The Abingdon Blog

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

Saturday, 24 November 2007

Ding Dong Merrily on High

St Helens Christmas Fair took place in the church. There were stalls selling Christmas decorations and gifts, and a raffle.

It almost seemed like a throw back to a time when the church was the only public building in town - and all kinds of trade and business went on inside. Here for example are the book sellers near the font.

The Abingdon Guild of Bell Ringers were playing "Ding dong merrily on High".

Friday, 23 November 2007

Putting up Christmas Lights

Some electricians came in for a bit of stick yesterday after holding up the traffic, but these lads are trying to bring a bit of joy to the world.

There are far more bulbs to go wrong than on home Christmas Trees.

The switch will be thrown next Wednesday 28th at 7.00 pm.

Thursday, 22 November 2007

No Sami's yet

Not sure where Sami's Kebab Van has gone. I've been trying to design a route to help him get through - given Stert Street is closed. I think he would have to follow the red route below...

Trouble is we only have one bridge over the Thames! All the political parties of Abingdon agree we need a new one. The trouble is getting anybody outside with the necessary money to agree.

Most dug up town in Oxfordshire

The left filter light along Ock Street has just been turned on.

Work must be almost complete on the Stert Street - it is closed overnight from the 19th to 22nd November for resurfacing.

Abingdon is to be awarded the prestigious 'Most dug up town in Oxfordshire' award for the second year running with thanks to the guys from County Highways who have made all of this possible, and Isis Accord who did the real hard work. If we can win again next year, we get to keep it.

(Just an update at 21:00 on this post with thanks to Martin G. Electricity work, that went wrong, has kept the road closed during the day as well as the night, causing gridlock and even more anger about Abingdon. The workers think it will be open again tomorrow morning.)

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Bury Street Shopping Centre

There was a lady doing a survey about shopping habits in Abingdon today - for the district council.

Before 1974, Abingdon Borough Council looked after everything including the roads. I have the impression that a few influential people could arrange matters down at the club - not sure how true that was.

But control has got fragmented. Not only are there three levels of local council, but an investment company controls the precinct...

The investment company have agreed with the district council to refurbish the precinct...

Despite that shops in the precinct have been closing this year. People blame the new traffic system, but Frend & Co the jeweller recently moved to West St Helens Street because they were being asked too much for a new lease. Going Places are now part of Thomas Cook and so have joined their shop along the precinct. Clarks have consolidated into one shop. Shoe Zone have just gone.

Halfords could be the next to close. They have larger shops in Cowley and now more recently in Didcot.

I have heard people say things will have to get worse, before anything radical can be done and things get better again. This may be all part of the plan of the investment bank to free up space and create larger shops to bring in some bigger players who will pay big money rents.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Rainbow over the Abbey

It was the end of one exhibition at the museum yesterday - called 'Still Life in Stitches' by the Oxford embroiderers. The museum closes for three days, and then opens again with a Christmas Exhibition.

Looking out of the museum window, there was a rainbow over the Abbey.

Monday, 19 November 2007

Open and shut case.

This suitcase was left by somebody on the Ock Valley walk.

Last winter I saw another suitcase dumped on this walk - full of old books that had gone very soggy. The titles were: The Perfect Spy, Day of the Jackel, Catch 22. They hadn't quite made it to the charity shop, or perhaps they had been and been rejected...

But this turquoise case was empty when I first saw it, and the next time I saw it a few day later, somebody had moved it to near the dog bin.

I'm no great detective, but to me it did appear to be an open and shut case.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Happy 5th Birthday

Happy 5th birthday to Added Ingredients.

Before this shop arrived in Abingdon, Stert Street was looking run down. But since its arrival, Stert Street has got much better. (Other areas of the town centre have not done so well).