The Abingdon Blog

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

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Abingdon and District Model Railway Show 2009

A lot of community events in Abingdon today. There was the two swap shops, the Alzheimers Jumble Sale at the Baptist church, and the Foyer and the Fairtrade stall on the Market Place. If people can send pictures I'll include them soon.

But the biggest event of the day was probably the Railway Show, at the Vale of White Hourse Leisure Centre.

Enthusiasts came from far and wide to lean over and watch.

There were two models of Abingdon Station on view. This one by Brant Hickman appeared in the 1996 edition of the Railway Modeller, and was last seen in Abingdon in 1997. More of this layout can be seen on Brant's website.

Brant was asked back because a second Abingdon layout is under construction. This is to a larger scale (00 rather than N), and involves consequently more work. Details of its progress can be see at

The Aaahs Railway Stall

Here is a blog rival at the Abingdon and District Railway Show getting his blog post off by mobile phone.

Above can be seen the finished post of Abingdon Station - the model.

He had been manning the Aaahs (Abingdon and Area Archaeological and Historical Society) Railway Stall

where there were a lot of black and white pictures, and tickets and railway memorabilia. First time I think they have done such a stall at the Railway Show. They have done talks about the railway before and they always draw the crowds - a popular subject.

Friday, 6 March 2009

Flood Update from the EA

The Environment Agency (EA) were there at the Guildhall to give us the latest news on managing the flood risk in Abingdon.

The good news is that they now think that the July 2007 River Ock flood has the probability of happening one year in 275, not one year in 100 as estimated before. This means some properties will be removed from the "high risk flood zone" and "should have fewer problems getting insurance".

The bad news is that it means that the proposed upstream flood storage area has a lower Benefit / Cost ratio, and they now say in yesterday's briefing note "... We are unable to justify a scheme on the River Ock because the flood alleviation works will protect fewer properties..."

Various less costly schemes are still to go ahead. These two pictures show the effect of removing the redundant Ock Mill footbridge during a time of high flood. The bottom one shows that after the removal thirty odd properties, in the pale blue area, at Meadowside, will be safer. The EA model suggests that because the lower stream will not back up so much, the higher stream in front of Meadowside will more easily cascade down the weir.

Here is the Ock Mill footbridge this bright frosty morning. Work to prepare for removing the bridge will start in the week commencing 16th march, and the actual removal start the week after. More pictures to follow.

Other flood risk management work, all around Abingdon and some on the River Stert, will involve: improving culverts, clearing vegetation and blockages, and designing better trash screens.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

Tree Work

All around Abingdon this winter there has been a lot of tree work done.

This is the reach of the Thames between Abingdon and Radley looking across towards the far bank

where trees have been cut back and piled high - like here near swift ditch.

These old branches are being carted away from near Radley Lakes to be burnt. A year or so back when the Lake was being prepared for destruction many of the trees were numbered and cut. Now the Lake has been saved, but without the trees to draw up water the Lake does seem more liable to flood.

And here round a private fishing lake beside Barton Fields, which has lost its private gate for now, big trees have been cut down and replaced by little trees.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Young Victoria in Abingdon

There is a Young Victoria display in Smiths the Chemist, promoting perfume. The film opens in Oxford tomorrow.

I would imagine that Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, on their honeymoon, may well have sent an equerry to pick up some soaps and perfumes from the Smiths of their day...

And perhaps needlework material from the Masons of their day.

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Grow Your Own!

Thanks to John for this post...

1. Richard Matthews has been coming to Abingdon for 36 years and is on the scene every Monday, Friday and Saturday just beyond Coxeters.

2. Richard Stevenson from Charlton park Nurseries is seen every Monday Market.

At this time of year we see his remarkable range of seed potatoes (deals in up to 180 varieties), as well as peas, beans and shallots, etc.

John adds "It's a good time to take up an allotment and grow your own in future !"

Monday, 2 March 2009

Zippo is Coming!

Somerfield have the decorators at work. Meanwhile, in Woolworths opposite, Zippo Circus posters have appeared on the doors.

Zippo circus posters have appeared all over Abingdon.

The circus will be in Oxford at the end of the month. Before that it will visit Stevenage and then Billesley near Birmingham - which explains why I have seen the same Zippo posters in the odd empty shop in Solihull. Their Woolworths is also still empty.

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Saint David's Day

Saint David is the patron Saint of Wales and there were a few people this morning out wearing daffodils at church. They also did the bible readings in a welsh accent, which is always a joy, and then we all joined in with two good old welsh hymns.

It was good to see some old-style canoes on the Abbey Mill Stream today. At first, I thought they had lost something in the mud, but now I am no longer sure. Perhaps they had sprung a leek!!!