The Abingdon Blog

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

Saturday, 17 October 2009

Abingdon Craft Fair 2009

There was a bit of a queue when we arrived this afternoon - probably peek time.

The Craft Fair is under new management this year and they were asking people as they left whether they enjoyed it etc. etc. People here seem to be enjoying it.

As in previous years we ended up buying more wine and food than craft things.

On show there was a new Craft Fair van and signs and a CraftFair website.

Half the stalls change midweek, for the second week, and on Wednesday Evening they have a Charity Gala Evening Opening - costs £2.00 - and the proceeds go to the charities : Maggies Cancer Caring Centres and Sobell House Hospice. Complimentary Wine and Mince Pies will be served.

Friday, 16 October 2009

A few things that got missed

The Alpha Courses run by the Church in Abingdon have got underway. I caught this banner outside St Nics just after the wind had torn it down. There were more Alpha banners than ever this year and an Alpha advert in the Abingdon Herald.

An Australian comedian performing in the new Didc0t cultural centre was complaining that The Didc0t Herald - That is The Abingdon Herald's Didc0t edition - lol! -- had too much Abingdon News.

Fat Face did have these signs with Dangerously Low Prices.

And over a week ago a new shop opened. This picture was taken during the transition when Walking had become ..lking.

It is where Abingdon Outdoor Traders used to be at the top of East St Helen Street - before they moved to the High Street.

The Abingdon Bowling Centre used to be in Coxeters, then it moved to Ock Street, and now it has come to the centre of Abingdon. It may sound a very specialist shop but people do come from far and wide - possibly even from Didc0t - to get their woods and their shoes and their trolleys.

And a week or so ago a brilliant vilonist called Tod0r Nikolaev performed at St Michael's Church and I was sent this picture of him.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Blog Action Day 2009 - Climate Change

Colin could drive the mile or so from his house at the top of the Oxford Road to the town centre. But he chooses to go by bike - he is not only helping to save the planet but he also gets Free Parking.

My message for Blog Action Day, the third I've done is... Get on Your Bike like Colin! But do it safely!

Many children in Abingdon live within walking or cycling distance of schools. Many do cycle.

But in the last year there have been two fatalities among children cycling to or from school. Parents, whose children go along the Dunmore Road cycle path and cross the Wootton Road, do worry for the safety of their children. The first action must be to make sure children get properly trained in road safety, and are aware of what dangers are about.

The next action is to ask the County Council to make cycling routes safer. The County have many priorities and cycling safety in Abingdon may or may not be near the top. It will cost money. A report put out by the schools on Monday - and compiled for them by this same Colin - suggests about £500,000 is needed. The investment will not only improve Safety but also act against Climate Change.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Circular Route Closed

For people who like doing the circular walk round by Abingdon Weir there is an obstacle at the moment.

The Environment Agency are doing a lot of work in the area and have had to stop people crossing. The initial notice said the closure was from 5th October to 23rd October - or if necessary for up to six months. Presumably if they find serious problems it would take longer.

This poor boat, next to the disabled fishing area beside the Abbey Meadows, has been like that for a couple of weeks now. I saw a couple sitting cross legged beside it as if in mourning one afternoon. Possibly the owner. I felt sad for them. Their dream has became a liability they must now find a way to try to salvage.

The weir closure has been very well sign posted, but not everybody will get the warning in time. Most of this sign was in the rubbish bin last Sunday.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Runaway Fair

Here is a view from the 35 bus on the one evening in the year when it goes up West St Helen Street - the evening of the Runaway Fair.

This Runaway Fair is mostly for the young ones - and takes place one week after the Michalemas Fair. By the time I get home it is looking quiet. I doubt they ever make that much money - it is more a tradition.

This is the next 35 Bus negotiating the corner at the top of West Saint Helen Street on the evening of the Runaway fair - with a cyclist coming the other way as an extra obstacle.

Monday, 12 October 2009

Fire Service Consultation

Public consultation on the planned changes to manning will last until January 31. There is a public meeting at Abingdon Guildhall on January 15 at 7pm, where the management will present their proposed changes. The unions urge people to make their concerns known at the union website.

In an attempt to ensure better fire cover is provided in some rural areas of Oxfordshire, Fire Service bosses are proposing cuts to the number of full time firefighter jobs at Abingdon and Didcot fire stations. In addition, those that remain will see their working hours radically changed. The Fire Brigades Union, who were not consulted on the proposal, are deeply concerned about the impact these changes will have for the people who live in the Oxford, Abingdon and Didcot areas.

If accepted, the initiative will reduce the number of full time firefighters at Abingdon and Didcot fire stations from 14 to 12 on each station. Alarmingly, there will be periods of time when none of the 12 firefighters are on duty. Part time firefighters will fill the gaps when they are able to do so. Firefighters are worried that these changes will lead to an increase in the time it takes for the Fire Service to respond to emergency calls, with the possibility that it could lead to more fatalities.

Already in South Yorkshire similar changes have escalated into a dispute. Bosses have served notice to terminate the contracts of over 700 Firefighters unless they accept the changes being imposed upon them.

Sunday, 11 October 2009

Turning Abingdon Pink

Against Breast Cancer, an Abingdon based charity, did a brilliant job turning the town centre pink. Many of the shops had a display. This is Fabulous Flowers.

This is Badgers Menswear. I was quite amazed at the common pink purpose that had taken hold of the town.

On the Market there was belly dancing by Ashnah. They have their own blog.

The Abingdon Traditional Morris Dancers performed with non-traditional pink bows on their broom.

There was also a Cabaret by Janice Day. She sang some 1930s and 1950s songs very well.

She also read from her book 'Getting IT off My Chest' about her Breast Cancer and how it changed her as a person. Having read the first few pages of my signed copy I am very glad I bought it.

... There was a rumour that a convoy of pink cars were going to come through town. If they did come through I missed them. But there is one at least on The Harry Blog.