The Abingdon Blog

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

Saturday, 23 January 2010

1 Today

I'm afraid I got there too late in the day (like Friday at 9:45 PM) and most of the festivities were over. Just a few balloons and a banner remained.

The Co-op has been open for 1 year.

They probably had all sorts of exciting things happening earlier in the day, but... Congratulations anyway! Keep up the good work. The staff are ALL brilliant.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Ali Baba & I'll Get My Man.

Ali Baba and The Forty Thieves
is on for a second week at the Unicorn Theatre, with a cast of almost forty - by The Abingdon Drama Club... It is followed soon by I'll Get My Man, also at the Unicorn.
Hope they don't mind me borrowing their animation. See the original on The Breakaleg Production Website

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

54 Ock Street

Last year, Leach's The Printers moved from 54 Ock Street to the Nuffield Centrum on the edge of town, leaving their old premises which includes a listed building at the front, and a narrow strip of land with Coopers Lane one side, The Post Office Sorting Office the other. and the River Ock at the bottom..

Within these challenging constraints, a plan was created to build three two bed dwellings, convert the building at the bottom into flats, and convert the listed building at the top into a shop of some sort (I believe) and flats. These pictures were taken late December, and the roof is almost on now. This was 54 Ock Street, so I wonder what the new development will be called.

Details of the history of 54, and the rest of Ock Street, are on the Ock Street Heritage Group Site - just follow 'Commercial' to find 54.

John's Miscellany (answers)

Many Thanks to Anonymous for the comprehensive details given about the life of John Alder and the construction of the Abingdon A sculptures, more recently. This is what I have in addition from John (with a bit of help from Jackie)...
The Beaconsfield Working Mens Conservative Club occupied part of the premises of the Abingdon Mechanics Institute. The reliefs are the Earl of Beaconsfield, the Marquess of Salisbury and Sir Stafford Northcote. Club activities included reading (library of around 400 books), chess drafts and smoking! Opened May 1882 by John Tomkins, an Alderman at that time.

This sign was put up by a former owner of the building but we don't know why. Possibly to make people curious.
The Fortunate Cooper, John Alder, whose small pub The Mitre was on this site, won £20,000 in the State Lottery in 1767. That is worth approximately £2,100,000 using increases in the retail price index or £28,000,000 using average earnings according to ttp:// . I can't vouch for the tools accuracy.

See Anonymous' comments from yesterday for a fuller story.

These sculptures by Philip Bews and Diane Gorvin are in Neave Mews and are known as the "Abingdon A ".
This plaque represents a grant of land by Cissa c675 to nephew Hean to found a monastery.
While Hean founded the monastery, his sister Cilla founded a nunnery on or near the site of St Helen's church. See Anonymous' comments from yesterday for more details.
In East St Helen Street. this is generally explained as a reference to Richard Eli who repaired the drinking fountain in Ock Street but it has not been proved that he lived there. He died in 1732 so it is probably a memorial by a relative. See Preston, The Carswell(or Castlewell) Abingdon. Berks Archael. Journal, XLV (1941) Part I .

Tuesday, 19 January 2010

John's Miscellany

John E sent a miscellany of pictures from about town. He also mentioned that it is the Church in Abingdon's quiz on Friday at The Peachcroft Christian Centre. I'll give the answers provided by John tomorrow, but have a go yourself before then ...
Who are these three men and what are they doing opposite Coxeters?

What does Georgics V mean? It is Over the Fat Face Shop.
The plaque is down Stert Street. How much did he win and what is that worth in today's money?

Who are Hean and Cilla on the Abingdon A and where is it to be found?

Can you explain the message not far away. And are Cissa and Cilla related?

What is the reason for this inscription in East St Helen Street.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Art and Artists of Abingdon

There is a new exhibition showing paintings of Abingdon, and art by Abingdon Artists - ancient and modern. It was featured in the Oxford Times and there was a good crowd on the first day - Saturday - as a result.

This photo portrait of our own town Rector, the Vicar of St Helen's Church, Dr Charles Miller, was first shown in an exhibition of portraits of people living on or near the Thames. I am not sure where those large hands above him have come from. They were not in the original; but one thing about the museum at present is that there are many reflections on a bright day like today.

Many of the older pictures need to be covered with liftable dark screens to protect them from the light. The ones shown here are not so old.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

After The Snow...

pavements in the town centre - that got treated - still have all the grit and salt and sand...

torrents of snow melt look to be going down the River Ock which has been on flood watch since yesterday...

and as the sun goes down, the water on the Cricket Fields just has nowhere to run away. The River Thames alongside is also on flood watch from today.