The Abingdon Blog

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

Saturday, 3 January 2009

Woolworths - Last 3 Days

I can't really believe it but we are near the end of an era...




It was the Halfords store in Abingdon that closed on Friday 2nd January 2009.

But the first three pictures are of Woolworths who are into their final countdown.

Its not so long ago that they had a major revamp. This is before. This is after. It just wasn't enough, sadly.

Friday, 2 January 2009

New Year's Day - Walk 2

The Abingdon Boundary walk began on the Market Place, and followed the 1556 town boundaries - as close as possible, but missing out the bit where the chamberlain used to swim the river.

The Town Crier announced each stop by wishing everybody a 'Happy New Year.'

and Martin Smith described the old town boundaries as we went.

The walk differed from all previous years, in that the Abbey Millstream could be crossed at the new bridge, and so we probably kept closer to the original boundary.

Then we crossed the weir to end where Abingdon had a little land on the far bank.

This boundary stone marks the spot. It is currently being used by the envionment agency as a gate latch. Here is Martin Smith and a lady over from France, who managed to do the walk in high heels. The going was firm, and ice remained on some puddles.

Thursday, 1 January 2009

New Year's Day - Walk 1

The Christian Aid Walk starts from one of the churches. This year it began at All Saints Church, off Appleford Drive - just behind the Boundary House.

It took the walkers up through Sunningwell to Boars Hill. Some walkers are sponsored for the seven mile circular walk, and others just pay a donation to take part. From this year's walk the organisers hope to raise £2.5K for Christian Aid.

Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Sunset on 2008

Beyond the empty tables outside the Boundary House

the sun sets.

It was the last sunset for this blackbird.

Co-op Building - December Progress

Looking through the door I can see the words 'Fairtrade Champions', 'Local Harvest', and Chilled. Empty shelves are coming out of cardboard boxes all ready for use. The new Co-op is due to open on January 22nd 2009.

But look on That Ginger Guys Blog to see the empty shelves at Woolworths being sold off. The window shows 7 days remaining. The Abingdon store closes on the 6th Jan 2009. The Didcot store closes on the 2nd.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Saint Helen's Mill Bridge

This picturesque bridge between Saint Helen's Mill, and Mill Paddock, could well be demolished by this time next year.

( John sent me the second less-known view of the same. )

The Environment Agency suggests that it is removed as a flood prevention measure because it created a blockage during the July 2007 floods.

Monday, 29 December 2008

Town Centre - End 2008

This is the state of the town centre at the end of 2008 (press on image for a bigger version and if it that looks grainy press again the (+) magnifying glass or whetever resize icon appears in your browser). (Alternatively is last year's map and is this year's. )

Red is a vacant shop premises that was occupied at the start of the year.
Yellow means change of ownership.
Green is a shop that was vacant at the start of the year which is now occupied.

Change in 2007 (10 red, 6 green, 5 yellow) - Net Loss 4
Change in 2008 (13 red, 10 green, 8 yellow) - Net Loss 3

Pending, but not shown here, are the imminent closure of Woolworths and Halfords, and possibly Adams who have gone into administration today, and the opening of the Co-op, including the move of the Post Office.

Not suprisingly, given the state of house sales after the credit crunch, estate agents have been merging offices.

Hodsons have closed their smaller lettings office in High Street, and concentrated at their Ock Street Office.

Bucknell and Ballard took over Adkins, and closed their Bath Street Office, to put all their operations in the High Street office. Charles Lawson have been 'closed for refurbishment' , operating more from their Oxford office, but are still using the shop front to display properties.

Elsewhere, also on the way out, Klick closed earlier this month, when the parent company went into receivership. It was also a goodbye earlier in 2008 to Jennifer Gerrard Gallery, de Paaw, Poldeli, Cargo, Birthdays, and Stead&Simpson.

On the positive side, Local Roots opened, as did Londis, the Thai Orchid Oriental Supermarket, and recently: Ask, Coffee Republic, Sweets and Chocolate, and the Honey Pot.

Of the movers: Outdoor Traders moved into larger premesis, as did Scrivins (previously known as Russel Caulton). Cafe Zeko expanded. Centre Stage moved from Bath Street to Coxeters, and Faulkner Photography moved from Coxeters to Lombard Street.

(Let me know any mistakes or omissions. This does not get proof read except by you)

Sunday, 28 December 2008

Non-bio Tesco bag

This first picture of a degradable Tesco plastic carrier bag was taken on the 10th November 2008. It had got trodden into a pathway.

Six weeks on, and the bag is looking thinner. Degradable plastic bags have chemicals added to make them break down over time. Its not quite the same as bio-degradable, but who's to know the difference?