The Abingdon Blog

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

Monday, 22 March 2010

Demolition work at Old Gaol begins

Work on the Old Gaol has begun. The swimming pool extension - the building behind the Turner Bros. Demolition LTD sign, will be demolished, and return the Old Gaol to it's pre 1970s shape.

The part of the Old Police Station surrounded with scaffolding will also be demolished to provide a new access.

9 Comments:

Anonymous The color climax corporation said...

In my childhood memories that swimming pool seemed gigantic - it looks a whole lot smaller in that photo.
another favourite thing to do there was to climb the rickety spiral staircase at the centre - through the no entry sign (!) - we always chickened out before reaching the top as it became uber wobbly - and now i'll never know what I would have found - the surfeit of pigeon droppings suggests something open air.

22 March 2010 07:34  
Anonymous Hester said...

You didn't miss much - the top of the staircase was in the gym. What a crazy idea to put the gym right up there - I used to be worn out before I started exercising!

Which reminds me, when we were campaigning as COG (Community in the Old Gaol)we had a "memory board" on which people posted their memories of it as a Leisure Centre. I still have them somewhere - if people want to add to them we could perhaps put them together into a more permanent record. It is intended that there will be something in the revamped OG to commemorate its earlier uses - this could be part of that.

22 March 2010 14:37  
Blogger Backstreeter said...

Abingdon still need that arts centre. Great shame it did not happen in the Old Gaol. We went to see the Ian McMillan Orchestra at The Amey Hall on Saturday. Brilliant music and whackey poems combined. Anyway he had one poem about arts centres closing in recent days and said we were lucky in Abingdon to still have such an arts centre. Until somebody pointed out we didn't. This was a theatre facility in a successful private school.

22 March 2010 22:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Forgive me for putting a negative on something that seems to be a positive for most people but does Abingdon really need any more bars, restaurant and coffee shops?? I mean we have plenty of houses, coffee shops, pubs, bars & restaurants in the town centre so any more will just be taking more business away from the centre of town!
On a nice summers day, how many people are going to go into the centre of town for a spot of lunch if they can sit on the riverside and get the same thing!?!

In my opinion its a waste of a beautiful building and will be a killer for the town centre, but hey least its another revenue stream for the council who, lets face it, only care about how many business rates and council taxes they can get!!

23 March 2010 13:25  
Blogger Mark Thornton said...

...someone came into the shop once and said that the school built the Theatre after the old Corn Exchange was demolished (apparently in the late 60s or early 70s), which is where the school used to hold its prize giving, etc.

I've never been able to confirm this - perhaps someone knows more?

Mind you, I've also been told that the A34 was built the 'wrong' side of Abingdon (i.e. it was originally planned to be to the East). I've not been able to get to the bottom of that one either!

23 March 2010 13:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Would be a strange old route with a fair few river crossings that side of town?

23 March 2010 21:58  
Blogger TCCARL said...

WHEN (if ever) will the citizens of Abingdon be told just how much they have been ripped off by the Vale of the White Horse in its sale of the Old Gaol property????

24 March 2010 02:55  
Blogger Liberal Neil said...

Anonymous - your logic would work if you beleive there is a fixed limit on the amount of money that can be spent in restaurants, coffee shops and bars in Abingdon at any one time. This is not the case - as the fact that the town now has far more thriving coffee shops than it did just a few years ago proves. New outlets may well make Abingdon more of a destination and boost trade overall. For your infomration the local councils do not get a penny from the Uniform Business rate - it all goes to central government.

TCCARL - the Vale referred its own decision making process on the Old Gaol to the Audit Commission who gave them a clean bill of health.

27 March 2010 17:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Liberal Neil (or Vale stooge?):
What an asinine comment - what we've come to expect from councillors "running" our town. Anonymous is quite right - we already have more than enough restaurants, coffee shops and bars. What we need are public facilities, such as theatres, cinemas and an arts centre, for which the OG was ideally suited. Oh, but I forgot, the aim is to make Abingdon another photocopy town with Costa Coffee shops just like everywhere else.
That Audit Commission report - did it say it was all right to make the decision in secret without any public consultation? The decision was undemocratic, unaccountable and corrupt. I can't remember a council decision more publicly criticised than that.
BTW your comment about the Business Rate is dishonest and misleading. The Business rate does go to central government ...initially...who then distribute it back to...local councils!
The Abingdonian

14 April 2010 15:08  

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