A prime rowing location – Abingdon to Culham

prime rowing
Abingdon has a prime location for rowing on the River Thames, with the stretch from Culham to Abingdon.

In Victorian times regattas were popular events hosted by the Abingdon Town Rowing Club. The club seems to have disappeared by 1900, or at least it disappeared from newspapers.
prime rowing
The Abingdon Rowing Club was re-established in 1958, with some early help from Abingdon (Roysse’s) School, for whom rowing was a well established sport.
prime rowing
I took these shots this morning. The boats from Abingdon Rowing Club were turning at St Helen’s Wharf to row back down the river.

The club has gone from strength to strength. On the Abingdon Rowing Club website it says, there is training, between 1 and 6 days a week, for all ages. The annual Spring Head rowing event is scheduled for Sunday 14th April 2019.

Leave a Comment January 20, 2019

Aerial picture of Abingdon in the 1960s

Aerial picture
Thankyou to Malcolm for this aerial picture which expands the maps I showed a couple of days ago – on Abbey Close. The top wing of the de Havilland Dragon Rapide from which the picture was taken can just be seen in the right hand corner.
Aerial picture
The railway station can be seen bottom right, the rolling stock are flat bed trucks which were used to transport MG cars.
Aerial picture
The pens of the cattle market can be seen in the area above that, together with St Nicolas Church hall.

3 Comments January 19, 2019

Morland’s Stories Wanted

Morland Stories Wanted
Bob Frampton is planning a new local history book and would like to get stories from people who worked at, or knew about, the Morland’s Brewery. His details are on the poster above which he has also put round town.
Morland Stories Wanted
Bill Mellor, the head brewer, gave us a very interesting talk about the operation of the brewery a couple of years ago – on Heritage Open Day. The only pictures I ever took were from outside the brewery, so I have attached both.
Morland Stories Wanted
I remember the smell like soggy cornflakes on the days Morland brewed. Somebody has shared an interesting picture, inside the brewery, on the Spotted Abingdon and Surrounding Area Facebook page a day or so ago. In the comments somebody said it smelt like heated Weetabix and another person Ovaltine.

2 Comments January 19, 2019

A Circular Walk – Abingdon via Sutton Courtenay

A Circular Walk
The walk starts from Abingdon Bridge and is along the Thames Path, passing St Helen’s Church on the right.
A Circular Walk
Near where a board walk has been  placed over some boggy ground, Abingdon Marina comes into view on the other bank.
A Circular Walk
Just before the red DANGER sign, in the middle of the river – where the navigation channel to Culham Lock divides from the main flow, there is a cutting, in the opposite bank, that will one day become the Wilts and Berks Canal.
A Circular Walk
Follow the Thames Path until you come to a steep up and over footbridge. Turn right over the bridge and follow the path by the hydroelectric power generator, round Sutton Pools towards Sutton Courtenay. On reaching a road turn right. All Saints church is sometimes open and worth a look round. There is information about Eric Blair (pen name George Orwell) in the church. His gravestone is in the churchyard with other celebrities including Herbert Asquith, Primeminister 1908 to 1916; David Astor, newspaper publisher; and less well known, but very pretty with the snow drops rounds the gravestone, is the painter, Joyce Haddon.
A Circular Walk
Continue along the road over Ginge Brook until you come to a turning for Peep-o-Day Lane / Sustrans Route 5. Peep-o-Day starts as a causeway, and then becomes a road for a while – quite wet and muddy with lorries going from and to the quarry. Then after some concrete blocks the way  turns back to a cycle / footpath.
A Circular Walk
Beyond the quarry there are some private fishing lakes to your right. One is called Phil’s Lake. The water treatment works to your left can smell a little. Then comes Abingdon Marina.
A Circular Walk
Follow the road until you come back into Abingdon and the view of St Helen’s Church.

The circular walk is probably about 5-6 miles and very pleasant on a sunny day.

7 Comments January 17, 2019

Abbey Close

Abbey Close
At one time Abbey Close (called Abbey in earlier town maps) was a short road from the Market Place through the Abbey Gateway towards the Abbey Meadow.
Abbey Close
On one side it is still dominated by the long wall of the Abbey Grounds, and on the other side are houses.
Abbey Close
After the railway was removed, and the church hall behind St Nicolas was demolished, Abbey Close was extended to the Vineyard in 1989. Abingdon Past and Present and More of Abingdon Past and Present by Judy Thomas & Elizabeth Drury have pictures before and after.
Abbey Close
The millennium needle was added at the far end of Abbey Close in 2007.
Abbey Close
Comparing Abbey Close in 1950
Abbey Close
with 1990 you can see how it has grown and meanders round.

9 Comments January 16, 2019

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