are ripe or food is more scarce.
Black and Red Berries
Birds must also, as needs must, eat the berries of Lords and Ladies to help disperse the seeds. They do not tempt many humans with their clammy poisonous look.

3 Comments August 14, 2019

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