Archives – July, 2011

Fellowship at St Ethelwold’s

St Ethelwolds
You can tell from the thickness of the walls that St Ethelwold’s House is one of the oldest houses in Abingdon. The house has a Georgian front, with medieaval rooms stretching behind.

There has been a lot going on at St Ethelwold’s House this weekend. Yesterday there was an open afternoon.
St Ethelwolds
I read in a leaflet called “The Fellowship of St Ethelwold” that  Dorothea Pickering – the founder – hoped to create a small scale Benedictine Community at St Ethelwolds. Dorothea was interested in the history of Abingdon Abbey and named the house  after St Ethelwold – a Benedictine monk who rebuilt and reinvigorated the Abbey in the tenth century.  Nowadays, Bed and Breakfast, and the use of  rooms for spiritual and community activities,  ensure that St Ethelwold’s continues to flourish.
St Ethelwolds
Another of Dorotheas interests was interfaith relationships and today -  Sunday – there was a large interfaith gathering in the garden. People shared a picnic and were entertained first by a group of children singing and dancing…
St Ethelwolds
Then with some Bangladeshi music …
St Ethelwolds
That reminds me, Duncan Brown, the ex Mayor, invited followers of a number of different faiths to act as his Chaplain during the year he was Mayor.

2 Comments July 24, 2011

Local Excellence Market

Local Excellence Market
Lots of people were out in town enjoying the occasional sunshine and the local excellence market.
Local Excellence Market
The carrots and other produce on this stall were picked yesterday.
Local Excellence Market
Duncan Brown, ex Mayor, bought some beetroot.
Local Excellence Market
There were samples of very tasty Double Gloucester, and Blue Veined Cheddar, from Glastonbury.
Local Excellence Market
Jill Carver, from Added Ingredients, had some very fine Olive Oil for people to try.
Local Excellence Market
The carbon cutters had a bike that drove a food mixer making strawberry smoothies – just visible behind the Town Crier on the bike.

The local excellence market was on from 9:00 – 14:00 today.

3 Comments July 23, 2011

Swan Upping 2011

Swan Upping
Many Thanks to Stephen Gray, an artist based in Culham, for this picture of him with his own painting of the Swan Uppers.

Today was the day the Royal census of swans, or Swan Upping, came to Abingdon – the final stop in the journey up the River Thames.
Swan Upping
I found them first at Abingdon Sailing Club where they had caught two adult swams and six young.
Swan Upping
This has not been a good year for swans – a virus has killed many. The Swan Uppers only found three familes, today : one at Wallingford, another at Clifton Hamden, and this one in Abingdon.
Swan Upping
The swans were weighed and ringed, a spike was extracted from the webbed foot of one of the adults, and then they were released to swim off as if nothing had happened.
Swan Upping
The Swan Uppers continued their journey to Abingdon Bridge where they drank the traditional toast to The Queen.

They then went to the Broad Face for more drinks. Once the local brew had lubricated their vocal chords sufficiently the Swan Uppers treated the other people in the pub to a traditional Swan Upping sing song.

2 Comments July 23, 2011

From fields of wheat and barley

Fields of Wheat and Barley
Wheat and barley grow in the fields to the south of Abingdon.
Fields of Wheat and Barley
Here the ground rises above the houses of the Tithe Farm Estate. A couple of buildings stand out above the trees from this vantage…  There is the white control room of Abingdon Police Station …
Fields of Wheat and Barley
and the bell tower and steeple of  St Helen’s Church.

1 Comment July 21, 2011

The Oldest House in Abingdon …

Oldest House in Abingdon
I was listening in to a conversation. The subject got onto old houses, and one chap said to the other…
Oldest House in Abingdon
The one with the timbers and removed brick infill on Stert Street says 1470. Do you think it can be?
Oldest House in Abingdon
The other one considered the matter, ‘Its possible’ he said, ‘But I think there is one older in East St Helen’s Street.
Oldest House in Abingdon
The one with the plaque..’
Oldest House in Abingdon
There are certainly some very old houses in Abingdon.  Many of them are down East St Helen’s Street.
Oldest House in Abingdon
But the Long Alley Almshouses, originally built in 1446, would be hard to beat.

Or do you know better?

17 Comments July 20, 2011

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