The Abingdon Blog

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

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Abingdon Arts Festival - Blake to Vermeer

At John Mason School 'Lettermania - family art activities' were taking place, and looked very popular. Also displayed on the art gallery walls were letters inspired by the recent Peter Blake Lettermania exhibition, and done by local schools.

On the Market Place was a stall, plugging all the Arts Festival events over the next two weeks, including Bigging up Vermeer...

Over a period of 6 hours, 25 artists each painted a square.

I think they actually used the same squares used last year for bigging up Holbein which had been recycled.

Here is the finished work.

And here it is with the artists - each pointing to the square they did. It can be seen for the next two weeks, together with one by chidren, at the Guildhall.

There could well be better pictures soon done by the official photographer on the Abingdon Arts Festival website.

Friday, 20 March 2009

Councillor Hudspeth Q & A

Councillor Ian Hudspeth, the County Council cabinet member for transport, was at the Annual Parish meeting last night, and there followed a question and answer session...

First off, the work near the Vineyard / Stratton Way junction will involve the road being CLOSED SOUTH for a couple of days next week.

Also a pedestrian loop will be fitted into the Abbey Close junction, when the contractors have time in their schedule, again to improve traffic flow.

Design work on the High Street still needs to happen. The area round the County Hall is being designed in conjunction with the museum development. The option of a contra-flow cycleway at the top end of East St Helen Street will be investigated.

Improvements to the other part of the High street will go ahead sooner. Yellow hatching can only be placed where people need to turn right, but A KEEP CLEAR at the top of West Saint Helen Street could be added. People also said the current cycle stands could be better.

Moving the Coxeters bus stop to Stratton Way would, in the County's judgement, lead to less room for buses on Stratton Way. The County also believe the pedestrian route into town from Coxeters is preferred by bus passengers. A suggested pedestrian haven half way across from Coxeters would entail a lot of disruptive road work for a limited pay back.

The £521K saved by not proceeding with the Marcham Road dualing scheme has been ring fenced for Abingdon. But the County do not want to fritter it away on small schemes. They would rather it goes towards a strategic study, or something that makes a real difference.

A new bus stop is currently being installed on Marcham Road next to the nursing home. This will allow buses to pick up passengers without blocking the whole lane of traffic behind.

In the summer work was to begin to widen the Marcham Road on the eastbound approach to create an extra inbound lane to feed in to the town's peripheral road (aka Colwell Drive) - encouraging people to use the route as an alternative to the town centre.

There is a horse chestnut tree, at the junction of Marcham Road and Colwell Drive. Its removal would have made rerouting the cycle path easier, but a TPO (Tree Preservation Order) has recently been placed on it by the district council tree officers, and now puts the summer dates in jeopardy.

Somebody had asked about a 2nd river bridge joining to Audlett Drive, and produced a report from the 1970s, which proposed this - when Abingdon was in Berkshire. But was told that Oxfordshire County Road designers are very busy because the Oxfordshire District Councils are all producing Local Framework Plans, as well as the two proposed eco-towns near Bicester. Unless a project comes up through such a strategic route it is less likely to get looked at. In any case to get funding from one of the national, or south England bodies, a bridge would need to be justified by lots of new housing in that area.

Making Lodge Hill a full interchange would probably cost about £5m because of all the traffic management measures it involves. So not cheap. But it is being looked at.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Greggs the Baker

To simplify their business, Greggs the Bakers will no longer have the two brands: Greggs, and Bakers Oven. All round the country 'Bakers Oven' signs are coming down to be replaced by 'Greggs the Baker'.

It happened in Abingdon today.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Unbeknown to the little bridge

Unbeknown to the little bridge, work has already begun that will lead to its destruction ...

Round Mill Paddock, and down Manor Court, the electricity that previously came via Saint Helen's Mill Bridge is getting routed through from Caldecott Road

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Coop D'Etat

It appears there has been a Coop D'Etat.

The Chinese State Circus has now more posters

in Abingdon than Zippo's Circus.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Change of Era

The decorators have been working over Sunday. The outside has already been transformed. Its the start of a new Era in Stert Street.

This is how the barber and hairdressers looked until recently, and when I last blogged it in 2006.

This is how it looked when they won the best themed shop competition in 2005. They had transformed the premises into a mediaval tavern, serving Barber's Brew.

Dick, one of the best known people in Abingdon, has now retired from running the premises and working full time, and other staff are taking over the reins. People tell me he has been there for over 50 years, and some remember him cutting their hair back then.

Here he is after being presented with the best themed shop trophy from Wesley Smith, and Geraldine McNulty during the Christmas extravaganza of 2005. (Thanks to Lesley for sending me these last two.)

Sunday, 15 March 2009

the 70's Exhibition

Sit on the sofa with David Cassidy...

Read in Jackie how "The one you love is just a thought away" ... Be shocked by Liza Minnelli in Cabaret... Paint the house in browns and bright orange and think it looks "Great" ...

Cruise on a chopper... Sing "Bye, Bye, Baby (Baby Goodbye)"

It is all there at the 70's exhibition at Abingdon County Hall Museum.