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2020 New Year Honours

Thankyou to Abingdon and Witney College for a Press Release.
2020 New Year Honours
Di Batchelor, Principal of Abingdon and Witney College, has been an awarded an MBE for Services to Further and Adult Education in the 2020 New Year Honours.

Di’s award recognises her highly principled and wholehearted commitment to providing education of the very highest quality to those that need it most. Her approach has enabled her to change the lives of tens of thousands of people throughout her career. Under her leadership, Abingdon & Witney College has delivered some of the highest achievement rates in England for 16 – 18 year olds, apprentices, and higher education students studying for degrees at the college.

Di’s appointment to the post of Principal followed a 36 year career in Further and Adult Education, starting in 1983 when she was a volunteer Youth Worker for Oxfordshire County Council (OCC). She started by designing flexible courses to engage those who were furthest from work, furthest from education, and furthest from contributing positively to society. Her inspirational work continues to this day.

1 Comment January 2, 2020

Abingdon Marathon 2019 – 2 world records broken (awaiting verification)

Abingdon Marathon 2019
The 37th Abingdon Marathon started at 9 am on Sunday October 20th 2019. The day was fresh and dry.
Abingdon Marathon 2019
Among the 1150+ entries there was one well known Abingdon runner going for a Santa marathon running record, and another runner going for the pyjamas marathon record.
Abingdon Marathon 2019
The race started and finished at the Tilsley Park Athletics Track and followed much the same course as previous years, starting along Dunmore Road, going via Radley Lakes then through Abingdon Market Place.
Abingdon Marathon 2019
There were lots of people cheering the runners along the route. East St Helen Street did Abingdon proud.
Abingdon Marathon 2019
Some runners came from Abingdon. Others came from further afield.
Abingdon Marathon 2019
There were about twenty from Egdon Heath Harriers in Dorset.
Abingdon Marathon 2019
Abingdon, and the River Thames, provide an interesting backdrop for the race. One of the new sponsors this year is Abingdon’s latest hotel, The Garden Hilton – they offered a 10% discount on their best rate for runners, family and friends

After Abingdon town centre the route went out on a two lap route passing through the villages of Drayton, Milton, and Sutton Courtenay before returning back.

Time passes and we return to Tilsley Park …
Abingdon Marathon 2019
The winner was Jonathon Pool from the Serpentine Club in London.
Abingdon Marathon 2019
The second place runner was Sean Edwards of the Lytchett Manor Striders, in Dorset.
Abingdon Marathon 2019
Santa Claus, of Abingdon Athletics Club, finished in 2 hours 49. I have googled and the fastest Santa Claus marathon was 2 hr 54 min. We will have to wait and see but that could be a new world record.
Abingdon Marathon 2019
There was a great welcome back to the Tilsley Park stadium for the runners, particularly when they had family and friends.
Abingdon Marathon 2019
The first lady home was Emma Navesey, of Hayward Heath Harriers, in 2 hours 57. Hayward Heath is in Sussex.

Every year Sussex Sports Photography take pictures round the course of all the runners. Last year they published over 31,000 photographs of the event.
Abingdon Marathon 2019
Richard Baskerville finished in 2 hours 57 and may have broken the pyjama marathon record. He was running to raise money for the mental health charity Jonathon’s Voice.
Abingdon Marathon 2019
Marshalls did a fantastic job both directing and cheering people on.
Abingdon Marathon 2019
Lots of Abingdon Groups and individuals were helping as marshalls including the Lions (featured yesterday). The underpass is the steepest incline, and the marshall at the top was playing maracas to encourage people up.
Abingdon Marathon 2019
The original Abingdon Marathon is painted on the wall of the underpass. Every year the runners pass their forebears. Sophie, number 910, finished in 3 hours 34.

There were 788 finishers and the last one clocked in at 5 hours 22. An amazing effort to all involved!

Leave a Comment October 20, 2019

Abingdon 100 years ago – September 1919

Abingdon 100 years ago
6th September 1919

Aeroplane flights for the public at a guinea each person were made from a meadow at Shippon Manor Saturday and Sunday last.

The marriage of Miss Nora Cullen, of Abingdon, last week at St. Helen’s Church, to Dr. S W. McLellan, M.C., M.O., of Liverpool, was of special interest in that the bride belonged to the V.A.D. during the War, and spent three, years in the General Hospital at Cambrai, France, and the bridegroom was a Major in the Royal Army Medical Corps.

At the County Bench on Thursday last, John Percival Gannon, 39, was charged with frequenting the roadway near Milton Depot, for the purposes of betting transactions. —Defendant pleaded guilty. On the defendant were found money wrapped in slips of paper. He was fined £5.

Abingdon 100 years ago
13th September

The Oxford buses were running every hour during Monday and Tuesday to and fro from Abingdon to St. Giles’ Fair, Oxford, and were crowded with passengers, whilst many visitors to the fair went by train or bicycles.

At last week’s cattle market a cow escaped from the Market and turned into the front door of the Queen’s Hotel, in the Market Place, to the consternation of the customers and guests. The animal walked through the hall into one of the dining rooms, but was induced to leave without having done any damage.

The Old Berks Hounds commenced last week, and last Friday the start was made from Frilford Heath. Mr Stevenson, the new Master of the Hunt, has taken as his residence, temporarily, Lacies Court, Bath Street, Abingdon.

