The Abingdon Blog

The Abingdon Blog is a photo record of events and places in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, started on January 1st 2006.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

Harry Potter: The Final Installment

The fireworks went off at Midnight. The queue to the Book Store tailed back - along the precinct - to New Look . A shop assistant pushed round the trolley of free sweets.

This phenomena has been repeated at midnight every time a new Harry Potter book is released. This time far more people were dressed up.

Friday, 20 July 2007

After the Deluge

In the aftermath of the heavy rain the river continues to rise and will continue to rise for a day or so. Red signs are out warning boats to stay put, and that means securing themselves with anchors. The pegs are in very soft ground.

The lock keeper is letting more water through at the weir. Water had found a way over the footpath at the top of the weir in any case.

All the gates are open at the weir.

Elsewhere, I see the museum is closed due to flooding of the basement. And in Steventon the fire engines were called to help pump away water.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

When Things fall apart

The Clock House is used as a young people's clinic by the OBMH (The Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust).

Such services are there for when things begin to fall apart, something that happens to about one in three of us at some stage in our lives, and one in five children.

The mental health trust had its AGM (Annual General Meeting) today at Littlemore Hospital. The trust are hoping to become a Foundation Trust, and need interested people to become members. Membership is a good thing as it helps give a stronger voice to service users.

The meeting took place at a large gym at Littlemore. At the back of the hall it was difficult to hear the key note speakers even with a microphone. The hall echoed so much. But then one service user, at the back, stood up to ask a question and came through very clearly saying that for her things had not got better in the last year. The financial management and drive to become a Foundation Trust were all good news, but for her things had got worse when she needed help in an acute ward. Wards had been closed. In reply, the people at the front said that it was very difficult to hear her as the hall echoed so much but they'd be glad to talk with her afterwards.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

The art of road maintenance

A road surface should not be too perfect. Sooner or later it will get dug up, and patched a different colour. Here, on Ock Street, the road colours are like an art form.

Tuesday, 17 July 2007


This dead tree is to be found next to the where the Renault Crossroads Garage has been demolished and Cranbourne Homes are about to build 62 residences. The ivy up the trunk is till thriving but the spreading limbs are leafless.

I'm not blaming the ivy. I'm not blaming the demolition work. I'm not even blaming Drayton Road air pollution. I expect the tree died of old age... Unless you know different.

Monday, 16 July 2007

Sign of the Time

Trinity Church has always operated a no-smoking policy, but now in order to comply with the new law, appropriate signs are displayed at various points, like this one on the door of the choir vestry.


A man came into church and lit up a cigarette. There were mutterings, then a steward approached him and said "You cannot smoke here. Didn't you see the sign?"

The man flicked ash across the carpet. "Ah ha," he said, "Today is national smoking day and I can smoke wherever I want."


Just a dream.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Diamond Light Source - Open Day

At Harwell ( a few miles south of Abingdon) there was an Open Day at the doughnut shaped building called the Diamond Light Source.

It is what is known as a synchrotron, a series of super microscopes using a incredibly bright and intense light. It is the biggest civilian scientific project in the UK for thirty years. The first seven super microscopes in the synchrotron have been working since earlier this year and many more will follow. They all take light from the central core.

The tour involved film shows, displays and experiments.

In the inner area we saw a series of electro-magnets - used to accelerate electrons, and then on the outside the shiny precision equipment that beams the generated synchrotron light ( x-ray, ultra-violet or infrared) at whatever is to be studied.

This display of textile art shows microscopic forms like viruses and pollen done with needles and thread, rather than super-microscopes. The synchrotron technology itself is kept simple at times. They use pin hole photography techniques to ensure the beam of light is in line.

Anyway, having learnt something, we emerged from the doughnut with bags full of information sheets and free gifts. The lucky ones even had yellow hats.