The Abingdon Blog

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

Friday, 5 March 2010

Museum Friends - 10 years on


The Abingdon Museum Friends have been going for ten years. They have talks, outings, and social evenings, and have also helped raise funds for acquisitions for the museum. They seems to be doing well with over 20 new members last year.

Councillor Julie Mayhew Archer was there last night at the AGM to present a birthday cake with ten candles.

The evening involved a quick AGM (annual accounts, election of the committee, and what have you), then a short talk by the museum curator on the museum development project. The Heritage Lottery decide fairly soon whether to grant funds for the project to go to the build stage, so she could not add too much that was new.

There followed a talk with slides by Judy White about the restoration of the ceiling of the Lady Chapel in St Helens Church. The original paintings were done by the finest artists of the time and dedicated in 1391. They probably only survived the occupation by Cromwell's men, when the church was a billet during the civil war, because they were so high up and hidden by candle soot. Much else was destroyed.

As to restoration... in Victorian times one vicar's daughter scrubbed them with soda and touched them up herself. Then they were rehung out of order by another Victorian generation with nails that have split the wood and the most damaged ones were just thrown away. 600 years after their original dedication, in 1991, one of the most important restorations was completed and they were re-dedicated. Judy showed slides documenting the restoration, slides given her by Meineke Cox.

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