Abingdon 100 years ago
20th September

A whist drive and social dance, arranged by the Milton R.A.F. Depot, took place at the Roysse Rooms, Abingdon, on Thursday evening in last week. The company numbered nearly 100, and a very successful evening was enjoyed.

Pte. C. Hindley, of Didcot Camp was summoned for assaulting Annie Wilkinson, a single woman, at Abingdon, on Saturday night. Sept. 6th. by knocking her down and giving her a black eye. The defence was that the soldier was drunk.— The case was dismissed.

County Bench.— On Monday, Thomas W. Buckingham, farmer, of Wood End Farm, Cumnor, was summoned for using his premises as a slaughter house without a license, by slaughtering five sheep, contrary to the Live Stock (Sales) Order. Mr Andrew Walsh appeared for the prosecution, and Mr Murphy for defendant, ,who pleaded guilty. The Bench fined defendant £25 for keeping a slaughter house without a license, and £5 in respect of the five sheep.

Abingdon 100 years ago
27th September

The death has occurred at his residence, Burgess Bridge Street, Abingdon, of Councillor Frederick W. Matthews, at the early age of 44. Deceased was the head of the firm of Messrs. Harris and Matthews, corn, seed, hay, and straw merchants, and was elected to the Abingdon Town Council in 1911, being a very useful member of the Farm Committee. Mr Matthews came from Reading and joined the above firm about 20 years ago, and married a daughter of the late Mr W. Bradfield, Marcham. He leaves a widow and three children for whom great sympathy is felt.

The death took place at Piccadilly house, Ock Street, Abingdon, on Sunday last, of Miss A. Dodson, daughter of a former Vicar of Abingdon, at the ripe age of 90. The funeral took place at Sandford Churchyard on Tuesday.

The war upset the arrangements of the North Berks Agricultural Society, which held an autumn show in rotation in the four towns in the North Berks Constituency: Abingdon, Faringdon, Wallingford and Wantage. The last show was held at Faringdon in 1913, and was a record success. Then came the war, and the shows were abandoned. Now they have been re-started, and the first of what it is hoped will be a long succession of successful shows was held on Thursday at Abingdon, in a meadow on the Culham Road, kindly lent by Mr Walter Hays. It was not to be expected that the show would be equal to its predecessors, and neither was it, but the Committee, and all others connected with it, were much gratified with the entries and also with the very excellent exhibits. The following is a comparison of the entries at the shows of 1913 and 1919:-

Hunters … 66 – 57
Jumping … 27 – 26
Children’s Riding … 5 – 8
Driving … 17 – 6
Business Turnouts … 11 – 5
Shire and Cart Horses … 85 – 68
Cattle … 43 – 18
Sheep … 15 – 8
Pigs … 20 – 5
Field Roots … 19 – 13
Specimen Roots … 71 – 49
Shoeing … 6 – 6
Butter and Eggs … 20 – 16

The weather was fine, and there was good attendance of visitors… (The advertiser dedicates a page to listing all the winning entries across all classes)

Thankyou for the extracts to the Faringdon Advertiser and Vale of the White Horse Gazette – Adverts were taken from old North Berks Heralds and the Faringdon Advertiser.

In 2019 a large exhibition about an important Abingdon film from 1919 is taking place. Abingdon loves to celebrate its heritage every year in September as part of national Heritage Open Days. This year is a very special celebration of a very important piece of film… See One of the adverts in this piece also appears in the exhibition. I don’t think anybody will be able to find it.

7 Comments September 16, 2019

Hottest Ever Local Excellence Market

I missed the Local Excellence Market ten days ago. Thankyou to Abingdon-on-Thames Chamber of Commerce for this report and look ahead …
Local Excellence Market
We had 33 stalls for what was probably the hottest excellence market we’ve ever had. We were joined by a number of regular traders, as well as some new faces. Due to the heat our regular chocolatier and candle maker didn’t join us, but we welcomed Heidi Parker who designs and makes lampshades to order and is based in Abingdon.
Local Excellence Market
Hunnybunnys were here with their buggy wraps, ready for winter.
Local Excellence Market
The Hampshire Gluten Free company were back with a wide range of Gluten Free Products.
Local Excellence Market
Local artist Christine, who is one of our longest standing traders was one of many trying to stay cool throughout the day!

Next is our summer craft market on 27th July, all organised by the Abingdon on Thames Chamber of Commerce.

We are also looking for local bands, groups, singers, or performers of any kind to join us on stage and / or in the Christmas Extravaganza Parade. Anyone interested can get in touch by emailing

6 Comments July 9, 2019

Knowl For Sale

Knowl For Sale
The Knowl, Stert Street, in Abingdon is for sale. It has been been a mental health rehabilitation and recovery residential care home for over 20 years. The care home has moved to another Abingdon location and the historic building is looking for a new occupant.
Knowl For Sale
Thomas Merrifield has it on the market for £800,000 and say this is ‘a unique and rare opportunity to acquire a Grade II star listed former care home with 15 bedrooms, 4 bedroom annexe, numerous receptions and shared communal facilities located in the heart of Abingdon town centre. The Knowl represents a landmark building within Abingdon due to its striking period architecture and substantial appearance.’

The Knowl also features on the town portal – Abingdon People and Places.

5 Comments May 9, 2019

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