Filed under: community

Abingdon Poppy Appeal smashes £50,000

Thankyou to Clare for this press release from a few days ago. I have reused pictures from the blog post on 27th October 2018 . There was a chance to take more pictures on Thursday when volunteers got together which I did not make.
Abingdon Poppy Appeal
Big-hearted Abingdon folk raised more than £50,000 for the Poppy Appeal last year — a 16 per cent increase and equivalent to more than £1 for every person in the town.

Official figures show that the town has donated £52,545, an increase of £7,196 on the previous year.

The generosity of people was astounding with more than £15,000 in notes alone being dropped into one of the 364 collection tins. They also tapped their way to a further £1,000 on a contactless machine.
Abingdon Poppy Appeal
Highlights of the two-week collection saw the the Army Cadets smash through the £10,000 donation barrier, while a single collector raised almost £4,000.

But the really big story was the fundraising at Tesco Extra Abingdon where the team of collectors with their “poppy shop” in the store foyer raised £17,368 – more than £4,000 up on the previous year. A further £500 came in from collection tins at the end of tills.
Abingdon Poppy Appeal
The Appeal was given its own Abingdon launch with MG owners in poppy red cars parked on the Market Place, while Abingdon Lions took on the task of distributing boxes in the town centre.

Clare Oldfield, Poppy Appeal Organiser, says: ‘Ten years ago Abingdon raised £20,793 for the Poppy. Over the past two years the poppy collectors have raised almost £100,000.

Abingdon may not be the biggest town on the Thames but it must surely have the biggest heart. The amount raised is truly amazing and something the town and its poppy collectors should be rightly proud of.’

Leave a Comment April 13, 2019

Special Abingdon Parish Meeting to discuss the Guildhall

Special Abingdon Parish Meeting
11 residents had requested a special Parish meeting to discuss the Guildhall, and the meeting took place this evening at the Roysse Room. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the usage of the much larger Abbey Hall, the only civic space in Abingdon large enough to hold such public meetings, and to discuss accessibility plans for the older part of the Guildhall.

The large Abbey Hall has been closed for about three years. It was initially closed while the Town Council considered tenders for its redevelopment. The assumption was that the redevelopment would go ahead that year. However an election happened at that point, and the council membership changed. We heard for the first time this evening that one tender came in at £3m and another  $4m. And so the Town Council looked at ways to reduce the scope of the project, and the Abbey Hall remained closed while that happened. There followed another round of consultants and architects and planning under a new Guildhall Chairman.

The council then gave up on that plan, about the time the Town Council leader changed. It cost an annual subsidy of £200k to keep the Guildhall complex open. They than began speaking to Oxfordshire County Council about putting the Abbey Hall into the review of County Council public places, and now expect something exciting to come out of that review for Abingdon.

So the town council are now concentrating on the older part of the building, and using the £1.2m legacy, given by the District Council with the Guildhall, on just the old rooms.
Special Abingdon Parish Meeting
This evening the Roysse room was not large enough for the number of people who came.
Special Abingdon Parish Meeting
About 60 people were not allowed in. That included some of the 11 who had requested the meeting.
Special Abingdon Parish Meeting
So there will be a second meeting next Monday for anybody who could not get in.

During the meeting, The Mayor, Councillor Jan Morter, read out a release from the Town Council, prepared for the meeting, that you can read here. She then added that Evesham Regal are looking to negotiate terms to run a cinema in the Abbey Hall, and manage other events people want holding there, and help the council finances at the same time. That would be until Oxfordshire County Council want to use it for whatever exciting plans they have after their review of places. The Town Council have not had the chance to discuss that offer yet but it was interesting news.

Then people were allowed to ask questions or make statements, first about the Abbey Hall, then on accessibility plans for the old part. However the Town Council could give no answers to the meeting. They needed to give the answers full consideration in council before giving answers.

Many points were made but it was news to hear that The Regal, Evesham, think they can run a cinema and re-open the Abbey Hall and help the council finances.

The pictures above do make the point that Abingdon does needs a public room for civic events to hold more than 80 people.
Special Abingdon Parish Meeting
Another point made by a number of people was that splitting the Guildhall into the old and the new part created accessibility problems in the old part. The Abbey Hall did have 2 ramps and 2 lifts to try to make it accessible. The last person to speak said ‘The Abbey Hall may be a 1960’s carbuncle but we still want to use it!’

26 Comments January 15, 2018

Advent Windows on South Avenue

Christmas Bazaar
Along the top part of South Avenue in Abingdon, the window designs are being revealed one day at a time during advent.

The window for today – day 17 – shows ‘Joy to the World’, and outside the house is a board explaining what is happening. You can donate money in the envelopes provided and pop it through the letter box for the Helen and Douglas House Charity.

To get to South Avenue: either take the bridleway from the Oxford Road, or take the cycle track from the Long Furlong Community Centre, or drive from the Oxford Road along North Avenue, down West Avenue to get to South Avenue.

1 Comment December 17, 2017

Abingdon-on-Thames Town Council invites residents’ comments on town’s development

Abingdon for All
Abingdon-on-Thames Town council would like to invite residents  to share their thoughts about how Abingdon should develop over the next few years, leading to the creation of a Community Led Plan. As part of this process, there are two drop in events this September:
* Abbey buildings – Tuesday September 5th from 4:00 – 7:00 pm
* Preston Road Community Centre – Saturday September 16th 2:00 – 4:00 pm.

If you are unable to go to an event you can still give your views by completing a survey. More information at in due course.
Abingdon for All
Topics for thought might include requirements for community facilities and services, suggestions for improving the environment, ideas for sports and leisure activities and local transport
Abingdon for All
and local provision for young people (over and above the spontaneous gatherings playing with mobile phones).

The process will be supported by the Town Council but a key role will be taken by local volunteers who will do the real work.

12 Comments September 4, 2017

High Sheriff’s Award

Frank Award
Frank from the Lock has been given a special award by the High Sheriff of Oxfordshire in recognition of exceptional services to the community.
Frank Award
I believe there were only 23 such awards given out after 500+ nominations.

Frank has also been featured in the Oxford Mail. So this post is aimed at people who have not already read that, including friends from abroad. While I was at the lock one of his ex-work colleagues came to visit. He had seen the Oxford Mail article and came to revisit his old friend for the first time in 30 years.

5 Comments March 13, 2017

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