Filed under: obituaries

Abingdon Town Mace in Black

Abingdon Town Mace
At St Helen’s Church this afternoon the Abingdon Town Mace was there at the Mayor’s pew. The Mace was draped in black for the Service of Thanksgiving for the life of Audrey Hasnip, the Mayor in 1999-2000.

Her husband, Keith Hasnip, had a similar service almost six years ago. He had also been Mayor.

Both services began with the hymn Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven and ended with the hymn Lord of all Hopefulness. Both services asked for donations for the NSPCC, and at both Reverend Dr Charles Miller officiated.

Reverend Charles gave a sermon for Keith’s service, but at Audrey’s service there was no sermon. Instead there were a lot of family tributes. There were also readings from The Wind in the Willows, Harry Potter, and Winnie-the-Pooh.

Regarding the Great Mace, Charles II’s restoration was in 1660, and from that date maces had to have the Royal Emblem again. During Cromwell’s time they bore the emblem of the House of Commons. An inscription at the base says “John Mayott, Gentleman, Mayor when this Mace was made for ye Corporation of Abingdon in ye County of Berks …” John Mayott was Mayor in 1651-1652 as well as 1659-1660. So 1660 could be when the mace was made, or remade with the Royal Emblem. (details from Abingdon and its treasures -1956)

Leave a Comment June 11, 2019

Audrey Hasnip

Audrey Hasnip
Audrey Hasnip, the Mayor of Abingdon from 1999-2000, died a couple of days ago. We lost her husband, Keith, also a former Mayor of Abingdon, a few years ago.

They were both former school teachers. Audrey taught at St Helen’s School. Keith taught languages at Abingdon School. They also served as House Parents at Waste Court boarding house at Abingdon School. It was in their retirement that they got involved in local politics.

Audrey was a lovely lady and was there helping at Mother and Toddler group at St Helen’s Church when our children were young. She also sang in the choir at St Helen’s Church.
Audrey Hasnip
Audrey drew beautifully. She drew the little buildings on a town map that is still used. She also designed and edited a book about Abingdon called Cameos of Abingdon – celebrating Abingdon’s 450th Charter year in 2006. Keith and Audrey used to organise Heritage Open Day and had a great interest in all aspects of the town. All our sympathy to Audrey’s family.

1 Comment May 15, 2019

Ruth Baker

Ruth Baker
On Saturday there was the funeral of Ruth Baker, a well known lady in the Church in Abingdon (CiA). She had often represented the Society of Friends, or ‘Quakers’ at CiA events, and on numerous charities.

The South Oxfordshire Crematorium had room for about 100 people but that was not enough as people were crammed into the lobby. The Quaker style funeral began with a short introduction, to explain that there would be times of quiet, and that anybody who felt moved could stand up and say some words.

A lot of people did contribute. Her grand children told how she always gave them her full attention, listened to whatever their concerns were, and was always there with wise words. Other people told how she brought people together in lots of ways and was always so welcoming and loving. What I did not realise was that she was a Doctor, having gained a PhD at Oxford – that was after getting a 1st class degree in the infant science of Biochemistry at Oxford. At that time however, she decided to dedicate her time to bringing up her children, rather than following a scientific career.

The funeral details can be seen at the Tonks Brothers website. There is also a link to make donations to Ruth’s charities, and a link to the webcast for anybody who could not get to the funeral – and wish they had, or could not hear from the lobby.

The picture is from this blog in 2007. Anybody who wants to find out more abut the Quakers and their unique style of silent worship can join a small group on Thursday evening at St Ethelwold’s House.

1 Comment January 21, 2019

Polish War Hero who lived in Abingdon during the 60s/70s

Thanks to Steve for this
Stanislaw, aka, Rocky was a well known and much respected Polish man who took up residency in Abingdon after the war. It was rumoured that he fought in the Free Polish Air Force during the war and a recent obituary article in the Mail confirms those rumours. The article is about a war hero living in Swansea and who died shortly after his 100th birthday.

In the 60′/70s he owned and ran Top Taxis in Abingdon, and lived on the Marcham Road. Steve says he was an amazing full of life character who lightened every room he entered! I hope the Mail does not mind me borrowing their pictures. If anybody has any of Stanislaw in his Abingdon days, or even Top Taxis, please send to

2 Comments October 21, 2017

In Loving Memory of Janet Morgan

In Loving Memory
The funeral service of Janet Morgan was held at St Helen’s Church, Abingdon. The Rev’d Charles Miller would have taken the service but is recovering from illness.

The service was led instead by Rev’d Mary Williamson who said she could tell Janet was well known and loved from the size of the congregation.
In Loving Memory
The order of service showed pictures of Janet at various stages in her life. There was a lovely picture of Janet and David getting married; another of her rowing in the Lake District, where she had lived during her youth, and often returned for walking tours. On the back cover was a picture of her as Mayor of Abingdon in 1989, and on the front was the face of Janet in her latter years.

The hymns were well known:
To Be a Pilgrim
The Lords my Shepherd
All things bright and beautiful - because of her love of the outdoors
Guide me, O thou great redeemer.

An appreciation of Janet’s life was given by her daughter, Alice Morgan. It told how committed Janet was to family; of her careers, first at Harwell, then teaching; how she loved walking and travelling; and how she became an inspirational local politician: town councillor, Mayor, leader of the Vale district council, and Freeman. She was never defeated in an election. Voters got to know and trust her so well.

The service ended with the organ playing ‘I know that my redeemer liveth‘ from Handel’s Messiah. One had the impression Janet had a strong faith.

Then there was a very long and slow moving queue as people shook hands with family members and shared memories.

Donations were for The Abingdon Bridge (a charity providing counselling and advice for young people in Abingdon that Janet supported from the outset) and Sobell House (a charity providing end of life care and support in Oxfordshire). There is also a just giving page.

3 Comments October 14, 2017

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